Written by Batrisya
Co-written by Candice Neo, Beverley Lennon
Whether it’s for a date with bae, a gathering with the fam or just a casual hangout with your besties, chilling at cafes or restaurants with breathtaking scenic views could make your weekends more memorable.
Something about the trees, the light, the sky, and the sunset just makes everything seem harmoniously intertwined together. And these are the places that can spark real deep conversations, conversations that really matter and enable you to really better understand your loved ones.
It’s not easy to find these places in the concrete jungle of Kuala Lumpur, but there are and these are hidden gems you mustn’t miss!
TripCanvas’ Tip: During this period of uncertainty, some of these cafes might have unpredictable changes to their opening hours. So remember to call or message them before you head down!
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1. Nestled in a garden of citylights – Little Salty Cafe
Here’s the perfect getaway from the city if you and your loved ones are looking for a scenic and Instagrammable place to chill at – Little Salty Cafe boasts stunning views of the beautiful city of Kuala Lumpur.
Set on a balcony with fairy lights that illuminate the cute dining tables, the cafe is the one of the trendiest hangout spots to sip your coffee and admire the cityscape from up high while you bask in the cool breeze. Don’t miss their waffles too!
Definitely your next date spot with bae or the girls!2. Have your food served fresh off the boat – Veg Fish Farm Thai
Located not too far from the city, this hidden gem is a seafood haven for all seafoodies out there! Coming in hot with a unique concept, Veg Fish Farm Thai intrigues its guests with its one-of-a-kind dining experience where your dishes, which are whipped from fresh harvest from the restaurant’s very own garden, are served to you by a boatman on his boat.
This is mainly because when their restaurant is packed, it can be rather tough for the waiters to rush along a narrow corridor back and forth from their kitchen. Hence they came up with this creative concept that increases their efficiency!
You can feed the fish in the lake as well! The owner, Eugene, has been rearing his own fish there since he established the restaurant 10 years ago and they are humongous! (And no, the fish on your table aren’t from the lake, those that you feed are his pets, not to be eaten! ;)) They grow a variety of veggies in the garden too, from spinach, tomatoes to brinjal and more, which are served at their restaurant. I especially loved their fried spinach, which are super crispy and fresh! You can even purchase them to cook at home.
Their yellow curry crabs are super fresh, creamy and delicious, definitely the highlight of the day, together with their Dragon Grouper (super fresh!), BBQ Fish and Kampung Chicken (which are free-range and bred on his farm).
Kids would love playing with the geese and ducks too. They are kept as entertainment and are not to be eaten, so while Eugene started with 6 geese 10 years ago, he now has more than 100! When we were there, they made a lot of noise (don’t worry, you can’t hear them from the restaurant at all), and they are said to be the “guard dogs”, as they would raise an alarm when wild animals such as monkeys sneak in to steal the chicken eggs!
The restaurant sets up their dining areas in bamboo huts over a pond which overlooks the surrounding forest, and when the evening sky rolls in, its charming ambience takes form as the restaurant is lit up by their twinkling lights.
3. This halal BBQ lets you enjoy meal right in the rushing river within lush jungle – Bbq Lamb KL Kemensah
Bored of always heading to the same restaurant tucked away in your neighbourhood mall? How about experiencing this unique dine-in-the-river BBQ spread in Ampang?! At Kemensah BBQ Lamb, chairs and tables jut out over the rushing Ampang River.
This enchanted river restaurant is nestled deeply into placid natural surroundings, offering you unlimited fresh air while you dine with toes-in-the-water. We’ve even been able to spot some fish in the river!
Meat-lovers rejoice as this is where you can satisfy your cravings for juicy, tender and irresistible long-smoked meats with value-for-money set options (lobster, lamb, duck, chicken and more!)
TripCanvas’ Tip: In-river-dining is not available in times of heavy rain and strong river currents.
4. Romantic fine dining by the lake at Sentul Park – Bistro Richard
It’s not easy to find places where you can dine in the luxury of nature in central KL, especially if you are looking for a calming view that doesn’t remind you that you are right in the middle of the busy city!
Bistro Richard is a perfect place to celebrate that special anniversary or birthday with fine dining that is not overly exorbitant even in the city.
In the day, you can enjoy serene views of the lake surrounded by greenery, and as dusk falls, the place is completely lit up with fairy lights ✨, setting the ambience for that romantic surprise. 🌹 They have indoor dining options too.
Choose from a selection of chicken, duck, fish or lamb, or if you need something fuller, opt for their pasta or paella! Don’t forget to leave some room for dessert!
5. Experience Malaysia’s first flowing Japanese bamboo noodles – Samira by Asian Terrace
If you’re in for a unique outdoor dining experience, Samira by Asian Terrace will serve you just that! Set under the bountiful leaves of the hanging tree, roofed over a hut and glowing lights, in front of you, steamed river prawns drizzled in lime juice lie tastefully, tempting your eyes and mouth for a bite.
What better way to compliment this mouthwatering dish than an exquisite view of the lake surrounding the area. Sounds like a dream doesn’t it?
And guess what, Samira also features flowing Japanese Bamboo noodles Nagashi Somen (the kind you see in Naruto anime where noodles flow from a long open bamboo and you have to ‘catch’ it when it reaches you), which is not only a must-try at the restaurant, but it’s the first of its kind in Malaysia too!
6. Dine in the jungles of Bali 20 mins from KL – Tamarind Springs KL
Tucked just 20 minutes from KL, this hidden garden of eden serves up a delicious menu of Indochinese cuisine that will have your stomachs craving for more.
As you step into the compound, you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported to a hidden retreat in the jungles of Bali, with views of the forest, soft tranquil music and dim lights.
