Restaurants & Cafés

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

Makan Mana: Lim Kok Kean
Restaurants

Makan Mana: Lim Kok Kean

During office hours, Lim Kok Kean is the Head of Content and Brand for Freeform Untitled and The Bee. At other times, he goes by Bunga, his DJ moniker during his time with indie-dance collective Twilight Actiongirl. Here are three of his favourite eating spots.

The best aged steaks in KL
Restaurants

The best aged steaks in KL

For times when regular steaks just won’t do, aged steaks are your more flavourful, more tender and overall more premium options when it comes to grilled beef.

The best multi-course restaurants in KL
Restaurants

The best multi-course restaurants in KL

From affordable to extravagant, European to Asian, three- to eight-course menus, here are the best restaurants in KL to indulge in a multi-course meal.

New restaurants, cafés and bars in KL to try this month
Restaurants

New restaurants, cafés and bars in KL to try this month

We’ve been scouting out the city’s newest restaurants, cafés and bars to bring you this ultimate list. Change up your dining routine this month with these recent entries. Let the Instagramming begin.

Latest restaurant reviews

Table & Apron
Restaurants

Table & Apron

Table & Apron – formerly The Kitchen Table Restaurant & Bakery – doesn’t exist to disrupt the scene. From the outside, it barely stretches the boundaries of what is an already saturated restaurant-cum-bakery scene. But none of it matters. Because right from its birth in 2014, Table & Apron has proven to be a restaurant that has in spades a component so elementary yet so rare – heart. Through hard work, dedication and all the boring old-fashioned virtues of an honest operation, owner Marcus Low and his team have carved for us a little treasure in Damansara Kim. (Credit must also be given to former co-owner Mei Wan Tan.) The narcissism you’ll find in so many KL restaurants is refreshingly stripped off here; there’s no time and place for vanity if the team is worrying about what’s going on your plate. If it’s all sounding a bit ingenuous to you, therein lies the restaurant’s charm. Of course, a large part of the restaurant’s ‘soul’ is owing to the service led by one gracious Nelaton Ong. Even at peak brunch hour on a Saturday, the floor staff are efficient, attentive and willing to provide customised service whether in the form of a complimentary cookie for your restless kid or an informed recommendation for your diet-restricted friend. There’s a sense that they actually want to take care of you. There are signatures that have stood the test of time, cementing their place on the menu. If you’ve been even once to Table & Apron, you would have tried the fried chicken (RM23) who

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Kayra
Restaurants Book online

Kayra

If your ideas about coconut have been limited to santan and gula Melaka, Kayra is the lesson that will change everything you know about the humble fruit. At TTDI’s bearer of Keralan cuisine, coconut is put on a pedestal, bestowed a gold crown, and praised with kind words no matter the form or colour it takes. All good meals here should begin with the Kerala Cooler (RM12), a milkshake-like beverage with a base of coconut milk, laced with brown sugar and cardamom. The Spiced Konju (RM18), tiger prawns marinated with crushed fennel and coriander seeds and grilled to a char, should follow closely. You will suck on the prawn head until the juices run out, you will chew on the fractured seeds that graze the sweet flesh, and you will reach for raw red onion to soothe the palate. It’ll be one of the best things you eat in any Indian restaurant in the city. The clear fish soup with pumpkin, tapioca and raw banana (RM12) is less rousing in comparison but is indicative of a clean, sparkling fish stock. Because of Kerala’s coastal setting, seafood is heavily featured in its cuisine, so I’d suggest focusing on prawn and fish over chicken or mutton. You won’t miss the meat when fronted with the Kerala fish curry (RM30), hunks of tenggiri carefully folded into a smooth, coconut milk-tinged gravy. 'Coconut is the true celebrant here' In a similar vein is the Chemeen Mangga (RM32), a curry with coconut-marinated prawns and raw mango slices. It’s creamy once again, and a dream when s

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Book online
Uroko Japanese Cuisine
Restaurants Book online

