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15 October 2019

How To Spend Two Weeks in Malaysia and Singapore

I've already blogged about my time in Malaysia and Singapore, and posted many more photos on Flickr, but this is a more detailed post about my overall experience: how my itinerary worked, where I stayed, what I did, and how I travelled around.


As is usually the case when I’m researching my main annual holiday, it wasn't possible to squeeze all of the places I wanted to visit in Malaysia and Singapore into a two-week itinerary. In particular, fitting in Borneo and Singapore in addition to Peninsular Malaysia was quite challenging. But my final itinerary had a good mix of cities and culture, wildlife and beach time. I took several internal flights and I didn’t have a lot of down time, but everything worked well, and with hindsight, I would not have wanted to sacrifice any of the destinations I visited.

Skip to: KL | Perhentian Islands | Penang | Borneo | Singapore | Practicalities

Days 1–3: Kuala Lumpur
After leaving London around 9 pm on Friday night, I landed in KL at 5 pm local time on Saturday. I took the KLIA Ekspres and the metro to my hotel, the KL Journal, in Bukit Bintang. I paid £160 for three nights; the hotel was well located and it had cool rooms and a great rooftop pool. After checking in, I walked to Jalan Alor, a popular night market in Bukit Bintang, for dinner.


I spent the first of my two full days exploring Chinatown and Bukit Bintang, visiting the KL Forest Eco Park, eating a lot of street food and sampling the city's speciality coffee scene, before heading for drinks with Petronas Twin Towers views. The following day, I took the train to Batu Caves, and then visited Brickfields. During the rainy afternoon, I spent time in some more speciality coffee shops and the malls of Bukit Bintang, before heading to PS150 for world-class cocktails in the evening.



Day 4: Travel to the Perhentian Islands
To get to KL International Airport for my 8:25 am flight to Kota Bharu, I had to take a Grab
to KL Sentral, before taking the KLIA Ekspres. I paid about £25 for my Malaysia Airlines flight, which landed on time at 9:30. I took a taxi, organised through my Perhentian Islands hotel, Tuna Bay Island Resort, to Kuala Besut, and then travelled on Tuna Bay's boat to Pulau Perhentian Besar, the largest of the Perhentian Islands, arriving at 11:15.


I paid £210 for a two-night stay at Tuna Bay, which included accommodation in a 'deluxe' cabin (one row back from the beach), all meals, two snorkelling boat trips, and transport to and from the island by car and boat. The accommodation was pretty basic and the thin walls and close quarters meant it was a little noisy at times. The food was mixed too with a decent buffet breakfast, good dinner but poor lunch with no choices. The staff were very friendly, however, and the resort's location in the middle of the island's west coat was great. I paid my Tuna Bay by credit card, but as there are no ATMs on the islands, you are encouraged to bring cash. As my package was all-inclusive, I ended up needing no cash at all, though I brought some with me just in case.


There isn't much to do other than snorkelling, sunbathing and exploring the island's beaches, but this kept me entertained for two-and-a-half days. The snorkelling was wonderful, both the boat trips I took, but also my own explorations of the coral reefs that fringe the island mere steps from the shore. I saw so many species of fish, including pufferfish, triggerfish and many clownfish, as well as sharks, a stingray and two turtles. The waters were clear and warm and although some parts of the island are quite built up, you don't have to walk too far to find your own private paradise.


I took the last Tuna Bay boat of the day at 12 noon on my final day, after spending a final morning in the sea. As my flight wasn't until 6 pm, I took a taxi from Kuala Besut to Khota Bharu city instead of the airport, and after failing to find storage for my suitcase, I took it with me during my brief, hot exploration of the town. The museums were all about to close early, as it was a Thursday, but I had a good curry and got to see some street art. I then took a Grab to the airport. My Firefly flight to George Town cost about £25 and took an hour. 


The Grab ride into central George Town took about 45 minutes in the evening rush. I stayed at Ren i Tang, a beautiful restored medicine store in the heart of the UNESCO zone. Three nights including a good breakfast cost about £140; my room was gorgeous, and the staff very welcoming. After checking in, I went straight out in search of street food.

