KL is one of world's great unsung culinary destinations. You could stay for a year, eat out every night, and still not exhaust the city's supply of superb eateries. What truly impresses about KL's eateries is how high overall standards are, especially places that are popular with... Read our full review of Great places to eat in Kuala Lumpur.
Kuala Lumpur is not so much the city that never sleeps, as the city that never stops eating. To say that the city’s residents like their food is a serious understatement. They are obsessed with it. Day to day life is planned around meals, not the other way... Read our full review of Eating around the clock in KL.
Every year, Kuala Lumpur plays host to a global halal conference, an indication of how important the Malaysian government views the international market for products that comply with Islamic... Read our full review of Halal and Haram (Haraam) in Kuala Lumpur.
The cafe serves up light-ish food, such as quiches, pies and salads. The selection may be on the small side, but the portions are generous. Staff can be charming or snotty, depending one side of the bed they go out of. Somewhat difficult to find, it's tucked away in the corner of Peter Hoe Evolution, KL's funkiest shop, on the second floor of the Lee Rubber Building. The closest public... Read our full review of Peter Hoe Cafe.
When I first came to Kuala Lumpur, a workmate of mine offered to take me to their favourite Chinese eatery. I readily accepted the offer, but as we entered the place, I began to have second thoughts. Our “restaurant” was a collection of plastic tables and stools, located inside a car park. Once the food arrived though, my doubts evaporated. This was seriously good stuff — Chinese food with... Read our full review of An introduction to Chinese coffee shops in Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia is one of the few places I can think of that has a deeply ingrained culture of both tea and coffee drinking. For the most part, coffee (like tea come to think of it) is served up strong, milky and sweet; an anti-skinny decaff latte if you like. The quality is higher at traditional Malaysian cafes known as kopitiams, which were once common in Kuala Lumpur, but are now an endangered... Read our full review of Where to get a good cup of coffee in Kuala Lumpur.
Tea drinking has been part of Malaysian life for hundreds of years, although exactly when the habit started is unclear. The most likely explanation is that it was brought to the country by traders from China. The word for tea in Malay is teh, derived from Hokkien, the dialect spoken in the Chinese province of Fujian, and by many Malaysian Chinese. Confusingly enough, in Kuala Lumpur, the most... Read our full review of Drinking and buying tea in Kuala Lumpur.
Forget the decor, this eatery is all about the food, which has kept it popular for half a century. While the language and lack of menu are a bit of a headache, it is well worth making the extra effort to enjoy their stand-out dishes including the crispy sweet and sour fish and belly pork. If in doubt, ask for help from your fellow diners. For character, opt for the older bulding, for air-con,... Read our full review of Sek Yuen.
Coliseum has been serving food and drink for more than 90 years and while the mostly Western-style food may not hit any great heights, and the service is nothing to shout about, the place is soaked in history, and well worth at least one visit. Coliseum is on Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman about half way (as the crow flies) between Masjid Jemak and Bandaraya LRTs. If you're walking from Masjid... Read our full review of Coliseum Cafe.
The steamed meat dumplings are delicious, as are many of the more unusual dishes, such as the noodles mixed with sesame and peanut, and pumpkin with salted duck eggs. Din Tai Fung has several clearly-marked vegetarian dishes, and is happy to adapt dishes where posssible. It's best to go with at least one other person, so you can smaple a good range of the flavours and textures on offer.... Read our full review of Din Tai Fung.
Worth the visit for its chicken wings alone, it is does superb seafood dishes, like chilli prawns and black pepper crab. The English menu and a willingness to adapt dishes to your taste or dietery needs are other bonuses. Wong Ah Wah's popularity means it has no need to lure in customers with menu-waving waiters, unlike many of its rivals along Jalan Alor. It's open from late afternoon until the... Read our full review of Wong Ah Wah.
One of the finest options is Li Yen in the Ritz Carlton. It is renowned for its service, its sumptuous decor and cassic Cantonese cuisine, including top notch dim sum. Stand-out dishes include the golden prawns (deep fried with shredded yam) and deep fried fish with salt and pepper. While the food is not outrageously priced for the quality on offer, alcohol prices are another matter entirely.... Read our full review of Li Yen.
Kedai Kopi Lai Foong, near to Sze Wa Taoist temple, is well worth popping into if you are in the neighbourhood. The restaurant feels a little like a mini food market as there are a bunch of stalls around the perimeter, each preparing a specific dish. Prices are clearly displayed and you pay as soon as the food arrives. Kedai Kopi Lai Foong is especially well known for its beef noodle soup and... Read our full review of Kedai Kopi Lai Foong.
