Petaling Street, dubbed KL’s Chinatown, is a hot, busy, bustling area even in weekdays. Tourists pour out onto the streets by the hundreds, vendors shout their wares and the sound of metal ladles clanking on hot woks fill the street.
It’s a place that rewards the curious and adventurous. Those who dare to try new food and experiences are handsomely rewarded. That’s what happened when we found Jao Tim.
Although Petaling Street and its surrounding areas are full of wonderful Instagrammable cafes, Jao Tim just stood out with its own special charm. For starters, it’s not easy to spot. You’ll have to look out for a small pair of golden double doors and push on it to enter.
A simple plaque beside the doors proclaims the café’s name in bold golden letters, but otherwise, there aren’t any signs as to what entails. Once you push past these doors, you’re greeted by a very 1920s Gatsby-ish stairway, complete with horizontal metallic lights.
The first thing you’ll see at the top is a counter resembling a hotel concierge from the Art Nouveau era. In fact, the entire café space is done up in the Art Nouveau style. Heavy wooden furniture, bare brick walls and metallic fixtures all complete the look.
Ordering is done at the ‘Concierge’ counter, and the menu is displayed prominently there. The food list is pretty concise, with sourdough sandwiches, pastries and cakes dominating it.
We settled for a sourdough grilled cheese sandwich as a light lunch option ( RM15) and added a sunny side up egg. The grilled bread was surprisingly soft and comforting. The cheese was melt-in-your-mouth level stuff. The sandwich was served with a side of fresh lettuce and cherry tomato salad with balsamic vinegar dressing.
Then there was the sourdough ham and egg sandwich ( RM17). which had crusty bread that was balanced out by the soft egg and ham filling. Some crunchy lettuce was also added for more textural variety.
For drinks, we ordered an iced Spiced Red Fruits Tea (RM 10) as it was sweltering outside and we needed something slightly sour and refreshing. For dessert, we chose a slice of the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake (RM14).
Cake selections change on a daily basis, so it’s always a surprise. When we visited, there was also Orange Poppy seed and Walnut cake. The staffs were so friendly and accommodating without imposing on us. They were recommending their bestsellers, and the Chocolate Peanut Butter cake was one.
The cake was smooth and soft, with peanut butter cream in between layers of chocolate sponge.
As we enjoyed our food and drinks, we couldn’t help but enjoy our surroundings. The café has a balcony that doubles up as an event space. You’re allowed to wonder up here and take pictures of everyone below.
Photo Credit https://www.facebook.com/JaoTimKL/
Jao Tim plays host to a variety of 1920's inspired events, including Swing Dance sessions, live Jazz bands, and solo performances. Just visit their Facebook page for updates that you can participate in.
- Address: 61, Jalan Sultan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Phone: +60 3-2022 3897
- Opening Hours: Tues - Sun from 11am to 9pm, Closed on Mondays