Planting the seeds of gardening in a Shoplot cafe

Planter Chin combines the best in plants and coffee into a sustainable concept café and the long queues are testimony to its winning appeal.

Jan Zainal, co-owner of Planter Chin, also founder of Taman Hati

A glass of kombucha to chill with the green surroundings

Text & Photography by Jan Yong

Anondescript entrance greeted us as we prepared to enter a garden café highly recommended by a friend. “There isn’t even a signboard outside!” remarked my friend. One could easily miss this garden café which is located upstairs a shoplot on a street full of popular eateries in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur. “Just keep a lookout for ‘6a’, I said.

Once inside however, it’s a different world – surrounded by plants of all sorts, big and small – a feeling of tranquility descended upon us as we breathed in nature. The quiet chatter around us drifted away as we focused on the menu – for the drinks menu, just scan with your camera. Order at the counter and you are set for an afternoon of oxygen-infused chill time. Perfect for those with a green thumb or learning to get one.

Granted, it’s not Alice in Wonderland – but it’s an intriguing garden with an assortment of plants, tools and decorative objects to take home. Planter Chin cafe resides within the four walls of a shoplot yet has a vibe that transports you to a ‘jungle’ far away.

Co-owner Jimmy Chin is the resident coffee expert

The inspiration came from wanting to be in a lush jungle setting and a desire to pass on their passion for gardening to other people, co-owner Jan Zainal, tells us. “We were located on Jalan Maarof in a livelier part of Bangsar for two years, then decided to move to this part of Bangsar to be in a bigger space.”

Plants thrive here because of the sufficient sunlight coming in from the partially open rooftop which was the only design adaptation that they made. That, and the large windows helped too.

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