Written by Candice Neo
I confess: I’m not a foodie. I’m the kind of girl who “eats to live” and agonises over what to eat for breakfast/ lunch/ dinner every day. But if you ask me about desserts or the new boba stall in town, that’s when I cave in and can stuff myself for 10,001 times a day. Kidding!
We are super blessed in Kuala Lumpur to have SO MANY CAFES at our fingertips and of course, it’s always time for dessert (I mean, there’s always tummy space! ;)). We went on a hunt for the most Instagrammable desserts in town to see for ourselves if they are just good enough for the Gram or if they come with quality too – and we were pleasantly surprised!
We tried 8 in this list and most of them serve up desserts that are not just artfully crafted by skilled pastry chefs, but so much heart has gone into making sure that fresh and good quality ingredients are used, so that dessert-time is really an experience!
From fresh Korean bingsu in gigantic cotton candies to intricate ice-cream cakes and cute mochis, these desserts will tempt even the bubble tea addicts (yes, me included!) to abandon thoughts of our next boba fix!
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1. Korean bingsu in giant cotton candy: OW:L Espresso
Update: This place is currently temporarily closed and pending relocation.
2. Dessert buffet on a conveyor belt (100+ desserts!) – Bites Dessert Bar
We nearly jumped when this gigantic pink seal was brought in – it’s almost six times the size of my face! Peel open this fluffy Bubu, lick your fingers and inside, you’ll find *drumroll* a large bowl of Korean bingsu (shaved ice) topped with freshly cubed watermelon, honeydew, grapes and a scoop of vanilla ice-cream!
As a Korean dessert fan, I personally enjoyed their bingsu – the milky shaved ice melts right in your mouth and you can tell that they use fresh fruit that’s prepared right on the spot when you order! They’ve recently launched a Unicorn version too, in which when peeled open, you can find bingsu topped with macarons and candy sprinkles.
If you prefer a cooler classic, like us, you’ll be super impressed with Crystal – a bowl of bingsu served in an overlarge teardrop crystal ice, and when they serve it to you, a jar of nitrogen is poured over the ice to achieve that smokey 4D effect for your feed! Serving size is generous, so make sure you come in a group of 4-5 to share one!
P.S. If you’re hungry and want something savoury, they serve Western mains, ramyun, sandwiches and finger food such as fries and Korean rice cakes too!
Guess what’s trending right now on the conveyor belt? Not sushi but more than 100 different types of dessert!
Proclaiming to be Malaysia’s first dessert buffet bar on a conveyor belt (for now, before others get on this trend), Bites Dessert Bar dishes out candy-pastel plates of cakes, tiramisu, ice-cream, tarts, brownies and other sweet treats that come right up to you as you sit on a bar table with Insta-pink walls and fluffy cloud-lights.
The best part? They are all bite-sized and most of them are quite light so you can sample everything! Be prepared: they are super sugary and colourful, and they really pay attention to the tiny details – a bit of sprinkles and candies here and there, and you have the perfect shot for the Gram. Who says enjoying dessert is only about the sweets? The entire experience counts!
At only RM 50 for a one-hour buffet, it is super worth it! They have savoury bites like mushroom soup and mini burgers too.
Oh, and did we mention that pink IG wall with swing? #JustTakeMyMoney
P.S. They also own a nail salon next door! Dessert followed by a mani-pedi session with the girls – what a perfect way to spend your Saturday afternoon!
3. Quality frozen treats for the ice princesses: Tanuki by Crustz
This place sells some of the best ice-cream desserts I’ve tasted in KL – not only are there different complementing layers of textures and taste in their frozen treats, but every layer from their ice-cream fillings to the skin, toppings and cream are made from fresh ingredients.
The cafe is also ideal for a cosy weekend hangout with bae or the girls. Set in a residential estate, when we stepped in from the blazing afternoon heat, we were greeted by a quiet Japanese minimalistic walkway – think cool wooden tones, draping greens, path laid on pebbles, and you can sit by the window with your ice-cream cake and chill comfortably.
Most of their desserts are just SO GOOD, but if you really ask us to choose, these are some of our faves: Ramen (designed exactly like one with chopsticks and a sunny side up on top!) – black sesame ice-cream paired with cognac parfait, which is rather distinct and strong, but goes well with the creamy black sesame and the tangy swirl of raspberry coulis; Le Papillon (their customers’ favourite) – a cylindrical piece whipped up from vanilla yogurt ice-cream, lychee sorbet, pistachio sponge in between and raspberry rose coulis, so when you bite into it, it’s a refreshing burst of tangy and sweet.
Another one that we particularly enjoy is Frappe, which unsurprisingly looks pretty much like your Starbucks fix. We love how the sweet fragrance of coffee ice-cream is paired with Thai milk tea ice-cream, and is finished with a delicious creamy layer of coconut meringue topped with an extra crunch of chocolate biscuit bits.
