Every neighbourhood could use a nice little cafe where folks who live or work nearby can stroll in, feel welcome & escape for awhile over coffee & pastries. This month, the residents of OUG & Bukit Jalil will welcome two such places: Butter + Beans & The Owls Cafe, both within a 10-minute drive from each other.
First up: Butter + Beans At OUG, which is set to officially open Saturday, Aug. 16. This licensed spin-off from Section 17's popular Butter + Beans is run by high school buddies Yong & Ken, who are taking a leap of faith from the white-collar worlds of petroleum engineering & hedge funds respectively to enter the universe of serving coffee.
This new chapter of Butter + Beans transplants the signature charm of the PJ original into a more spacious setting, complete with comfy cushions & a feel-good vibe encouraged by the easy-going team here. It remains a work in progress; Butter + Beans' signature 'bear' mural is still to come, along with other touches to supply this venue with its own distinctive identity.
Butter + Beans sits on a street that might be older than many cafe-hoppers, so it seems fitting that this outlet houses two attention-grabbing blasts from the past: a decades-old cash register & radio, salvaged from Ken's father's Petaling Street shop.
Come in, the coffee's fine: The baristas currently rely on a blend of Brazilian, Colombian, Indonesian & Papua New Guinean, crafted with the sort of care that reflects well on the brand of Butter + Beans. Pastries & cakes will be available by this weekend (though if customers want to risk coming here today before the formal opening, they might get lucky).
Moving along to The Owls Cafe, which is slated to soft-open in Bukit Jalil sometime on the week of Aug. 25; its distinctively & alluringly colourful wall should soon be splashed across hundreds of social media images. While Butter + Beans seems poised to become a popular hangout, The Owls Cafe looks more like someone's beloved hideout.
Why owls? Well, similar to these nocturnal birds, co-owners Thomas & Dennis - who'll run this cafe with help from Thomas' sister & girlfriend - are supposed to be most wide-awake at night too (we empathise!).
The Owls Cafe is very much unfinished this week, with more furnishing to come. But even now, it seems like the kind of place that could easily & deservedly become a favourite retreat for many. Thomas (formerly a member of The Mad Alchemy) is one of the most genuinely friendly cafe owners around, & his place feels like home.
Once The Owls Cafe opens later this month, pastries & home-baked cakes will be available, with slightly more ambitious fare - waffles with poached eggs, perhaps - expected in September or October.
The Owls Cafe is still experimenting with its beans. Thomas was kind enough to let us try a taste of the Thumper espresso blend from Singapore's Smitten Coffee & Tea Bar.
It's comforting to imagine coming away for an hour or two at The Owls Cafe, where Norah Jones floats soothingly out of the speakers on a weekday evening. Whether or not you're living nearby, make a coffee date in the weeks ahead with both Butter + Beans At OUG & The Owls Cafe.
Butter And Beans At OUG
53 Jalan Hujan Rahmat 3, Taman Overseas Union Garden, Kuala Lumpur
Open 10am-10pm. Might be closed on Thursdays (pasar malam night on this street)
The Owls Cafe
12-1, First Floor, Block 5, Jalil Link, Jalan Jalil 6, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur. Will determine business hours/days later this month
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