Days 7–8: George Town
I ate a lot of street food in George Town, including Chinese- and Indian-influenced cuisine, among others. I ate a lot of satay, discovered a love for char teow kway and sampled cendol, an iced dessert. The best meal of my trip was at Tek Sen, where I had to wait a long time for a table, but the double-roasted pork with chilli was worth every minute. In between speciality coffee shop hopping, I explored the historic UNESCO World Heritage Zone, taking an informative walking tour from the Penang Tourist Information Centre and visiting the Blue Mansion and Pinang Peranakan Mansion. I took a Grab to Penang Hill, but the haze was bad, there was no view to speak of, so instead I visited the canopy walkways of The Habitat.


After a final morning in George Town, I flew with Air Asia to Sandakan in Borneo, via KL (£55). I left George Town at 2 pm and arrived at the tiny Sandakan airport around 8 pm on a Sunday evening, and took a Grab to my hotel in Sandakan city. I stayed at the Four Points by Sheraton Sandakan, which cost £36 for one night. My room had a 'sunset view' over the infinity pool and the sea, although I arrived too late to enjoy it (the sunrise view rooms were more expensive). After failing to watch the Crystal Palace vs Wolves game in the hotel bar, I listened online while repacking my suitcase and an overnight bag for my Borneo tour.


Day 10: Turtle Island
I booked Borneo Eco Tours' Sandakan Wildlife Safari tour, a four-day, three-night tour that included an overnight stay on Selingan Island, also known as Turtle Island, and two nights at Sukau Rainforest Lodge on the Kinabatangan River, with visits to the orangutan and sun bear rehabilitation centres in Sepilok. With all accommodation, meals, transport, entrance fees and guide services, my tour cost about £720, which included about £100 single supplement. 


The accommodation on Selingan Island was very basic, but if the prospect of watching newly hatched baby turtles emerge from the sand and waddle down to the sea does not encourage you to visit, I'm not sure what will! After taking a boat from Sandakan in the morning, we arrived on the island just before lunch and spent the day swimming, sunbathing and turtle spotting, before returning to the beach at night to watch a female turtle laying eggs. It was a wonderful experience.


Days 11–13: Sepilok and the Kinabatangan River
; fly to Singapore
We left Selingan at 7 am, and travelled by boat back to Sandakan, picking up more group members, and then visiting the amazing Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre just in time to watch baby orangutans feeding, and spot a female orangutan walking along the boardwalk right in front of us. After sun bears and lunch, we travelled by boat two hours along the Kinabatangan River to Sukau. It was an enjoyable journey and our guide even spotted a pygmy elephant feeding by the water.



The accommodation at Sukau was lovely and the food was very good. The main draw, of course, is the wildlife-spotting river trips by small boat, which I did at dawn, in the afternoon and (for an extra charge) by night. We spotted all of the Borneo Big Five (if you include the orangutans at Sepilok) and countless birds and monkeys, as well as small crocodiles and even a Malaysian civet.



On the final day, we returned to Sandakan by boat and then, after lunch, returned to the airport. I flew on to Singapore via KL, this time with Malaysia Airlines. Together, the flights cost about £100, and after leaving Sandakan around 2 pm, I arrived in Singapore at 8:30 pm, so it was a long day of travelling. As such, I took a Grab to my hotel in Chinatown rather than the MRT. I stayed at Hotel Mono, paying about £140 for two nights in a single room. Singapore accommodation can be quite expensive, but although my room was small it was comfortable, stylish and very well appointed, and the hotel's location couldn't have been better.


Days 14–15: Singapore
I decided to visit Singapore at the end of my trip in case I wanted to do some shopping — I did, especially clothes in Asian stores often fit my small frame better. However, two full days wasn't really enough to do everything I wanted — especially on the food and speciality coffee front. I managed to visit eight coffee shops and cafes, had great cocktails at Tippling Club and Operation Dagger, and dined well at Ding Dong and Tian Tian Haianese Chicken Rice. I also went to Gardens by the Bay by day (I recommend the Cloud Forest in particular) and for the evening light show, enjoyed the views from the Pinnacle@Duxton, visited the Singapore National Museum and zipped all over the city on the MRT with a one-day Singapore Tourist Pass.




My flight home was at 11 pm on a Saturday night, so I was able to have dinner in the city before taking the MRT to Changi, my favourite airport. Since my last visit to Changi, the Jewel complex has opened, which includes lots of shops and eateries and a huge indoor 'rain vortex', which has regular light shows. We ended up leaving Singapore over and hour late and didn't arrive at Heathrow until almost 8 am, but I got enough sleep on the overnight flight — in economy in an upper deck window seat on the A380 — to fend off the jet lag on the return.