Uroko Japanese Cuisine

Uroko has a bit of everything. It’s a party box of choices – nigiri and maki rolls, sashimi platters, noodles, tempura, yakitori, nabe and donburi, all packed into a massive hardbound menu that requires ample table space to flip through and about 15 minutes to grasp from cover to cover. So far, it’s not unlike Sushi Zanmai, but an affluent man’s version, if you will. Commonly, a large menu can come across as unfocused or lacking of speciality dishes, but Uroko turns out to be an exception. Case in point: the salmon ball salad (RM22). Salmon sashimi slices finished with salmon roe are draped around a zesty, crunchy mound of watercress. It’s all the things a salad wants to be – bright, sprightly and textural. Many of the entries at Uroko are similarly exciting and sometimes, original. While it may be tempting to opt for a sushi moriawase, it’s far more rewarding to try the more out-of-the-box rolls swathed in flavoured mayo, roe and badassery. For instance, the Uroko Maki (RM38) is a glitzy display of salmon, crab sticks, avocado, mentaiko and caviar – it’s about as much as fun as you can have in Seksyen 17. Look out for the page in the menu titled ‘Chef’s Specialities’ where most of the restaurant’s playful items reside. As its name suggests, the baked oyster with cod roe and cheese (RM12) does no wrong. The prawn stick (RM24) – marked as a recommended dish – is skewered prawns slathered in a mysterious creamy, enigmatic garlic sauce and liberally topped with cod roe. The p

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Book online
French Feast
Restaurants

French Feast

I suppose when it comes down to it, we all want to eat nice food in nice places that don’t cost the moon. Sure, we have French restaurants in KL where caramel is served upright in tangled webs; restaurants where the silverware is as shiny as the right side up of tinfoil; and of course, those that bestow themselves upon celebrities and socialites. But oftentimes, we don’t want the theatrics; we just want good, honest food in generous portions. We want thick hunks of bread to tear alongside juicy slabs of meat. We want to laugh until red wine squirts out our noses. Well, you get what I mean. And this is where French Feast comes in, like the bumbling, doting grandmother KL never had. Run by Jean-Michel Fraisse, formerly of La Vie En Rose, this restaurant is a celebration of all things tried-and-tested in French cuisine. Think Troyes tripe sausages with onions and mustard, braised rabbit with white wine and sautéed potatoes, and country-style terrines with onion jam and pickles. It’s a vintage French cookbook come to life, and frankly, it’s a hoot. Because I’m feeling a bit ’80s, I start with the French onion soup (RM28). And it’s just what the doctor ordered, if the doctor was Julia Child on a crackly television box set. The broth is not overly sweet or jammy, and the Comté cheese topping on the bread becomes sticky and chewy when pushed down into the soup. The next thing I order is irrespective of the chef’s skills because it comes straight from a can – ‘vintage’ mackerel c

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
See more restaurant reviews

New restaurants and cafés in KL

Gürumę Coffee
Restaurants

Gürumę Coffee

Gürumę Coffee is out to prove that good coffee doesn’t have to be costly or time-consuming affairs. Located in Mont Kiara, the coffee joint features a simple and functional interior with limited seating – rest assured you won’t find a crowd of WiFi hoarders here – while the colourful manga-inspired designs on their cups reflect their ambition of making gourmet coffee approachable, fun and quick. The coffee is made from a house blend of medium-roasted beans sourced from South America, Sumatra and Ethiopia to create a balanced cup of coffee that’s neither bitter nor too light. Coffees are reasonably priced, starting from RM4.90 for an espresso, RM6.90 for a long black and RM7.90 for a latte, with the latter two served in an 8oz cup. For those who fancy a more delicate brew, cold brews are also available at RM9 a bottle and RM15 for two. Aside from coffee, the store also has a small selection of house-made Danishes, cookies and muffins that are priced at a fraction of what you’ll find at coffee chain stores.

