Kuala Lumpur is known for three things: the Petronas twin towers, high-end retail, and work opportunities. But very soon it’ll be famous for its trendy and innovative dessert café culture too, thanks to its ever-expanding consumer base of sweet-toothed millennials.
Everyone knows that Kuala Lumpur has money. It’s the reason it can sustain the tallest glittering twin towers in the world, house 13,800 millionaires in the city proper, and provide luxurious settings for Hollywood’s runaway hit, Crazy Rich Asians. So perhaps it’s not surprising that it has a wealth of desserts, too, in both variety and portion. Here are the 10 best places for dessert in Kuala Lumpur.
Want the inside scoop on your ice-cream scoop? The first thing to know is that the best flavours are local, and locals love the durian (a thorny local fruit with yellow custard-like flesh), the teh tarik (pulled tea) and the salted gula melaka (Malaccan palm sugar). The second thing to know is that Inside Scoop makes every flavour in their ice-cream kitchen, so each batch is smooth, creamy and scoop-lickin’ good.
Encore is where high tea is three-tiered, elegantly laced up and served with your choice of brew. Cream and scones, buttery palmiers and fluffy mille-feuille bring 19th century English aristocratic tastes to middle-class Taman Desa, where all who have worked hard deserve the comfort of Encore’s quiches and pies.
Founded by a husband-and-wife duo who began their vintage-inspired baking business in 2012, Souka has quickly become the city’s go-to place for red velvet cake. Soft, dense, deep red layers are carefully inlaid with generous spreads of rich cream cheese, and will prove your trip to the humble TTDI (Taman Tun Dr Ismail) neighbourhood in Subang Jaya worthwhile.
The ice cream here is kind to the animals, plants – and most of all – you. Each scoop is lovingly free of artificial colouring, refined white sugar (they use coconut cane or molasses sugar) and animal by-products (no eggs, cheese or dairy milk) – and in return for your patronage, you’ll get a sweet treat full of flavour without fake flavouring.
When you’ve been serving ais kacang (shaved ice dessert) as long as Ah Keong’s has, you’ll know the proportions of grass jelly, palm fruit and pink syrup to make a divine bowl of post-meal gladness. The waiting time and lack of seating may be unglamorous, but the colourful serving of iced sweetness will make it worth your wait in the heat.
The bungeoppang (fish-shaped waffle) is a recognizable street snack imported from Korea, but Aboong gives it a little cold twist by adding flavoured frozen yogurt and a variety of toppings. Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside and cold on top, Aboong has figured out a novel way to make its customers queue up for a taste, texture and temperature sensation.
Bright, cheery and a bit of whimsy makes this café a must-visit for waffle, lace and novelty lovers. Bridging fashion, fantasy and sweet afters are an assortment of warm, crispy waffles topped with ice cream, as well as their signature clear bubble-like raindrop cake – inspired by the Japanese ‘water cake.’
Jaslyn Rangson brought English tastes to Kuala Lumpur when she began offering fluffy Victoria Sponges and Earl Grey chiffon cakes in trendy Bangsar. This cakehouse prides itself on organic teas, freshly squeezed juices, and pastries made daily in the shop. If you’re lucky, you may also get to enjoy their occasional loaf, made with kampung (village) eggs and organic flour.
This is not your Malaysian biskut (biscuit). This is the American-style, soft-baked, slightly chewy cookie. With over 15 choices, including Moonwalker, Peanutella and Crimson Love, every cookie-lover will be spoiled for choice. You can have it plain, sandwich it with ice cream or drink it up in a milkshake – apparently, the cookies don’t mind!
For the best egg tarts in the city, there’s no bakery like Bunn Choon. While it doesn’t offer much of an ambience, Bunn Choon provides soft, warm-crusted egg tarts that are a perfect blend of custard and crumble. The bakery also offers other local Chinese pastries such as pineapple tarts, salted lotus cake, and kaya (coconut jam) puffs.