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Pudu's best street food

Featuring the tastiest dishes from the kitchens of the street

Once an untrodden gem shrouded in thick forest, and hence its moniker ‘Poon San Pah’, Pudu is now characterised by a wealth of street eats and historic architecture. We list the top things to eat in this historic neighbourhood.

Curry noodles at Restoran 168
Photo: Hizwan Hamid
1/24

Curry noodles at Restoran 168

A good curry broth is oftentimes a solo performer. Its flavours are robust, creamy and assertive, and the rest of the supporting ingredients – yellow noodles, long beans, tau fu pok, pig skin and cockles – can’t help but dance to its spicy tunes. And it’s exactly this sort of broth that holds 168’s curry noodles together. The chewy noodles are slicked with curry while the airy tau fu poks – when bitten into – create mini explosions of flavour in our mouths. A refreshing, fleeting hint of mint wafts up every time we draw the noodles to our lips. Take note of the accompanying sambal, which pulls no punches – it burns. 

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Pudu
Cendol at Cendol Sulaiman
Photo: Hizwan Hamid
2/24

Cendol at Cendol Sulaiman

Sometimes, the best dessert is the kind that arrives in a plastic bowl. Sulaiman’s cendol is a revival of a childhood staple – one you’ll often find by the roadside hawked by an old Indian uncle. Slithery green cendol, coconut milk, kidney beans and gula Melaka slosh around in a bowl of shaved ice as Sulaiman churns out one after another to a long line of customers. It seems this simple treat is being given the reverence it deserves; unfortunately that means you’ll have to stand in queue for a while.

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Pudu
Wantan Mee at Restoran 168
Photo: Hizwan Hamid
3/24

Wantan Mee at Restoran 168

Preparing a perfect bowl of wantan mee is all about timing. The cook at Restoran 168 takes some egg noodles twined together like a ball of yarn and unspools them in boiling water before dunking them in cold water to maintain their springiness. After a quick toss in dark soy sauce, the noodles are crowned with slivers of char siew and chopped scallions. Why are we sure this is good? The proof is in the dumplings.

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Pudu
Coconut herbal chicken soup at Keong Kee
Photo: Hizwan Hamid
4/24

Coconut herbal chicken soup at Keong Kee

Housed in a single coconut shell, Keong Kee’s famed coconut herbal chicken soup exudes a sharp herby tang, coupled with a faintly bitter aftertaste – Chinese herbal soup doesn’t get more comforting than this. Of course, it’s not the only soup you should try from the long-running street stall’s myriad steamers – we also recommend the ginseng root and old cucumber varieties.

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Pudu
Beef ball noodles at Beef King Noodles
Photo: Hizwan Hamid
5/24

Beef ball noodles at Beef King Noodles

This decades-old stall ladles up bowl after bowl of noodles for those looking to catch a break in the printing district. The herbal broth alone is something to relish: It’s the colour of black tea and delicately spiced, mildly sweet and deeply complex all at once. Throw in housemade beef balls, strips of brisket and fresh, starchy noodles for an expert play on flavours and textures.

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Pudu
Nyonya kuih and sweet soup at Kedai Makanan and Minum PMK
Photo: Hizwan Hamid
6/24

Nyonya kuih and sweet soup at Kedai Makanan and Minum PMK

Instead of scrambling to different stalls in KL for the best nyonya kuih and local desserts, PMK has them all under one roof. The owner parades her kuih lapis, angkoo, yam cake, popiah and sweet dumplings behind glass – an enticing sight that makes the selection process even more difficult. When the queue gets too daunting at Tuck Cheong next door, you can count on PMK to hold off your hunger pangs.

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Pudu
Tai bu mee/Da bu mien at Chun Kee
Photo: Hizwan Hamid
7/24

Tai bu mee/Da bu mien at Chun Kee

Dabu is a centre of Hakka culture in the Guangdong province of China, so it’s technically not wrong to call Chun Kee’s signature noodles Hakka mee. Chun Kee, now run by the fourth generation, has stood the test of time for more than 80 years, and their inclination towards simple food certainly shows. Served with soup dumplings on the side, Chun Kee’s homemade noodles are perked up with a generous portion of minced pork and lean char siew. It’s amazing what a stall under a shack can accomplish in such a rudimentary kitchen.