Tut's Egyptian Eatery
Restaurants

Tut's Egyptian Eatery

Traditional Egyptian food gets a modern update at Tut’s Egyptian Eatery, a casual dining restaurant that was founded by Egyptian brothers-in-law Mohamed Zein and Mohamed Tarek Diab as a way to introduce Malaysians to their native cuisine. The dishes here span from time-honoured favourites like the Egyptian kofta meat balls, om ali bread pudding and Molokhia minced leaf stew to contemporary dishes like roast chicken, herbal hot plate chicken with baked rice and crispy fried chicken. For those new to Egyptian cuisine, they recommend starting with the molokhia minced leaf stew, which is made by mincing molokhia leaves – a vegetable native to the Middle East that looks like mint and tastes similar to spinach – that are then cooked with butter, garlic and spices like coriander, cumin and black pepper to create a rich, unctuous soup that was once served to Egyptian royalty. As for the mains, the roast chicken dish with spicy sauce comes complete with a side dish that you can pick from a selection that includes fries, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables and spiced rice, while the hawaoshi baked meat foldover is an Egyptian favourite comprising seasoned beef or lamb that is stuffed into a baked baladi bread (an Egyptian flatbread made with wheat flour). The dessert selection includes the om ali bread pudding – whose history stretches back to the 12th century – which is given a Malaysian twist with Sangkaya coconut ice cream and gula Melaka.

Modern Society
Restaurants

Modern Society

One of the latest openings at Pusat Bandar Damansara’s newest mall DC Mall is Modern Society – a restaurant and bar with a clean and modern design. Consisting of two floors, Modern Society manages to integrate classic European style with modern aesthetics in their decor. For example, the bar is made of marble from Volakas, Greece, while the rest of the space is approached with minimalism, high ceilings and concrete walls and floors. Hanging on the ceiling and walls are neon light displays that change colour every so often – a welcome change to the traditional disco ball we say. The cocktails here are diverse and experimental. For instance, The Scientist consists of manuka honey, rose tea, gin, orange and lemon peel, elderflower and cinnamon. These flavours are all infused through a coffee siphon and the cocktail is served hot. Apart from that they also have one called Shenanigans – a concoction of whisky, beetroot, Parfait d’Amour, pineapple honey, chilli syrup and lemon. Or if you’d like something to wake you up, have the Big Breakfast – it’s cold brew coffee mixed with vodka, sweet vermouth, sour apple and Campari. To make your night more interesting, Modern Society offers equipment and setups for classic drinking games like beer pong and flip cup. The food here is also something to look forward to. We recommend trying their chicken ramen burger, if not for its novelty then for its unique taste. If you’re looking for something less filling, go for the Scotch eggs which ar

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Mr Chew's Chino Latino Bar
Restaurants

Mr Chew's Chino Latino Bar

Mr Chew’s Chino Latino Bar is brought to you by the same team behind Troika Sky Dining; so you know they’d have the styling here down pat. Located on the highest floor of the WOLO Hotel, this former duplex penthouse has been transformed into an inspired space for food, cocktails and of course, Instagram. The overall aesthetic is very eclectic; it’s like a Manhattan loft meets 1920s Shanghai jazz era with a bit of Art Deco thrown in, while a towering hand-painted mural behind the bar – a humourous interpretation of the iconic portrait of Empress Dowager Cixi – presides over the main dining hall. In terms of vibe and food direction, Mr Chew’s feels like an evolution of Fuego. The fun, carefree spirit of its sister Latin American-inspired restaurant and bar over at The Troika is strong here. The menu, however, is largely Asian with just a sprinkling of Latin American influences by way of ingredients such as avocado or food such as tacos. Perhaps more than Fuego, the team, helmed by Executive Chef James Thong and Chef Ivan Ong, takes more creative liberties here: The food is bold and punchy in flavours, but also very cheeky. It’s evident that both the menu and the decor share a sense of playfulness; it’s rare to see such cohesion in a restaurant. On the menu, you’ll find salads and tapas, buns and dumplings, fried snacks and of course, bigger main courses. The best thing to do is to order for sharing. You’ll be glad to know that you can now have yee sang at anytime of the year,

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
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
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
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
See more of KL's best restaurants and cafés

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.

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.

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. 

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.

The best restaurants in KL for healthy eating
Restaurants

The best restaurants in KL for healthy eating

Get in on the healthy food movement and start eating clean at these top restaurants for healthy eats in KL. We've also included a quick guide to meal portions and healthy-eating alternatives as recommended by some of the individuals behind these eateries. RECOMMENDED: Guide to eating clean

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.

See more of the best food and drink in KL