An appetizing list highlighting the multi-ethnic and flavorful Malaysian cuisine.
Creating a list of restaurants for Malaysia is not an easy task. The country’s culinary journey integrates influences from Malays, Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Nyonya. More importantly, the indigenous communities of Sabah and Sarawak in the East and the Orang Asli of the Peninsula. This list narrows down to Malaysian cuisine, or new takes on the traditional. If you only have three to five days in the city, you can’t go wrong with these options.
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Platinum Park, Level 48, Skyviews, Naza Tower @, Persiaran KLCC, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Dewakan means “God” and “food” in Malay. It’s also THE fine dining experience in Kuala Lumpur by celebrating indigenous traditions and the natural land of Malaysia. The 12-course menu is a journey through the terrain’s wide-ranging meats, vegetables and fruits. From tatus Hitam Crafish to Rompin Beef, you’ll finish the meal with a full stomach as well as an education on Malaysia’s fertile soil.
Lot 163, 10, Jalan Perak, Kuala Lumpur, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Another fine example of New Malaysian cuisine can be tasted at Beta KL. The name itself signifies “I” and derives from regal respect for kings. The restaurant’s menu tours around the nation through various regional flavors. From the Northern regions (Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Perak,) for instance, expect to indulge in Bulus fish, sticky rice and tomato. Or Prawn Tartare with Prawn Shell XO. From the Eastern regions ((Pahang, Kelantan, Terengganu, Sabah, Sarawak,) the menu includes watermelon and baby squid.
Eat and Cook
H-6-1,Pusat Perdagangan Bandar, Persiaran Jalil 1, Bukit Jalil, 57000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
An innovative and experimental dining experience can be found at Eat & Cook where chefs Soh Yong Zhi and Lee Zhe Xi are having lots of fun. The open kitchen, or The Stage, is a chance to interact and observe the chefs at their best up close and personal. The restaurant is a playful celebration of Malaysia’s bountiful land by using local ingredients: sea grapes, bitter gourd, pineapple veloute, fermented tomato…and more.
Madam Kwan’s – Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
00, Level 1, Lot 1.16, 168, Jln Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
If you want to dine like a local, then Madam Kwan’s is the perfect place to do it. Be tempted by mouthwatering rendang (Malaysian beef stew) paired with a sweet grass jelly drink. Here, you can also enjoy one of the best nasi lemaks in the city. Malaysia’s national dish comes with meat, rice and fried egg on top. There are several Madam Kwan’s in the city, if you’re in downtown, head on over to the location inside The Pavilion mall. It’s a casual spot, but you can expect truly Malaysian dishes and flavors.
De.Wan 1958 by Chef Wan @ The Linc KL
The Linc, 360, Jln Tun Razak, Taman U Thant, 50400 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
De.Wan 1958 by Chef Wan @ The Linc KL is where chef Wan welcomes guests with an utmost charisma which is reflected upon the vibrant and tropical décor of his restaurant. Known for an inviting personality, chef Wan delivers traditional Malaysian dishes with a modern spin. Try the pomelo salad with crispy prawn cheeks in kerabu lime dressing and fish sauce.
Shoppes at Four Seasons Place
145, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
In Asia, food court is a common and convenient place for a quick meal. Below Four Seasons Hotel, there’s Malaysia Boleh! food court where you can taste a wide variety of street hawker stands from distinct areas of the country. Opt for traditional porridge, the iconic chicken rice, Penang Laksa, Char Koay Teow…and much more. Best part: you won’t be breaking the bank.
109, Jln Aminuddin Baki, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Akâr, in Malay, means “root” which delectably indicates the restaurant is committed to the concept of terroir. The multi-course, fine-dining experience is a beautiful arc marking Malaysia’s abundant agriculture. The entire menu utilizes local produce and focuses on sustainability by working with independent farmers. The creativity behind each dish is a metaphor of freedom and art. These themes, through food, also tie back to terroir – roots and land.
Lot T120 &121, 3rd Floor, Bangsar Shopping Centre, Jalan Maarof, 59000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
For a bit of Malay-Indo fusion, stop by Dancing Fish for the famous fried fish (nila goreng) – crispy on the outside but soft and tender on the inside with different sauces and toppings that you can choose from. For the sides, there are delightful selections: mango kerabu, sambal terasi and kicap, belimbing salad…etc. Other dishes are heavy on sauces, especially sambal which is an Indonedian chilli paste made from a mixture of various chili peppers.
Hing Kee Bakuteh 兴记肉骨茶 (甲洞大街) Jalan Kepong (Main Branch AEON Metro Prima 总行)
121, Jln Kepong, Metro Prima, 52100 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
When it comes to bak kut teh, every Malaysian has a favorite restaurant that they think serves the best bak kut teh in the city. Across the board, Hing Kee is a safe and tasty choice. Since the restaurant is on the very casual spectrum, it’s best for lunch. Bak kut teh’s soup base is typically brothy, light, herby yet sweet. Big, small bones and/or ribs are cooked in claypots.
159, Jln Sultan Abdul Samad, Brickfields, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Anak Baba is tucked inside a former shophouse in KL’s Little India and serves up Peranakan (Nyonya) cuisine which is mostly prevalent in the city of Penang. Nyonya came about as the result of inter-marriages between Chinese migrants and local Malays, the marriage of two kinds of culinary influences can be tasted at Ank Baba, including: cendol (iced dessert) and Laksa Nyonya with coconut milk, shrimp, bean sprouts and fish balls.
24, Jalan Beremi, Off, Jln Sultan Ismail, Bukit Bintang, 50200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Another great spot to chow down Nasi Lemak is at Congkak, where traditional Malaysian and Indonesian dishes are not only delicious but efficient and quick. On the menu, you’ll also see classics like: satay, nasi ambeng (rice dish with chicken curry,) sambal udang petai (shrimp and beans in chili sauce,) goreng berempah (spiced fried chicken)…just to name a few. For a more Indonesian flavor, try the Tauhu Telur: tofu and egg salad.