Flights
I booked my flights to and from London in the BA sale in January, paying about £500 for an open jaw return into KL and out of Singapore. I then booked most of the rest of the trip, including my Borneo tour, hotels and internal flights, about two months in advance. Internal flights in Malaysia are often extremely cheap, although I was sad not to pick up BA tier points on my two Malaysian Airlines flights. Long-distance buses are also a cheap, comfortable and convenient way to get around Peninsular Malaysia, but I flew as I was short on time.

Weather
It was hot and humid throughout my holiday, with the temperature tending to max at 31–34C. In September, it's the rainy season on the west coast (KL and Penang), but it only rained once, during a torrential downpour in KL one afternoon. I also got rather wet on one of the boat trips I took in Borneo, although it was mostly hot and sunny while I was there. The haze was especially bad in KL, Penang, and on my second day in the Perhentian Islands. In Singapore, it had rained just before I arrived, which took the temperature down to a balmy 30C one day and the skies were slightly bluer, although it still felt hot and humid.

Packing
As usual, I travelled light, taking just my Rimowa Salsa Air carry-on suitcase and TUMI Halle backpack (featured here). Even with an Aeropress and Aergrind, snorkel, mini tripod and 2019 Lonely Planet Malaysia, I had enough room in my case to bring back several bags of coffee beans, a new travel towel and some clothes I bought in Singapore. As you can only take a total of 7kg (luggage and personal item) onto most of the domestic flights, I had to check my suitcase anyway, but I was mainly travelling through small airports and didn't have to wait long. Clothing-wise, I took two pairs of shorts, a pair of jeans, three dresses and about ten tops of various sleeve-lengths and formalities. I also packed my swimsuit and gym kit, a hat, trainers, smarter sandals and flip flops. I wore everything at least once and did laundry mid-way through my trip.

Practicalities

  • Getting around: I downloaded the Uber-esque Grab app before my trip and used it a lot in Malaysia, particularly for getting to and from airports. The fares are generally a lot cheaper than taxis (I usually paid around £3, even on airport rides) and you don't need to worry about meter-related 'miscommunications.' As always I walked as much as was practicable, and used the metro/MRT in KL and Singapore.
  • Language: Throughout my trip almost everyone I spoke to spoke good English and I didn't have any problems making myself understood, though I learned a few words of Malay.
  • Mobile data and wifi: In Malaysia, I bought a Malaysian SIM card with 16Gb data for 40 MYR (£8); cheaper tourist sims are available at the airport. Singapore is on Three's Go Roam list, so I could use my data while I was there. Most of my hotels — except on the Perhentian Islands — had wifi that was decent enough for checking email and doing some holiday research.
  • Money: I mainly used cash for street food purchases in Malaysia and Singapore. Credit cards are widely accepted in Singapore, and to a lesser degree in Malaysia (especially KL and/or in speciality coffee shops). I always carried enough cash just in case.
  • Power outlets: It's so rare to be able to use my clunky British plugs when I travel, but both Malaysia and Singapore use 'type G' plugs.


11 October 2019

Eight Speciality Coffee Shops To Try in Singapore


When I thought I would have an eight-hour layover in Singapore on my way to Australia a couple of years ago, I immediately started researching the speciality coffee shops that I might visit. Sadly, the layover didn't work out, but my research didn't go to waste as I spent just over two days in Singapore at the end of my recent trip to Malaysia. I visited eight coffee shops and roasters during my stay — Saturday was a particularly caffeinated day, as I sought to stay awake for my very late flight back to London. Not by coincidence, my hotel was also located in easy reach of many of the coffee shops on my list.

The quality of the coffee was consistently very high, but my very favourites are marked in purple in my Google Map.



Apartment Coffee
I visited this small, minimalist coffee shop on the recommendation of the barista I met at Strangers' Union (see below), and was really impressed with both the coffee and the experience. Almost all of the seating in the narrow cafe is along the long, light counter. And on a sunny Saturday afternoon, I had to wait for a few minutes to get a seat, but this just gave me time to browse the menu of single-origin filter coffees, all roasted in house.


In the end, I went for an Ethiopian Uraga Bildimoo coffee, which was expertly brewed with great care and served in a wonderfully tactile oversized pale pink ceramic cup. The coffee itself was delicious, with the apricot and hibiscus notes coming through nicely as it cooled. Overall, it was a very calming experience in a very hectic day.


