By Mario Ng
Kuala Lumpur has some great food to offer both locals and tourists, with many eateries and restaurants in the city area serving all types of food. While some might prefer to get some local treats, like Nasi Lemak, there are also restaurants serving western fare. You would do well to explore the city and have some amazing food at affordable prices! Check out our list below for the places to head to for a good meal in Kuala Lumpur!
For your convenience, refer to this list of places you should head to for a meal while in Kuala Lumpur!
1. ACME Bar & Coffee
2. Eight Ounce Coffee
3. Kim Lian Kee Restaurant
4. Madam Kwan's
5. Mama San
6. Shangri-la Hotel, Kuala Lumpur Lobby Lounge - Afternoon Tea
7. Yeast Bistronomy
1. ACME Bar & Coffee
ACME Bar & Coffee (ABC) is well known around Kuala Lumpur and has been heavily recommended by various outlets, from TimeOut to Burpple to ladyironchef. With three outlets in downtown KL alone, one should certainly head down to ABC at least once whenever they are in KL.
The good thing about this restaurant is that besides coffee and the likes, it also serves proper mains, where you can enjoy dishes such as a roast lamb rack and a Thai grilled chicken breast. What it is trying to do, is to allow customers to get a taste of both East and West. You will also be pleased to know that it has some unique creations, like the salted egg yolk chicken strips and the fried mash potato balls.
A delicious lunch at ACME Bar & Coffee
When it comes to desserts, few restaurants do it as well as ABC. Arguably their most famous dessert is the Sizzling Brownie & Oreo Ice Cream. As its name mentioned, this dessert is essentially a sizzling brownie that comes with ice cream. It sounds simple enough, but the folks at ABC managed to elevate this dish to another level, as the hot pan causes the brownie and the accompanying chocolate to sizzle, hence its name. Huge chunks of Oreo bits do not hurt as well.
Another dessert to try, as recommended by the server himself, is the Sizzling Apple Cinnamon Pan. Similar to the sizzling brownie & Oreo ice cream, this dessert is also served in a hot pan, where the cinnamon sauce is instead poured around the dessert. Thick sizzling gravy dances around the pan as apple slices cook around the ice cream. If you have a sweet tooth, you will love this dessert. Especially the sauce. Yum!
Be sure to get their coffee as well, as they make a proper cup of coffee. Be it a cappuccino or a latte, ABC does it well, with the right amount of richness in it. After finishing the dessert, a cuppa is the way to go, as the creamy milk and rich coffee blend together to complete the meal. Enjoy!
Lattes at ACME Bar & Coffee
Opening hours: 11am to 12am (Sundays to Thursdays); 11am to 1am (Fridays and Saturdays)
Website (includes menu): https://www.acmebar.coffee/
2. Eight Ounce Coffee
At first glance, this cafe looks just like any other ordinary cafe located in a shopping mall. However, Eight Ounce Coffee is a little more than that. Situated at Suria KLCC, this cafe chain also has other outlets in Mid Valley, as well as one located in Genting Highlands.
Eight Ounce Coffee at Suria KLCC
Like any decent cafe, they serve the usual coffee creations, including your standard latte, cappuccino, and the likes. What makes this chain better is the taste of its coffee. Think Melbourne and its independent coffee chains. Eight Ounce Coffee is something like that. Drinking their coffee makes you think back to the cuppa you had back in Melbourne. This coffee chain also prides itself on importing premium Arabica coffee beans from famous coffee bean-producing countries like Brazil and Colombia. This makes their coffee taste that much better than other coffee chains.
With a tasty beverage comes some snacks to complete a proper afternoon refreshment. Their scones are pretty good, while the carrot cake is a must-try at this cafe. Not too sweet and with a generous amount of frosting at the top, it goes well with the cup of beverage you are having.
Not satisfied with just a simple snack? They also have heavier meal options, such as pasta salads, sandwiches, and soups.
One thing is for sure though. If you are ever in the vicinity of Suria KLCC, you gotta try Eight Ounce Coffee to get a real good cup of coffee!