One of the few proper Chinese coffee shops left in central KL, the decor does not seem to have changed for decades. Or some of the customers for that matter. During the day, you order food from the various stalls, while someone will come to your table to take drinks orders. Favourites here include char siew (Cantonese barbecued pork), and curry mee (noodle) soup. Zhing Hong has a good... Read our full review of Restoran Zhing Kong.
Yut Kee is a Kuala Lumpur culinary institution, although sadly not one many visitors will have heard of. It’s been serving up tasty food and drink for 83 years, making it one of the city’s very oldest eateries. In that time, this traditional Chinese coffee shop has survived a world war, several recessions, umpteen floods, the communal violence of 1969, and until now, the relentless march of... Read our full review of Yut Kee Restaurant.
Known as century eggs, hundred-year eggs, millennium eggs or pidan, this Chinese delicacy is not as old as its name suggests but might take that long to work up the courage to eat. If you can get over the pungent smell and its odd colour, its a popular dish in Malaysia that you might find yourself... Read our full review of Century eggs.
Dim sum is a Cantonese custom that you can enjoy at various locations throughout Kuala Lumpur. Dim Sum, literally translated as “to touch your heart,” originated in the teahouses of China but this charming way of dining has made inroads into most parts of Asia and has become part of the culture in Malaysia and beyond. Although it was originally considered inappropriate to enjoy a cup of tea... Read our full review of Dim sum in Kuala Lumpur.
Familiar with Cantonese cuisine? It’s more than just dim sum, with roast duck being an institution all of its own.... Read our full review of Village Roast Duck.
With a large Chinese population in Malaysia, it comes as no surprise that many prized dishes from China have become commonplace. Some of them are just too good to miss, like Beijing’s famous duck dish, Peking... Read our full review of Peking duck in Kuala Lumpur.
The Indian dining experience does not get much more sumptuous (or over the top) than at Bombay Palace, set in colonial bungalow on the edge of KLCC. It's on the pricey side, especially if you order wine, but the food is reliably good. Stand-out dishes include the butter chicken (creamy chicken curry) and the palak paneer. Bombay Palace is at 215 Jalan Tun Razak, just to the north of the Royal... Read our full review of Bombay Palace.
Many of KL's Indian eateries are also alcohol free, but not so the tasty Nagasari Curry House, so if you like a beer with your curry, head here. Nagasari is a bit unusual in other ways too. Although it looks like a Mamak shop, and opens nearly as long hours, its menu is a mix of south and north Indian dishes, including banana leaf (12:00-15:00), tandoori chicken and aloo capsicum (potatoes and... Read our full review of Nagasari Curry House.
Named after nasi kandar, originally a Penang favourite of steamed rice served with a selection of dishes, but now mostly associated with Malaysian Indian Muslims (Mamaks). Other popular offerings include a wide selection of South Indian breads, ketam masala (stewed crab with curry sauce), burung puyuh (fried quail) and ayam kampung goreng (crispy fried chicken). If you're finding mall eating... Read our full review of Nasi Kandar Pelita.
Banana leaf curry is an Indian thali, done with a distinctive Malaysian twist, and it’s something visitors really should try at some stage during a trip to Kuala Lumpur. I decided to check out a few places in order to find the best spot to indulge in the delicious... Read our full review of Where's Kuala Lumpur's best banana leaf curry?.
One of the undoubted culinary highlights of Kuala Lumpur is south Indian food, done with a distinctive Malaysian twist. The eateries can be divided into two main categories: those run by Hindus, and those run by Indians who have converted to Islam, known as Mamaks. Although many dishes turn up at both types of establishment, distinctive differences do exist between... Read our full review of South Indian food in Kuala Lumpur.
A short hop from the Liza De Inn Hotel, you’ll find Kanna Curry House in Section 17, a residential part of Petaling... Read our full review of Kanna Curry House.
A plate of rice topped with four different curries for breakfast? Sounds like a handful (or rather plateful) but that’s exactly what nasi kandar is about; a combination of tantalising, distinct flavours. Once you get used to the idea of consuming so many carbs and so much spice so early in the day, I guarantee you’ll be fighting for a plate of this truly Malaysian dish on... Read our full review of Nasi Kandar.
Now in it's third and largest incarnation in the area over the last five years, it finally looks to have found a long-term home. Part of a small local chain, SK Corner offers all the classics, including roti canai (fluffy flat bread with curry saunce), tosai (thin savoury pancake, usually served with curry sauces and chutneys), Mamak mee (spicy fried noodles), ayam goreng (fried chicken),... Read our full review of Restoran SK Corner.
