Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Where to Eat in Kuala Lumpur?

KL is first and foremost an epicurean paradise.  The delectable flurry of South Indian, Malaysian, and Chinese culinary influences sprouting up on every block will demolish one's self-control.  We often found ourselves eating when our stomachs were already brimming with the last meal.   

If you only have a few days in this steamy metropolis, here are our choices for Kuala Lumpur's Iconic Food Landmarks.


The countless buffet-style Curry Houses that line the city. Simultaneously offering up Malaysian delights like Nasi Lemak, alongside classic Indian favorites, such as Chicken Tikka Masala and Lamb Curry.  Also, they are a haven for vegetarians with a vast offering of vegetable curries accompanied by chutneys and sambals.  Convenience and taste!


Precious, a comfortable and ornately designed restaurant tucked into a crepuscular corner of the Pasar Seni (Central Market), proved to be a delicious and air-conditioned midday respite after a trudge to the botanical gardens. 

Serving Nyonya cuisine, an eclectic intermarriage of Malay and Chinese food that sprouted from the multicultural port cities of Malacca and Penang in the 18th century, Precious is affordable, aesthetically pleasing, and tasty.

We ordered the "Precious" Nasi Lemak with crispy ikan bilis (anchovies) and fiery sambal...

and the Okra Kerabu with Coconut Rice.


Plopped in a rare open space below the towering spires of KLCC @ 10 Jalan Hang Kasturi, Hakka Restoran is a vast eating space that pops with energy and crackles with spice.  

We arrived on a stormy evening and had our fill of specialty Hakka cuisine, a sub-genre of Chinese emerging from the migratory Hakka people, who originate from Guangdong and Fujian provinces in the south-east and boast a worldwide diaspora of over 80 million strong.

Hearty greens.

Delectable braised tofu with snow peas.

Fire-breathing Szechwan Chicken in a light chili and black soya sauce.

House specialty "Longevity Birthday Noodle" with mushrooms and Chinese cabbage.  If one indulges in this dish thrice weekly, they can exist as long as the restaurant has (nearly sixty years).



Jalan Alor Street in the upmarket Bukit Bintang (Golden Triangle) area has a plethora of streetside eateries that focus on seafood and beer-soaked jollification. We were directed to Restoran Ming Kee by a local pal and were so impressed that we returned on a subsequent visit to the city.

The crown jewel of Malaysian street food - Char Kueh Teow noodles.  Heaping piles of rice noodles that melt into the palate with a brazen impetuosity.

Kacang Botol with Chili.

Grilled stingray. Forgive us friends of the sea, but the flesh of the ray (stringy in texture, but incredibly rich and decadent) is a new favorite.

Another must-not-miss: Grilled tofu stuffed with carrot and strips of green mango.

Baby clams sauteed in chili.

Boiled and sauteed "kale". Unlike any veggie we've come across - a hybrid of cabbage, kale, and brussel sprouts.

Grilled whole fish.

May your trip in KL be spent plopped into the firmest of seats, indulging in the best of meals!

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