Restaurants & Cafés

The best restaurants and cafés in Kuala Lumpur, including restaurant reviews, new restaurants and editors' picks

The best egg dishes in KL
Restaurants

The best egg dishes in KL

Whether you like fluffy omelettes, hollandaise-drenched poached eggs or roti canai banjir special, we’ve compiled the best egg dishes in town. Time to get cracking.

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The best green tea desserts in KL
Restaurants

The best green tea desserts in KL

Check out all the varie-tea of green tea desserts you should have right now including molten cakes, parfaits, soft serve ice cream and even green tea butter

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The best cheap eats in KL
Restaurants

The best cheap eats in KL

Eating well doesn’t mean you have to pay more. We’ve got you covered for the best cheap meals under RM15 our city has to offer.

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Time Out KL Food & Drink Awards 2016
Restaurants

Time Out KL Food & Drink Awards 2016

Nominations are now open for the Time Out KL Food & Drink Awards. Here’s your chance to champion the city’s best cafés, restaurants AND bars

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Latest restaurant reviews

Hyderabad Biryani House
Restaurants

Hyderabad Biryani House

Biryani, the stately leader of all rice dishes, steals the show at this shadowy alley restaurant. The kitchen – led by a Hyderabad chef – prepares a large pot everyday, an aluminum vessel large enough to fit a crouching teenager, or the ego of three Boris Johnsons. The waiter uses a plastic plate to pile on rice and meat – enough for two – topped with rings of red onion and a wedge of lime. The biryani (RM15) here is painstakingly layered with rice and meat for the chicken- or mutton-specific versions. At other Indian restaurants in the area, you may find that the rice is cooked separately from the meat, saving the kitchen multiple batches of biryani. If you’d rather a base of yellow rice with meat tossed in, allow me to point you in the direction of a nasi kandar restaurant. Most importantly here, the rice is very, very good. Each long, slender grain separates cleanly from its peers for soft, fluffy results. It’s also difficult to be dispassionate about the saffron-tinted shade of gold that coats the grains, sometimes broken by patches of white from the layering. In between, you’ll find chicken or mutton chunks, caked in a thick marinade residue that moistens the rice. It’s wise to pick up a couple of bowls of sides from the display trays, specifically the mutton gongura (RM5) on weekends, a curious blend of fire and tang contributed by the magic of red sorrel leaves. The egg bhurji (RM3) too is worth a try – a dry, scrambled egg dish with loads of diced onions, spices an

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Ekkamai
Restaurants

Ekkamai

The metamorphosis of Jalan Batai is one that hasn’t been taken lightly by those who clutch on to the street’s halcyon days. But if the effect of gentrification is a restaurant as fun as Ekkamai, it helps to take away the ache, even if only slightly. The restaurant on Batai’s flashy strip bathes in mood lighting on a Friday night, intensified by heavy drapery and pops of Pantone colours. To match the setting, the service is brisk and unobtrusive. Ekkamai claims itself to be a contemporary Thai restaurant, but really, it’s a Thai restaurant in a modern setting. Classics are not mucked about with, and the proof is in the seafood homok (RM26). It’s Thai-style otak-otak, or fish cooked into soft, velvety, persimmon-hued mousse scented with lemongrass and swaddled in a banana leaf parcel. Prawns, squid, mussels and scallops are folded in for a tender, salty bite. This little starter had me thinking about it so mournfully that I find myself returning two nights later for a second whiff. I also order the Josper-grilled squid marinated in coriander and garlic, and stuffed with chicken and prawns (RM22). If it all sounds like a strange mélange of meats, it isn’t. The charcoal from the oven reflects in the squid, whose bite is both delicate and substantial. The Chiang Mai chicken wings (RM24) – also given time in the Josper – are more forgettable even if they’re cooked well and come with an arrestingly spicy raw papaya salad. The duck and lychee curry (RM32), meanwhile, is sweet fro

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Foo Foo
Restaurants

Foo Foo

Judging by the crowd at Foo Foo on a Monday night, plated dessert cafés are a huge gap in an industry still plagued by lazy iterations of hollandaise on egg.