This is definitely one cafe I’ll return to – they don’t skimp on quality ingredients and you can tell that they really put so much effort to design not just the appearances of their desserts, but in pairing different flavours and textures, so every bite is an experience, a burst of various layers of tastes and textures that I don’t tire of and I can pretty much finish a whole piece myself!
TripCanvas’ Tip: Pair your ice-cream cakes with the Real Strawberry Milk Float which has even strawberry bits! Or if you prefer something more refreshing, go for the Peach Passion Sparkling Float. Both come with a scoop of sorbet and a cute icing on top!
4. Once upon a time: Shaun Teo Creations
Despite being married for two years, that little girl part of me still lights up whenever I attend a wedding, especially when the venue is all white and whimsical, with vintage roses and a touch of fairy dust.
That’s exactly how I felt when I first stepped into this cafe, which reminded me of cosy weddings – white drapes, feathers, rattan swings decorated with Beauty and the Beast’s white roses, carousels, fairy lights… You get the idea. It’s the kind of place with tons of photo spots where you and your girlfriends can spend hours in front of the camera. 😉
Come here for afternoon tea for a delectable selection of quality cakes and treats. Their House Special is their Toast Bread set, for which you are given a mini toaster and you can toast slices of their freshly baked bread yourself! Just make sure to keep an eye on it or risk burning your toasties like we almost did! They were super soft, fluffy and fresh, excellent when paired with a lovely bottle of Matcha latte or Hojicha latte, both of which were sweet, smooth and dense.
We loved everything else too, from the light and fluffy Snoopy waffles to the rich and dense red velvet cake and the light (but super Instagrammable) matcha chiffon. Having started off as an artisanal bakery making customised cakes for birthdays and special occasions, Shaun Teo Creations now brings the top notch quality of their cakes to their cafe, so you get to taste their excellent work too!
5. Sticky chewy mochi: Chewie Mellow
I’m a huge fan of anything mochi to Taiwanese taro balls that are chewy and bouncy and cling onto your tongue. So when we discovered Chewie Mellow (SS15 outlet), I was very excited to try their signatures, especially their Mochi Milk series, which resemble upside-down ice-creams!
Peanut Mochi Milk is my personal favourite, sweet and chewy and served with peanut bits for that extra crunch. I particularly enjoyed their Pudding Soya Ice too, which was filled with grass jelly, barley, soya pudding and taro balls. It wasn’t overly sweet, has different layers and textures – something different you can try if you’re conscious of your sugar intake! 😉
If you enjoy shaved ice, go for the Mango Pearl Ice or Brown Sugar Chewie Jelly Ice – both are sweet, refreshing and topped with a handful of colourful taro balls. They serve hot desserts and savoury snacks too.
The whole cafe is also an awesome IG spot, with colourful pastels and props. And if you spend over RM40, you’ll get a Chewie Token which you can use at their capsule machine and win a surprise gift (we got a discount card and a reusable bag)!
6. Homemade fluffy cake pies: Jyu Pastry Art
Jyu Pastry Art is the place to go to if you’re tired of fancy complicated desserts and just want a quiet homey space to chill with your loved ones over a simple slice of fresh sponge cake pie.
Nestled in the middle of an industrial estate, this is one hidden gem that’s located away from the crowded part of town on weekends (so you don’t need to worry about parking!). In case you’re wondering why this is where it is – the owner, Lee, had taken over her dad’s shop lot (which was previously used to house heavy machinery) and converted the space to a pastry shop.
Her cake pies are light, creamy and fluffy, a refreshing change to complex layers of tastes and textures at most of our dessert stops. Flavours range from classics to unique, such as Mocha Rum (which is overall a little bitter, with a hint of sweet), Mango (their signature flavour with fresh fruit in the middle), Trio Cheese (with grated cheese on top and cream cheese fillings), Sweet Potato (which she doesn’t make if fresh sweet potatoes aren’t in season!), Earl Grey, Chocolate Banana, Green Tea and more.
We tried everything, and our team faves were Mocha Rum (which appeals to those without a sweet tooth and are alcoholics ;)), Mango, Sweet Potato (we love the unique taste!) and Trio Cheese (which is both salty and sweet). But regardless of which you prefer, you can be sure everything is made fresh!
7. Musang King ice-cream cakes: FROZEN Ice-cream
What’s almost equivalent to the King of Fruits? Well the frozen version of Musang King itself! And that’s not all you can find at FROZEN!
When we dropped by, we were like kids marvelling at the cute ice-cream cakes in the display – from mooncakes to flamingoes, perfume bottles and gem biscuits, there’s so many that we didn’t know which to pick!
