Where & What To Eat: Taman Tun Dr Ismail
1/6 Big Tree Bakery
A desserts-only café, Big Tree Bakery whistles an enduring tune. After all, words like 'cupcakes', 'cream puffs' and 'chocolate' are music to Malaysians' ears. Taking restless kids (and fatigued parents) into consideration, the space is equipped with a kid’s play corner (which is temporarily closed to limit stranger-to-stranger contact). Also serving as an art space, the café cum gallery is currently showing The MCKK Series by award-winning local artist Haron Mokhtar.
Big Tree Bakery | 32G, Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad 2, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, KL | 019-977 8233
TATLER TIP: Topped with stiff peaks of sweetened whipped cream and doused with the chocolate malt beverage of our childhoods, the Milo Très Leches makes us swoon.
2/6 Dough & Dolce
Proving that there are no shortcuts when it comes to producing quality baked goods, Dough & Dolce painstakingly pits fresh cherries for its best-selling cherry pie, unquestionably the best in its league. Juice gushes out of the stewed fruits, which are cradled by a sweet, salty, buttery and crunchy crust.
Nothing disappoints, from the Tuna Jalapeño Toastie to the Ranger Cookie which emanates a warmth of spices. Serial restaurateur Benjamin Yong even named Dough & Dolce's pizza "the best in KL", which says a lot!
3/6 Ficus Bistro
Realising that they shouldn't limit themselves to ramen, the owners of MADE Taman Tun have refocused their energies and opened Ficus Bistro a few doors down. Standard café fare (truffle fries, pastas and burgers) is joined by a smattering of Asian specialities (Japanese gyudon, Indonesian sup buntut and a trio of baos) at this eclectic café named after a genus of plants. Thumb through one of Oprah Winfrey’s cookbooks or a dog-eared issue of Lucky Peach magazine while waiting for the ding of the service bell. View the full menu.
Ficus Bistro | 36, Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad 1, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, KL | 03-7733 4887
See also: 5 Recipes For Avocado Afficionados
Located cheek to cheek with Bref by DC, Gesuto serves contemporary robatayaki, a type of Japanese barbecue carried out over a wide pit. Lunchtime fare ranges from one-bowl meals to bento boxes with the customary miso soup, steamed rice, side salad and fruit. Dinner, on the other hand, sees some 24 à la carte specialities including truffle pappardelle topped with Japanese egg yolk, octopus with ponzu lime butter, and sous-vide duck breast with star anise. Indecisive eaters should settle for the reasonably priced Robata Tasting Menu (RM148+) to sample the best that Gesuto has to offer. View the full menu.
Gesuto | 24, Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 1, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, KL | 03-7732 8808
See also: The Best Wagyu Katsu Sando In Kuala Lumpur
5/6 Jeda Cafe and Diner
Serving fried chicken in all its guises, from Japanese Chicken Nanban to Balinese Ayam Sambal Matah, Jeda Cafe and Diner was founded by a husband-and-wife team with a taste for fried fowl. Expect unhurried service at this casual eatery named after a Malay / Indonesian word; 'jeda' carries the same meaning as the Spanish term 'siesta.'
Jeda Cafe and Diner | 24A, Jalan Datuk Sulaiman, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur | 03-7732 1608
See also: Ko Ko Kai Introduces Chop-It-Yourself Ipoh Chicken Rice Kit For RM65
6/6 Oh Cha Matcha
Not content to rest on their laurels after establishing a coffee empire, Choong Kar Heng and Choong Kar Wai of Garage51 and CoffeeSociété are now making a case for matcha.
"Did you know," begins Kar Heng, "that three to four weeks before harvest, a black cloth is used to cover the whole plantation? Sunlight avoidance maintains theanine levels, which slowly releases energy. With coffee you get an instant rush whereas matcha is gentle, and your caffeine boost lasts throughout the day."
Unlike in Japan, where matcha is a ceremonial beverage, the average Malaysian consumer see it as an everyday drink or health supplement. According to Kar Wai: "Tea ceremonies can be very proper in Japan, but we are making matcha more fun and relevant to the locals."
Oh Cha Matcha's brightly coloured watermelon matcha and sweet potato-matcha soft serve are a case in point. View their full menu.
Oh Cha Matcha | 130, Jalan Burhanuddin Helmi, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, KL | firstname.lastname@example.org
TATLER TIP: All matcha is powdered green tea leaves, but not all green tea is necessarily matcha.