New year, new list of restaurants in KL and PJ to visit and fit into the ‘gram.

The year seems off to a good start with many restaurants and cafes making their debut in the Klang Valley’s dining scene. From Spanish to Japanese, cakes to pastries, and even more cosy cafes to get your coffee and Instagram feed fix, January’s list of new eateries is pretty lit.

But as always, we’d like to preface our list with a reminder to practise social distancing and good hygiene when dining out. Community COVID-19 cases are at an all-time high — don’t forget to wear your masks when you’re not eating or drinking.

1
Koro Koro Cafe

Subang Jaya’s latest cafe addition is a cute one. The calming green space with no shortage of indoor plants is a nice respite from the busy outdoors. Settle down with a cup of joe and peruse its food menu, consisting of Japanese-inspired meals like beef tataki, gyoza, karaage, crispy salmon with a side of rice, and more. Don’t forget to load up on desserts after — the cafe has cakes too. Koro Koro Cafe is pork-free.

(Image credit: Instagram/ @korokoro.cafe)

2
Mockingbird

As of now, Mockingbird only operates on Saturdays and Sundays, serving Asian-inspired fusion brunch. Craving for a bubbly brunch? Mockingbird has it too. Located in Jalan Telawi 3 in Bangsar, you’ll be spoiled for choices trying out not just breakfast food, but also heartier dishes like pastas, burgers, and more.

(Image credit: Instagram/ @mockingbirdbangsar)

3
Bouchon Enfin by James Won

Following the popularity of his takeout menu during the MCO, celebrated Malaysian chef James Won has expanded on his idea and birthed a casual version of his fine-dining restaurant Enfin by James Won. Bouchon Enfin is located in Pavilion KL and serves similarly French food, but made with the Malaysian twist that we can all identify with.  Bouchon Enfin by James Won is non-halal.

(Image credit: Instagram/ @smashpop)

4
Henry & Camille

Located in Damansara Heights, Henry & Camille is a new cafe to grace the Bukit Damansara neighbourhood. We love the gorgeous green interior and the many varieties of sofas and couches for you to get comfortable on. This could be your next remote office spot too. Coffee and pastries are the perfect options to have here, and this cafe is one of the rare places in the Klang Valley where you can get bagels.

(Image credit: Instagram/ @henryandcamille)

5
Malatoop

It’s challenging to find a good halal Sichuanese restaurant in the Klang Valley, if there’s even any. You won’t have to look further than TTDI anymore, because Malatoop is going to sate your spicy cravings for mala dishes. Here you’ll find the stir-fried dry mala bowls featuring an assortment of vegetables and protein doused in the Sichuan peppercorn mixture. For snacks, try the Malatoop Wings and Sticky Mala — both are battered chicken wings, with the latter offering a sweet-spicy flavour.

(Image credit: Instagram/ @malatoop)

6
Gaga Cakes

Petaling Jaya’s hippest new place to get pastries and cakes is Gaga Cakes, a sister outlet of Superfine. Located just next door (you can order cakes when dining in at Superfine too), Gaga Cakes is bold and colourful with a wide selection of desserts. Try the best-selling Pistachio Paris-Brest, which looks good for the ‘gram and tastes even better. They don’t scrimp around here, so expect your tarts and pastries just oozing with cream.

(Image credit: Instagram/ @pohnee_)

7
Eatery by Nutmeg

We may not be able to travel to the deep south in America, but we can certainly have a slice of it here at Eatery by Nutmeg. This restaurant focuses on Cajun cuisine, so you can expect Southern specialities like gumbo and deep-fried catfish and chips. But if it gets too niche for your dining companions, worry not — there are also other dishes on the menu that will appeal to most palates.

(Image credit: Instagram/ @eaterybynutmeg)

8
270sqft

Seapark looks to be the hottest new neighbourhood in Petaling Jaya as yet another stylish cafe opens, albeit a tiny one — 270 sqft, to be precise. Don’t expect this tiny place to serve up elaborate hot dishes. Instead, come to visit with a nice cup of coffee as well as some cakes and bagels. The space, stylish as it is, can’t accommodate too many people, hence its owners request that each person needs to order a minimum of one beverage when dining in. Takeaway, however, is highly recommended.

(Image credit: Instagram/ @psylancer)

9
Craft

You know the iconic staircase in APW that many people sit on for a photo opportunity? You won’t be able to do it as easily now, as a new cafe has occupied that nook above it. Craft specialises in light bites, so while looking out to the leafy surroundings of APW, order a cup of tea-based drinks and munch on a maki roll — which is more substantial than it looks. The tea selection here is inspired by Taiwanese tea-houses, so choose from refreshing options of Bubbly Cha, Craft Cha, or Milk Tea to quench your thirst.

(Image credit: Instagram/ @jackyho_27)

10
Tobu Sake Bar

The newest and sexiest sake bar to grace the Klang Valley is Tobu Sake Bar, complete with crimson hues and even has a torii gate for you to walk through upon entry. Needless to say, you’ll be busy snapping your way while waiting for your sake and yakitori dishes to be served. Other than sake, you can also sip on whisky and wine if you so desire.

(Image credit: Instagram/ @tobu.damansara)

11
Five O'clock Brasserie

If you love Italian food, brunch, and all-day-drinks, you’ll love Five O’clock Brasserie. Inspired by the saying: “It’s always five o’clock somewhere” this new Italian place by the same people behind Portofino definitely wants you to sip on cocktails without worrying what time of the day it is. The space in The Sphere, Bangsar South is expansive, airy, and full of natural light. On the menu, expect items like smashed avocado toast, paella, pasta, lamb cutlets and plenty of other protein options. Wine is plentiful, but there are also fresh juices if you feel like staying sober.

(Image credit: Instagram/ @fiveoclockbrasserie)

PohNee Chin
Editor, Kuala Lumpur
Poh Nee is the editor and writes about travel and drinks. When she's not living out her holiday dreams via Google Earth and sipping on an Old Fashioned down at the local bars, you can find her snug at home bingeing on Netflix and mystery fiction.