Great place to rest and have some light snacks
Opening hours: 7.30am to 10pm (Mondays to Fridays); 9am to 10pm (Saturdays and Sundays)
3. Kim Lian Kee Restaurant
Located right smack in the middle of Petaling Street Market, Kim Lian Kee Restaurant is perhaps one of the most well-known chinese restaurants there. A two-storey eatery, most customers would head up to the second floor to enjoy their food and a view (somewhat) of Chinatown below.
For sure, this restaurant does not bother too much about service and niceties. However, they make up for that by cooking proper food, so that customers will come back again. So, be warned that you should not expect much service here!
Kim Lian Kee Restaurant's signature Hokkien Mee
The signature dish of this place is definitely their Hokkien Mee. A plate of noodles, this consists of thick rice noodles fried with a dark sauce, mixed in together with seafood and meat. Lastly, generous chunks of pork lard is added in for effect. The result? One unhealthy dish that may cause harm to your body if you eat it everyday, but tastes oh-so-good. Certainly, it tastes so much better than it looks, simply because it just looks as if it is coated in dark sauce. All we can say, is that it is their signature dish for a reason!
There are other options as well, and we do recommend their cereal prawns. They are fried in such a way that everything can be eaten, including the heads of the prawns. Or rather, especially the heads of the prawns.
The good thing about this place is that it is obviously catered for visitors and tourists to Kuala Lumpur, with the menu in English. It is also good that the prices are all fixed, so you know you will not get cheated, which may be the case in some neighbouring countries. So, if you want a good chinese meal without the drama, Kim Lian Kee Restaurant is a good place to head to!
Kim Lian Kee Restaurant at Petaling Street Market
Opening hours: 11am to 10pm daily
4. Madam Kwan's
Madam Kwan’s, an authentic Malaysian-owned restaurant, is a must-go place when you are in Kuala Lumpur.
Founded by Kwan Swee Lian, affectionately known by her customers as Madam Kwan, the humble lady started operations in 1977 and has been going strong ever since. With a simple aim to serve delicious Malaysian fare at reasonable prices, Madam Kwan decided to offer street-food favourites in comfortable settings. Hence, you can always head down to one of her restaurants in a well-known shopping mall. With seven outlets spread out all over Kuala Lumpur, you are likely to be able to enjoy her dishes any time!
One of her signature dishes is the famous Nasi Lemak. Consisting of coconut rice, chicken curry, egg, shrimp floss, and achar, you may think that this is just an ordinary dish. Of course, we forgive you. Behind the scenes, the preparation taken to serve this dish would be massive. Ensuring that the coconut rice is fragrant enough, the chicken curry sufficiently spicy yet maintaining the springiness of the chicken, cooking the egg until it is hard boiled, without it being too tough, the list goes on. Lots of work went into delivering this dish to customers. All in, if you ever step into Madam Kwan’s and can only order one dish, you know what to order. We promise you will not be disappointed!
Nasi Lemak at Madam Kwan's
A meal is never done until you have taken your dessert. In Malaysia, this is true as well. We recommend their signature Chendol dessert and the Banana fritters with ice cream. The Chendol comes with gula melaka sauce, and it is up to you on how much you wish to pour over the chendol (we suggest pouring everything in). Mix it up real good, and you are good to go! Experience a dessert like no other! It is creamy and full of coconut milk in it. The gula melaka keeps it fresh and sweet. Tasty!
Next up, is the banana fritters. We were honestly quite full by now, and wondered how we were going to finish the last dish. We needn’t have worried. The deep-fried bananas tasted so good, and the maple syrup just nailed the dish! Eat it on its own, or pair it with the ice cream. Either way, you don’t want it to stop! Before long, we were done with the dessert, and contemplated ordering another. Of course, our tummies then kindly reminded us that they are filled up for the day. Boy, do we miss Madam Kwan’s!