Apartment Coffee is located at 161 Lavender Street (MRT: Bendemeer or Lavender). Website. Instagram.

Bearded Bella
Feeling the pull of Melbourne, I decided to go for breakfast one morning at Melbourne-influenced cafe Bearded Bella, which was also close to my hotel in Chinatown. The breakfast menu was extensive and also quite expensive (particularly in comparison to my light/street food breakfasts in Malaysia), but had numerous tempting options. I ended up ordering the pistachio-encrusted salmon with potato rösti, which was delicious.


The coffee is roasted in house, and served in Bearded Bella's quirky, colourful packaging. I had a perfectly made piccolo, which made a very fine accompaniment to my big breakfast. Later in the day, while shopping on Orchard Road, I spotted a Bearded Bella coffee cart, and had a very good espresso there too. Their espresso blend currently combines a natural and a 'soaked' coffee, both from El Salvador.


Bearded Bella is located at 8 Craig Road (MRT: Tangjong Pagar or Outram Park). Website. Instagram.

Chye Seng Huat Hardware
CSHH may be the first speciality coffee shop I've visited that is located in a former hardware store, and it was a great experience. Located just down the road from Apartment, there was also a mini farmers' market taking place outside. Meanwhile, they hold cuppings and workshops in the accompanying training room, so there is a lot going on. As for the main cafe, a large, ovoid coffee bar takes up most of the space, with seating all around, as well as a few small tables around the edge of the room, which has some great vintage-inspired decor.



It was very busy when I arrived just after lunch on a Saturday, and again, the queue gave me a good opportunity to ponder the single-origin coffee menu. I ordered a natural coffee from Kyauk Kuu Pyin, Myanmar, and squeezed into a free seat at the counter, right in front of the pourover bar. It was wonderful to watch the barista at work, preparing pourover coffees and serving them in glass flasks, carefully wrapped with a colourful handkerchief for those who can't wait for their coffee to cool. My coffee was excellent — a fruity coffee with grape and berry notes that will appeal to most members of the natural coffee appreciation society. If you're in the market for beans, they sell retail bags of their coffee too, under the PPP Coffee brand.


Chye Seng Huat Hardware is located at 150 Tyrwhitt Road (MRT: Bendemeer or Lavender). Website. TwitterInstagram.

Common Man Coffee Roasters
I was having some problems with my mobile data and map app, which meant I got slightly confused en route to Common Man, the last stop on my Singapore coffee tour. Luckily, a woman asked if I needed directions and when I said I was going to Common Man, she knew it well and walked with me part of the way, warning me that there might be a big queue. Indeed, on the steps outside, signs indicated that the wait time for a table could be 30 minutes or more, but luckily, late in the afternoon, I was able to walk straight into a seat at the window (not that there were many free spaces even then).


After enjoying several pourovers during the course of the day, I had been planning to go for an espresso, but then I saw a rather delicious-sounding Tanzanian Kipenzi coffee on the filter-coffee menu and went with that instead. Naturally, while at Common Man, I had to go for one of their 'UnCommon' varieties and the sweet and juicy cherry and raspberry notes came through beautifully. There is a comprehensive food menu here too, with many great-sounding dishes that I'd have liked to try.


Common Man is located at 1 Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad (MRT: Fort Canning or Clarke Quay). Website. TwitterInstagram.

Five Oars Coffee Roasters
Just around the corner from Bearded Bella, Five Oars is a coffee shop and roastery that also serves a very fine brunch and dinner. The decor is mostly industrial-chic but with a large central planter that provides some greenery.


There are various single-origin coffees on offer, and I ordered a delicate Ethiopian Harfusa variety as a pourover, which was very well brewed. If coffee flights are more your bag, there's also a one and one on the menu.


Five Oars is located at 39 Tanjong Pagar Road (MRT: Tangjong Pagar or Outram Park). Website. Instagram.

Nylon Coffee Roasters
Nylon has been on my radar for some time and it was the first coffee shop I visited. A 15-minute walk from my Chinatown hotel, it is tucked away inside the Everton housing estate, but well worth seeking out. The small, minimalist cafe is almost standing-room only, with most customers perching at the high table. I did manage to nab one of the few seats at a low table next to the coffee plant and by the roastery.


