Gourmands of all tastes are in for a real treat as restaurants in Kuala Lumpur are good enough to rival any city in Asia. The fantastic mix of cultures incorporated into the metropolis have all brought their own particular cuisines, and over time these have morphed into something quite unique and utterly delicious.
Below is a brief guide to some favourite KL restaurants but for comprehensive listings visit our dedicated 100-page guide at 1stopkualaLumpur.
Top Kuala Lumpur dining
Chinatown is where to head for inexpensive street food such as basic noodle dishes and soup. Of course, Jalan Petaling also has a proud array of classy Oriental eateries which offer dim sum and sought-after specialities such as roast duck and aromatic steamed fish. Shukran, on Jalan Cheng Lock close to Pudu Raya Bus Terminal, offers simple Chinese and Indian fare from buffet trays.
For a fair range of traditional Malay dishes then look no further than the food court on the second floor of Central Market. Everything is reasonably-priced and delicious with the only concern being over the amount of chilly added to most dishes. Behind Central Market is Annexe Nasi Kandar which offers cheap self service meals from only RM10 per head.
Those looking for a taste of the subcontinent should hit Little India for some real Indian spice. Lakshami Villas, on Lebuh Ampang, is an always-busy KL restaurant which specialises in crisp masala dosas served with daal, sour yoghurt and a range of condiments. Santa Restaurant, on Jalan Tun HS, does a roaring trade in lunchtime chapatis with potato and lentil curries; small on price but huge on flavour.
More upmarket restaurants can be found in the opulent shopping malls of the Golden Triangle district which also feature every Western fast food joint and chain restaurants imaginable. If you’re feeling a little homesick then a Pizza Hut, Nandos or Burger King is sure to put you off the idea of ever flying back.
For an authentic taste of real Thai food you can’t beat Thai Somtam Seafood, in Changkat Bukit Bintang. All the best dishes from north of the border can be found here including red curries, tom yam gung and mango salad with crispy pork skin. If sushi is your thing then head around the corner to Gonbei in the Starhill Gallery. Exceptional Japanese cuisine awaits coupled with a zen-like ambience.
For delicious late-night grub then consider the awesome Chinese food of Red Dragon, also on Changkat Bukit Bintang. The bustling crowd get served noodles, rice and soup dishes by a gaggle of chaotic waiters and it is as much fun watching the madness as eating in it. Down the street is Relish, arguably the best restaurant in Kuala Lumpur for burgers. Order your precise desire and then chow down with a range of accompaniment options.
The chic expat-friendly neighbourhood of Bangsar to the west of the city centre is perfect for a splurge. Here there are international bistros galore which serve a range of pizza, burgers and traditional Malay dishes all washed down with jugs of cool Carlsberg lager.
Telawi Street Bistro, on Jalan Telawi 3, is one of the most popular with a dedicated clientèle of affluent local and foreign businessmen. Lanna serves up classic Thai fare whilst Sri Nirwana is one of the cheapest restaurants in the neighbourhood which serves wholesome banana-leaf dishes.
For those that have grown tired of the swanky hotels and shopping malls and want to sample something completely different, head over to Chow Kit Market. Here vendors sell strange concoctions of herbal remedies as well as live animals, but some truly remarkably traditional fare can be found as well. CoChine is situated near the market and offers Laos and Vietnamese dishes from fiery salads to creamy curries and grilled seafood.