Photo: Shiny towers.

Eat and meet

Bars & nightlife

Nightlife in KL

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.

Happy hours and other ways to get cheap(er) drinks in Kuala Lumpur

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.

Best rooftop bars 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.

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The Antipodean
20 Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar
T: (03) 2282 0411

With a red and black exterior and a patio occupied to the brim during lunch, Antipodean Cafe on Kuala Lumpur‘s trendy Jalan Telawi is one of Bangsar’s most successful lunch and coffeehouses (though they’re open for dinner too). Drawing inspiration from the taste and lifestyle of the Antipodes to the south, its extensive menu is locally sourced as much as possible and includes classics as... Read our full review of The Antipodean.

Bangsar: Lot 18, First Floor, Bangsar Village II, Jalan Telawi
T: (03) 2282 8301

If anywhere in KL can claim to have a burgeoning cafe culture it is Bangsar, particularly the area centred on Jalan Telawi and on the upper floor of Bangsar Village II is where you'll find Marmalade -- one of KL's most charming eateries. It serves up an imaginative selection of breakfasts, salads, sandwiches and pasta dishes. The kids menu helps cement its popularity amongst local yummy... Read our full review of Marmalade.

Peter Hoe Cafe
Peter Hoe Beyond, Second Floor, Lee Rubber Building, 145 Jalan Tun HS Lee, Chinatown
T: (03) 2026 9788

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.

An introduction to Chinese coffee shops in Kuala Lumpur

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.

Where to get a good cup of coffee 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.

Drinking and buying tea 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.

Sek Yuen
313 & 315 Jalan Pudu, Pudu
T: (03) 9222 9457

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.

29 Jalan Telawi 3
T: (03) 2284 2880

Its intimate, stylish Bangsar branch, serves a selection of decent thin-crust pizzas and Asian favourites, such as mee siam (Thai style fried noodles), and has a commendable wine list, but it's the desserts which set pulses racing. The pavlova and tiramisu are just two of the shockingly good options. Be warned though, such pleasure does not come cheap -- a dessert and a soft drink will set you... Read our full review of Alexis.

Plan B
Ground Floor, Bangsar Village 1, 1 Jalan Telawi, Bangsar
T: (03) 2287 2630

It's part of the BIG Group launched in 2011 by Benjamin Yong, a man with a seeming Midas touch when it comes to food. When it opened, Plan B focused on breakfasts, light pasta dishes, salads and sandwiches, but has now introduced an evening menu too. Prices are very reasonable, and wine bought from the nearby Ben's General Store does not attract a corkage charge. Bangsar Village is a twenty... Read our full review of Plan B.

Coliseum Cafe
98 Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Little India
T: (03) 2692 6270

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.

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Din Tai Fung
Lot 01.05, Level 6, Pavilion KL, 168, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang
T: (03) 2148 8292

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.

Wong Ah Wah
1-9 Jalan Alor, off Changkat Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang
T: (03) 2144 2463

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.

Li Yen
The Ritz-Carlton, 168 Jalan Imbi, Bukit Bintang
T: (03) 2782 9033

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.

Wan Fo Yuan
8 Jalan Panggong, off Jalan Sultan, Chinatown
T: (03) 2078 0952

This place has a door-stopper size picture menu, most with an English description of the dish. Portions are large, so if you want to sample a a selection of different offerings, best to go in a group. Solo diners are better off opting for good value single plate meals. Set at the far southern end of Chinatown on Jalan Panggong, the closest monorail station to Wan Fo Yuan is... Read our full review of Wan Fo Yuan.

Kedai Kopi Lai Foong
140 Jalan HS Tun Lee (junction with Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock), Chinatown

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.

Restoran Zhing Kong
92 Jalan Hang Kasturi, off Jalan Sultan, Chinatown

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 Restaurant
1 Jl Kamunting, Dang Wangi, Kuala Lumpur

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.

Century eggs

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.

Ming Tien Food Court
Lot 10991, Jalan SS24/8 Taman Megah, Selangor
T: (03) 7806 4991

Ming Tien in Taman Megah is one outdoor food court you shouldn’t miss trying out in Kuala Lumpur. Festooned with coloured lights, wooden huts and trees, Ming Tien is an affordable but popular location to taste local dishes once the sun... Read our full review of Ming Tien Food Court.

Dim sum in Kuala Lumpur

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.

