Merchant’s Lane could be one of the most instagram-ed “hipster hangout” for the past few months or so. It is situated inside an old heritage building, a former brothel (!!), reminding us of those atmospheric cafes in Penang, Ipoh and Malacca. The cafe, that exudes a lovely old world charm is a breath of fresh air, because we do not really need another one of those industrial hipster looking cafes that come standard with every cuppa served by your good looking barista.
Getting here could be difficult if you are not familiar with the Petaling Street area. Waze for “Ali, Muthu & Ah Hock” and park at the open parking space opposite Ali, Muthu & Ah Hock. Look out for ATC college after you park, and Merchant’s Lane entrance is right next to ATC college, sharing the same facade as a stationary shop call Kiat Loong Stationery Supplier.
The exposed ceilings, ruined walls, mismatched furnitures and rattan chairs add to the atmospheric old world charm.
Merchant’s Lane one-page menu is pretty straight forward, with a combination of brunch food, comfort food and some items with an Asian twist to it.
We ordered their signature ‘Hongkie Beef Stew’ (RM18), with 12 hours slow-cooked beef, mash, gravy & turnip slices. Great flavour, with a the hearty, old-fashioned taste that I’ve been looking for. My only gripe was certain parts of the beef were too tough and dry.
The highly rated ‘South China Sea’ (RM24) left us disappointed. While we loved the tender grilled salmon fillets and mango-corn salsa, the house made hash were charred and the poached eggs were really weird. The eggs were filled with puddles of water as we cut into it.
Coffee was decent though. Despite some minor misses in our food order, Merchant’s Lane is still a venue worthy of our idyllic weekend afternoon.
Merchant’s Lane KL
Add: No, 150 Jalan Petaling, 59000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: +60 3 2022 1736
Hours: Opens 10.30am-6pm daily, except for Wednesdays.
FB page here.