Even if you’re not a fan of social media, a visit to Kopi Hutan is more than your average café experience!
The outdoor café has a unique seating area and concept. It’s also one of the few eateries on Penang Hill too.
Getting here means a walk or paying for a shuttle. And on weekends, there are long queues. So, is Kopi Hutan really worth the hype?
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About Kopi Hutan / MonkeyCup
Kopi Hutan is at one end of Penang Hill. The café shares its location with Monkey Cup Garden.
Note: There is another stylish semi-outdoor café at The Habitat gift shop, close to the exit of The Habitat (i.e. pay for entry).
Opening hours are from 9am to 5pm.
Getting To Kopi Hutan At Penang Hill
Unless you’re prepared for a 2km walk along the road with trees, shrubs and private property on the side:
The other way that customers can reach Kopi Hutan is via shuttle service. Kopi Hutan is the final stop for the shuttle service.
You can find the counter at the junction of The Habitat and Bellevue The Penang Hill Hotel.
For our group of 7 adults, we got two shuttles. It costs us RM30 per shuttle one-way. This included a bit of a tour (provided who you get as a driver) as well as one stop to take pictures.
Note: Payment is expected at the end of the ride so make sure you have enough cash on hand.
Going back to the main area of Penang Hill is free if you get a drink at Kopi Hutan. They will have their own jeep service to take customers back.
If you do choose to walk, it takes ~20 to 30 minutes depending on your pace. In the mornings (before 10am), the cool climate and ample greenery makes it a pleasant walk indeed.
Ambiance At MonkeyCup Penang Hill
While lovely with large ferns, trees, and orchids all around:
Kopi Hutan doesn’t have a large seating area. Both the sheltered and open-air seating have about 5 tables maximum each.
Some of the tables are quite close together. The most desirable seating (i.e. open-air seating) at Kopi Hutan consists of low cement tables and stools that are underneath the shade of the surrounding greenery.
Since the seats don’t have back rests, you probably won’t be here for hours on end. On busy days, it can feel like the next customer is pressuring you to leave faster too.
If you go on a weekday (or right after a long stretch of public holidays) in the morning, chances are there will only be a few other customers.
Which means you can take your time getting photos at different table setups. Plus, you won’t have to wait in line for a table or wait long for your drinks and food.
We want to mention that the single toilet at Kopi Hutan is very special too. It is housed in a tree and because of how nice it looks in photos, you would not guess that it is an outdoor toilet.
There are no fans or air-conditioning at Kopi Hutan. They rely solely on the chill outdoor air of Penang Hill.
Service At Kopi Hutan
Most of the service crew at Kopi Hutan are elderly but they are friendly, polite and helpful.
We got the impression that they take really good care of their customers. Including making sure that we all got a ride back together.
Food At Kopi Hutan
You would think that at this hilly location, there will not be much variety in cakes and beverages. But Kopi Hutan proves that wrong with unusual cake flavors. Like basil lime or ondeh-ondeh.
Their rich and tasty basque burnt cheesecake was a favorite in our group.
PS: We personally don’t like the tiramisu, it’s too soft and not exceptional
Apparently, cakes run out by 3pm on busy days.
Apart from cakes, there is a decent selection of caffeinated and non-caffeinated beverages (hot chocolate is on the menu) too. It’s the kind of menu you would expect at a hipster café in George Town.
Although the drinks are not very strong tasting, we like that the hot chocolate was not too sweet. And you can adjust the sweetness and amount of milk of the coffee to your liking.
PS: The coffee is not bad
Don’t expect to have lunch or dinner here as there are no mains on the menu. But they do have some sandwiches though.
Pricing At Kopi Hutan
Pricing is similar to cafes in George Town. It’s cheaper to share a pot of tea or coffee among your group rather than to order drinks individually.
Hot chocolate costs RM8 per cup.
The cheesecakes are creamy and quite filling too so don’t over order.
Because Kopi Hutan is fairly accessible, and beautiful with a decent menu and pricing, expect it to be on everyone’s bucket list at Penang Hill. For some, Kopi Hutan is the highlight of their visit to Penang Hill.
That said, we don’t recommend going to Penang Hill at all on public holidays in general.
But if you can’t help it, try to go as early as you can to beat the crowds. Or choose the late afternoon before the sunset worshippers go up to Penang Hill.
While you’re at Penang Hill, you can visit The Habitat too.