It serves up most of the Malay classics, including otak otak (steamed seafood mousse wrapped in a green leaf), rendang (slow cooked dry meat curry), and ayam percik (chargrilled marinated chicken). Bijan may not be cheap (the least expensive main course is 30 ringgit), but it does represent reasonable value for money. Unusually for Malay cuisine it can be washed down with a glass of beer or... Read our full review of Bijan.
The menu includes a good selection of Malay classics, with some Indonesian ones thrown in for good measure. Recommended dishes include the sup ekor (oxtail soup), sambal tumis udang (prawns in a sour spicy sauce), and the kambing masak merah (slow-cooked marinated lamb shank). A nice touch is the mini-tasting menus, which give diners the chance to sample a selection of dishes, such as prawns... Read our full review of Enak KL.
The two main centres of Nyonya cooking are Penang, where Thai influences also feature, and Melaka, where Portuguese and Indonesian cuisines form part of the mix. The Old China Cafe explores these disparate influences to the full, serving up dishes such as gulai kepala ikan (fish head curry) and ayam cincalok (chicken with preserved shrimp). It's worth a visit for the historic shophouse alone... Read our full review of Old China Cafe.
A good way to start your meal is with the selection of appetisers, which includes popiah goreng (fried spring rolls) and cucur udang (deep fried battered prawns). Other recommended dishes include the ikan siakap masam manis (deep fried sweet and sour sea bass) and ayam panggang kuah percik (chargrilled marinated chicken). Songket has the bonus (or curse) of live traditional entertainment... Read our full review of Songket.
Makan Kitchen not only tries to show off this regional variety, it also showcases some of Malaysia's non-Malay cuisines, including Indian, Chinese, Nyonya (Malay-Chinese), Ibanese (from the Iban people of Sarawak), and Kristang (Portuguese-Malakan). It's possible to order a la carte, or as a sort of buffet (59-79 ringgit, where you choose a selection of dishes, and it's cooked freshly for you).... Read our full review of Makan Kitchen.
The large range of hot and cold meze, and excellent Lebanese bread sandwiches, mostly priced in the 10-15 ringgit mark, all make for high quality, decent value snacks. The same could not be said of its alcohol prices though, which are cheeky to say the least. Al-Amar's big brother, in Pavilion, is a much more formal, and thus pricier affair, turning out what many people believe to be the best... Read our full review of Al-Amar.
The food, which is described as Arabian, is not only reliably good, but also the best value Middle Eastern cuisine in town. As well as a good range of meze, and grilled meat and fish dishes, Sahara Tent has some more esoteric offerings, like Arayess (lamb stuffed bread), and fried breaded fish fillet on a bed of hummus. Sahara Tent is a five minute walk from Bukit Bintang monorail... Read our full review of Sahara Tent.
One such place is Naab, which specialises in Iranian fare. While most of the dishes would not look out of place on a Lebanese menu, such as the various kebabs, dolma (vine leaves stuffed with herby rice) and hummus, Naab has a sprinkling of more unusual offerings. These include lamb shank with broad bean rice and ghorme sabzi, a traditional Iranian beef stew. Naab is good value for money,... Read our full review of Naab.
Tarbush is part of a small local chain but don't let that put you off. The sharing plates of meze (mostly vegetarian appetisers), served with warm flat bread, make for tasty meals in themselves. These include some of the best hummus (chickpea and sesame paste dip) in town, as well as baba ghanoush (smoky aubergine dip), falafel (deep fried chickpea patties) and fattoush (mixed salad topped by... Read our full review of Tarbush.
Apart from the well-executed standards, there are also a number of more unusual dishes, such chor ladda (chicken and peanut dumplings) and Yam Hua Plee (banana flower and minced chicken salad), many from the Isaan region of Thailand. Rama V wins further points for having an interesting vegetarian menu. Rama V is on the south side of Jalan U-Thant, which runs off to the east of Jalan Tun... Read our full review of Rama V Fine Thai Cuisine.
Goi dud u bo kho (young papaya dried beef salad), banh xeo (crispy chicken and prawn pancake), pho bo (beef noodle soup), and vit sot me (duck in tamarind sauce), are all superb. The menu also lists several excellent vegetarian choices, the stand-out being the rich spicy bean curd curry. Funky decor and fair pricing, add to Sao Nam's attractions. Service swings between friendly and... Read our full review of Sao Nam.
