In 2016 a workmate suggested lunch one day at this newly opened place called LokL Coffee Company at Jalan Tun H S Lee, in the section between Jalan Gereja and Jalan Tun Perak in the original part of KL. It is just down the street from the KL Tower and Telecom Museum.
Only three years earlier, Jalan Tun H S Lee harboured mainly abandoned shophouses with decaying facades and wooden shutters. It seemed nobody cared about this long-term urban decay. I realised soon enough that we were re-tracing my original to work route and was a bit hesitant about the invite.
However, we ended up in a not-so-decayed shophouse at 30, Jalan Tun HS Lee, that was most surprising to enter. A stylish black rooster logo on the glass frontage, stripped back to original brickwork whitewashed over, ceiling timber beams given a similar treatment, and a new timber flooring. There is also an outdoor courtyard, and a few other mod-cons with a western style menu on offer and the senses are being assaulted by the brewing of coffee.
LokL Coffee Company
Since then, LokL has become our family’s go-to place, especially for Saturday breakfasts (they open at 8am). Perhaps its success stimulated life renewal of the other shophouses providing coffee and food and each with its own unique flavour, leaving the visitor questioning: “Which one do I dive into today?”
Next door you’ll find Timothy at 24, Jalan Tun H S Lee. It opens at 10am and serves up a similar menu, with homemade pasta being one of its highlights. Inside is quite retro styling, retaining as much of the original as possible. Eggs Benedict served up in a croissant was a new experience, but we really enjoyed it. So much better than sawing through the crust of a more traditional sourdough bread!
Kafe Kleptokrat at 18, Jalan Tun H S Lee, presents to the street as rather innocuous, concealing the fascinating place within. It offers a quite unique café experience with an internal courtyard surrounding a decent swimming pool with vintage bicycles adding to the charm of the place. The menu is wide, ranging from Malay staples like nasi lemak, fusion through to western fare.
Do a bit of research on ‘Kleptokrat and 1MDB’ and you will realise this café has been quite cheeky in its naming!
8055 Coffee at 42, Jalan Tun HS Lee, is a recent addition, but we had too much coffee at that stage to check it out. Other interesting stores in the street include a shirt shop featuring Malaysian batik and a nice bookstore called Buka.
If you have a craving for more traditional fare, you will find long-term cafés including Restoran Santa (Chapati House) and Restoran Betul Leaf directly across the street. Thrown in the mix is Ah Meng Fruits shop, where they will squeeze fresh fruit juice for you. To top it off, there is one of the best little horticultural shops in KL nearby called Sin Teong Hing, my go-to place for all my plant needs. If you’re keen to buy some flowers after your meal to take back home, check out these nearby flower shops in my post here.
LokL is my pick for the most child-friendly place here and they provide highchairs. It is also the most friendly for people with health conditions or impairments, with mainly level access, followed by 8055 Coffee.
On weekend mornings the Lycra-clad bike crews descend on these cafés. Either arrive just at opening time or leave your visit until after the morning peak.
How to get there
- LRT Station Masjid Jamek is a five minutes walk away.
- Car parking is available at an open car park at the intersection with Jalan Gereja but get in early. You can also park at Menara Olympia in Jalan Raja Chulan.