With most of us being durian lovers, we couldn’t miss The King (Musang King ice-cream cake), which is not as strong nor pungent as the fruit itself, and they pair it with coconut sorbet, so if you’re a hardcore durian lover, you might want to manage expectations, but it was rather pleasant as durian ice-cream. 🙂
I personally like Flamingo, which is a combination of strawberry and vanilla ice-cream with dragonfruit lychee rose sorbet, passionfruit cremeux, raspberry glaze and red almond sponge, so it was a refreshing burst of sweet and sour – perfect for after a full lunch which we just had!
And if you are a Marc Jacobs fan, you would recognise Parfum, modelled after his Daisy fragrance bottle, and is made up of Earl Grey with dark chocolate ice-cream, raspberry sorbet, Earl Grey ganache, and almond sponge. We could taste the fragrance of the tea – very enjoyable!
They even have limited edition seasonal items made for local festivities – when we dropped by, we managed to try Iced Gem (Milo and Nescafe ice-cream), which was FROZEN’s take on Neslo ice for Malaysia Day, and their ice-cream mooncake Chang Er (green tea ice-cream with red bean mash and more)!
8. Instagrammable afternoon tea with Mrs Potts & Chip: HYPE Concept Cafe
As a huge tea lover, I often find it tough to find affordable afternoon teas in KL that actually place equal importance on the tea itself as compared to their cakes and pastries.
So I was delighted to find out that HYPE Concept Cafe actually lets customers choose from a variety of T2 teas (an Australian tea brand with good quality teas), from floral, black teas, green teas to fruit tisanes (I personally love Fruitalicious), and a teapot of their choice. (You can also find this tea brand in supermarkets such as B.I.G.)
You can even pick Mrs Potts and Chip (from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast), though we would only recommend this for photo purposes only, as it’s tough to realistically use Mrs Potts as a teapot. 😉
The three-tiered tea set comes with a selection of sandwiches, quiche, scones with strawberry jam, tarts, a slice of cake, macarons and crème brûlée. They have new selections of cakes and macaron designs every couple of months (we tried their Nyonya Talam which was a nice local twist to the classic crepe cake) too. So you can expect to bite into Disney Tsum Tsum, Tigger, Stitch and more!
I would say overall this cafe is more for pictures and tea rather than premium desserts, but it also has a pretty nice ambience for chilling on weekends!
9. French fine desserts: Upperhouse Kitchen and Dessert Bar
Tastefully presented, the French fine plated desserts here are not the usual Instagrammable cutesy sweet treats you can find in typical cafes in KL. Here, every piece is an artwork that the pastry chefs spend effort to craft.
You’ll find Paris Brest (made of choux pastry and praline-flavoured cream), Lamington (an Australian cake made from sponge cake coated in a layer of chocolate sauce and rolled in desiccated coconut), mille-feuille (vanilla slice made up of layers of puff pastry) and more.
Don’t miss their Bombe Alaska, a cake topped with brown meringue, drizzled with alcohol and lit up in flames – a IG-worthy drama! Guests love their strawberry watermelon cake too (only available on weekends).
If you’re hungry before dessert, they serve up Western mains such as stews, pastas and burgers too. However, many guests have commented about the slow service, so be mentally prepared – have plenty of time to spare and don’t come when you are hangry! 😉
10. Artisanal desserts with sparklers and Enchanted Rose: Crème De La Crème
This chocolate ball is Da Bomb, literally! You’ll be given a sparkler to light up on one end. Watch till the sparks run out before digging into the 63% dark chocolate ice-cream with hazelnut ganache.
If this magic is not enough for you, look for the enchanted rose that the Beast keeps hidden in his castle – lick it up before the last petal falls. A loved one’s birthday? Don’t miss celebrating with this Longevity peach bun! Kids will love the Matcha Monster, where your favourite matcha boba is topped with a cookie monster!
With their pastry chefs trained under celebrity chef Christy Tania, you can be sure their desserts are of premium quality. They also claim to use 100% natural ingredients with no artificial flavourings and colourings, so you can let yourself indulge without feeling toooo guilty! 😉
11. Shibuya toast towers with layers of toppings and ice-cream: Dreamz Bakery
If you enjoy Shibuya toasts as much as I do, you’ll understand what I mean when I say what’s more sinful than sugared toast with honey and ice-cream is HEAPS more sugar and a mountain of toast cubes, ice-cream and strawberries.
Dreamz Bakery is every Shibuya toast lover’s dream come true and I mean it. Just look at that block of homemade lavender ice-cream drizzling down to the mountain of sugared toast topped with strawberries!
And if you aren’t into toasts, their Lava Monster Cookies are equally indulgent – cut into the cookie topped with a generous serving of homemade ice-cream, and watch the thick chocolate or matcha fillings ooze out!
They serve Instagrammable savoury meals too – Lemon Sauce Chicken Blue Rice, anyone?
Savoury meals fill your tummies but sweet treats are for the soul! Tag your cafe-hopping sweet-toothed jiemeis for this coming weekend!