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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

Written by
Time Out KL editors
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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

Bakti Woodlands

  • price 1 of 4

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...

Chef Low

Chef Low

  • price 3 of 4

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...

Delhi Royale

Delhi Royale

  • price 2 of 4

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

Dewakan

Dewakan

  • price 3 of 4

KL’s most exhilarating restaurant to emerge in what seems like years is Dewakan, buried deep in the campus of Shah Alam’s Kolej Damansara Utama (KDU). Head...

Fatimah Selera Kampung

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.

The Ganga Deli and Café

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...

Hau Kee

Hau Kee

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • price 2 of 4

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...

Kesom

Kesom

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • price 2 of 4

The rustic virtues of Kelantanese food are greatly underrepresented in KL – there are some solid options in Kampung Baru, a new-ish nasi Kak Wok stall in...

Limapulo: Baba Can Cook

Limapulo: Baba Can Cook

  • price 2 of 4

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.

Ming Room

Ming Room

  • price 3 of 4

Opened in 2003, The Ming Room serves authentic Cantonese cuisine with a touch of creative liberty. Recently refurbished, be impressed with the historical and...

Restoran Sambal Hijau

Restoran Sambal Hijau

  • price 1 of 4

Over 50 kinds of Malay and Minang-style dishes are displayed, which include the signature patin tempoyak.

Tasty Chapathi

Tasty Chapathi

  • price 2 of 4

There’s some truth to the restaurant’s hammy title, and it begins with the paneer pasanda. Noted as a chef’s special in the vegetarian section of the menu,...

Best French, Italian and European restaurants

Bakar

Bakar

  • price 2 of 4

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,...

Fuego

Fuego

  • price 4 of 4

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.

Mercat

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...

Mezze

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...

Neroteca

Neroteca

  • price 3 of 4

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

Sitka Restaurant

Sitka Restaurant

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

Best Asian restaurants

Erawan

Erawan

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

Kampachi

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.

My Elephant

My Elephant

  • price 3 of 4

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

Oribe Sushi

Oribe Sushi

On the ground floor of ViPod Residences, off Jalan Kia Peng, is Oribe Sushi, helmed by arguably KL’s most lauded sushi master chef, Chef Hideaki Oritsuki....

Sumi-Ka

Sumi-Ka

  • 4 out of 5 stars

Sumika – what is one of the best yakitori restaurants in the Klang Valley – likes to play hard to get. Getting through their landline is a game of chance,...

Torii

Torii

  • price 3 of 4

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

Uokatsu

Uokatsu

The monarchs of Japanese dining in KL – haughtily led by the likes of Kame Sushi – may never go out of fashion but sometimes we’re allowed to...

Best cafés and coffee shops

Huckleberry Food & Fare

Huckleberry Food & Fare

  • price 2 of 4

The appeal of this inspired and immensely popular bakery-café lies in master baker Christophe Gros's stellar French-style bread. 

Inside Scoop

Inside Scoop

  • price 1 of 4

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

Jaslyn Cakes

Jaslyn Cakes

You may have stumbled upon Instagram photos of the decadent sweet rolls, pastries, cookies, chocolate truffles and cakes by Jaslyn (@jaslynr), who used to...

S.Wine

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...

Three Little Birds

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...

Best healthy eating restaurants

Ashley's by Living Food

Ashley's by Living Food

  • price 3 of 4

Living Food bistro’s maiden offshoot stays true to its health food roots without sacrificing panache and élan. Spruced-up comfort food like the...

Simple Life

Simple Life

  • price 2 of 4

The food at Simple Life does not contain MSG, trans fats, colouring or preservatives; they use natural and organic ingredients. They also claim to use extra...

Best cheap eats

Mohd Yaseen Nasi Kandar Pulau Pinang

Mohd Yaseen Nasi Kandar Pulau Pinang

  • price 1 of 4

Confession: Until recently, I had never eaten at Yaseen; let’s just say that it had never crossed my mind to look beyond the regular chains for nasi...

Restoran 168

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.

Restoran Yarl

Restoran Yarl

  • price 1 of 4

Sri Lankan restaurants are few and far between in the Klang Valley, but this three-year-old restaurant in Brickfields is one step closer towards changing that....

Village Park

Village Park

  • price 1 of 4

March 2009 In the three years I’ve been frequenting Village Park I’ve not once tasted its widely touted nasi dagang, a delicious (or so I’ve...

Best seafood restaurants

Best modern Australian restaurant

Drift Dining and Bar

Drift Dining and Bar

  • price 3 of 4

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

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