I was planning to buy some beans, but decided to order a different coffee to try in the cafe, to maximise the variety. From the selection of four single-origin coffees available on filter, I went for an Ethiopian Gora Kone variety, whose lime and berry notes combined beautifully, especially as the coffee began to cool.


I then bought some beans from Maputo, Ecuador, which I've been enjoying brewed through the Aeropress and V60 at home this week. NB, Nylon does not accept credit cards and as I didn't have much cash, they were able to process the payment for beans through their web shop. They did, however, have a note on the counter to highlight their support of the climate strike, they would not be serving takeaway coffees with lids or straws, instead encouraging customers to bring their own vessels.


Nylon Coffee Roasters is located at Block 4, Everton Park #01-40, Cantonment Road (MRT: Tangjong Pagar or Outram Park). Website. TwitterInstagram.

The Populus
Located close to Nylon and Strangers' Reunion (and recommended to me by the barista at the latter), The Populus is a large cafe that serves all-day eats (once again, the brunch menu looked excellent) and speciality coffee, which they roast under the 2º North Coffee Co. brand. I knew I would be in good hands when I saw the Huskee Cups perched on top of the shiny Synesso machine, and unusually found myself hesitating as to which coffee to order.


On the recommendation of the barista, following my request for something floral and/or fruity, I ended up going for a natural Ethiopian Harfusa, which had a lovely rose aftertaste to the grape and peach flavours. I savoured the coffee for as long as I could, and the flavours only improved as it cooled. Speaking to the baristas on my way out, I heard about a limited-edition Panama Gesha that they had. My only regret was that I didn't have time to return to The Populus to try that.


The Populus is located at 146 Neil Road (MRT: Tangjong Pagar or Outram Park). Website. Instagram.

Strangers' Reunion
Strangers' Reunion was my second coffee stop — and first breakfast stop — on my first full day in Singapore. The large, airy space was fairly quiet early on a Friday morning, but I can imagine it's very busy during peak brunch hours. I placed my food order first — buttermilk waffles with macerated strawberries and yoghurt — before turning my attention to the coffee menu.


I started with an El Salvador coffee brewed through the Kalita Wave, which was beautifully brewed. Then, after several rather long 'piccolos' in Malaysia, I thought this would be the place for a more standard take on the drink. My instincts were correct and I was rewarded with a perfect piccolo, made with a blend of Costa Rican and Ethiopian coffees. After I'd finished, I chatted with the friendly barista about my trip and he helpfully suggested a number of other speciality coffee shops that were worth targetting during my short visit.


Strangers' Reunion is located at 35 Kampong Bahru Road (MRT: Tangjong Pagar or Outram Park). Website. TwitterInstagram.

8 October 2019

Six Speciality Coffee Shops To Try in George Town, Penang


Speciality coffee wasn't my main reason for visiting George Town on the Malaysian island of Penang, but I was delighted to visit six great coffee shops and roasteries during my short visit. I was even there during the three-week-long Penang Coffee Festival, although the early stages of the festival had more of a focus on desserts and was based in a mall a few miles out of the city centre, so I wasn't able to stop by. Read on to find out more about my speciality coffee experiences in George Town; my favourite spots are marked in purple in the map below.



2F+ Coffee Roastery
A serendipitous discovery while I was photographing the famous George Town street art work known as 'Brother and Sister on a Swing', coffee roaster 2F+ has a small café located in a small arcade just off Pengkalan Weld. 2F+ hadn't come up during my research but they have a couple more coffee shops on Penang and another in Bangkok, Thailand. Although single-origin pourovers are on the menu, I was short on time as I was about to head back to the airport, so I ordered an espresso, a smooth and well-balanced blend of coffees from Burundi and Colombia. They sell their own beans at the cafe, as well as small single-serve packets of pre-ground coffee for speciality coffee on the go. I bought one of these, a Panama Gesha, but managed to screw it up on Turtle Island by accidentally adding terrible instant coffee instead of hot water. The coffee smelled lovely before that, however!


2F+ Coffee is located at 35 Pengkalan Weld. FacebookInstagram.


Awesome Canteen
Several people, including Peter from Bao and Butter, recommended Awesome Canteen, for its food and interiors as well as its coffee. Indeed, it was awesome by nature as well as by name. Located in a rustic, high-ceilinged space in a building off Lebuh Victoria, Awesome Canteen reminded me of the ruin bars of Budapest.