Though their dishes are pricey, it’s well worth it for a special experience. We recommend starting with their popular hors d’oeuvres, the Tamarind Springs Symphony of Starters, which some of us have personally tried and loved!
7. Get enchanted in between the vines – Subak
If there’s one thing amazing about Malaysia is its abundance of lush trees and beautiful forests, especially ones that are located not too far from the city.
I’m lucky to be growing up here, ‘cause whenever I need to impress somebody, all it takes is just a drive out to a rainforest cafe, like Subak. Accommodated with the sweet sounds of running fresh water springs and the chirping crickets, your dining experience will be enhanced to a whole new level.
Get ready to be swept away by a gastronomic experience set by the Head Chef Yusri that’ll tantalise your palate! How about giving their Subak Rendang Bebek a try?
8. Spend an evening out on the Bohemian terrace – Lisette’s Cafe & Bakery (Empire Subang branch)
If you’re into a British post-colonial mixed bohemian-era type of vibe, this cafe is definitely for you! Now Lisette’s has only two known branches, one in the Empire Shopping Gallery and one in Bangsar (which is more popular).
If you’re looking for a cafe with a view around KL, Lisette’s Empire Subang branch is the place for you!
Set right out on the terrace, you’ll get a view of the city and the buildings around the area itself without feeling too suffocated in a limited space. Their terrace is very spacious and its beautiful bohemian setting makes the place very soft and dainty. They also have a flower wall which you can take pics with if you want to add some pink onto your feed!
And why not try out their beautiful brunch buffet as well? 😉
9. A park to remember – Jibby By The Park
Here’s a spot to spend your Saturday afternoons!
Jibby By The Park isn’t only located at Desa Park City, which is also known for its dog-friendly park (imagine stopping every second in your path just to pet these cuties along the way!) but it also has a scenic view of the park itself, and the outdoor dining area is perfectly shaded by the trees, making the whole ambience a relaxing spot to chill at with friends.
Every corner is spacious and decorated beautifully with indoor plants and natural lighting streams in. So you can make yourself comfortable while enjoying their sweet Avocado Ice-Cream on the side!
10. Dig into some fresh farm produce! – The Farm Foodcraft
When we think about healthy foods and vegetables, I know many of us tend to be put off by that idea, because hey, not all good things taste great.
But what if you come across a restaurant with food that not only looks and tastes nice, but the overall ambience of the place seems like an ideal reflection of how your body would be if you ate right?
The Farm Foodcraft is the perfect place if you want to start your healthy journey, with fresh farm-to-table dishes that are grown from their own farming lab. All your insides would feel nice, and quite frankly, green, after eating all of that. But aside from their food, their interior is all green, green, green! It’s like you’re in your own little greenhouse!
11. A cafe date with a hornbill – Hornbill Restaurant & Cafe
Ever wanted to see Malaysia’s national bird, the Rhinoceros Hornbill, up close? Over at this cafe, not only will you get to see this exotic bird within arm’s reach, but you can spot several other birdies flocking together from tree to tree as well.
Don’t worry about the bird poo, the restaurant provides a roof over your head to prevent that from happening, so you can dine and view the birds in peace.
What makes this place exciting is that it’s located within the bird sanctuary itself! So while you’re eating, you’ll be surrounded by tall trees and joyous birdsong!
12. The little glass house – Pokok KL
Having good lighting is great and all, but having natural lighting that shines on every flawless corner of the cafe and YOU is amazing!
Built with a gabled glass roof and a cascading flow of water on top, when hit with the right amount of sunlight, this cafe glows like a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Not too small but not too empty either, this cosy cafe sits on MAHSA Avenue where you’ll find students and working people alike, peacefully sipping a cup of tea as they tap away on their laptops.
Surrounded by greenery and accompanied with soft acoustic music, this spot is a perfect brunch catch-up session for you and your besties. And for food, try out the chef’s recommendation – Baked Farm (RM 25) which is not only pretty in pictures, but it’s yummy as well!
Special Mention 1: Take your dates to a sky high level – Sabayon at Sky51
Although it’s fairly new to the dining scene, this place has already got the whole town talking. Of course, why wouldn’t they?
Sabayon’s glass-walls, modern chandeliers and cool grey tones on the furniture makes this place not only a chic setting for all you Instagrammers out there, but having the whole backdrop of KL’s skyline featuring the iconic Twin Towers is just indescribable.
This place is most popular for its Sabayon Du Chalet, aka ‘dancing dessert’, which is made in the most unconventional way you can think of. The restaurant staff would actually take turns whipping up the cold egg-based dish into shape in sync with the music, thus the ‘dancing dessert’. Are you up for it?
P.S. Be mindful of their dress code, as you’re encouraged to wear semi-formal.
Special Mention 2: Scenic sunset dinner from a hilltop 40 mins from KL – Hilltop Cuisine Kota Warisan
What makes a perfect date night?
-Scenic view with sunset
-Aaand to top it all off, budget friendly!
We know a place that fits all the criteria above and many more! Located 40 minutes from KL and 20 minutes from KLIA, Hilltop Cuisine restaurant is currently one of the trending eatery hotspots near KL!
Sitting on top of a hill, it’s green-filled spacious concept, topped with a scenic view of the city and it looks even better when the sun goes down. Your moments will be extra special under their twinkling fairy lights and stars as you dig into their Western specialties. They have steamboats and shell out options as well! Yes, including crabs!
They also double up as an event space, so for those of you who are looking to throw a celebration, you can hit them up for slots!
Now all you need is extra phone storage and your phone camera, and get ready to snap the most IG-worthy views of KL! Tag your cafe-hopping girlfriends and besties now!