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Pudu
Heun Kee Claypot Chicken Rice
Photo: Hizwan Hamid
8/24

Heun Kee Claypot Chicken Rice

This place takes its claypots seriously. As you walk in, rows of pots burn on individual stoves while members of the restaurant’s staff tirelessly fan sparks of ember. The claypot rice here avoids the dreaded overcooked, unyielding texture that you sometimes get via less careful methods, and instead breaks easily into loose grains for a fluffy finish. Chicken, lap cheong and – if you wish – salted fish are standard mix-ins.

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Pudu
Dim sum at Restoran Tuck Cheong
Photo: Hizwan Hamid
9/24

Dim sum at Restoran Tuck Cheong

Before upscale Chinese restaurants made it big with their fancy push-cart dim sum experience, Tuck Cheong was already establishing a name for itself. Fluffy baos stuffed with hot char siew filling, braised chicken steamed rice and xiu mai bejewelled with large prawns are some of the dishes that definitely deserve a wider fanbase.

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KL City Centre
Char kuey teow at Kedai Kopi Yuyi
Photo: Hizwan Hamid
10/24

Char kuey teow at Kedai Kopi Yuyi

This charming kopitiam is famed for its pork noodles, but patrons unwilling to endure the lengthy preparation time for the popular dish could do worse than opt for the equally enticing char kuey teow. Topped with a fried egg, it’s a tad wetter and sweeter than your run-of-the-mill char kuey teow.

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Pudu
Fish head curry at Restoran Sin Hiap Kee
Photo: Hizwan Hamid
11/24

Fish head curry at Restoran Sin Hiap Kee

This charming kopitiam is just like any other until you peer into proprietor Madam Tang’s bubbling pot of curry. Red snapper heads are submerged in dangerously red gravy with tau fu pok, okra and tomatoes, all which are best eaten with piping hot white rice and a crushing of papadum.

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Pudu
Chicken and prawn noodles at San Peng Prawn Noodles
Photo: Hizwan Hamid
12/24

Chicken and prawn noodles at San Peng Prawn Noodles

This makeshift shack with zinc roof and limited plastic tables has been winning plaudits for its splendid prawn noodles since 1971. The rich, sweet and punchy broth is the main attraction here, with the tender chicken chunks being especially noteworthy.

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Pudu
Pei pa duck at Restoran Sek Yuen
Photo: Hizwan Hamid
13/24

Pei pa duck at Restoran Sek Yuen

Served with a special plum sauce, Sek Yuen’s roast duck boasts a greasy sheen with fatty bits peeking out from its crackly skin, and tender meat imbued with smoky firewood. If all duck restaurants in KL were to play the game of thrones, Sek Yuen would be sitting right at the top.

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Pudu
Victory’s Crispy Fried Chicken
Photo: Hizwan Hamid
14/24

Victory’s Crispy Fried Chicken

This fried chicken shack along Pudu’s nighttime wai sek kai knows a thing or two about avoiding wastage. Breast, thighs, wings, feet and, yes, even butt, are tossed in spiced flour, browned in hot oil and served with old-fashioned crinkle cut fries. The chicken yields light, crisp skin and a juicy middle.

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Pudu
Roasted goose at Chen Chen
Photo: Hizwan Hamid
15/24

Roasted goose at Chen Chen

If roasted duck rice is too passé for your liking, try the meatier, larger and more extravagantly priced roasted goose at this nondescript corner stall, which is just a two-minute stroll from Jalan Pasar. Each generous serving of the gamey roasted goose is placed over a bed of juicy bean sprouts.

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Pudu
Wild boar curry at Keong Kee
Photo: Hizwan Hamid
16/24

Wild boar curry at Keong Kee

A healthy repertoire of Chinese herbal soups isn’t the only thing attracting patrons to this unassuming street stall. In addition to delicacies like braised chicken feet with mushroom and slow-braised pork belly with preserved vegetables, Keong Kee also boasts a top-notch wild boar curry dish that packs a satisfying punch and boasts succulent meaty chunks.

