From riverside dining to lush garden settings, soak up the fresh air and sunshine in KL’s prettiest alfresco restaurants
Fresh air, sunshine and the joys of people-watching — these are just some of the perks of al fresco dining. In the current context and climate, here’s another reason to embrace a meal outdoors. Scientists agree that it’s much safer than dining indoors, owing to the fact that it allows for more social distancing and offers better ventilation.
Whether you’re looking to soak up the sun or simply erring on the side of caution while eating out, this is the year of outdoor dining. Read on for the best restaurants and cafes to enjoy an al fresco meal in Kuala Lumpur.
1 – Manja KL @ Old Malaya
Mod-Malaysian cuisine served in a charming century-old converted pre-war house in downtown KL – this is what’s on offer at Manja KL. This charming spot oozes plenty of old-world luxury and a lovely outdoor courtyard where you can tuck into your meals. Its interiors are a real treat – step inside and take in the vivid maroon walls which are decked with murals from local artists. Signature dishes here include the Borneo coconut tuna, pommery lamb and hummus.
2 – Canopy Rooftop Bar and Lounge
KL’s Canopy Rooftop Bar and Lounge takes outdoor dining to the skies. This sky-high alfresco spot is divided into a lounge, cocktail bar and rooftop canopy; close to the Petronas towers, an outdoor meal here will get you up close with the city’s best panoramas. Swig on fresh cocktails and mocktails at the rooftop bar, or unwind with its selection of premium hookahs. The food menu is a mix of local favourites like crispy chicken shawarma and spring rolls to standard restaurant and bar bites like pizzas, burgers and pastas.
3 – Bo Dining
Stepping into BO Dining will have you forget that you’re in a mall. The restaurant is built around its piece de resistance – the decades-old tree – that sits at its center, creating a slice of rainforest retreat in the heart of the city. Specialties include the wondrously juicy rotisserie chicken, which is brined and air-dried for 36 hours before being baked into the kitchen’s French-built oven.
4 – Lisette’s Café and Bakery
Located on an unassuming residential street on Bangsar, Lisette’s Café and Bakery is definitely a local favourite – and for good reason. Come for the freshly-baked loaves and puff pastries, stay for the ambience and vibe. Its lush and cosy garden outdoors is a choice mealtime setting – the dreamy floral fence, which comprises hundreds of faux peonies is bound to be ‘gram hit. The bakery is known for its vegetarian-friendly buffet (which they’ve now put on pause), but their pastries and a la carte menu are still up for grabs. Tuck into dishes like its signature black rice nasi lemak; truffled scrambled kampung eggs with smoked salmon; and caramelised goat cheese salad with curly kale. Inside, the interiors don’t disappoint either; the unique mural ceiling featuring vibrant hand-drawn patterns are as much a feast for the eyes.
5 – Jibby by the Park
With its stunning greenhouse setting and charming alfresco outdoor seating area, Jibby by the Park certainly warrants a spot on this list. One of the latest editions by homegrown F&B stalwart Serai Group, you can expect a dining experience that checks all the boxes. Boasting high ceilings and vintage glass window panes that let in swathes of natural light, this leafy and botanical-themed space whips up hearty breakfast items like brunch platters and standard café fare like waffles, pancakes and more.
6 – Pokok KL
Another greenhouse café, park yourselves at Pokok KL’s outdoor seating area. Furnished with chic rattan furniture, cushions and a fresh tropical theme, it’s decor will whisk you away to Bali and its famous café scene. The food here is your usual café grub, ranging from tasty breakfast platters and pastas to pies and pastries. To avoid the crowd and guarantee a table, come by in the morning.
7 – Feeka Coffee Roasters
Those in need of a caffeine fix can swing by Feeka Coffee Roasters. This pioneer in KL’s third-wave coffee scene has no doubt paved the way for the city’s café and artisanal coffee scene. The fact that it doles out breakfast from 8am to 3pm makes it both the choice spot for an early morning cuppa joe or lazy weekend brunch; favourites include the locally-roasted coffees, delightfully creamy berry chia pudding, shakshuka, smoothie bowl, fluffy ricotta pancakes, and vegetarian options like its Roasted Veggie burger.
8 – Rise and Shine by Tapestry
Located in the heart of Chow Kit, Rise & Shine by Tapestry is a crowd favourite; here, you can find classic brunch dishes inspired by Malaysian flavours and made with locally sourced ingredients. Recommended dishes include the hearty Bangers and Mash, French toast served with Sarsi-glazed bacon or the vibrant Horchata Smoothie. The exterior is stylish, reminiscent of quaint cafes in Europe, while its interiors are equally Instagram-worthy. Those seeking fresh air along with their meal should park themselves int the courtyard for a spot of outdoor brunching.