Restaurants & Cafés

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

Best restaurants for dining alone in KL
Restaurants

Best restaurants for dining alone in KL

Table for one, please – here are the best restaurants for solo dining in KL

Best zhap fan spots in KL
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Best zhap fan spots in KL

Zhap fan is the working person’s saviour, especially when you’re looking for an affordable and quick meal. Cheap, easily available and with lots of choices, zhap fan makes workday lunches nutritious, affordable and delicious all at the same time.

The best cake shops in KL
Restaurants

The best cake shops in KL

Conventionally popular for birthdays and other special occasions, you don’t really need a reason to have cake (and eat it too). We find the best cake shops in KL that rise to the occasion.

The best cheap eats in KL
Restaurants

The best cheap eats in KL

Eating well doesn’t mean you have to pay more. We’ve got you covered for the best cheap meals under RM15 our city has to offer.

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

Uroko Japanese Cuisine
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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
French Feast
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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
Restoran Good Taste
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Restoran Good Taste

The revelation that there are still eating places which exist serenely above the clamour of foodie fashion is deeply comforting. The food at Good Taste is irreproachably dai chow-classic, although the dimly-lit restaurant could use a pump of Febreze. The photos of dishes plastered across the walls, which are in fact their menu in entirety, are reliable predictors of what will actually arrive at the table. It’s interesting how the chef has maintained a disciplined vision of his cooking while leaving plenty of room for you to enjoy something your sceptical Cantonese grandmother would probably frown on. Like the intriguing Mongolian-style chicken strips, deep-fried frogs, or the braised pig trotter cooked with salted fish and dried shredded squid. But you’ll never go wrong with their signature ‘yat zi guat’ (RM24): This huge slab of pork rib is on par with the archetype that’s been served at upscale Chinese restaurants. The sticky-sweet glaze pushes flavours into a pleasant, intense realm of smokiness – mop up the sauce with the fried mantao and try not to smile. A plate of stir-fried kalian (RM15) isn’t going to start a conversation but upping it with a smattering of salty muy choy (preserved mustard greens), minced pork and cili padi will. With every dish that exits the kitchen, what becomes clear is that Good Taste is still gunning for that pared-down Cantonese approach while ruffling expectations once in a while to deliver an element of surprise. The chef can whip up a tra

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Kafe Bawang Merah
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Kafe Bawang Merah

One of the longest-running restaurants in the quiet neighbourhood of SS12, Bawang Merah always, always sports a healthy lunch crowd. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. It may seem a little chaotic – people navigating the cramped space (commence a slew of ‘excuse me-s’), restaurant staff trying to deliver trays of drinks, a queue for the nasi campur that’s getting longer by the minute. But calmly join the queue and pick from the spread through the glass case; the friendly kakak will scoop the lauk for you. Wait patiently for your turn to pay at the end of the queue, try to secure a table (somewhat impossible at the height of lunch hour), then dig right in. We’ve visited a fair few nasi campur joints in the city both in and out of Kampung Baru, and while most are excellent, there’s always one or two lauk that doesn’t quite hit the spot. However, three visits in to Bawang Merah, we weren’t disappointed yet. The daging masak hitam was tender to the last bite, vegetables in the acar jelatah were fresh, and the rice was fragrant with a good, fluffy texture. Found on nearly every table at lunchtime, the lontong – thick, milky broth, generous portions of tempeh and vegetables and topped with a dollop of sweet sambal – was fantastic too. While seating can be somewhat disorganised, the service is fast and friendly. And the best thing about Bawang Merah (at least to us) is the fact that it serves kuih, and superior versions of that. Upon our first visit, the kuih shelf was almost emptied;

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

Kopenhagen Coffee
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Kopenhagen Coffee

If you’ve always wondered what the Danish word ‘hygge’ means, you’ll get a sense of it at this cool new coffee shop which bills itself as ‘a little Scandinavia in Mont Kiara’. ‘Hygge’ is one of Oxford’s shortlisted words of 2016; it’s hard to pronounce (try ‘hooga’) and even harder to explain, but it roughly refers to a way of life that’s about simplicity, unwinding and slowing down to enjoy life. As with anything Scandinavian, you can expect a clean, minimal space – unfussed and uncluttered – with sunlight streaming in, and cosy corners filled with couches and (modern) Nordic print throw pillows. There’s an air of peace and easiness here that make for a quiet respite from the city; this is a space made for lingering. The menu is small at the moment, limited to pastries, scrambled eggs and sandwiches (there are plans to expand soon). For drinks, there’s your standard espresso-based coffee (with beans from local roaster Sprezzatura), matcha latte and Gryphon tea – all served in blue and white patterned Royal Copenhagen cups and mugs, which are a thing of beauty.

