The best char siew in KL
Nothing says comfort food like tender well-caramelised barbecued pork with the perfect fat-to-lean meat ratio. From honey-glazed meat to sticky and chewy fatty pork belly with the right amount of char and crunch, stop and smell the roasts with our guide to the best char siew in KL.
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GinRikSha have got a good thing going with their vibrant yet cosy interior and fun food. There’s an ease that carries through from the casual vibe to the food, which makes a meal here rather enjoyable. The feature wall of plants is striking, and so are the colourful wheels on the ceiling – a visual nod to the restaurant and bar’s name, which is inspired by a form of transport once prevalent in the region: the rickshaw. And the three large mirrored discs on one of the walls, we think they add an artistic merit to the place, probably because they sort of remind us of Anish Kapoor’s works, but we digress. The menu is extensive, and you’re encouraged to order a variety of dishes to share. The restaurant describes their food as ‘Asian cuisine with a modern twist’, but the dishes are largely Indian in origin. Admittedly, some of them are modern interpretations of classic Indian cooking (like the mutton varuval quesadilla, masala mussels, butter chicken poutine, Bombay masala salmon, etc), but others are merely presented more elegantly (like the boneless mutton varuval that’s served with toasted bread). The good thing is, while the food has been updated, they don’t come across as try-hard or pretentious. Instead, they stay true to the familiar bold, punchy flavours that are a joy to eat. Think restaurant elegance but with the underpinning casualness of a café. Notable dishes include the banana leaf-wrapped sea bass that’s baked on a bed of basmati rice and served with brinjal samb
The new kid on the old Pudu block is Colony, a restaurant founded by the same people behind atas appam restaurant Hoppers. Serving up a menu spanning Burmese, Sri Lankan, Indian and Malaysian cuisine, Colony occupies the same space that used to be the bar H. by Hoppers. The same pots of leafy tropical greens, rattan chairs and brightly coloured seats from the bar’s days are still there, so you’ll get the same laidback vibe but now paired with the new offerings from Colony. Start with The Old Delhi – house-made atta bread served with creamy bone marrow butter and spiced apple chutney. Pair this comforting appetiser with the sure-fire crowd pleaser, The Rompin; it’s calamari dressed with calamansi, garlic, cili padi, vinegar, basil and ulam raja. Once you’ve had your fill of warm bread and squid, a piece or two of The Madras – tender and juicy brined fried chicken marinated with tandoori spices, served with mint aioli – will pave the way nicely for Colony’s meatier mains. The stars at Colony are The Sri Pada – 48-hour-braised lamb ribs glazed in New Zealand’s Karma Cola soda, with sprinkles of nuts, pomegranate and mint – and The Salem, well-portioned slow-cooked duck in biryani with roasted carrots and onions, served with raita on the side. For dessert, go for the lemongrass-infused watalappam tart if you’re a fan of serai. The coconut custard pudding commonly found in Tamil Nadu, India is given a lemongrass twist here, which introduces a sharp tang to the usually sweet pud
Ru Di Fook Noodle Bar
Ru Di Fook is a Chinese- Japanese fusion noodle bar that specialises in wan tan noodles, creative desserts and good coffee. The interior is cool, taking on the air of a modern bistro with a nod to neo-Tokyo aesthetics – think contrasting white-tiled and bare brick walls, lots of natural light and manga-style graphics. Upgraded wan tan noodles are Ru Di Fook’s calling card. A serving here features fried wan tans on a bed of springy egg noodles and topped with half an onsen egg, kai lan and fried lard. Desserts are a delicious play on our childhood nostalgia; expect Milo pie, Horlicks banana crumble, and the ‘Tian Mimi Chawanmushi’ – soy custard topped with barley, ginkgo seeds, a quail egg and a slice of sugar-coated dry fu chuk, which you can crumble into your chawanmushi. For drinks, try the V60 filter coffee which is served in a saké set.
Previously a bar known for its cheap beer deals, S’Mores has completely rebranded itself into a friendly neighborhood restaurant and bar. The interior here feels very homey, with wooden furniture and beams filling up the space. Fun fact: The beams used to be TNB poles in Ipoh in the 1980s. If you’re a pork lover, you’ll enjoy S’Mores’ pork-heavy menu. One of the highlights here is the ‘water shortage bak kut teh’, which is an interesting spin on the dry bak kut teh. Their pork chop, cooked in the Big Bertha is just as good; the Big Bertha – a large charcoal oven made of cast iron – is the restaurant’s pride and joy. If you’re more experimental, go for the platter of pork liver pâté, tongue, cheek, intestines, tail, kidney and ears.
The best restaurants and cafés in KL
The best of food and drink in KL
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
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 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
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