Want to experience the world-famous Malaysian food but feel overwhelmed by choice? Don’t worry, most tourists are. For the reader’s convenience, here are 10 amazing restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, from traditional Nasi Kandar self-service and vegetarian Indian food options, to the city’s most exclusive dining spots.
Within just two minutes of the city’s main transport hub, Kuala Lumpur Sentral, Restoran One Sentral serves a variety of noodle and pork-based dishes. Choose the dish and order from the hawker stall at the front of the restaurant before taking a seat. Options include wanton noodles, barbeque chicken and the highly recommended spicy pork noodle soup, all for less than RM 10 ($2.60). A variety of both savoury and sweet pastries are sold here too. Pay when the food arrives.
Another amazing restaurant in Kuala Lumpur, Restoran Happy in Brickfields provides a variety of budget-friendly Chinese dishes. Featuring a self-service style similar to Nasi Kandar, customers select the food they want and pay for what they take. Favourites include chicken and fish-based sides as well as wanton, dried noodles and a variety of fried vegetables. Beer is available too at this non-Halal restaurant in the heart of the capital.
With colourful coffee shop-style tables and a selection of traditional Malaysian, Chinese and Indian dishes, Sungei Wang Plaza Food Court is a haven for budget-conscious diners. The food court on the shopping mall’s fourth floor offers everything, from noodle soup, to spicy curries and a selection of drinks. An average customer rarely spends more than RM 10 ($2.60) on a meal, making the somewhat difficult to find restaurant in Bukit Bintang worth the effort.
The Castle Restaurant in Bukit Bintang is one of the most amazing restaurants in Kuala Lumpur for Middle Eastern food. With both an outdoor terrace and indoor seating area, including the all-important air-conditioning, customers can savour the explosion of exotic flavours in comfort. The menu has a variety of favourites, including generous portions of chicken mandi, shawarma and biriyani-based dishes. While the price might be on the more expensive side, the cost is justified by the high-quality food.
Located in The Hilton, Iketeru is among the best Japanese restaurants in Kuala Lumpur. Expect authentic decorations, a stone path leading to the garden and pond and several tatami rooms to choose from. The in-house chef cooks world-class sushi and sashimi. Set lunch menus are available on weekdays as well as premium sets for those looking to splurge.
Eating at a traditional Indian banana leaf-style restaurant is always a tourist favourite. Bala’s Banana Leaf provides generous portions at rock-bottom prices. The South Indian food in this Halal restaurant uses fresh ingredients without artificial flavouring and preservatives. Expect hearty rice portions and sides to be delivered on a large banana leaf for as little as RM 8 ($2.10).
Rated as one of the most amazing restaurants in Kuala Lumpur for Indian vegetarian food, the Ganga Café in Bangsar consistently satisfies. Ganga attracts an army of regular locals and a smattering of adventurous tourists for its array of vegetarian dishes, banana-leaf rice and Sunday buffets. Expect a variety of tastes from the rich-Indian spices in this must-try vegetarian restaurant in Kuala Lumpur.
Restaurant, Bar, Hotel Restaurant, Cocktail Bar, Pub, Malaysian, $$$
No list of amazing restaurants in Kuala Lumpur would be complete without Marini’s on 57. The capital’s highest rooftop bar and restaurant on the Petronas Towers 3’s 57th floor provides award-winning Italian food, a variety of cocktails and incredible views of Kuala Lumpur’s skyline. Diners can choose to sit inside the air-conditioned space or dine on the outdoor terrace, both of which make an ideal location for a romantic dinner or to celebrate a special occasion. The comfort and exclusivity come at a price that most diners are obliging to pay. Smart dress codes apply.
Bunga Emas on the first floor of the Royale Chulan Hotel provides a high-end traditional Malay dining experience. With an elegant and modern interior design, customers can choose from a variety of chicken and fish favourites served with rice. The sticky black rice pudding, or bubur pulut hitam, on the dessert menu is highly recommend. Anyone looking to enjoy authentic Malay food in a comfortable and air-conditioned setting will appreciate Bunga Emas.
For a different dining experience, head to Restoran Tar Boosh in Brickfields near Kuala Lumpur Sentral. The restaurant specialises in Lebanese cuisine and offers Middle Eastern favourites, such as chicken mandi, lamb mandi and biriyani lamb. Set-lunch meals are available as well as a buffet-style breakfast between 7:00 and 10:00am. A variety of grills, seafood and traditional desserts, including baklawa are available too. Expect excellent service and high-quality food at this amazing and often overlooked restaurant in Kuala Lumpur.