Malaysia prides itself on its multiculturalism and this is showcased in its late night eats scene. You really are spoiled for choice, so here are our favourites to help you on your way.
Donutes Coffee, Cake & Bread
Bakery, Cafe, Tea , $$$
Pastry lovers rejoice! No matter the hour, doughnut cravings will happen, so just give in and head to this 24-hour bakery-café. It is a bit of a distance from the capital city, being located in the satellite town of Kuchai southwest from Kuala Lumpur, but at least late at night there will be no traffic jams. Serving up an array of buns, sandwiches, cakes and coffee, enjoy some tasty bites there or to-go, should you wish to explore the night a little more.
Restoran Ban Lee
Cafe, Chinese, Asian, Soup, none
Three syllables. Bak Kut Teh! Essentially pork ribs stewed in a herbal broth and garnished with mushrooms, bean curd strips, pork cubes and cabbage, the ultimate late night Chinese comfort food, served with rice and fried yau char kwai – Chinese crullers, which are just heavenly. Ban Lee Restaurant has been catering to late night patrons for over 20 years. Located towards the north of Kuala Lumpur, off Jalan Tun Razak, this corner coffee shop receives customers around the clock. Just be prepared to walk a bit, as nearby parking lots are often scarce due to this place’s popularity.
Nasi Kandar Pelita
Cafe, Indian, Malaysian, $$$
Arguably the most popular South Indian food chain in Kuala Lumpur, this restaurant is known for its loaded lunch menu of nasi kandar, a Malaysian signature serving of rice with three side dishes and a helping of curry. Open 24 hours as many Indian establishments are, this one stands out for maintaining its authentic Penang flavour alongside signature fried chicken dishes and fish curries, for a wholesome nasi banjir meal.
Restoran Wong Ah Wah
Cafe, Chinese, Malaysian, Asian, $$$
Renowned for serving exquisite suppers are the Chinese coffee shops. One particular establishment is Wong Ah Wah, popular for its hawker food selection. Fried oyster omelettes, Marmite barbeque chicken, seafood, noodles, rice; a great selection of Chinese cuisine can be found here. A road away from famous nightspot Changkat, be prepared for quite a crowd even in the wee hours of the night.
Tapak Urban Street Dining
Food Truck, Food Kiosk, Contemporary, Fusion, Fast Food, Malaysian, Street Food, none
With the growing trend for urban dining, Tapak offers a modern variation to traditional hawker food and night market businesses – food trucks. Taking the lead from Western foodie hype, Tapak aims to be Malaysia’s most successful food truck park, where visitors can enjoy worldwide delicacies late into the night, seven days of the week. Resembling a food court on wheels, Tapak is the meeting point of the best street food from the East and West.
Cocktail Bar, Gastropub, Mediterranean, European, American, $$$
Fancy a fancy meal past midnight? Quivo remains open until two in the morning for an intimate wine and dine experience, specialising in Mediterranean, Western and Italian cuisine. Located inside Pavilion Mall, this upscale restaurant outshines any other late night bar and grill, offering privacy and peace away from the outdoor atmosphere of noisy, smoky streets. Pair the lovely seafood or steak with some cocktails, and you are guaranteed a great dining experience.
Cafe, Indian, Malaysian, $$$
A rival to Nasi Kandar Pelita is Devi’s Corner, serving up banana leaf rice and curries until late at night. The big difference between it and Pelita is that it is more traditionally mamak in nature, offering many selections of roti as well (whereas Pelita specialises in accompaniment dishes). Open 24 hours, be sure to feast on the roti canai with your curry, it’s bound to satisfy your appetite.