Bangsar is the tastemaker of KL. A restaurant that has made it in Bangsar has likely earned its place to be there and can find popular success elsewhere in the nation. Why? Because only the delicious survive here. And with this list, you will know know the creme de la creme of these restaurant lords.
Yeast Bistronomy | Image Courtesy of Yeast Bistronomy
Craving for French cuisine ? Look no further than the Yeast Bistronomy. Yeast has been the name in French dining in Kuala Lumpur for a long while. Enter under their friendly yellow sign on Telawi 2 and tuck into a taste of Paris with crispy duck confit and flaky vol au vents. Yeast also boasts an authentic boulangerie and patisserie, so pick up some bread and pastries on your way out. If it’s past 5pm, you’ll enjoy Happy Bread Hour, which means 30% off all breads and selected pastries.
VCR is a winning combination of artisanal coffee, creative brunch options, and warehouse chic. Their pared down interior decor is a welcome respite from the busy streets while their generous portions will leave customers wishing they had left room for dessert. VCR’s options range from the East (see: bao) to the West (see: Scandinavian Breakfast) to everything in between (see: Turkish-style eggs). There’s something for everyone here.
Dr.Inc (pronounced ‘drink’) hides in the more peaceful and leafy areas of Bangsar, tempting the curious in with their eclectic patio furniture and irreverent wall art. Mains have cheeky names like Who Moved My Cheese (four-cheese gnocchi) and La Bamba Lamb. After after 5pm, Coley cocktail bar, nestled in the back area, opens for business, serving refreshing mixes like Gin & Coconut and Irish whiskey with bubble tea.
This restaurant with the eye-raising name has proclaimed itself one of the best Indian vegetarian restaurants in KL. Judging by the ever-present queue, they are right. Short for What Tasty Food, WTF specialises in North Indian cuisine. Regulars return for paneer pakora, which frequently sells out before the end of business hours. Chai-lovers can expect to find three kinds over there (masala, adrak, and elaichi) and should order sugar with them because they do not come pre-sweetened.
Breakfast Thieves APW Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur | Courtesy of Breakfast Thieves
“We are all thieves when it comes to fine food.” So claims the Breakfast Thieves, purveyor of modern Australian cuisine with a dash of Asian flavours. The twin of a marvellously successful restaurant in Melbourne, Breakfast Thieves has the trendy Bangsar crowd flocking to try their Sumo Brekkie (breakfast udon with shiitake and dashi broth) and Uncle Food’s Fiery Crab Crisp Mantao (polenta-crusted Perak soft shell crab). While the old breakfast favourites are available, the fusion-style dishes truly are the standouts.
While some might sneer that Bangsar South should not be considered part of Bangsar, Thirdwave is too close and too good to leave out of this list. Their selection of coffee deserves a whole other post. Every dish they serve is either a twist on a classic or something new and exciting to try – whether it’s the Lord of the Rings (classic onion rings) or the Hipster Noodles (zucchini noodles with grilled mackerel, kombu and Asian pear broth). Those who love desserts will sigh especially over Instagram-worthy offerings like Juliet’s Dream (elderflower panna cotta with elderflower meringue rose and raspberry sorbet). Even those who don’t like sweets will be enamoured by the ice-cream sandwiches with flavours like lavender blueberry, dark chocolate and rose, and pandan kaya. Ultimate yum!
Botanica + Co at Bangsar South, Kuala Lumpur | Courtesy of Botanico + Co
In any city, especially one as car-dependent as KL, greenery is always welcome. Bo+Co takes this to heart, inviting customers into airy high-ceiling rooms with plants as the main feature of their interior decor, and wide, long windows, opening to a view of lush tropical foliage. And what a view it is to have as you tuck into their New Truffle Yakiniku Don (pan-seared ribeye served over rice with truffle soy sauce and onsen egg), or break your diet with their triple cooked hand-cut chips. This is a slice of the high life.
If you’re looking for good Japanese cuisine at a decent price, look no further. Kuriya offers the staples of Japanese fine dining as well the street favourites, like ramen and udon. Their sashimi is air-flown from Japan and the quality of all their ingredients is overseen by their head chef Master Nakagawa. In the age of food trends, Kuriya remains steadfastly simple, holding on to the adage that good ingredients will make good food and bring in people.
The Ming Room is an old staple in the Bangsar dining scene, catering not only to the trendy hipsters but to their parents as well. Serving authentic Cantonese cuisine, the Ming Room has earned plenty of stars, including Best Restaurant in 2012 (as awarded by the Malaysian Tatler magazine). Old favourites include the River Carp Medallion in Superior Stock and a superior dim sum buffet. Newer entries like the Baked Foie Gras with Stuffed Sea Clams are sure to delight the foodies.
Nutmeg is a familiar haunt for those who cannot get enough of brunch. All the usual suspects are on the menu; the baked eggs, the Gravlax, the Big Breakfast. What catches the eye here is the left side of the menu, which is filled with kefir specials; from kefir parfaits to kefir smoothie bowls. The probiotic-rich ingredient has been slow to catch on the KL brunch scene. Nutmeg is the best place to get it outside of the supermarket. And if you happen to feel too healthy after all that kefir, you can wash it down with a slice of cake topped with local fruit, like Flourless Ciku or Papaya Paradise.