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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DOMA Modern Korean
Restaurants

DOMA Modern Korean

DOMA is the model restaurant that just wants to have fun, but wants to be taken seriously as well. 

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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New restaurants and cafés in KL

Hoppers Kuala Lumpur
Restaurants

Hoppers Kuala Lumpur

For atas appam in a stylised café setting, the new Hoppers in Pudu, by sisters Sugania and Nishalni Naidu, is putting an inventive, distinctively Malaysian spin on the breakfast staple. While it’s located in a former lawyers’ office, you won’t see the mundane furnishings. Instead, Hoppers (with the help of creative agency POW Ideas) has brightened up the place with vibrant colour blocks in a palette of pinks and blues. Leafy pots of tropical greens further accentuate the laidback vibe, and if you’re seated in the alfresco area, look up to see vintage Tamil movie posters. If you’re wondering why the restaurant is called Hoppers, it’s because the sisters went for the appam’s anglicised name: hoppers. It’s also how appam is commonly referred to in Sri Lanka. There’s a slight difference between hoppers and appam though: the former is more bowl-shaped and deeper while the latter is slightly flatter. But both have the flavours of fermented rice batter and coconut milk, crisp lacy edges and a pillowy centre. At Hoppers, you’ll get the bowl-shaped ones; the sisters have taken their mother’s appam recipe and put their own spin on the South Indian dish. Choose between sweet and savoury; you also get to pick an egg hopper or a plain one when you order the savoury version. We say start with the nasi lemak-inspired hopper topped with chicken rendang, sambal, anchovies, groundnuts and cucumber. Then, move on to the sweet hopper with coconut milk. If you’re feeling adventurous, have the

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Chocha Foodstore
Restaurants

Chocha Foodstore

While it’s easy to mourn the gentrification of Petaling Street and the proliferation of ‘hipster’ cafés in Old KL, we’re glad to see Chocha Foodstore setting up shop in the abandoned Mah Lian Hotel. Meaning ‘sit and drink tea’ in the Hakka dialect, Chocha is a space where you can do just that – sit down with friends over a pot of specialty tea or two. It’s also a tribute of sorts to the Malaysian yum cha culture. Located a couple of doors away from Merchant’s Lane and PS150, Chocha Foodstore is one of the most visually stunning cafés we’ve seen this year: classic pastel tiles galore which vary from room to room, a sun-drenched central courtyard lined with potted herbs, clusters of vintage glass lamps dangling over a long wooden tables in a corner. Architect and owner Shin Chang of MentahMatter Design (the second floor of the building houses the office and a co-working area) has transformed the space while keeping the structure (raw concrete walls and all) intact. Fun fact: the colourful tiles and grilles at Chocha are all original fittings from Mah Lian Hotel. According to Shin Chang, they hope this project of theirs will set an example and help in the effort to stop unnecessary demolition of old buildings in KL. Hear, hear.   As a tribute to Chinatown, the two-page menu (by Shin Chang’s partners Penny Ng and Youn Chang) is dedicated to Malaysian-inspired dishes with local ingredients. There’s kerabu mango slaw, there’s cincalok fried chicken, there’s charred eggplant belad

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Botanica+Co
Restaurants

Botanica+Co

With a light-filled space dominated by two Ficus trees and with plants dotted around, Botanica + Co restaurant and bar can be best described as lush. It reminds us of a glass house in a botanical garden; it’s a beautiful space, one that’s made for a leisurely meal. And the diverse menu plays into that theme very well. Helmed by Sam Neoh, the chef behind the popular PS.Café in Singapore, the crowd-pleasing menu features a balanced mix of cuisines. The pizza list is long, and it’s complemented by Asian and Western comfort food the likes of rotisserie chicken, duck rendang, seafood bisque linguine, Hokkien mee, fish and chips, burgers and more. If you prefer something light, there are a few choices for salads and sandwiches as well.On the bar side, Botanica + Co serves cocktails featuring Asian ingredients – think yuzu, papaya and mango. Selected cocktails are available in carafes as well, perfect for sharing between two and four people.