Village Roast Duck
Lot F8, 1st floor Bangsar Village Shopping Centre 1 Jalan Telawi 1, Bangsar Baru
T: (03) 2287 4128

Familiar with Cantonese cuisine? It’s more than just dim sum, with roast duck being an institution all of its own. In London, the Four Seasons’ roast duck restaurant has become famous, particularly in Cantonese circles, for being the best outside of Hong Kong. Now two siblings who worked for eight years in the London Bayswater establishment along with other ex-London based relatives have... Read our full review of Village Roast Duck.

Peking duck in Kuala Lumpur

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.

Lot 13, level 1, Pavilion KL, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang
T: (03) 2143 7688

Dragon-i has two main specialities, Shanghainese la mian (pulled noodles), which you can see prepared in the open kitchen area, and xiao long bao (steamed dumplings). But the menu it is filled with tasty treats, none of which is likely to break the bank. The braised pork belly, and salt and pepper bean curd are both recommended. Dragon-i wins bonus points for having several clearly-marked... Read our full review of Dragon-i.

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Fine dining

Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie
Menara Taipan, Jalan Puncak, off Jalan P Ramlee, KLCC
T: (03) 2072 4452

French chef Nathalie Arbefeuille has taken the KL fine dining scene by storm over the last few years, with her mix of classic Franco-Italian cuisine and more innovative European/Asian fusion dishes. Of her two KL restaurants, the most convenient for visitors is Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie. Her cooking is deceptively simple, forgoing flashiness, to turn out satisfying dishes like foie gras... Read our full review of Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie.

The Gardens Residences, Sixth floor, The Gardens, Mid Valley, Lingkaran Syed Putra
T: (03) 2268 1328

The weekday three course set lunch costs just 100 ringgit, for some of KL's very best food. Dishes like chicken consomme with black truffle and foie gras terrine; and wagyu beef with roasted eringi (a type of Japanese mushroom), are incredible value for money. The a la carte choices are even more sumptuous. A very nice touch, is that all prices at Sage are quoted nett, so no sneaky plus plus... Read our full review of Sage.

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Food courts

No pic at the moment -- Sorry!

Food is a very important draw at these temples to consumerism, split into two distinct types, stand-alone restaurants, and food courts. Every shopping centre has at least one food court, some of the larger ones have several. They all run on much the same principle though, that you order food from individual outlets, and sit down wherever you can find a free table. This can be somewhat of a... Read our full review of Food courts in KL.

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Jarrod and Rawlins
AmpWalk Mall, Lot 08B, Ground floor, 218 Jalan Ampang, Ampang
T: (03) 2166 0708

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.

Albion KL
31 Jalan Berangan, off Jalan Nagasari, Bukit Bintang
T: (03) 2141 9282

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.

Twentyone Kitchen and Bar
20-1 Changkat Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang
T: (03) 2142 0021

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.

The Magnificent Fish and Chips Bar
28 Changkat Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang
T: (03) 2142 7021

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.

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Bombay Palace
215 Jalan Tun Razak, KLCC
T: (03) 2145 4241

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.

Nagasari Curry House
Jalan Nagasari, Bukit Bintang

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 sweet pepper curry), all done to the same high standards. It also has a stall serving Chinese vegetarian food at lunchtime, and another one,... Read our full review of Nagasari Curry House.

Devi's Corner
14 Jalan Telawi 4, Bangsar
T: (03) 2282 7591

If there is one local food experience which should be tried at least once by every visitor to KL, it is the banana leak curry. At its most basic, this meal consists of rice, south Indian curries, salads and chutneys, served on a banana leaf, all for 5-6 ringgit. What sets Devi's apart, is not just the quality of the basic selection, but also the range of curry sauces to slop over your rice... Read our full review of Devi's Corner.

Nasi Kandar Pelita
149 Jalan Ampang
T: (03) 2162 5532

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.

Where's Kuala Lumpur's best banana leaf curry?

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?.

South Indian food in Kuala Lumpur

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.

Kanna Curry House
29 Jalan 17/45, Petaling Jaya, Kuala Lumpur
T: (03) 7958 2829

A short hop from the Liza De Inn Hotel, you’ll find Kanna Curry House in Section 17, a residential part of Petaling Jaya. With a modest but clean interior and a simple outdoor section with plastic tables and chairs, it may look like any other south Indian joint in Kuala Lumpur. But appearances are not what’s driven this restaurant’s popularity; its banana leaf, on the other hand, has helped... Read our full review of Kanna Curry House.

No. 16, Lorong Maarof, Bangsar Park, Kuala Lumpur
T: (03) 2284 2532

South Indian restaurants are far more the norm in Kuala Lumpur, but flamboyant Sagar in Bangsar, a 15-minute cab ride from the city centre, offers a wide selection of northern Indian specialties, such as tandoori chicken, rogan gosh and chicken biryani. Vegetarians aren’t forgotten either, with a long list of dishes that’ll suit even the most hardcore vegan’s... Read our full review of Sagar.

