For many youths in Kuching, the ambience of a café has got to be high up on the priority list alongside good food and coffee.
After all, what’s the point of going somewhere with friends if you’re not going to put it up on your Instagram story?
While there are certainly many beautiful and aesthetic cafes in Kuching, we dare say The Garden Café by bing! coffee may just be one of the most Instagrammable cafés we’ve ever seen.
A home-based location
Situated opposite the road from Kozi Square, Garden Café appears to be a picturesque white home which has been turned into a restaurant.
We knew that this place is quite popular, so we decided to arrive half an hour after opening time. Yet when we got there, most of the parking spots were already full.
When we walked into the café, there was already a long line at the cashier. So, we took the time to examine the menu, which we soon realised was the same as other bing! coffee locations.
There were a large selection of coffee and tea as well as a variety of sandwiches and cakes. However, when we reached the cashier, we realised that most of the drinks and the food were not available.
It took us some time to choose a different order than what we had in mind, but eventually we ordered and could finally enter the seating area.
Gorgeous and serene atmosphere
We stepped out of the house and into the walkway which separates the seating area from the rest of the building and were blown away by how aesthetic it looks.
Perhaps if the walkway was a bit bigger, it would be nice to sip your coffee in this cosy spot underneath the hanging fronds.
Moving into the seating area, we immediately realised why this location is popular. The entire vibe of the glasshouse-style seating area is so warm and cosy; it is perfect for photo-taking on a sunny day.
You could also sit down and spend hours here writing, drawing, or working, as the greenery around you will no doubt provide some inspiration.
The seats are also plush and comfortable, almost tempting us to lean back and take a quick cat nap. The air conditioning is also quite high, so you won’t feel hot at all.
Lamb panini and ice blended drinks
We weren’t particularly hungry, so we ordered the lamb panini (RM14.50) to share as well as the ice blended cappuccino (RM13.90) and the ice blended mocha (RM14.90).
The taste of coffee in the ice blended cappuccino was just right, at the perfect balance of coffee, milk, and blended ice.
The ice blended mocha was also quite tasty, as the bitterness of the coffee really brings out the strong, rich taste of chocolate.
However, the lamb panini was nothing to really write home about. To us, it looked more like a squished burger than a panini.
It was only slightly warm when it arrived on our table and tasted alright. The fillings were adequate, and it came with some sauces: mayo, mustard, and chilli.
If we had been hungrier, perhaps we would have been more disappointed at the quality of the food. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good either.
Outdoor nursery filled with plants
Once we were done with our meal, we took a stroll outside, where there were rows and rows of plants for sale.
There were so many different types of plants, each with their own label so you would know what you were looking at.
We’re not plant savvy, so we were unable to name any of the greenery around us. Still, we can imagine how amazing this place might be to a lover of plant life.
Even if you don’t like plants, this area could certainly be another good spot for those thoughtful Instagram shots.
What online reviews say
Reviews of the location are generally good on Google Maps, at 4.1 out of 5 stars with 35 reviews at time of writing.
Many reviewers can’t stop gushing about the beauty and atmosphere of the café, but it seems that most of the menu being unavailable is quite a common occurrence.
You also have to be careful when parking inside the compound, as some reviewers report others blocking their cars, causing them to be unable to leave.
Service can also be a slow depending on how busy the café is, as one reviewer complained that he waited for almost two hours for his food, while another waited an hour for a slice of cake.
One thing you do have to note though is that the last orders end at 9PM, despite the venue closing at 10PM. Therefore, there is a need to plan beforehand.
As for us, we might take a second trip back to The Garden Café when we need that boost of inspiration. But other than that, we might have to give this beautiful place a miss.
Opening hours: 11AM-10PM (Mon-Sun)
Address: 111, Jalan Tun Abang Haji Openg, Rikett Estate, 93000 Kuching, Sarawak (Google Maps)
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