20 November 2016


Twilight had just set in and Petaling Street was aglow in preparation for the night as we started our trek home. On our way back, we passed by Mah Liang Hotel which, at first glance, looked like most of the other vintage Chinese shophouses that lined the street. On closer inspection though, we spied lights, dining tables and the bustle of activity from inside what otherwise looked like an empty building. Never one to back down from a spontaneous find, we made our way inside to check it out.

Inside, it was as if we had entered a space from the days of yore. Paint was peeling off the walls, pastel tiles wrapped around the room, and vintage black and white floor tiles characteristic of old buildings spanned the entire length of the floor; all relics of the hotel it once was. Down the hallway was a courtyard perfect for midday alfresco dining or a romantic candlelight dinner. Hanging from the ceiling were industrial style light bulbs that cast a romantic glow over the space and set the scene for an intimate dinner.

Chocha means sit down and have tea in Hakka, so that’s exactly what we did. After taking some time to absorb our surroundings, we ordered some tea, a hot latte, and a bowl of Chocha’s pan-seared duck breast with steamed barely and rice. Serving tea, coffee, and wine, Chocha is an up and coming foodie-spot created by a design firm for the people of Kuala Lumpur looking to dine in an eclectic yet sophisticated space.

As their name suggests, you definitely want to come here for the tea. Their Lapsang Shouchong is really something else. Lapsang Souchong is a black tea from the Fujian region of China that is smoke-dried over burning pinewood needles, imparting it with a smoky taste that is unlike any other. That’s something you definitely can’t get from a teabag. As for food, their pan-seared duck was succulent and tender, and a great revamp of a classic dish.

That night, we didn’t pop any bottles of wine, though you definitely could if you wanted. I highly recommend you pay a visit to this brand new shop with a couple friends to enjoy a glass of wine after a long week, and especially if you’re looking to impress a hot date.

Address: No. 156, Jalan Petaling, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 11AM-10PM; Monday closed
Instagram: chochafoodstore
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chocha.foodstore/