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The best restaurants and cafés in KL

The Time Out KL Food 40: Our monthly guide to the best places to eat in town, reviewed anonymously by critics

The Time Out Kuala Lumpur Food 40 is our monthly, definitive guide for where to eat in the Klang Valley. Establishments will only appear in this list if they offer cuisine of a very high standard that is truly unique and worthy of your custom. No entry into the Food 40 has provided any Time Out team member with a free meal or other incentive – although plenty have tried! All have been chosen honestly, anonymously and after a great deal of deliberation by our team of expert food critics.

Best Malay, Chinese and Indian restaurants

Bakti Woodlands

Come lunchtime, it can be tough finding a seat at this popular Indian vegetarian joint. In the heart of bustling Masjid Jamek, there’s always a lively atmosphere here. There’s a substantial selection of a la carte dishes from Northern and Southern India, but to really appreciate Bakti Woodlands, you have to come for the lunchtime thali sets. The Madras thali will leave you fit to burst, while still attempting to savour all the flavours.

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Masjid Jamek

Chef Low

You can always count on Chef Low to dish up palate-pleasing Cantonese dishes. If you’re tired of the usual chilli crab, go for their soupy Fu Zhou style crab for a more delicate flavour.

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Bangsar

Delhi Royale

Its well executed dishes deliver the robust flavours of a good Indian meal. Try their unique tandoori broccoli.

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KL City Centre

Enak KL

At this elegant Malay restaurant, classic recipes are remastered for fine dining fans. The seafood is good here, with the udang raja lemak merah looking like a top contender.

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Bukit Bintang

Fatimah Selera Kampung

This kampung-house-turned-restaurant manned by the dedicated 84-year-old Fatimah has been serving Malaccan grandma-style cooking in large pots since 1983.

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Kampung Baru

Limapulo: Baba Can Cook

This place serves the best Nyonya food in the city. Go for the crispy fried fish with sambal come dinner, or opt for their famous Nyonya laksa over lunch.

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Bandaraya

Ming Room

The Oriental Group almost always gets it right and the proof is in The Ming Room, a reasonably priced restaurant serving inventive Cantonese dishes and some of the best dim sum in town.

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Bangsar

Naughty Babe Dirty Duck

This casual restaurant is perfect for group dining – prices are reasonable while the meat dishes are generously portioned for sharing.

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Hartamas

Restoran Santa

We’re long-time devotees of Kulwant Singh and co. His 18-year-old shop churns out the best chapatti and mutton keema in town.

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Masjid Jamek

The Ganga Deli and Café

The folks at this vegetarian Indian spot still spoon out your favourite sides for your weekly banana leaf binge, but without the impurities of food colouring and flavouring.

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Bangsar

Way Modern Chinois

This Chinese fine dining outlet pulls out all the stops in idea and execution. Try the cold flower crab with colada ice or the supremely delicious truffle roast duck.

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Bukit Damansara

Best French, Italian and European restaurants

Cantaloupe

Try the deftly-prepared foie gras satay at one of KL’s most stunning restaurants.

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KL City Centre

Madisons

In the capable hands of Kelly Delaney, the kitchen plays with classic French and Italian flavours that come through in modern iterations like pork-stuffed arancini balls and slow-cooked beef cheeks.

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Bangsar

Mezze

This charming restaurant and wine bar pulls off upgraded bistro fare that ranges from gourmet pizza to Angus ribeye. The pulled pork burger with whisky barbecue sauce is a must-try.

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Bukit Damansara

Neroteca

It’s not the fanciest in town, but it’s great for when you want to tuck into a comforting no-fuss ravioli dish.

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Bukit Bintang

Ohla Tapas & Cocktails

This casual bar takes tapas to avant-garde standards under the helm of the very bright Toni Valero. Our first five-star review in years.

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KL City Centre

PRIME

Winner of the Best Fine Dining title at TOKL Food Awards 2012, PRIME’s meats will break your bank, but they’re worth it.

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KL Sentral

Sitka Restaurant

Sitka champions local produce to churn out exciting things from the test kitchen like duck with miso pumpkin, pear and almonds.

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Bukit Damansara

Best Asian restaurants

Erawan

Owned by two Thai brothers, Erawan serves authentic Thai cuisine and may well be the best Thai place in town.

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Kota Damansara

Kampachi

Fresh seafood from Japan and a quality menu are why Kampachi has always been the top choice for Japanese cuisine. You must try the omakase menu.

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KL City Centre

Kedai Makanan Frame Thai

Formerly known as Lai Thai, this Thai martcum- restaurant is a secret no more thanks to a growing fan base in PJ. Go for the intensely spicy green curry, stay for everything else.

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Seksyen 17

My Elephant Happy Mansion

The neighbourhood Thai restaurant you can rely on to satisfying your craving for green papaya salad, spicy tom ka soups and perfectly baked seabass.

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Seksyen 17

Nobu

Don’t miss the black cod miso and the Chilean sea bass at this Japanese-Peruvian restaurant.

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KL City Centre

Torii

This modern yakitori bar strays from tradition with exciting tapas-style snacks to complement an impressive range of Japanese whiskies.

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TTDI

Best cafés and coffee shops

Acme Bar & Coffee

Acme is still considered one of our city’s most stylish. The café-food-gone-haute genre is nicely expressed in an ace weekend brunch menu.

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KL City Centre

Brewmen

Best for cold brew by the bottle; the coffee is clean, bright and well balanced. Don’t miss the nitro version if you prefer a stout-like coffee.

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Mont Kiara

Inside Scoop

This ice cream parlour has some of the most inventive flavours around, and their Belgian waffles are stellar.

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Bangsar

S.Wine

This porcine-heavy eatery serves the city’s best full monty – curls of fried bacon, housemade baked beans and a thoroughly filled arugula-pork sausage adorned by two crackling sunny-side-ups.

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Solaris Dutamas

The Daily Habit

The Daily Habit banishes all stereotypes attached to healthy food by serving hearty breakfast and lunch options like the quinoa parfait.

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Bangsar

Three Little Birds

Artisan Roastery’s latest venture sees coffee connoisseur Joey Mah experimenting with top roasts and meticulously prepared brews. Don’t forget the cake.

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Sentul

Best cheap eats

Hau Kee

The messy environment is not indicative of the brilliant Chinese stir-fry that the restaurant serves. Don’t miss the One Bucket Chicken and braised mutton belly in claypot.

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Cheras

Kedai Kak Jat

Behind our old Istana Negara lies KL’s favourite ikan bakar stall. The perfectly cooked, banana leaf-wrapped seafood is coated in spicy marinade before being chucked on the sizzling grill.

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Brickfields

Kedai Makanan O&S Restaurant

This kopitiam is always crowded, and deservedly so; people come here for its famous prawn mee, Penang-style chee cheong fun, yong tau foo and char kuey teow.

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SEA Park

Restoran 168

This stuffy stall is responsible for some of the city’s best curry mee – robust, creamy and brutal in spiciness. The wantan mee is also excellent.

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KL City Centre

Best seafood restaurants

Best modern Australian restaurants

Drift Dining and Bar

This fairly new restaurant whips up modern Australian cuisine using fresh produce with Asian flavours and cooking methods.

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Bukit Bintang

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