Burger & Lobster
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Burger & Lobster

The new SkyAvenue mall in Genting is now home to the famed London-based Burger & Lobster (this outlet is the chain’s first in Southeast Asia). As you enter the place, you’ll see a number of aquariums housing the lobsters. The lighting may be a bit dim, but the atmosphere is lively with upbeat music, clanging utensils and the sound of cracking lobster shells. Inside, there’s a wall decorated with lobster traps that gives the place character. Food-wise, the menu is pretty straightforward with three options each for burgers, lobsters and lobster rolls. For burgers, go for the ‘B&L Burger’ – lobster bits, Australian beef, onions, lettuce, tomato, cheese in a sesame charcoal brioche bun served with salad and fries on the side. If you want something a little lighter, try the ‘Seven Samurai’ lobster roll; it’s shredded steamed lobster doused in a special seven-spice sauce and served in between sliced brioche bun that has been toasted in butter. If you’re here for the lobster though, you have the option of having them steamed or grilled, and they come with a side of salad, fries and lemon garlic butter sauce. One of the options for lobster is unique to this particular outlet – the ‘Chilli Lobster’. This dish, inspired by the Singaporean chilli crab, is lobster served in thick sweet-and-spicy chilli and tomato sauce accompanied by butter-toasted brioche buns to scoop up the sauce. The drinks menu boasts a wide selection of beer, wine, cocktails, mocktails and more. One of their sig

Meat the Porkers
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Meat the Porkers

Indian food and pork may sound like a bizarre concept together, but Meat The Porkers, the bold new restaurant by the people behind the hugely successful Fierce Curry House, managed to marry these two disparate culinary worlds into one delicious menu. This concept of porky Indian food could very well be the first in Malaysia, if not in Asia. Instead creating wild new ‘fusion’ dishes, what Meat the Porkers has so cleverly done is to take the classic Indian dishes and flavours that we all know so well and love, and incorporate pork into them while adding in a little twist for surprise. Case in point: the tandoori pork ribs. Pork, being a heavier and oilier meat than chicken, remains distinctly flavourful, which add on beautifully to the punchy flavours of turmeric and paprika in the tandoori marinade. Here you’re given three condiments: the usual mint sauce, the house tamarind barbecue sauce to add tang and sweetness, and pol sambol for bite. (Pol sambol is a traditional Sri Lankan condiment made with shredded coconut, but at Meat the Porkers, it’s mixed with lime and chilli powder.) Even the crowd-pleasing biryani is given a porky makeover, and this time with siew yuk (roast pork belly). While the use of spice in the rice completely overwhelms the pork, it is the pork belly’s gelatinous fat and oiliness that really elevate the rice dish. Don’t forget to sprinkle on the pork crackling before you dig in. Other notable dishes include the bacon and cheese naan (made with two dif

Duddha
Restaurants

Duddha

Taking over the space that was formerly The Apartment at KLCC, Duddha serves up modern interpretations of Southeast Asian dishes. Chef Jet Lo helms the kitchen, and he’s no stranger to this type of cuisine – the Sabahan chef was previously with the popular modern Asian eatery Ding Dong in Singapore's Chinatown. Duddha is a character conceptualised by the restaurant, and her likeness – styled in Roy Lichtenstein-inspired comic book pop art illustrations – decorates the walls of the restaurant. The decor is kept very modern with subtle Asian touches, like mahjong tiles at the bar counter. The menu is an experimental one with dishes like wagyu beef tartare with watermelon, pickled cucumber and shallots, and served with papadum; and sous vide duck curry with passion fruit, raw cauliflower and cherry tomatoes. It doesn’t stop at starters and mains; the experimentation goes on to the dessert menu as well with the upside down onde-onde with sambal, and cempedak brownie with sour cream. Once you’re done with dinner, order a cocktail. They’re all Asian-inspired – ‘Sour-nya’ is a concoction of gin, turmeric, yuzu and calamansi juice; and ‘Ice, Ice, Melon’ is tequila, rock melon, coconut and crispy sago.

The best restaurants and cafés in KL

Bakar
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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
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Cantaloupe

Try the deftly-prepared foie gras satay at one of KL’s most stunning restaurants.

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Fuego
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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
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The best of food and drink in KL

The best cafés in KL
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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