Cover Bōl

These days, the camera eats first, and we have the inside scoop on new design-led restaurants and cafes in Kuala Lumpur to help you build a picture-perfect feed

1. Modern Glamour: Bōl

Serving up reimagined Peranakan cuisine, Bōl's eclectic interiors reflect its fusion menu with intricately detailed spaces designed to delight designophiles and Instagrammers alike.

The visual feast begins from its pristinely white colonial facade juxtaposed with modern pieces like terracotta-hued Driade Roly Poly chairs. Right inside the foyer, a neon sign invites more pictures, and the colour story of sage green and terracotta begins with the reception desk and slatted timber walls. This then moves into the ground floor bar with its arched alcoves and woven cane-backed high chairs. 

 

Dining here is more like having a meal at the pied-a-terre of a Peranakan hipster. Every room is richly visual yet cosy with its botanical-themed Cole & Son wallpaper that references the opulent floral motifs beloved by Peranakans, curvacious serving stations topped with pink terrazzo patern, not to mention a dramatic Lee Jung Woong painting from the renowned Korean artist's brush series.

Attention to detail can be seen in every aspect, from the sleekly modern washroom with its sculptural valet chair designed by Nathan Yong and the airy glasshouse on the top floor inspired by Victorian conservatories flooding the area with natural daylighting. 

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2. Cottage-Core Chic: Yeap

Yeap in Section 17, PJ will be an absolute treasure trove if cottage core and sienna-tinged filters dominate your grid. Designed by Whitespade, the space is shared between caffeine specialists Outcast Coffee and florists Floratorie.co. Set on the upper floor of a shophouse, the space has a dreamy ambience anchored with dark wood furniture and simple vintage pieces, which add to the nostalgic charm.

Cosy corners were created via furniture arrangement for long lazy hours of drinking coffee, and circular drums provide decorative display areas for Floratorie.co's pretty floral creations. Dotted throughout the space are romantic dried floral arrangements, which are the bespoke floral designer's signature.  

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3. Industrial Rigour: Shhhbuuuleee

The transformation of RexKL from an abandoned building to the beating heart of all things fun, cool and Instagrammable in Petaling Street continues with Shhhbuuuleee on its highest floor. Its quirky name belies the restaurant's sober industrial-style interior, designed by Mentah Matter. 

As with most of the spaces in RexKL, Mentah Matter kept the envelope in its raw state, adding curved bars running through the space and long tables, all emphasising a communal atmosphere. Materials were kept honest and unadorned, and furniture sport simple lines, imbuing the restaurant with a Bauhaus-ian appeal.  

 

While old-school painted concrete floors anchor the space, the al fresco area has a zen garden vibe with small trees and a pebbled floor. A curved sheet metal table echoes the communal aspect of the sheltered areas with bright red stools adding visual interest to an otherwise tranquil spot that makes it difficult to imagine just above the bustling Petaling Street traffic.

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4. Warm Minimalism: VCR Ritchie

Wunderwall continues its winning streak of highly Instagrammable spaces with VCR's latest outpost in Ampang, VCR Ritchie. Set in an unassuming row of shophouses, the minimalist yet poetic design recalls the work of Carlos Scarpa.  

Seating is varied and well-planned, with space to dine outdoors and indoors, on communal tables and spots just big enough for two. A restrained palette of neutrals and natural material characterises the furniture choices with cantilevered wooden chairs, mid-century shapes and woven rattan details.

 

 

A subtle creamy stucco finish adorns most walls, accented by pale wood trimming. This serene tableau is complemented by black metal, warm lighting, a grey mosaic tiled floor and strategically placed plants, creating a relaxed setting, perfect for lingering over VCR Ritchie's expanded menu.

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