I’ve heard a lot about Merchant’s Lane in Petaling Street – a café that occupies a spot along the row of shops/hostels in Jalan Petaling. Parking can be quite difficult to find unless you don’t mind paying RM15 for an open-air parking lot with pebbled surface; most people do that. Merchant’s Lane can get pretty crowded during weekends but from what I observed and experienced, service was good.
The menu is interesting though not everything I tried rocked my boat. I reckon it’s more of a novelty thing as the names were unique plus prices were affordable. Main courses range from RM20 to RM26 and portions were good.
If you’re dining in a large group, Port Klang (RM19) is good for sharing. You get calamari, prawns and dory fish, batter fried till crispy and served alongside some sweet chilli sauce. Nothing spectacular but it’s good finger food to munch on while having coffee or waiting for your mains. I didn’t care much for the Pipits Nest (RM16) as the cheese and mayo sauce combo tasted similar to KFC’s potato wedges.
South China Sea (RM26) happens to be a popular choice at Merchant’s Lane – grilled salmon served with 63 C egg, salsa and housemade hash. You’re supposed to mix the egg with hash and salsa, before eating it with the salmon. I found this rather ordinary as only the salsa had a sweet-tangy zing while the rest of the items were bland.
Kg. Sg. Tua (RM25) is a dish of grilled salmon topped with creamy masak lemak chilli padi sauce. This came on a bed of sweet potato mash and butter herbed veggies on the side. I preferred this to the more photogenic South China Sea though the salmon we got that day was a tad on the dry side.
Skip the Italian Chow Mein (RM20) as this Malaysian rendition of spaghetti was disappointing. The chicken rendang base was dry and the pasta, overcooked. I guess they intended for it to be dry but it was quite difficult to eat without needing to sip on water after a few mouthfuls.
The Hongkie Beef Stew (RM22) comes with mash and gravy and some greens for a pop of colour. While the flavour was alright, the beef was dry to a point the texture was “stringy”. My friend said The Taukay (RM21) was not too bad. I didn’t try this so I can’t comment much.
This is essentially Merchant’s Lane’s rendition of a beef burger, served with peanut sauce, fried egg and cheese. I guess it’s hard to go wrong with burger.
Overall, the food isn’t much to shout about though I prefer this to the other hangout spot down the road. Prices are affordable so if you’re looking for a casual hangout place with photo-worthy corners, this is an option. If you’re going for just the food, you won’t be too impressed.
Food: 6/10 (pork free)
Verdict: Friendly service but food was average.
150, Jalan Petaling,
50000 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2022 1736
Business hours: 11.30am till 11pm