PLANTER Chin is a relatively fresh and interesting addition to an alley filled with busy, beautiful cafes and coffee shops, sitting tucked behind an unassuming door next to Lisette's Café & Bakery in Jalan Kemuja, Bangsar.

With its bright, plant-filled ambience, enthusiastic hosts, and delicious brunch dishes, it more than holds its own against some of the more established cafés in the Bangsar area, mainly due to its refreshing identity as a plant café.

The BUZZ team recently visited Planter Chin to see what all the fuss was about. There, we discovered that founder Jeremy Chin, often known as “the Planter Chin Guy”, has been in the F&B scene since 2003.

$!The hidden door leading up to the cafe.

“Becoming an entrepreneur, I believe, isn't something you wake up one day wanting to do, it's a natural progression. At least this is what happened to me! The notion of 'see a need fill a need' is pretty much the summation of how things began – there was a gap in the coffee culture that I felt I could fulfill,” he said during our interview.

How did Planter Chin first start? Chin explained: “It was during the global pandemic. It was a tough one and I witnessed friends, family and my community slowly break down. So, I asked myself: 'What can I do for them?'

“I combined my hobby of botany with my passion for coffee, and gave it a platform so that others could enjoy it as well. Planter Chin was born from the idea that I should share with others what brought me joy!”

$!Surrounded by green plants.

We were welcomed with a couple drinks. We began with a cup of latte, happy to find a pleasant fragrance in the well-steamed milk. With a beautiful latte art on it, the beverage looked beautiful and tempting. And, certainly, it tasted just the way a coffee lover would want – creamy and smooth. I also tried their iced white coffee, which isn't the best, but isn't bad either.

The Yuri Matcha was next. Personally, I am not a lover of green tea, but if I were to have a matcha drink, Planter Chin would be the place to go. The somewhat vibrant green beverage has a very smooth flavor and is not at all bitter. It appears to be one of the highest quality ones in terms of colour, texture, and scent.

The house-brewed apple Kombucha was undoubtedly the drink of the day for us. It has a fruity flavor and is light and sweet. It was served in a wine glass and it was extremely refreshing. Like wine, each batch of kombucha is unique based on the brewing techniques used, and it is fair to say that Planter Chin did a great job in making this drink.

$!(fromleft) Chef Sisira Santha, Chin and barista Rayn.

It was my personal fave, even though some of my co-workers did not enjoy it as much as I did. Hands down this is one of the best Kombucha I've ever tasted.

We tried their Creamy Mushrooms on Toast. Sourdough bread, cherry tomatoes, king oyster, portobello, parmesan crips, and shimeji mushrooms are among the ingredients. The handmade Parmesan cheese balanced the flavor of the mushroom perfectly, and the bread wasn't as chewy or tough to cut. That adds to the list of reasons why I enjoyed the meal.

Another gem I discovered in Planter Chin is their Breakfast Muffintop, consisting of folded scrambled egg, chicken slice, crushed feta, cucumbers, and sweet relish mayo on a breakfast bun. My love for chicken is endless. Therefore, this meal has to be my favorite of the day; it was juicy, chewy, and most importantly, the flavors of all the spices blended so well.

$!The signature drinks of Planter Chin.

When you visit, be sure to get a dish of this; I promise you won't be disappointed.

Finally, there's the Beef Bacon Carbonara. My coworkers all said they enjoyed the meal and that it was “incredibly creamy” and that they would surely come back to eat it again.

We were also urged to taste their desserts – which are rotated weekly – before we left. On this particular week, we had their brownies with vanilla ice cream on top, and lemon cake. The brownie was smooth, fairly dense, and not overly sweet. And of course, the lemon cake will be the ultimate dessert for lemon lovers. It was fluffy, tangy and bursting with strong lemon flavour.

$!A yummy brunch that you can dig into.

Chin expressed: “It's a weird time for the coffee industry now. Seems like everyone is quitting their jobs to open up cafes. Same design/menu, just replication on overdrive. We will hit a point when there will be more cafes than customers.”

When asked what advice he would give to the younger generation of prospective café owners, he said: “Take the time to evaluate whether your concept has longevity and is sustainable. Go to your peers and seek out advice from those who are experienced in this industry. This scene is not for the faint-hearted.

“However, you don't get diamonds without some pressure, right?”

planter chin

Address: 6a, Jalan Kemuja, 59000 Bangsar

Opening hours: Tuesdays-Sundays (10am-5pm)