Nasi Kandar

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.

Restoran SK Corner
46 Jalan Rembia, off Tengkat Tong Shin, Bukit Bintang

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.

Sri Nirwana Maju
43 Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar
T: (03) 2287 8445

The deep fried bitter gourd is worth the trip to this Bangsar outlet almost by itself. Popular extras, like the ikan goreng (fried fish coated in spices), and vegetarian chicken curry, are cheap and tasty too. As an added bonus, Sri Nirwana serves banana leaf all day and all night -- at most other places it is a lunch-time treat only. Bangsar Village is a twenty minute walk (or five minute... Read our full review of Sri Nirwana Maju.

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Great places to eat in Kuala Lumpur

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.

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Malay & Nyonya

3 Jalan Ceylon, off Changkat Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang
T: (03) 2031 3575

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.

Enak KL
LG2, Feast Floor, Starhill Gallery, 188 Jalan Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang
T: (03) 2141 8973

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.

Eating around the clock in KL

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.

Halal and Haram (Haraam) in Kuala Lumpur

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 rules. The event covers everything from food to financial services, which probably comes as a bit of a surprise to anyone who thinks the term only refers to the way an animal is slaughtered. So what does... Read our full review of Halal and Haram (Haraam) in Kuala Lumpur.

Old China Cafe
11 Jalan Balai Polis, off Jalan Petaling
T: (03) 2072 5915

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.

29 Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, KLCC
T: (03) 2161 3331

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
Doubletree by Hilton, The Intermark, 348 Jalan Tun Razak, Ampang
T: (03) 2172 7272

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.

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Ramadan food markets in Kuala Lumpur

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.

The best fresh 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.

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Middle Eastern

Ground Floor, Fahrenheit 88, 179 Jalan Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang
T: (03) 2141 3814

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.

Sahara Tent
41&43 Jalan Sultan Ismail, Bukit Bintang
T: (03) 2144 8310

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.

130 Jalan Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang
T: (03) 2143 3949

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.

138 Jalan Bukit Bintang
T: (03) 2142 8558

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.

Lot 33, Level 6, Pavilion KL, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang
T: (03) 2142 4000

Though strictly speaking not part of the Middle East, Turkish cuisine shares many of the same dishes. What makes Bosphorus special though, is the offerings which are more particular to Turkey, including imam bayaldi (baked stuffed aubergine), cacik (yoghurt and garlic dip), lahmacun (Turkish lamb pizza), and hunkar begendi (literally the Sultan's favourite, slow cooked lamb served on aubergine... Read our full review of Bosphorus.

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Other Asian cuisine

Rama V Fine Thai Cuisine
5, Jalan U-Thant, off Jalan Tun Razak, Ampang
T: (03) 2143 2663

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.

Sao Nam
25 Tengkat Tong Shin, Bukit Bintang
T: (03) 2144 1225

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.

Restoran Thai Somtam Seafood
8 Changkat Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang
T: (03) 2145 8458

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.

Samira by Asian Terrace
Lot 268, Sentul Park, Jalan Strachan, off Jalan Ipoh
T: (012) 921 3880

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.

Lot 09.00, Level 6, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang
T: (03) 2148 9608

The two conveniently placed KL outlets (one in Equatorial, the other in Pavilion), are both reliably good places to find authentic cuisine. It is the simple things which Kampachi does well, such as the california rolls (meat, fish or vegetables, wrapped in rice), soba (buckwheat noodle) soup, shioyaki (salt baked fish), and bento (assorted goodies served in a multi-compartment tray). You'll... Read our full review of Kampachi.

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka
Tokyo Street, Level 6, Pavilion KL, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang
T: (03) 2143-8878

Its speciality, as the name suggests, is ramen (wheat noodle soup), done in four ways: shio (pork broth), miso (soybean paste mixed with pork broth), shoya (soy sauce mixed with pork broth), and torusen toroniku (with simmered pork cheek). Other dishes include gyoza (fried Japanese dumpling) and deep fried chicken. You'll find Hokkaido Ramen Santouka on the sixth floor of Pavilion KL. The... Read our full review of Hokkaido Ramen Santouka.

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Seafood in Port Klang

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
No. 2 Jalan SS 24/13, Taman Megah Petaling Jaya
T: (03) 7804 5758

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.

