[KUALA LUMPUR] Ask anyone Malaysian for recommendation for matcha place to check out and the unanimous answer will be Niko Neko Matcha.
Pioneering the matcha movement in Malaysia, Niko Neko Matcha sources and delivers artisanal matcha from different regions of Japan, be in in their drinks or pastries.
The brand has a pure, minimalistic and zen touch in their aesthetics and yet it brings a strong contrast to the traditional Japanese tea culture.
As a matcha lover myself, I had visited their outlet in Bangsar before Covid-19 and made it a point to visit their flagship store in Chinatown during this trip.
With a strong focus in both their outlet designs and menu items, there is already a queue formed before the cafe opened even on a weekday.
Niko Neko Matcha 2.0 has an elongated layout, with a retail section at the front end of the shop.
The entire space is white in colour, lined with a long white bench and black cushion seats on the right hand side.
Right in the middle of the cafe, this is where the matcha bar counter is located and with all the food and drinks preparation taking place here.
Individual porcelain can be seen neatly displayed on the left hand side.
The highlight is the metallic frame lining the entire ceiling, with light bulbs illuminating the entire space.
4 different matcha powder are used for their Lattes, namely REN (higher quality from Mie, Japan), KIKU (Yame, Japan), Ajisai (Yame, Japan) and YURI (Mie, Japan).
REN is the highest quality in their matcha selection, with a distinctive umami and creamy taste, KIKU on the other hand is more nutty, whereas Ajisai has a strong soybean-like flavour.
Apart from their classic Lattes, there is an extensive selection of Signature Cocktails (RM 15-18, SGD 5-6) here.
I ordered the California (RM 15, SGD 5) and Budak Melaka (RM 15, SGD 5), both crafted using YURI matcha, known to be more refreshing with a vegetable taste.
Branding-wise, Niko Neko Matcha also have their own glassware with their iconic cat logo imprinted on it.
The California (RM 15, SGD 5) is infused with YURI matcha and zesty Yuzu Japanese Lemon with a separated layer, lemon spice syrup, sparkling water and dehydrated pineapple and thyme.
It has a refreshing and citrusy note, that is perfect for Malaysia’s hot and humid weather.
The Budak Melaka (RM 15, SGD 5), on the other hand, is more earthy with YURI matcha and Malaysia’s favourite gula melaka syrup.
Garnished with desiccated toasted coconut for an added crunch and pandan leaves for a fragrant finish, the combination is mild sweet and aromatic.
Not to be missed are their wide selection of pastries infused with their own matcha powder.
Highly recommend everyone to visit early as their pastries are only available in limited quantity daily.
The AJISAI / Intense Matcha Tiramisu (RM 16, SGD 5.30) is my favourite, very strong, robust, umami taste that matcha-holics are looking out for.
With a black charcoal almond crust used as the base, layered with a AJISAI matcha sponge and fluffy AJISAI mascarpone cream, the tiramisu is delicate with different textures packed in it.
The Gooey Genmaicha Oyaki (RM11, SGD 3.50) is worth a mention, a crispy caramelized outer layer that is moist and fluffy on the inside like a traditional Tau Car Piah.
In the center, it is completely filled with gooey MOKUREN Genmaicha custard filling. That is fragrant and not overpowering.
With a strong branding and quality matcha food and drinks, Niko Neko is definitely worth a visit if you are planning a trip to Kuala Lumpur.
Niko Neko Matcha 2.0
181, Jalan Tun H S Lee, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 11am – 6pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
Google Maps – Niko Neko Matcha 2.0
* Written by Nicholas Tan @stormscape who loves all things [NEW]. DFD paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.