Some delicious desserts served at Madam Kwan's
Opening hours: 11am to 10.30pm daily
5. Mama San
Mama San is a top-notch restaurant that mainly serves Asian cuisine, along with other fine fusion choices. Located on the ground floor of Suria KLCC, it is an easy place to head to. It is good to know that Kuala Lumpur is not the only city that Mama San has stepped foot on. It also has outlets in Bali and Hong Kong.
Food-wise, the restaurant has a wide selection, which does leave the diner clueless what to eat. Among some of the recommended mains are the beef rendang and fish curry. Having tried those mains ourselves, we approve of their recommendations!
Interior of Mama San
Slowly Braised Beef Rendang simmered in Indonesian Spices & Coconut Milk
The beef rendang is soft and juicy, with a very generous amount of rendang available to savour together with the beef. The rendang is simply delicious, with the spices and coconut milk all working together to accentuate the beef cooked in it. Definitely a must-try!
Mama San Fish Curry with Okra Tomato Tamarind with Homemade Spices
The fish curry is also another marvelous dish. Cooked together with tomatoes, the fish curry is not spicy at all, suiting western palates who may fear the spiciness of a fish curry in a Southeast Asian city! Instead, the tomatoes leave a hint of sweet and sour taste to the curry, complementing the curry and fish together. The portion is also quite huge, and works fine for it to be a sharing dish.
When you are there for lunch or dinner, make sure you do not leave until you try their desserts. They have come up with the most creative desserts, fusioning western and eastern methods of cooking. The end result is a selection of wonderfully crafted dishes that forces us to try their other desserts when we next head down to Kuala Lumpur.
Stunning fish curry at Mama San
Nutella Pak Boi Buns with Vanilla Ice Cream and Kintamani Espresso
Confused by the name of this dish? Don’t worry. You are not alone! But, we are glad we ordered this dish anyway. Essentially chinese buns filled with nutella, you get a sinfully good kick as you bite into the bun. Before long, the buns are all finished, eaten into our tummies. The vanilla ice cream and espresso is next. Of course, it’s up to you to decide how this dessert should be eaten. Our take would be to treat it as a standard affogato, and pour the absolutely rich Kintamani espresso shot into the vanilla ice cream. Delicious. Or, you could take an espresso shot on its own and have your vanilla ice cream. Whatever floats your boat! :)
“Kampung Snicker” Peanut Butter Parfait with Butterscotch & Chocolate-coated Peanut
Yeap. Another delicious dessert that threatens to burst our tummies! Mexted together with a variety of ingredients, including peanut butter, chocolate, peanuts, we did not really know what we were eating at one point. The only thing we noticed was how good it was. Honestly, how do they come up with such unique dishes? But anyway, the important point is to order this dish. Really.
The Kampung Snicker Peanut Butter Parfait with Butterscotch & Chocolate-coated Peanut at Mama San
It is good to know that this restaurant comes with a bar as well. So, for some wishing to enjoy pre-dinner drinks, or a chill-out session after dinner, would be happy to know about this. While they serve the usual selection of alcoholic beverages, do try their Mama San signatures, such as the Espresso Ginger martini or the Coconut Passionfruit Pineapple Daiquiri. Of course, they also have a few types of Mojitos as well!
Heading there for breakfast? They’ve got you covered too! The interesting part of this restaurant is that they serve mostly western cuisine for breakfast, which means you get to indulge in items like eggs ben, ricotta pancakes, and the likes. This is not to say they have neglected the Eastern options. Far from it! Try their take on the humble Hainanese chicken rice, chicken wanton mee, or the Vietnamese pho!
At the end of the day, it is quite possible to have all your meals at this restaurant. And yet, we can only suggest you do not, just so that you can try out other eateries that serve awesome food as well. Hence, do consider carefully when you want to head down to Mama San! While you can get in, we are not sure you can get out (or want to)!
