Best places to eat in Kuala Lumpur

Prologue

I always wanted to write this piece, compiling all my favourite food places in Kuala Lumpur. But just never had the will to start it. Through the Movement Control Order (MCO), I have been cooking a lot at home, and 6 weeks into this partial lockdown, I am starting to crave for all my favourites eateries ! So, what better time to start and finish this, as I carefully plan all the yummers I will be hunting as soon as the MCO is lifted !


2020 marks my 8th year living in Kuala Lumpur ! Before moving to Kuala Lumpur (KL), I was working in a small oil town city, Miri. At that time, I was so sure that I was never going to like living in KL, and that if I ever get an assignment to KL, it will be just for four years, and that’s it.

Long story short, here I am, still in KL, refusing to move back to Miri or Kota Kinabalu (my hometown). KL is home to me now ! The one thing I dreaded most in KL, i.e. traffic, I learned to manage my everyday life around it. Same as other big cities, KL has so much more to offer when it comes to entertainment, activities, classical music concerts, and of course food !

I am aware that I am no food blogger, and as much as I want to, I don’t have the energy to hunt and catch up with the latest food establishments. But, I am open to try new things, recommended by friends, or other food bloggers.

Below are a list of my favourite food places to eat in Kuala Lumpur (Klang Valley to be exact, since my list includes outside KL).

I have categorised them by cuisine/ geographic region, sorted alphabetically.


Chinese – Dai Chow (wok frying)

Nothing compares to the wok taste you can only get from Dai Chow (literally translates big frying). This term describes wok frying on gas stove with blazing fire you can only get from commercial LPG tanks !

Every Malaysian Chinese has his/her own favourite Dai Chow place, and mine is Siu Siu Restaurant, at Seputeh.

This char siew (barbecue pork) is a must order, in fact you should call and pre order in advance to not be disappoointed. Some of my other favourites include, deep fried squid in salted egg yolk, and Vietnamese curry with prawns served with fried mantao (buns). Prices are reasonable, about RM 30 per person.

Chinese – Roast duck

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Roast duck, Chef Onn

Crispy skin, tender meat with jus dripping at every bite, you can only get this at Chef Onn Guangzhou Roast Duck, at Uptown.

Desserts – Cakes

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Salted caramel cake w pecans, Dough & Dolce

I love moist chocolate cake, with salted caramel ! And the best (to me) is from Dough & Dolce ! Proudly owned by a good friend/ ex colleague who courageously gave up her corporate job to pursue her dream, we have always enjoyed her cakes even from her office days.

By the way, she makes the best Grilled cheese too !

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Grilled cheese, Dough & Dolce

Desserts – Souffle

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Dark chocolate souffle, Entier

Best souffle in town, hands down, Entier, at Alila Bangsar. I can have the dark chocolate souffle as mains ! Portion is quite big, good for sharing between 2 person.

The business lunch menu is pretty decent too.

Desserts – Yam balls

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Yam balls, Snowflakes

If you have been following my Instagram, you know I had a serious Yam balls craving for the longest time. And my favourite is from Snowflakes ! My usual spot is Pavilion.

French – Bistro

As much as I can make my own decent Boeuf Bourguignon at home, sometimes I just don’t feel like waiting for 3 to 4 hours ! So instead, I head to Yeast, in Jalan Telawi Bangsar !

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Cheese puffs, Yeast

Besides the Boeuf, some of my favourites include, Gougeres au Gruyere (cheese puffs), and Oeuf Poches a la Truffe Noir (poached eggs with porcini powder and black truffle sauce). The breads from the boulangerie are really good too !

French – Fine dining

Until Malaysia has its first restaurant awarded a Michelin star, the best restaurant (to me) where you can get a near Michelin star dining experience, is the non other, DC Restaurant, headed by chef Darren Chin. 

If you are searching high and low for that special place for a special occasion, search nowhere else, and book DC ! I probably have to write a separate article on this one (with more photos) !

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These mini croissants are the bombs, DC

Set menu prices start from RM 348++ per person.

Indian

Brickfields is the place to be if you are looking for good Indian food ! My favourite Thosei is from Spices Village, near Brickfields. My favourite Banana leaf rice is from Vishal Food & Catering.

Banana leaf rice, Vishal Food & Catering (Source: thefoodbunny.com)

Italian – Pizza

The best pizza in town (to me) is Proof Pizza + Wine ! I prefer the first outlet in APW, Jalan Riong. Their second outlet in Arcoris Mont Kiara is rather small, and they will either seat you outside at the terrace or upstairs on the mezzanine.

The sourdough crust is what seals the deal for me ! And you must try the Umbrian Black Truffle Pizza !

