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One KL backstreet is now the unlikely home of two cafes worth sniffing out for coffee hounds; let’s start with Aku, a soothing sanctuary for stressed-out souls.

This hidden hideout’s not exactly a hipster hangout: Aku exudes Chinatown charm, reflected by its blast-from-the-past furnishings. This isn’t a cafe that could have existed in the 1980s, but its historical inspirations lie in plain sight. Rocking horses rule.Aku Cafe_2

Signature Cake

Aku’s in its soft-opening phase, so the menu’s limited; we’re fans of the cafe’s signature cake, meant to pair perfectly with coffee. A buttery treat with walnuts and chocolate chips. RM5.90 only.Aku Cafe_3


Love how the coffee’s served here. Looks deceive: it’s siphon coffee, not our grandfather’s kopi. Hand-picked Sumatran Gold Top Mandheling (RM12), robustly nuanced.Aku Cafe_4

Other highlights

Hainan toasts, cucumber sandwiches, chocolate brownies and yogurt cheesecakes, for enjoying with ice-drip coffee, Earl Grey tea and orange-ginger-mint juice. Aku Cafe_5

Aku Cafe doubles as an art gallery; later this week, it’ll screen a Tsai Ming-liang movie, with the Malaysian-born director potentially present, if current plans work out.
Update: Here are the film screening times. Colorless on Sept. 7, 6pm, Love is Everywhere on Sept. 14, 6pm, Hole on Sept. 21, 6pm, & Face on Sept. 28, 6pm. Admission is free, call the cafe for more details. Aku Cafe_6

Owned by Old China Cafe

Aku Cafe is owned by the folks who also operate Old China Cafe (only a one-minute walk away) as well as Central Market’s Precious Old China.

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Aku Cafe opens 11am-8pm, except Mondays. Wonderfully serene on a Wednesday evening.Aku Cafe_8Aku Cafe_9Aku Cafe_10

Location and Contact Details:

Aku Cafe & Gallery,
8, 1st Floor, Jalan Panggung, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2857-6887

Find Aku Cafe and Gallery’s directory listing here.

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