As well as the cold foam noodle dish I had for lunch, I really enjoyed my hand-brewed filter coffee. Like several other coffee shops in George Town, the coffee was from KL roaster The Roast Things with two single origins on offer. I went for the Ethiopian Teshome Gemechu, which had beautiful floral and tropical fruit notes — the papaya in particular really sang. The coffee was very well brewed and just what I wanted on such a hot and humid day.


Awesome Canteen is located at 164A-B Lebuh Victoria. Facebook. Instagram.


Coffee Affairs
A coffee shop and micro-roastery located right in the heart of George Town's heritage zone, Coffee Affairs was also a very short walk from my hotel and was the first stop on my George Town coffee tour. The coffee is roasted in house in the small roaster at the back of the cafe, and they specialise in single-origin hand-brewed coffees.


With over a dozen varieties on the menu, it was hard to choose among them, but I ended up ordering a beautifully fruity Ethiopian Sidamo Danbi Uddo brewed through the siphon. They have other brew methods too but I like to order siphon-brewed coffee when it makes the menu and I have the time.

The spacious cafe is cool and colourful, with a large variety of beans, as well as ceramics, available to buy.


Coffee Affairs is located at  21 Lebuh Bishop. Facebook. TwitterInstagram.


Constant Gardener Coffee
I wondered if this coffee shop was going to be inspired by the works of John Le Carré, but instead it is just particularly verdant, with a seating area filled with plants (both real plants, including coffee plants, and artificial alternatives on the 'grass' wall) and plant-inspired designs. Located on Lebuh Light, close to the town hall and Fort Cornwallis in the northeastern end of George Town, Constant Gardener proved to be a very peaceful place to enjoy a cup of coffee on a Sunday morning.



The coffee was from The Roast Things here too and I finally took the opportunity to try the Kenya Gathugu AA coffee I'd seen elsewhere, although there were four other Roast Things coffees available at the brew bar. I was delighted to see 'Ribena pastilles' among the tasting notes — Ribena was my drink of choice as a child and rather naughtily, I love to treat myself to the odd packet of Ribena pastilles when I'm in Southeast Asia. The coffee itself was well brewed, with a pleasing acidity.


Constant Gardener is located at Chinese Chamber Of Commerce Building, 9 Lebuh Light. Website. Instagram.


Macallum Connoisseurs Coffee Company
Located in a former timber factory about 20 minutes' walk from the George Town heritage zone along the busy Lim Chong Eu Expressway, Macallum Connoisseurs is well worth seeking out. The space in which the cafe and roastery are located is huge and highly impressive, with high ceilings and industrial stylings, and even a Harley-Davidson in one corner. And the coffee is no less impressive.



The counter and brew bar is located near the main entrance, with a large amount of seating at tables, high and low, throughout the space. As well as an all-day food menu and the usual espresso-based drinks, there were six single-origin coffees available as hand-brewed filter coffee (Aeropress, V60 and Clever Dripper). I selected a washed Honduras Don Fabio San Francisco coffee from the list, brewed through the V60, whose caramel notes contrasted nicely with the prunes and red dates, to produce a sweet and well-balanced brew. I also had a piccolo and although it was on the longer side, it was well-prepared.

I didn't buy any beans, but I did buy another single-use 'filtered coffee sachet' just like at 2F+. I managed not to mess this one up, and in the absence of a kettle or my usual coffee-making kit on Turtle Island, the Ethiopian coffee made for a decent morning brew.


Macallum Connoisseurs is located at 1 Gat Lebuh Macallum. Website. TwitterInstagram.


Ome by Spacebar Coffee
This coffee shop used to share space with Awesome Canteen, but now occupies a slender shop on a quiet side street off Lebuh Pantai. The counter and brew bar are located at the front and there is some more seating towards the back. The décor is very rustic, with exposed-brick walls and light wood. And the coffee menu featured four single-origin coffees, two from The Roast Things, a natural Costa Rican coffee from Bailies in Northern Island (which sounded great, but I was focusing on Malaysian-roasted coffee on my trip), and an Ethiopian coffee from Artisan Roast, another KL roaster.


I selected the latter, whose strawberry and lemon notes came out so beautifully in the pourover brew that I had to buy the beans. Luckily — given that I was travelling with a very small suitcase that was already full — they had 100g bags, so I could take some home with me. I've really been enjoying this coffee through my Aeropress at the office this week.


Ome by Spacebar Coffee is located at 1 Lorong Toh Aka. FacebookInstagram.