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Pudu
Rojak pasembur at MSS Maju
Photo: Hizwan Hamid
17/24

Rojak pasembur at MSS Maju

Crunchy pasembur with shredded sengkuang and cucumber slathered in gooey peanut sauce – it’s not just a dish that moves the crowd along but also a staple beloved by the local community. Every morning, you’ll find customers debating over another controversial newspaper headline and old aunties confabbing with their mahjong kakis – all these while digging into MSS Maju’s pasembur. Who needs roti canai?

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Pudu
Lam mee at May King
Photo: Hizwan Hamid
18/24

Lam mee at May King

It’s difficult to wrangle the ‘best lam mee’ title from May King, a ’70s institution along Pudu’s Jalan Yew. Though it’s renovated to look more contemporary, the restaurant still whips up a wicked version of the noodles: yellow mee drenched in gloopy brown sauce, topped with fresh prawns, shredded chicken, bean sprouts and Chinese cabbage. The signature curry mee too is worth an order.

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Pudu
Pig stomach with pepper soup at Heun Kee
Photo: Hizwan Hamid
19/24

Pig stomach with pepper soup at Heun Kee

Lashings of white pepper and tender pork stomach are necessary in a good bowl of pork stomach soup, and this one has both. The cloudy no-nonsense broth isn’t overpowered by a peppery pungency; all the more reason to order seconds.

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Pudu
Siu yuk at Kedai Makanan dan Minuman Wong Kee
Photo: Hizwan Hamid
20/24

Siu yuk at Kedai Makanan dan Minuman Wong Kee

Lunchtime visits here are sometimes exasperating: The staff won’t take your order a minute before half past twelve, and your meat takes approximately 30 minutes to arrive. But these complaints fade away when you’re eventually presented with thick batons of salty pork. Armoured with crisp, golden crackling skin, this siu yuk boasts a perfect balance between layers of oily fat and lean meat.

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Pudu
Teochew porridge at Kedai Makanan Teochew
Photo: Hizwan Hamid
21/24

Teochew porridge at Kedai Makanan Teochew

Comfort food at its finest, this rustic Teochew restaurant’s hearty plain porridge with a plethora of side dishes is a late-night hit with city dwellers. We like ours paired with braised pig’s intestines, sweet fried anchovies and salted vegetables.

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Pudu
Pudu Chicken rice
Photo: Hizwan Hamid
22/24

Pudu Chicken rice

We’ve been to this stall as a kid, where the aroma of steamed chicken used to emanate from a wooden shack rather than the tiny shop it is now. The husband of this business couple mans the front, hacking whole chickens into delicious chunks while the wife adds the finishing touches – chopped coriander, parsley and a quick drizzle of soy sauce to bulk up the flavours. It’s simplicity, love and nostalgia on a plate.

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Pudu
The King (chocolate, peanut butter and banana cake) at VCR
Photo: Hizwan Hamid
23/24

The King (chocolate, peanut butter and banana cake) at VCR

Appropriately named, this cake is something of a signature at VCR. Crafted with love from Frost & Flourish’s Sophia Foo, Elvis flavours are prettily layered into a rich, creamy pat-on-the-back treat. It’s not a teacake by any measure; the peanut butter frosting and gooey banana is about as lush as it gets in the Pudu district.

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Pudu
Curry chee cheong fun at Yap Hup Kee
Photo: Stacy Liu
24/24

Curry chee cheong fun at Yap Hup Kee

This Pudu institution is home to our favourite chee cheong fun, which is drenched in a pleasingly piquant and velvety curry. Pair the silky smooth flat rice noodles with a side of yong tau foo and the signature barbecued pig’s intestines to understand why Yap Hup Kee is crowded every meal time.

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KL City Centre

More things to do in Pudu

The ultimate guide to Pudu

We list the top things to do and eat in this neighbourhood teeming with local culture and a sense of the past.

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By: Time Out KL editors

Comments

1 comments
Sarmila D
Sarmila D

can i know its near where...