Opening hours: 8am to 11pm (Mondays to Fridays); 8am to 12am (Saturdays and Sundays)
Website (includes menu): http://mamasankualalumpur.com/
6. Shangri-la, Kuala Lumpur Lobby Lounge - Afternoon Tea
Shangri-La, as famous as it can be amongst other hotel chains, naturally offers afternoon teas daily. Needless to say, being afternoon tea lovers, we had to try it when we headed down to Kuala Lumpur. Here’s our take on it.
We went down in October, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A nice touch by Shangri-La was to help create awareness and to celebrate women, by coming up with a special afternoon tea set. Pretty in pink, where many of the dishes offered were, pink, in colour.
Afternoon tea at Shangri-la Kuala Lumpur
The scones were standard fare, with jam and fresh cream as the condiments. The difference? They were coloured in pink. Yeap! Pink scones are the way to go! The other savoury options were also tasty, including the mushroom tarts, shrimp tarts, and smoked salmon pastries. It is quite obvious that the ingredients were carefully selected to highlight the pink-coloured theme of the month.
The special part of this afternoon tea set comes in the sweet options. Pink lipstick anyone? Brilliantly created to look like a pink lipstick, it is actually milk chocolate coloured in pink. Not only does it look good, but it tastes good as well! The milk chocolate is yummy! And that’s not all. A pair of big, juicy, red lips? Haha! It actually tasted good! Really just chocolate as well, those lips might be one of the best you have ever tasted!
Pink eclairs, pink macaroons, strawberry tarts, and strawberry cakes are also on offer, where each tasted awesome. Honestly, this would be heaven for someone who enjoys sweet treats.
And… that’s not all. Feeling guilty after consuming so much? Have a plate of fruits to wash away your guilt. Watermelon, Honeydew, and blueberries, are some of the fruits available, and they help to conclude the marvellous afternoon tea that we have eaten. After another cup of flat white, and we are done! Good time and good company indulging in some afternoon tea!
Pink delights for afteroon tea at Shangri-la Kuala Lumpur
Afternoon tea hours: 3pm to 6pm daily
7. Yeast Bistronomy
Yeast Bistronomy is a causal french eatery, which has 3 outlets spread across Kuala Lumpur. Located along Jalan Telawi 2, the Bangsar outlet is also alongside rows of popular brunch places. As a result, you will likely see quite a crowded scene during weekends, all looking for a nice place to eat and relax.
Over at Yeast Bistronomy, they have a few menus. While there is the standard breakfast and lunch menu, they also have separate afternoon tea, dinner, as well as a degustation menu available. All the menus try to focus on french cuisine to give customers an unique french experience.
Brunch at Yeast Bistronomy
For brunch, they serve the usual suspects like Oeufs Poches Benedictine (Eggs Benedict) and Oeufs Mollets Florentine (Eggs Florentine). For those preferring pastries, you can choose your type of croissant. Good ideas include the turkey ham & Gruyère cheese croissant and the mushroom Béchamel croissant.
One recommendation for breakfast is in fact the Oeufs Cocotte. What you get are 2 eggs baked in the cocotte, along with Gruyère cheese. You choose either the smoked duck bits or smoked salmon, and in it goes into the cocotte as well. To complement this, a thick slice of farmer’s bread and greens are served to complete the dish. The end result is a beautiful savoury dish that is simply delicious!
Heading into a french bistro, it is definitely a must to enjoy some french pastries. Here, they lead the way, with the options on show at the entrance of the eatery. Have the classic croissant, or add some flavour and get the chocolate almond croissant. There are really many types of pastries available, that you can actually get quite full by ordering just the pastries and a cuppa. For dessert lovers, you might want to save your stomach and get the nutella bread pudding, which comes recommended!
The service here at Yeast Bistronomy is top-notch, as the servers always work to ensure the customers’ needs are met. Clean napkins? You got it. New utensils? Right away. You get the picture. It was indeed a pleasure to have a meal at Yeast Bistronomy!
Opening hours: 8am to 10pm (Sundays to Thursdays); 8am to 10.30pm (Fridays and Saturdays)
Website (includes menu): http://www.yeastbistronomy.com/
Google Maps: List of attractions and food places in Kuala Lumpur!
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