Unique Seafood 23
Lot 9B-3, Jalan Kemajuan, Section 13, Petaling Jaya
T: (03) 7960 2088

Anyone up for some fresh seafood in Kuala Lumpur? If heading for the coast is too time-consuming and inconvenient, then this is the place for you in Kuala Lumpur: Unique Seafood is 15 minutes from the city centre by cab and you’ll find more than a hundred fish tanks filled with fresh seafood imported from all over the world, including some rather unique specimens. From abalone and geoduck, to... Read our full review of Unique Seafood 23.

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Blue Boy
Blue Boy Mansion, off Jalan Tong Shin, Bukit Bintang

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.

Temple of Fine Arts, 114-116 Jalan Berhala, Brickfields
T: (03) 2272 3799

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.

No pic at the moment -- Sorry!
Wisma Equity Building, 150 Jalan Ampang, (opposite KLCC), KLCC
T: (019) 313 8978

The cafe is owned by Artisan Roast, purveyor of some of the city's finest coffee. So you can rest assured that you can get a quality caffeine fix to go with your vegetarian and vegan food. As well as savoury snacks, are sweet pastries and ice cream. The only disappointing feature is the lack of decaf coffee. You'll find RAW Coffee on the ground floor of the Wisma Equity Building on the north... Read our full review of RAW Coffee Kuala Lumpur.

Bakti Woodlands
55 Lebuh Ampang, Chinatown
T: (03) 2034 2399

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.

How to eat vegetarian in Kuala Lumpur

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
52 Jalan Maarof, Bangsar
T: (03) 2287 1228

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.

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Suzi's Corner
Lorong Ulu Kuantan, by junction of Jalan Ampang and Jalan Lingkaran Tengah 2, Ampang
T: (03) 4256 6720

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.

The Daily Grind
Lot 8, Lower Ground Floor, Bangsar Village, Jalan Telawi 1, Bangsar
T: (03) 2287 6708

Promising to burger you senseless, Daily Grind has a wide range of burgers to choose from, including two vegetarian options, although the classic beef burger with cheese is hard to beat. Most are in the 30-40 ringgit bracket, so not exactly cheap, but for the taste and quality, it's really not bad value. Bangsar Village is a twenty minute walk (or five minute cab ride) from Bangsar LRT on the... Read our full review of The Daily Grind.

25 Changkat Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang
T: (03) 2144 3001

Named after a frangipani which unfortunately no longer stands out front, the restaurant pulls off the fusion trick, marrying European and Asian cuisines, to make an end result which is greater than the sum of parts. Dishes like the strudel of seared foie gras and apple rendang (unlike the Malaysian dry curry, this is a fried fruit reduction) may sound like a dog's dinner, but are actually very... Read our full review of Frangipani.

El Cerdo
43 & 45 Changkat Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang
T: (03) 2145 0511

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.

18 Changkat Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang
T: (03) 2145 8482

The food is tasty, well-priced and authentic. Top picks include the patatas bravas (potatoes with spicy tomato sauce), gambas al ajillo (garlic prawns), pan tumaca con jamon (Serrano ham on tomato smeared toast), and croquetas de pescados (fish croquettes). Like Bodega and El Meson, Pinchos has plenty of vegetarian options, not something you find in Spain itself, but welcome nonetheless. ... Read our full review of Pinchos.

El Meson
61–63 Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar
T: (03) 2282 8290

Quite apart from having a great range of authentic tapas, cold cuts, and main meals, El Meson is the unlikely home to one of KL's best fried breakfasts, with real bacon and pork sausages. Unlikely, because most Spaniards (like Italians) start the day with nothing more substantial than a coffee. The rest of the menu, however, could hardly be more evocative of Spain. Bangsar Village is a twenty... Read our full review of El Meson.

9 Lorong Yap Kwan Seng, off Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, KLCC
T: (03) 2166 6428

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.

La Bodega
Lot 06.00, Level 3, Pavilion KL, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang
T: (03) 2148 8018

While it is relatively easy to get good Spanish food in Kuala Lumpur, the most prominent local chain, La Bodega, lets itself down by being pork-free. Spanish food without the likes of jamon (ham) and chorizo (spicy pork sausage), is simply not the same. That said, La Bodega is still one of the best places in town for tapas. The most accessible branch is Bodega @Pavilion KL, which, while being... Read our full review of La Bodega.

Las Carretas
Lot B-0-7 Semantan Avenue 10 Jalan Semantan, Damansara Heights
T: (03) 2093 0380

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.

19 Jalan Damai, off Jalan Tun Razak, Ampang
T: (03) 2166 5212

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.

3A Jalan Ceylon, off Changkat Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang
T: (03) 2070 3120

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.

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Kuala Lumpur? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Malaysia.

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