Forget the stained/torn table cloths, and the wobbly tables, and concentrate on the food. The green curries are wonderfully spicy and flavoursome, while the som tam (spicy papaya salad), and pad Thai (sour sweet fried flat noodles), are great too. Considering its convenient location, at the Jalan Alor end of Changkat Bukit Bintang, and the reasonable prices, this place is a true rough... Read our full review of Restoran Thai Somtam Seafood.
What sets Samira apart from many of its rivals, is that the food has not been altered too much for local tastes. This is proper Thai (and Laotian) fare, with favourites like tom kha (spicy cocount milk soup), and pad thai (sour sweet rice noodles), done reliably well. Samira has several vegetarian options and is happy to adapt dishes where possible. It's hidden away in Sentul Park, on the... Read our full review of Samira by Asian Terrace.
As I may have mentioned before, Malaysians like their food. It’s one of the few things which cuts across all the main ethnic groups in the country. One big difference between the races though, is that while fantastic Chinese and Indian food is easily accessible to tourists, good Malay cooking is far more difficult to... Read our full review of Ramadan food markets in Kuala Lumpur.
Close to where Kuala Lumpur began in 1857 is a traffic-clogged square called Pasar Medan — literally, “market field” in Malay. It was here that the city’s pioneering tin miners bought their fresh supplies, and around which the early settlement too shape. In the late 19th century, the market was moved to a new site a few hundred metres away, where Central Market now... Read our full review of The best fresh food markets in Kuala Lumpur.
Whether you’re seeking a quick culinary expedition or just looking for a new place to visit for a day from Kuala Lumpur, Port Klang is easily accessible and allows you to combine filling your stomach with the discovery of a new location. Relatively unknown by foreigners, Port Klang’s crab and steamboat dishes are highly sought after by tourists visiting from Singapore and other parts of... Read our full review of Seafood in Port Klang.
Fatty Crab is a name on Kuala Lumpur‘s seafood circuit that any self-respecting seafood lover ought to know. It’s impossible to miss with the crowds waiting outside to dine here; even with two floors of seating, you may need to wait more than an hour on weekends for a table. The best strategy is to either go early (before 20:00), late (after 21:30), or dine here on weekdays when the throngs... Read our full review of Fatty Crab.
Anyone up for some fresh seafood in Kuala Lumpur? If heading for the coast is too time-consuming and inconvenient, then Unique Seafood is the place for you in Kuala... Read our full review of Unique Seafood 23.
As well as the lunch-time mixed rice section, it's a great spot to try Chinese and Nyonya dishes which are usually off-limits. The curry mee (thick curry noodle soup), asam laksa (sour spicy soup) and the char kuay teow (spicy fried flat noodles) are particularly good. As with every other vegetarian eatery in town, no alcohol is served. Blue Boy is just off Jalan Tong Shin a 20-30 minute walk... Read our full review of Blue Boy.
Apart from breads, which are ordered from the waiting staff, the rest of the food is served as a buffet. As many of the dishes, which change every day, are cooked to old family recipes, Annalakshmi is a genuine culinary voyage of discovery. Whatever you choose to pay (15-20 ringgit a head is reasonable), the money goes to a good cause, helping to fund the Temple of Fine Arts. Annalakshmi is... Read our full review of Annalakshmi.
This popular eatery does a range of good value thalis thalis (a selection of dishes normally served on a round stainless steel plate), from various regions of India. A la carte choices include south Indian treats like masala tosai (savoury pancake with spicy potato filling), as well as north Indian favourites like sag paneer (cottage cheese cubes with spinach). While the decor won't win any... Read our full review of Bakti Woodlands.
Horror, pity and grudging admiration: the three main ways Malaysians react when they find out someone is a vegetarian. This would suggest that keeping clear of meat and fish is a tough ask, even in cosmopolitan KL. Which is odd, because there are few places in the world where vegetarians can eat as well.... Read our full review of How to eat vegetarian in Kuala Lumpur.
Saravana Bhavan, which has convenient outlets in Bangsar, Brickfields and Little India, turns out some of the city's best Indian food, all of it vegetarian. Top picks include the superb masala tosai (savoury pancake stuffed with a spicy potato and onion mix), aloo gobi masala (potato and cauliflower curry) and paneer butter masala (cubes of Indian cottage cheese in a rich tomato sauce).... Read our full review of Saravana Bhavan.
Set on the edge of the embassy district, this place is a triumph of substance over style. Forget the plastic furniture, neon lighting, and traffic noise, steaks of this quality, for under 30 ringgit, are worth travelling miles for. The mixed clientele includes plenty of diplomats, who generally know a thing or two when it comes to food. Cold beer is available by the can. Suzi's Corner can be... Read our full review of Suzi's Corner.
