Last week, I was at Suria KLCC mall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, talking to the manager of the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. We were talking about which was the most popular coffee shop in the mall and she said their main competitor was San Francisco Coffee. San Francisco Coffee is an American chain coffee shop, but the branch at the Suria KLCC mall in Kuala Lumpur, I found quite different than the ones I’ve visited in the US. Popular it might be, but it’s not my favorite coffee shop at KLCC and here’s why.
The Location of San Francisco Coffee – One of the things I do like about San Francisco Coffee is its location. In KLCC mall, the food displays and coffee ordering counter are inside a small shop front. But the cafe itself, where you sit, is on the mall mezzanine overlooking the mall below, so set slightly away from the cash register. This makes the cafe quieter than other coffee shops in the mall, as you don’t have to contend with people ordering or the shouts of the staff when the order is ready.
Food at San Francisco Coffee – One thing that is wonderful about San Francisco Coffee at Suria KLCC is the choice of food. Sandwiches, pasties, pies, cooked egg breakfasts, bagels, cakes, pastries, cookies and more are all displayed in large glass cases at the front of the shop. I’ve eaten there three times and every time the food has been fresh, nice tasting and, if cooked, always hot. Price wise the food is also comparable to most other inexpensive restaurants in the mall so a drink and a snack or a meal isn’t going to cost you your first born.
The Coffee at San Francisco Coffee – According to the manager of the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, the San Francisco Coffee at KLCC is their main competitor. My guess would be, although they may be a competitor, they’re not as successful as the Coffee Bean, not unless a customer is looking for coffee that’s bitter, a little burned and too strong. In fact, every time I’ve had a latte there, I’ve gone back to the counter and asked if they could please add more milk as the flavor was far too strong for me.
The Merchandise – I do love the merchandise at San Francisco Coffee. They sell lots of enormous coffee mugs with Kuala Lumpur or other places around the world printed on them. They have lovely quality French press coffee makers, cute vacuum flasks to keep coffee hot, and stainless steel travel mugs. Of course, like every coffee shop, their prices are exorbitant so I haven’t bought anything……..yet. A couple of things are on my list of must-haves though.
The Staff – The staff is another lovely addition to the coffee shop. Friendly and funny, they’re pushy enough when you walk by to try to get you in, but not too aggressive and are happy to let you walk on by if you’re just not interested. Plus, every time I’ve eaten or had a coffee there, they’ve made things just the way I wanted them with little problem.
I do go to the San Francisco Coffee cafe at Suria KLCC at least once during every visit I make to Kuala Lumpur. If I enjoyed the coffee more, I’d likely go there more often but as long as it remains bitter and strong, unfortunately, it won’t be my first choice. The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf has that award.
San Francisco Coffee, Malaysia