Japanese – General (only if you cannot decide)

I have a serious affair with Japanese cuisine. For me, Japanese cuisine deserves so much more credit, and should not be generalised into thinking you can get everything under one roof ! So, when anyone tells me they want Japanese food, it is equivalent to saying you want Western food, and not telling me whether it is pizza, burger, pasta, steak etc.

However, if you ever have to choose Japanese in general, maybe because your party cannot decide whether they want sushi, ramen, udon or teppanyaki … my go to place is Rakuzen (which has multiple branches in Klang Valley).

Japanese – Grilled fish

When I am craving for Saba Shioyaki (grilled mackerel), I think of Uokatsu ! And of course, the Mentaiko rice ! My usual orders: Mentaiko rice, Saba Shioyaki, Miso soup, and cabbage salad. For real, this is my order EVERY SINGLE TIME !

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Uokatsu

Price: About RM 60 per person.

Japanese – Sushi

When it comes to sushi, there is no comparison to having it served to you piece by piece over the sushi counter. Yes, I am talking Omakase style. It is pricey, but in my opinion totally worth it, especially when it is a special occasion ! My favourite restaurant (for now) is Sushi Azabu, in Isetan Japan Store.

Tip: When having Omakase, I always ask for counter seats. And at Sushi Azabu, the sushi chef will even show us on his book, what fish he was serving, when he could not find the words to describe it in English. 

Omakase prices start from RM 120++ per person.

Japanese – Udon

Udon, Kodawari Menya (Source: vkeong.com)

When I am craving for a hearty healthy bowl of hot soup, I think of Udon. This is hand cut wheat flour noodles served in dashi (fish stock made with kombu (kelp), and bonito flakes). My favourite place is Kodawari Menya Udon, in 1 Mont Kiara.

Korean – Barbecue

I am not particularly a fan of Barbecue, mainly because I don’t like how I smell after leaving the premise. My dad is a big fan. And so whenever he is town, we will go to San Nae Deul, in Solaris Mont Kiara.

Malaysian – Nasi lemak

Nasi lemak, Village Park (Source: Yelp)

Nasi lemak is the must have Malaysian dish. If today is my last day in Malaysia, I will want to eat Nasi lemak. In its simplest form, it is fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk, served with sambal (chilli paste with anchovies), fried peanuts, cucumber and half a hard boiled egg.

Well, you cannot get any more Malaysian having Nasi lemak for breakfast. You can get it on the street, near office premises, where office goers buy them to go just before entering the office in the morning.

Of course, for everything, you can always level up. And as for me, Village Park does it so perfectly ! You can smell the fragrance of the rice even before entering the premise. I always order mine served with fried chicken !

I cannot describe it without giving it justice. You should just try it yourself !

Thai

I have two favourite places. The first is Kompassion which serves more premium ingredients, but can be a bit pricey. The second is a rather recent discovery, Yee Wen Thai Food. It is a family run business, slightly out of town, but they serve good homecook Thai food at really reasonable price !

Western – Mussels and fries

Whether you prefer the authentic Belgian or the French’s moules frites, in Malaysia, my restaurant to go for Mussels and fries is definitely Two Sons Bistro. I often frequent the branch in Publika, but there is another branch in Starling Mall.

My favourite is lemon garlic butter !

Western – Steak

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Dry aged fillet mignon, Beato

When it comes to steak, don’t bother going to fancy restaurants inside upscale hotel or on the highest floor of KLCC. Instead, head straight to Beato, in Publika ! They serve the best dry aged steak, accompanied with this really awesome homemade mustard grain sauce !

7 thoughts on “Best places to eat in Kuala Lumpur

  1. I know how you feel. One thing we’re really missing is being able to go out for a nice meal here in Australia as well. When I was a teenager, my Dad was working in KL for a year, so we got to go and visit him. I still remember some of the restaurants that he took us to, particularly for their uniqueness. I can’t remember the food so much. I remember going to one place where they’d turn the tablecloth over between each guest and it looked like they never washed them! Although it was such a bustling place that I knew it was loved by the locals.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I bet the food in Malaysia is very diverse thanks to the mixed cultures… I would definitely go for Malaysian and Chinese, then Japanese… And I would be curious to see how the European cuisines are faring as well. Thank you for the recommendations!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! These dishes all look so amazing. However, I do have quite the sweet tooth and would LOVE some of those yam balls right now. How cool and tasty looking!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s good that you included two places where one can eat Japanese food, because wherever we travel to, we ALWAYS have to eat some Japanese food at least once! That said, the restaurants that serve steaks and French food look quite good too! We would definitely dine in all these places when we visit Kuala Lumpur!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have family living in Kuala Lumpur so often go to visit and one of my favourite dishes is Nasi Lemak. I love how you buy it in a triangle leaf packet and have it as a snack or for breakfast. The Chinese roast duck looks amazing too. I will look out for some of your suggestions next time I go to KL.

    Liked by 1 person

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