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Commoners Space
Restaurants

Commoners Space

Looking just like another office in the sleepy suburbs of Section 13, Commoners Space is the newest addition to Shah Alam’s café scene. The interior is intentionally kept low-key – the white walls are clean and bare, save for a framed cover of Hypebeast and a portrait of Basquiat. The café’s love for minimalism is also reflected in their menu and, most importantly, the prices, most of which are under RM15. The café tries to incorporate local ingredients into their dishes, such as the pesto linguine topped with ulam. Besides baking their own sourdough bread for their sandwiches, the café also brews their own kombucha, a type of fermented tea.

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The best restaurants and cafés in KL

Bakar
Restaurants

Bakar

Guys, let’s all calm down about the ‘grill-concept’ trend. Grilling as a cooking method is at least 300,000 years old, and these days, there’s nothing novel about a restaurant that cooks food directly over a source of heat. Fortunately, Bakar’s affiliation with charcoal fire is far from opportunistic – spend one night here and it’s easy to see that boundaries are meddled with, for KL standards at least. Trust The BIG Group in all manner of aesthetic; every detail is measured to enhance the experience, from the white marble tiling, to the matchbox mural, to the open kitchen – it’s stylish, but not outwardly so. And when I ask for recommendations, the waiters are kind and welcoming, a true refresher in Bangsar. I start with the barbecue classic – grilled watermelon. It comes in a salad with strawberry, pomegranate, chilli, radish, cucumber and coriander. Objectively, the flavours sound threatening, but when eaten together in one forkful, they open up well. The juiciness of the fruit against the sharpness of coriander, the surprise crunch of the cucumber, the mild nuttiness of sesame seeds – it’s like playing many rounds on a coin-operated claw crane, and getting a different soft toy at every attempt. The second starter of parcelled clam bake is more predictable, but still very, very good. The flavours – lemongrass, chilli, pandan – can easily be found in any Asian- Western mash-up, but at Bakar, Chef Keith Choong extrudes the most out of each ingredient. The broth in which t

Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Cantaloupe
Restaurants

Cantaloupe

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

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Fuego
Restaurants

Fuego

The city view may be stunning, but it's the modern approach to grill and the inventive cocktails that make this restaurant and bar one of the best in the city.

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Mercat
Bars and pubs

Mercat

This Catalan gastrobar in Bangsar is one of the area’s more stylish for a quick dash to Europe. Chef David Caral, formerly of Circus, has concocted a menu rarely seen in the city – Iberico ham croquettes, salmorejo (chilled tomato puree), rice cooked with squid ink and a fun take on patatas bravas are only a few of the tapas-sized plates on offer. When in doubt, definitely try the cold eggplant puree with pine nuts and honey; but when in a crisis, the Iberico pork ribs with roasted peppers are a must.

Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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The best of food and drink in KL

The best cafés in KL
Restaurants

The best cafés in KL

You’ve got to admit that a trip to a good café sets you in a cheery mood – the sun-soaked space, glorious sunny side ups and that tingling dose of caffeine. The Time Out KL team maps out the best cafés for every occasion, from Instagram eye candies to the brunch of champions.

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The best chai lattes in KL
Restaurants

The best chai lattes in KL

Gaining precious real estate space on KL café menus is the chai latte, an updated version of the masala chai available on the streets of India and in most Indian restaurants around town. Instead of espresso, the chai latte is made with frothed milk and concentrated spiced tea. The next time you crave chai, here’s where to go.

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The best teahouses in KL
Restaurants

The best teahouses in KL

Fancy a spot of tea? Whether you're looking for traditional Chinese tea over dim sum or prefer to take the English route with scones and clotted cream, head to these recommended teahouses in KL. 

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The best restaurants and cafés in KL
Restaurants

The best restaurants and cafés in KL

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.

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The best banana leaf restaurants in KL
Restaurants

The best banana leaf restaurants in KL

Tired of the usual suspects when it comes to banana leaf rice? We bury our fingers in rice and curry to track down some of Klang Valley’s lesser-known banana leaf restaurants, plus a few old favourites.

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