A visit to Kuala Lumpur won’t be complete without a food trip. Aside from the city’s diverse culture and fantastic tourist spots, it’s also overflowing with restaurants and food stalls that offer different cuisines and delicacies.
To make your visit gastronomically satisfying, we listed down 10 of the tastiest dishes you should try in Kuala Lumpur:
Considered as Malaysia’s national dish, Nasi Lemak is a savory rice meal cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaves.
It’s traditionally served with a hot spicy sauce called sambal sauce, and includes garnishes such as fresh cucumber slices, fried anchovies or ikan bilis, roasted peanuts, and a hard-boiled or fried egg on the side.
The Malays usually have this for breakfast, but because it’s cooked in various ways, it can be eaten throughout the day.
For traditionally prepared Nasi Lemak, head over to Nasi Lemak Tanglin, a small well-known eatery that has been serving the specialty since 1948.
The basic Nasi Lemak costs RM2 and includes extras for sides. Diners can choose from squid, chicken, beef, lungs, eggs, and more.
Village Park has won the Time Out KL Food Awards in 2011 for the best Nasi Lemak joint in town because of their popular Nasi Lemak Ayam Goreng (and everything else on the menu).
Compared to the traditional dish, their Nasi Lemak Ayam Goreng comes with crispy fried chicken and its sambal sauce errs on the sweet side, perfectly complementing the other flavors of the dish.
Char Koay Teow or stir-fried rice cake strips is another popular dish in Malaysia. It’s made by stir-frying flat rice noodles over high heat with light and dark soy sauce, chilli, belachan, prawns, blood cockles, bean sprouts, and Chinese chives.
Commonly, it’s stir-fried with egg, Chinese sausage, fish cake, bean sprouts, and a bit of the other ingredients, and then served on banana leaf for added aroma.
At the far end section of this food strip is where you’ll find the best Char Koay Teow with salted egg in town.
Two spoonfuls of salted egg are added into the wok for a quick stir-fry, giving the dish the perfect amount of saltiness and richness. Completely sinful but worth every calorie!
This restaurant is usually packed with both locals and tourists mainly for their Char Koay Teow. They prepare the dish with only the freshest ingredients so you’re guaranteed to enjoy the most flavorful plate.
Laksa is a spicy noodle soup made of rice noodles (or rice vermicelli), chicken and prawn (or fish), and served in spicy soup with a base of either a thick and spicy curry coconut milk or sour asam (tamarind or gelugur).
This restaurant specializes in Sarawak cuisine and all the members of their staff are Sarawakians. Their dishes are prepared based on traditional recipes which makes the food taste all the more special and authentic.
First-timers should try their Laksa and the Kelabit rice paired with chicken or fish and vegetables.
Voted as the People’s Favorite by The Star. Although most restaurants have modernized their recipes and made some shortcuts to their methods, Chef Tan Kim Chye a.k.a. Uncle John of Limapulo: Baba Can Cook still uses closely guarded recipes passed down to him by his mother.
For example, preparing his Nyonya Laksa requires such a demanding process that it’s only available during Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays! A must-try for sure.
Hae Mee (Prawn Mee) is an egg noodle soup served in a dark, rich prawn-based stock with prawns, pork slices, fish cake, bean sprouts, and topped with spring onion and fried shallots.
The “dry” version (without soup) of this dish is prepared by flavoring the noodles and ingredients with vinegar, soy sauce, oil, and chili, and sprinkled with freshly cut red chili pieces in light soy sauce and lime juice.
Located across the Pudu LRT station parking is San Peng Prawn Mee, a small eatery with less than 10 tables that serves one of the best Prawn Mees in town.
One of their versions of Prawn Mee is garnished with poached chicken, making the dish taste more interesting. They provide chili paste in case you want your soup spicier.
Many roadside food stalls offer Prawn Mee, but for one that’s authentic, uniquely prepared, and only costs RM5, you have to find this motorbike food cart parked at the corner coffee shop in Seputeh.
The old guy manning this cart has been serving the dish for more than 40 years and usually sets up at the same spot.
Roti Canai consists of dough made of fat (ghee), flour, and water. The dough is kneaded repeatedly, flattened and oiled, and then folded before proofing which creates layers.
Malaysians serve this dish with dal or other types of curry and can also be cooked in sweet or savory variations made with different ingredients such as sardines, meat, egg, or cheese.
This restaurant was named after its owner and has been cooking up one of the best Roti Canai in Kuala Lumpur for the last 20 years.
