On our Awal Muharram public holiday today, the hubs took us to one of the most happening touristy places in KL for brunch. I always have this holiday feel whenever I step foot into Petaling Street. Today I felt like a tourist walking the streets of Petaling Street and hopping into two quaint cafes that I have never been to for brunch.
Our first stop was at Chocha Foodstore. Chocha is Hakka for sit and drink – the tea culture is alive and well here, with steaming-hot pots of Aged Fujian Shui Hsien from Mount Wuyi (RM18; served with chestnuts) & other representatives of the dark or scented classifications. You’ll also find cold-brewed tea – Taiwanese Dong Ding Oolong & Yunnan Black Tea with osmanthus flowers & star anise (RM16 per bottle). We had a pot of aged Liu Bao (RM18) to wash down our appetizer of Kerabu Mango Rojak and CFC (Cencaluk Fried Chicken).
I had a deja vu of sorts when I walked into Chocha Foodstore. As I walked to the back of the cafe, the deja vu got stronger. I felt as if I had been there before and then I remembered that the structure and design of the colonial shoplot with a long sunny court yard, its interior and decor were somewhat very similar to that of Mugshot Cafe @ Chulia Street Penang, a cafe that we went to two years ago.
Chocha is another brothel-turned-cafe that’s rather similar to Merchant Lane, the next cafe that we hopped into just minutes later but this one looks more “raw” and unchanged. I’d definitely get the creeps if I were to walk right down to the back of the cafe where the toilets are at night! 👻
Love this tantalizing and very delightful Kerabu Mango Rojak (RM20); I can chow down the entire plate myself!
The CFC (Cencalok Fried Chicken) (RM26) with the aromatic flavor of fermented shrimp sauce is succulent and well balanced by a sweet and sour fresh summer salsa of tomatoes and pineapples, plus thick, kitchen-made tomato chutney.
This part of the building upstairs will definitely look creepy at night!
Chocha is housed at the now defunct Mah Lian Hotel. This is one Instagram and Facebook worthy cafe to pop by for camwhoring while tucking into some very good food and sipping tea. Good food, good ambience (not at night though, for me!) and reasonably priced morsel.
156, Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur.
Opens from Tuesday – Sunday
Opening hours: 11am-9pm.
After our appetizers at Chocha, we segued into Merchant’s Lane located just a few steps away, for our main meal and desserts!
Merchant’s Lane is beside a stationery shop run by a friendly old couple. The mil later bought a 2019 calendar from them.
I got fooled by the tiny door leading up to Merchant’s Lane Cafe. Inside, you’ll be amazed to see how spacious and huge it is. Old colonial buildings tend to have a very long hallway, leading to the bathrooms at the back.
Just like Chocha Foodstore, Merchant’s Lane is yet another former Petaling Street brothel, reincarnated as a crazy-atmospheric cafe that has launched thousands of Instagram and Facebook photos.
Merchant’s Lane is an intricately crafted cafe (its designer has links to the group of Sekeping Retreats) and is an irresistible magnet for cafe enthusiasts.
This is a pork-free cafe, thus you’ll see a good show of Malay patrons.
Patrons queuing to be seated:
Our breakfast set:
Taukay Burger with juicy meat pattie:
Kuli Eggs with crispy Roti Canai. The half boiled eggs are cooked with potato dhall and served with cheese so that when you scoop it up from the clay pot, the mixture gives you the ‘pulled’ cheese effect.
Hot chocolate for Cass:
New York cheese cake ~ very yummy:
Dessert named ‘Better Than Sex’ but we did not find it orgasmic enough to be named so. It is composed of pandan flavored Roti Jala served with ice-cream, strawberries and toasted almond flakes. I find the Roti Jala a tad thick and dry with not enough syrup and ingredients to go with it.