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Merchant's Lane used to be a brothel and is located right outside KL's very own Chinatown , Petaling Street . I first got to know this little cafe via the numerous Instagram posts showcasing the gorgeous interior of this place , my first impression was that it reminded me a lot of the heritage cafes in Penang , particularly China House . ahahah . soon after my roommate Rachel visited this place , she recommended me to visit it as well so i went one day in April with kunyew !
used Waze to get there because we're absolutely clueless on the roads of the KL City Centre and parked right opposite the place . was a bit confused at first cos i couldn't find the restaurant , so we asked a nearby bookshop assistant where Merchant Lane is ; and to our surprise , she pointed her finger upwards . turns out the cafe was tucked upstairs , which surprised me because the photos i saw of it looked like it was planted on solid ground . HAHAH
took the stairs leading up and was greeted by wooden plan floors and high ceilings , as what you would expect from an old shoplot
looked around for a space to sit and the waitress asked if we would like to go to the back area ... so we did HAHA .
the deco in the outdoor garden leading to another indoor area ! see what i mean ? you wouldn't have known this was on the first floor of a building instead of the ground floor ...
we were led to the back of the cafe and we picked this pretty spot with huge floor to ceiling paintings!
their menu only had limited choices so i decided to go for the South China Sea whilst my bf ordered the Better Than Sex . order and payment is to be made at the counter , which displayed an array of cakes such as salted caramel , peanut butter and chocolate . being the avid dessert fan that i am , i just HAD to order one and couldn't make up my mind because everything sounded so good !! Hence , i forced kunyew to make the cake selection HAHA . he , in turn , asked for recommendations from the cashier and returned with a plate of salted caramel cake .
and this .. was our cake ... yes , it was as sad as it looks , despite SOUNDING delicious 😑 as you can see from the photo , the cake was really dry . since i bake sometimes , i can sort of gauge what a freshly baked cake looks like .. and this one has probably been on the counter for a day or two already ; on the verge of going stale . sigh , costed a hefty price of RM12 too .
next up was the dish called "Better Than Sex" , so we were expecting something that would blow our minds . unfortunately , this too , didn't live up to its name ... the star of the dish for me would be the ice-cream , however , the roti jala came in a way that put a weird combination of flavours into the dish , leaving me sort of confused ??? also , what's up with the cheese ??? honestly i felt like this dish would've been more enjoyable if they didn't overdo it 😐
then came my dish - the South China Sea . when i posted this on Snapchat a lot of my friends began messaging me "that looks so good !! where is this place ?" . and admittedly , they did plate it rather impressively . the salmon was pretty good too !! the rest of the dish , though , was a big mistake .
to start off , the hash was way too oily (later i found out via Facebook reviews that many other customers agreed on this) so i only ate about half of it . no comment for the salsa because i've never really had salsa before ... AS FOR THE EGGS , let me tell you . MY EGGS WERE DROP DEAD COLD . COLD . and watery . and soggy and runny . did i mention cold ? Merchant's Lane had officially ruined poached eggs for me . only managed to swallow one egg before i was at the point of gagging , because well .. nobody likes cold eggs . i wasn't sure whether they left it cold intentionally or they forgot they left it in the fridge ??? anyway , enough said . this dish was bad , period .
the only plus points of our visit to this place was the nice photos we managed to get ... that's about it i guess , overall service was fine too but if your food is bad , don't expect me to return anytime soon . i barely write bad reviews about cafes but this one really disappointed me through and through :/
Merchant's Lane 美真林
Address: 150 , Jalan Petaling , City Centre , 50000 Kuala Lumpur , Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia
Phone: +60 3-2022 1736
Opening Hours : Mon-Fri 11.30am-10pm , Sat-Sun 9.30am-10pm , closed on Wednesdays
P.S. after leaving a 3-star review for this place on Facebook , the page admins replied me saying "cold eggs are a no-no !" , meaning the cold eggs i got wasn't their intention ... well , at least i understand the dish better now ??