Valentine Roti offers a generous size of high-quality Roti that’s crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside, and with a mild doughy sweetness that makes it a crowd favorite.
Lan Roti Canai has been one of the most well-known Roti spots within Bangsar for the past 34 years. Their dishes only cost RM1 or so and include Roti with a soft and chewy center and a flaky outer layer. The dal that comes with the Roti gives off a spicy kick when mixed with sambal sauce.
Bak Kut Teh is a pork rib dish slowly cooked in a complex broth of herbs and spices. It’s often served with a bowl of shallot-flavored rice.
The most popular Bak Kut Teh joint in all of Kepon. Ka Ka Bak Kut Teh has held the title of ‘Best BKT in Kepong’ because they make their dish extra thick and savory. Plus, their version doesn’t have that overpowering herbal taste compared to most Bak Kut Tehs served in other restaurants.
For travelers staying within Subang, go to Ah Ping Bak Kut Teh for the best BKT in the area. You can choose from two types of BKT: dry or soupy.
The soup version is made of chunky pork slices in a herbal broth and served in a clay pot, whereas the dry version is made of cooked pork slices in a black sticky sauce.
Photo credit: www.8days.sg
Chili Pan Mee (flat noodles) is a popular spicy Malaysian noodle dish. Its dry version is made with Chinese egg noodles topped with crispy and spicy roasted chili paste, garlic oil, meat, fried anchovies, and poached egg. Sayur Manis or sweet leaf is also added to enhance the flavor.
This restaurant is the birthplace of Chili Pan Mee. The owner of Restoran Kin Kin, Tan Kok Hong, is known to be the inventor of the fiery hot noodle dish.
Their famous Chilli Pan Mee is a crowd favorite with its exceptionally spicy and aromatic dried chili flakes. It’s served in a bowl of hot soup with sweet potato leaves which help tone down the spiciness.
Restoran Super Kitchen already has 8 branches but you can find one across Restoran Kin Kin. Here, a bottle of dried chili flakes is placed on each table so that customers have the option to add as much spice as they want.
Word of caution though, their special chili flakes can be extremely hot if you use too much!
This may be considered one of Singapore’s national dishes, but you can find Hainanese Chicken Rice all over Malaysia, too.
This comfort food dish is prepared by poaching the chicken, and then using its stock, along with ginger, garlic, and pandan leaves, to cook the rice which makes it flavorful and “oily.”
Nam Heong Chicken Rice has been serving Hainanese Chicken Rice and other delicious dishes since the 1930s.
Although their price range errs on the expensive side, people still come here because the food is just that good, especially their Hainanese Chicken Rice.
Situated within the Jalan San Peng at the Pudu area, San Pend Road Chicken Rice is known to cook up the best roasted caramelized barbeque pork and steamed chicken.
Their steamed chicken (or Hainanese) is juicy and soft with just the right amount of light soya sauce drizzled on top.
Roasted Pork, or Siu Yuk in Malaysia, is a crispy pork crackling that can go with rice or chewy soft noodles. As an appetizer, most Malaysian restaurants serve this dish wrapped in lettuce with a bit of tomato sauce.
If you’re looking for Cantonese-style barbecue, head over to Sun Ming at Taman Connaught. They offer various barbecue meats including Roasted Duck, Chicken, or Pork, Char Siew, and Sausage.
Although their Roasted Duck is the main reason why diners visit the restaurant, their Siu Yuk also has its fair share of loyal visitors.
Specializing in Cantonese cuisine, Canton Fare is the only non-halal restaurant in the area. You’ll spot Chinese locals and travelers getting their fix of authentic Cantonese-style barbecue meats.
Their Siu Yuk has that perfect crispy skin and juicy meat, and best dipped in wasabi and sugar for that unique Hong Kong taste.
Ayam Percik is a Malaysian-style grilled or roasted chicken marinated in different flavorful spices and pastes such as turmeric, cumin, coriander, lemongrass, coconut milk, and tamarind.
While roasting, this marinade caramelizes on the chicken, resulting in the most flavorful coating you will ever taste.
Although this cafe sounds Japanese, it’s nowhere near it. This place serves simple yet tasty recipes of Kelantanese cuisine. Their best selling Nasi Kerabu with Ayam Percik is grilled to tender perfection and can be paired with other add-ons.
Kesom Cafe offers delicious northeastern Malaysian cuisine. Their signature Ayam Percik is so good that it often gets sold out! Best to come here before lunch to avoid the crowd and to make sure you’ll get the chance to try their Ayam Percik.
Date nights don’t have to be expensive!
Hakaw, dim sum, noodles, and more.