Although named after the Spanish for pig, this place is run by an Austrian, and turns out dishes from all over Europe. Thuringer tostbratwurst (sausage with pickled cabbage and mashed potato), may sit uneasily with pan-fired goats cheese wrapped in Serrano ham, but El Cerdo's legion of loyal customers attest to the quality of the food. Despite the rustic nature of the menu, this is not a cheap... Read our full review of El Cerdo.
A favourite amongst expats and well-heeled locals alike, this is a great place for a treat Italian meal while visiting KL. Although by no means cheap, Sassorosso is not outrageously priced, so long as you stick to pizzas and pasta, and avoid the temptations of the extensive wine list. It also does a great value lunchtime deal, with an antipasti buffet, and pizza or pasta, for little more than 50... Read our full review of Sassorosso.
With a diverse multiracial society and an evolving food culture, there’s no doubt that diners are spoilt for choice in Malaysia. But you aren’t limited to Asian cuisine if you’re seeking something a little more exotic to this part of the world; if you prefer the zing of jalapenos, jump on the wagon at Las Carretas for affordable Mexican cuisine and refreshing... Read our full review of Las Carretas.
Dishes like lamb shank with soft polenta (cornmeal), roast sea bass with grilled vegetables, and pumpkin ravioli with duck breast, are great examples of less being more. The pizza is good too, although it's best to go for the more classic options, such as funghi (mushroom) or quattro formagi (four cheeses). The wine and food pricing is amongst the fairest in KL, for a restaurant of this quality.... Read our full review of Tatto.
It is an undeniably pleasant setting -- one of KL's very best spots for a romantic date. And the food is generally decent too, especially the pizzas. But the use of pork substitutes, like beef bacon and turkey ham, is somewhat less classy than the decor. Where possible stick to simpler combinations, with real Italian ingredients, such as the gnocchi (potato dumplings) with gorgonzola and rocket;... Read our full review of Nerovivo.
If you are looking for a proper non-halal fried breakfast, with real bacon and pork sausages, then these outlets take a lot of beating. Other highlights include the bangers and mash (sausage and mashed potatoes), burgers and steaks. The sausages are made in house, and are so highly regarded as to be sold in most of the city's best supermarkets. Although very popular with locals, Jarrod's attracts... Read our full review of Jarrod and Rawlins.
Named after the ancient name for Britain, the menu would not be out of place in London, where the two owners (one British, one Malaysian) learnt their trade. Albion KL serves up a mixture of British classics with a twist, such as beer battered fish and chips, as well as more global offerings, like gravadlax (Swedish-style cured salmon). The express lunch deal, offering three courses for... Read our full review of Albion KL.
Wild mushroom risotto (slow cooked Italian rice), with oyster mushroom tempura, is just one of the imaginative offerings. But the menu has simpler non-fusion fare too, such as the steak sandwich. As an added bonus, vegetarians are well catered for. Although not cheap, a starter, main course and dessert should still leave change from 100 ringgit. The ground floor has the feel of an upmarket... Read our full review of Twentyone Kitchen and Bar.
It has nine different choices of battered fish, including classics like cod, and more unusual options such as parrot fish. The barramundi is a good option. Away from fish & chips, the hearty pies are also recommended, particularly the steak and Guinness. For a true taste of home, assuming you come from the north of England that is, the chips with curry sauce are a must. Prices are moderate to... Read our full review of The Magnificent Fish and Chips Bar.
Kuala Lumpur has a vibrant nightlife, which may be surprising to some as the city is the capital of a Muslim-majority country. But KL offers something to suit all tastes once the sun dips, from low-key neighbourhood pubs through to cutting-edge clubs. Whatever kind of place rocks your boat, a near-universal feature is how relaxed and friendly everything is. It's refreshingly easy in KL for... Read our full review of Nightlife in KL.
One of the biggest complaints about Kuala Lumpur, from both visitors and residents alike, is the shocking price of alcohol. It is often more expensive to get a drink in KL than in notoriously expensive cities like London and New York (and er, islands like Bali). Hefty government taxes are partly to blame, but many bars and restaurants contribute to the problem by having extremely high mark-ups.... Read our full review of Happy hours and other ways to get cheap(er) drinks in Kuala Lumpur.
As Kuala Lumpur grows ever upwards, one of the benefits is an increasing number of rooftop bars where you can get spectacular views of the city. For the most part these are based in high end hotels, making for a mixed clientele of well-heeled locals, expats and visitors. The dress code tends towards “smart casual”, so no sandals, shorts or vests for... Read our full review of Best rooftop bars in Kuala Lumpur.