In the land of food for every taste bud and palate imaginable, people with dietary preferences and/or conditions might find eating a well rounded meal a bit tricky as Malaysians generally love every flavor possible in a single dish. The growing need for healthy eating has changed that however, and not necessarily for the worse. Eating more greens has always been a great experience, and Culture Trip is here to help you with the best places for vegetarian delights here in the capital city.
The Ganga Cafe
Cafe, Restaurant, [object Object], $$$
If you’re craving a vegetarian meal, Indian cuisine provides quite a few unforgettable options. Serving up flavors specifically of the Gujarati kind, Ganga is the well kept secret of locals looking to avoid the crowd of healthy eating hypes. An all-you-can-eat vegetarian buffet every Sunday, and banana-leaf rice and a la carte meals for the rest of the week, enjoy the rich delicacies of Indian veg dishes and explore how different the spices taste when they’re not mixed up with meats.
This outlet happens to be a shopping-mall franchise, so there is no need to go out of your way to find good vegetarian food and alternatives to meat. Their menu consists of a variety of pan-Asian foods, so expect some Thai spice and Chinese fusions.
This sister location of Living Foods maintains the dedication to serving up quality meals to every dietary preference and needs—specializing in vegan and vegetarian dishes—but not leaving out the more carnivorous palettes on the journey to healthy eating. Gluten-free options are also available for those who need it, or are on a cleanse. With home-made bread and sauces complementing their organic, locally-sourced ‘real’ veg, fruit and meats; Ashley’s strays from the typical servings of stir-fried vegetarian meals and provides an artisan touch to each dish.
No other restaurant is going to top the experience of eating in a temple’s canteen; and this Buddhist monastery provides the most healthy servings, not just for your digestive system but for your mind and soul as well. The open-air food court serves up 100% authentic Chinese vegetarian dishes at an extremely affordable price, to support itself and the monastery that houses it. They barely uses any modern flavorings, meaning the only prominent addition to the dishes is brown sugar. Be sure to clean up after yourself and behave in an orderly manner, as a mark of respect for the premises.
Drop by this mamak and enjoy the best of both northern and southern Indian vegetarian cuisine. Things may seem a bit hectic with the waiters running around with their canisters of curries during lunch time, but that’s just part of the whole banana-leaf, rice experience. Be sure to try out their Madras Thali—a full platter of yogurts, chutneys and curries with rice and flat breads—which can be tweaked to suit your dietary preferences.
Unlike most other vegetarian Indian restaurants, WTF offers strictly vegan options for those who do not wish to consume anything with milk, ghee or butter in it—the three most used animal products in Indian cuisine. This little neat detail, alongside their interesting spins on classic north-Indian flavors, is sure to keep even non-habitual veggie eaters excited about the fusion delicacies on the menu.
Restaurant, Central American, Fusion, Malaysian, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free, $$$
Its house-like exterior may be unassuming, but don’t be fooled, this quaint little white-walled one-storey serves up wonderful vegetarian breakfast meals; offering a veg spin on classic popular breakfast spreads. Meat options are available from lunch onwards, but the highlight of the day is the coffee menu, hence the name RGB or “real good beans.” If you’re a health stickler, take comfort in knowing no microwave is used during food prep, so dig into the Malaysian/Western fusions.
While Chinese cuisine has its own repertoire of vegetarian meals, it’s this restaurant’s ‘veg take’ on familiar meat-centric dishes that complete the whole menu, with ‘mock meat’ as a popular substitute. The menu is still full of vegan-friendly dishes however, just speak to the friendly waiters for confirmation. One of the few places that serves the popular breakfast food, dim sum until evening, enjoy indulging in familiar treats with a hearty, meat-free spin.
Restaurant, Asian, Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Central American, Vegetarian, Vegan, $$$
Once you’ve succeeded in searching out this gem hidden away among office blocks, sit back and relax with some fruit tea. Professing a strong dedication to the healthy-eating lifestyle, Chef Low provides strictly vegan meals, skipping the MSG, excess salts and milk, while capitalizing on organic tofu, brown rice and the extra goodness of vegetables. Giving myriad Asian dishes a modern gastronomic twist, treat yourself to real, healthy food without skipping on all the flavors meat dishes have to offer.
Restaurant, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free, Malaysian, Fast Food, Street Food, Asian, $$$
Healthy organic, vegetarian eating shouldn’t be such a chore all the time, but how about lining your taste buds up for a thrill? Enhance the flavors of your food by daring to eat ‘blind’, and don’t be shy about insisting on vegetarian options, as the waiters are fully prepared to make your dark-dining experience as pleasant as possible. The menu also changes constantly, so every visit and every meal is sure to be a one-of-a-kind experience.
While some healthy eating restaurants strive to be the best in serving one-of-a-kind vegetarian delights, sometimes the simple essentials are all it takes to keep the diet fun. Sticking to the minimalist style of Japanese cuisine, Earth Kid serves up a fusion of Chinese and Japanese treats, one notable creation is fruit sushi. Also doubling up as an organic store, this hassle-free green store is worth checking out.