Little India near KL Sentral bursts with the sounds, smells and tastes of India, right in the heart of Malaysia’s capital. But the subcontinent’s rich and spicy dishes aren’t the only meals on the menu. Here are our favourite restaurants in Kuala Lumpur’s Little India, including northern and southern India food, vegetarian options as well as Chinese food courts.
Located near the late 19th-century Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple on Jalan Berhala, this Halal restaurant in Little India KL is a popular spot for lunch. Generous portions of flavourful and aromatic chicken, mutton, egg and vegetable biryani provide delicious and filling meals. Hyderabad Biryani House also serves other fried rice dishes and offers breakfast sets. A typical meal for one with drinks should come to less than RM 20 (US$5.10).
Head to Little India’s maze of backstreets and feel teleported to the subcontinent. Several local and vegetarian restaurants nestle in these streets; Gandhi’s is one such place located on Jalan Scott near Sri Kandaswamy Kovil. This vegetarian restaurant in Little India KL has a reputation for its diversity and flavours as well as the rock-bottom prices. Few tourists eat here, but those who do will get huge portions of food, including rice, noodles, and the must-try vegetarian satay.
For Indian banana leaf, check out Vishal Food on Jalan Scott. A portion of rice or biryani comes on a banana leaf with vegetable sides, curry, and popadoms. Adventurous tourists looking for an authentic experience can follow the other diners and eat using their right hand rather than cutlery. Drinks and meals are very affordable, which makes this a favourite restaurant in Little India for locals.
Non-meat eaters will find plenty of suitable restaurants in Brickfields. Saravana Bhavan on Jalan Tun Sambathan provides vegetarian-friendly South Indian food inside a comfortable air-conditioned dining area. The menu has rice-based dishes, biryani, dosa, roti and combo meals prepared fresh by skilled cooks. Customers consistently rate this mid-range Indian vegetarian restaurant for quality and comfort.
The name of this Chinese restaurant in Little India KL corresponds to the way customers consistently feel about their food. Expect hearty meals at rock-bottom prices, including self-service economy mixed rice, dry and wanton mee and noodle soups. Grab a plate of rice and choose from the vegetables, Chinese-style chicken and tofu and pay less than RM 10 (US$2.60) for the economy meal. Or order a plate or fried rice and noodles from the menu. A top tip: self-service food is freshly cooked around lunchtime.
Craving noodle soup or chicken and rice in Little India? Check out One Sentral near KL Sentral for a Chinese food court-style budget meal. Order from the vendors at the entrance and take a seat. Pay when the food arrives. Old favourites such as pork noodle soup, wonton noodles as well as pork and chicken rice cost less than RM 10 (US$2.60). A selection of savoury and sweet pastries are available near the window too.
For an authentic Indian experience, head to Sithique Pulau Pinang and indulge in their Nasi Kandar. After serving food on Jalan Tun Sambathan for over four decades, this restaurant in Little India KL has a reputation to uphold. Customers can choose from chicken and mutton to prawns, squid and fish-based curries to eat with their rice or biryani. Other dishes include fried rice, noodles, rojak as well as a selection of roti. But this Nasi Kandar in Little India tends to be busy at all times of the day and tourists might need to wait for a seat.
Another favourite Chinese restaurant on Jalan Thambipillay with a variety of noodles, soups and fried rice on the menu. Highlights include barbequed pork and clay pot lamb stew as well as a selection of seafood dishes. While Gu Zao’s prices are high compared to other restaurants in Little India KL, the food quality and comfortable dining experience inside an air-conditioned room make it worthwhile.
Loke Fatt, a non-Halal restaurant on Jalan Thambipillay, has cooked Cantonese food since 1962. Offering a selection of seafood and its iconic fish head curry, this restaurant in Little India KL rarely disappoints. In the evening, small plastic tables fill the inside and stretch over the pavement. Beer is available too.
For a different culinary experience in Little India, check out Tar Boosh for authentic Lebanese food. The Middle Eastern-themed restaurant provides a set menu lunch that’s popular with local office workers and both chicken and lamb mandi. Large portions of Biryani lamb are also favourites. Early birds can grab something to eat at their buffet-style breakfast operating between 7:00am and 10:00pm every day.