Restaurants & Cafés

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

Restaurants

The best local rice dishes in KL

As part of our 100 best dishes and drinks in KL feature, we show you the best local rice dishes you have to try, from the contentious nasi lemak with fluffy rice and punchy sambal, to the humble chicken rice topped with succulent meat and fragrant garlic chilli dip.

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Restaurants

The best Japanese restaurants in KL for noodles

From ramen, udon and soba, we narrow down the best Japanese restaurants in KL to get a bowl of comforting hot noodles. Save this list for a rainy day.

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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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Restaurants

Reviewed: Baked cheese tarts in KL

Move over egg tarts; we now want our tarts full of cheese and sometimes, half-baked. Here's what we have to say about these baked cheese tarts that are slowly taking over the city (and your Instagram feed)

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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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Latest restaurant reviews

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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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
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Restaurants

Jibby Chow

After scoring a table at one of the most popular restaurants in Subang, I watch the chaos unfold from my seat – waiters shuffling about in utter frenzy, customers pleading, getting turned away, or being made to wait outside for a table, crying kids in tow. And after a couple of hours of a most tremendously mediocre meal, one thinks: Just like the slew of people that support its namesake, the love for Jibby Chow is baffling. But there are reasons they come. For starters, there aren’t many halal Chinese restaurants in the Klang Valley, let alone the area. Also, the setup is more like a brunch café than a Chinese one, always a shoo-in for Malaysian entrepreneurs to serve literally any cuisine. (If you’re sceptical, watch your bank balance swell once you open a space of suspended light bulbs and exposed ceiling selling nasi for RM30 a pop.) Even if the target marketing is spot on, the food very rarely is. Worse still is the time we spend waiting for ours. This is not a dig at the staff, for everyone who comes to our table is pleasant and certainly trying their best on a Saturday night, but the waiting time is no less inexplicable. I order two starters, the first that comes approximately an hour and 15 minutes after my order was taken, and the second that comes right before dessert. There’s also a considerable time gap between each main, so our meal pans out like a multi-course dinner, where we finish one dish before the next arrives. It’s not just our table that suffers this m

Time Out says
  • 2 out of 5 stars
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Restaurants

Authentic Chapati Hut

It must be clear by now that the best restaurants in Brickfields aren’t those that are apparent to the tourist eye. Away from the tawdry Little India stretch of Jalan Tun Sambanthan are far more interesting, far more modest options for a weeknight dinner. A regular player of the game is Authentic Chapati Hut, where north Indian food is stripped of its fit-for-a-king title. Much of the dishes here are everyday ingredients raised to opulence, food that indicates luxury but served on plastic plates within the stuffy confines of the restaurant. The menu is vegetarian, where in many cases, Indian food truly comes through. Meat is replaced with sultry, heavy-bodied things like eggplants, chickpeas, lentils and paneer. For meat fetishists, there are soy meats but really, you wouldn’t need any of it. One of my favourite things to eat – both at Authentic Chapati Hut and in life – is chana masala, mildly tangy gravy of chickpeas best scooped up with large scraps of chapatti. Here, the pulses are cooked through but left with a substantial bite to counter the thick residue of spices and onions that clings to each morsel. For the supper of your dreams, I strongly suggest you pack home the leftovers and top a good ladleful on a thick slice of multi-grain. Meanwhile, the baingan bartha is aggressively delicious at first bite, an alliance of creamy eggplant and a mild spice blend. I finish it almost instantly. The paneer butter masala and aloo gobi too are great, textbook in execution and

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

Restaurants

Chaplang Kafe

With its easy-on-the-eyes mint green façade and scoops of ice cream in Malaysian flavours (kaya toast!), Chaplang Kafé is a welcome addition to the OUG café scene. Previously known as Butter + Beans, the rebranding introduces a new menu and look (goodbye communal tables, hello wall mural about our chapalang language). For the best seats, we say go for the outdoor area with matching mint green furniture. Come early in the afternoon and make yourself at home for a session of people watching – elderly OUG residents passing by on the kaki lima, families heading to a nearby bakery, motorists honking at each other occasionally for crowding up the narrow roads. Inside the café, small round tables are dotted about, with a long slim table by the wall for those looking to get some work done. If you’re here to work, look up from your laptop every once in a while and take in the motivational quotes on the wall for a mental boost. The gleaming black-tiled wall behind the cashier from the café’s Butter + Beans days is still here, and that’s where the menu is. Food-wise, Chaplang Kafé serves pizzas, sandwiches, pastas, breakfast platters and coffee. While those are decent (popular dishes are the rendang chicken pizza and white spaghetti with sausage and turkey ham), it’s their selection of ice cream and waffles that shine. Scooped from G-Lat (local ice cream producer Forty Licks’ new range of Malaysian flavours), tastes run the gamut from durian to coconut gula Melaka. On our visit, we

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Restaurants

The Ice Cream Bar

The Ice Cream Bar is the latest venture by the same people behind your favourite ice cream parlour, Inside Scoop. Things are done differently here as this bar – yes, we can call it a bar – specialises in alcoholic ice creams; think spiked Inside Scoop favourites such as Smoked Cognac, XO Cranberry, beer and more. Located in Desa Sri Hartamas near Naughty Nuri's, The Ice Cream Bar's minimalist interior (think bare white walls, strategically-placed pots of green plants and jet black chairs) ticks off all the stark-but-cool boxes. Try to cop these spots when you're here: the small outdoor seating area good for a party of two or three, the cosy (and prettiest) corner with two grey upholstered chairs, and if you're with your ice cream-loving troop, the communal table. Menu-wise, there’s a good selection of boozy and regular flavours. The Ice Cream Bar collaborated with The Singleton for a limited-time line of whisky-infused ice creams last May, so keep your eyes peeled for future partnerships with other brands. Meanwhile, take a few indulgent licks of brandy-infused dark chocolate Smoked Cognac, XO-infused cranberry and beer - your afterwork drink in a cone. If you’d rather have non-alcoholic ice cream, try premium and signature flavours such as white truffle chocolate with sea salt, mint stracciatella, raspberry yoghurt, blood orange sorbet or durian. After you've picked your scoops, opt to have it in a glass cup, handmade cone or on Inside Scoop's famed buttermilk waffles, an

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Restaurants

Flint Restaurant & Bar

After Stoked, we’re fired up to have another Vintry Group steakhouse around – Flint Restaurant & Bar. While Stoked has somewhat French-Japanese influences on the menu, the pork-free Flint features a menu that skews towards American fare, with a more child-friendly bent (there’s a kids’ menu and a play area upstairs). The kitchen also uses a specially imported cast iron Bertha charcoal oven as well as the Drumbecue, a charcoal barbecue drum smoker for grilling seafood and vegetables. Fun fact: Taking local produce a step further, Flint has started a plot of vegetables at an organic farm in the highlands where they will eventually harvest their own vegetables.

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Restaurants

Botanica Deli

The lucky folks of Bangsar South get a new sandwich/salad deli in the form of Botanica Deli at the shiny new Vertical Podium. The Botanica team got the recipe right – a sunlit space complete with white tiles and timber features, lots of plants, warm soup (on our visit, it was lotus root, pumpkin soup and minestrone), trays of salad ingredients (think edamame, grapes, pumpkin, candied pecans, etc) where you can either customise your own salad or pick a ‘crafted’ salad or sandwich, and friendly service to boot. There will be a botanical-inspired restaurant and bar called Botanica & Co by the same team opening next door, and expansion plans are in the pipeline.

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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The best restaurants and cafés in KL

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
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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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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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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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

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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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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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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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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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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