Malaysia is a melting pot of culture, so there are plenty of breakfast options available, from Chinese to Indian and Malay. Kickstart your day at these 10 breakfast spots worth waking up for in Kuala Lumpur.
This modern day kopitiam is steadily becoming a hangout spot for locals. The menu features traditional Malaysian comfort food such as the popular nasi lemak ayam, mee goreng, Hainanese chicken rice, chee cheong fun, mee rebus, kuey teow goreng and Nyonya laksa. If you are still feeling peckish after your meal, they serve the classic combo of roti bakar and soft-boiled eggs as well. The interior is designed to evoke a sense of nostalgia among patrons with its 1960s furniture and decor. It gets crowded especially on a weekend, so getting there early is recommended.
Walk into the gritty streets of Pudu and you will find Restoran 168, which has been around for more than five decades. As the restaurant’s name indicates, there are two main dishes here, wantan mee and curry mee. The wantan mee is served in its classic style, topped with greens and char siew, and comes with a bowl of clear soup. The laksa seems to be the star of the restaurant. It comes with several toppings including fried tofu, fried bean curd skin and freshly shucked cockles. This rustic, street-side restaurant is popular, especially on weekends, so arrive early as the curry laksa usually sells out before noon.
If you are up for trying a variety of dishes, head over to Sun Huat Kee in Bangsar. One of the must-tries includes the sam kan zhong-style pork noodles. Served with flat rectangular-shaped pork balls instead of the usual round ones, this stall draws in a big lunch crowd here. Other choices available include Teochew fish noodle, prawn mee, wantan mee, as well as the classic kaya-and-butter toast.
Nasi lemak, the well-known food icon of Malaysia, comes in many forms and sizes. You can find them at roadside stalls or specialty stores like Nasi Lemak Wanjo. Having been around for 55 years, they started out as a modest stall and now operates from a shopfront. You can find a plate of classic nasi lemak here – fragrant santan rice, ikan bilis, egg, cucumber and sambal. Other side dishes are on display at the counter and you can add them onto your order as they put together your plate of nasi lemak. Locals’ favourites include sambal sotong and fried chicken. For those who like their sambal sweet, Wango’s sambal hits the right spot for spiciness and sweetness.
Just a few minutes walk away from Petaling street, you will find a small stretch of street filled with street food hawkers. Madras Lane Yong Tau Foo, having been around for more than 50 years, is always one of the busiest. The yong tau foo, vegetables (tofu, brinjal, okra, bittergourd) stuffed with fish paste, is freshly prepared on site.
Porridge, how complex can this dish be? Hon Kee has been serving their tasty and filling gruel since 1949. The porridge, praised for its smooth consistency, is lightly seasoned in order to balance out the pairings available – raw fish, crispy innards, pork balls, dried oysters with pork ribs, pork offal and even juicy frog legs. You can also find the traditional century egg with pork, and salted egg with pork porridge. Popular among locals, it’d be best to go early to avoid the crowd.
Get your hands ready to dig into a hearty banana leaf meal. As you sit down, a fresh banana leaf is placed in front of you, followed by four ladles full of vegetables. Curries and papadoms follow closely behind. Highlights here include the popular tofu sambal – spicy and flavourful; and if you have never tried delicious mutton bone marrow curry, this is the place to do so.
Yut Kee Restaurant is one of the oldest kopitiam in Kuala Lumpur. They have been serving traditional Hainanese cuisine since 1928 and have proved to be one of the most popular breakfast places. They have an extensive list of offerings – hailam mee, hokkien mee, fried mee sua, loh mee, beef noodle, salted fish fried rice, beef stew rice, and also roti bakar. The Hainanese chicken chop here – fried till crispy and served with a bountiful of sauce – is quite popular. If you’re here on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, try the roast pork – crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside served with a dollop of apple sauce.
You have never truly experienced Malaysia until you have eaten at a mamak. Having operated in Penang, Syed Bistro ventured into Kuala Lumpur in 1968 and have since opened more branches in the Klang Valley. Start with the customary naan and bread offered in many styles, or go straight for the spot-hitting Bukhara biryani. The kampung fried rice and mee goreng mamak are also local favourites.
There are plenty of amazing Indian restaurants in Brickfields serving banana leaf rice, vegetarian Indian food, naans and breads, and a dizzying variety of curries. A cosy corner shop tucked in the residential area, Aunty’s Home Foods offers a variety of home-style South Indian food. Their masala chai is a must-try. Kept warm on a pot by the counter, this aromatic ginger-rich chai has kept customers coming back for more for years.