Restaurants & Cafés

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

Dishes to try at Time Out Dine Out
Restaurants

Dishes to try at Time Out Dine Out

Come sample the signature dishes from some of KL’s popular restaurants and cafés at Time Out Dine Out urban picnic. For only RM65, you get to enjoy a sampling dish from each participating restaurant. Plus, we’ll even throw in some free drinks for you.

The best workday lunch spots in Bukit Bintang
Restaurants

The best workday lunch spots in Bukit Bintang

If you've been searching for cheap and good food in Bukit Bintang, our guide to the best workday lunch spots in this prime shopping district features budget-friendly nasi ayam, zhap fan, pho, char siew ribs, set meals and more. 

The best grilled cheese sandwiches in KL
Restaurants

The best grilled cheese sandwiches in KL

The best thing since sliced bread? It’s sliced bread buttered, grilled or toasted, and filled with melted cheese. So go #treatyoself to this comfort food – here are our picks of the best grilled cheese sandwiches in KL. Oh, we’ve also included the French variation – the croque monsieur – in this list.

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

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

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
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
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
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New restaurants and cafés in KL

Tujoh
Restaurants

Tujoh

From the outside, Tujoh gives off the impression of a small quaint café, but pull the door open and you’ll be greeted by black-and-white wall murals of pop icons, old television sets, bright posters of motorsport racing as well as plenty of tables and chairs. In addition to all that, what brings the crowds here is the leafy courtyard with rays of light streaming in from the skylight (prepare to up your Instagram game). Go for the all-day brunches such as Moroccan baked eggs and the Full Aussie if you’re in the mood for the usual late breakfast suspects, or get the wild mushroom and vegetable ragout bowl to tide you over while you decide on your main meal. The creamy and slightly spicy soft-shell crab fettuccine or the Wafu Hambagu – a chicken patty stuffed with an egg yolk, topped with garlic mashed potatoes and drizzled with sweet shoyu – should fill you up. End your meal with a hojicha latte and a slice of cake (ask the friendly staff for the day’s selections or check the cake display at the front).

The Embassy Cafe
Restaurants

The Embassy Cafe

The Embassy café in The Starling is a clean, brightly lit space with plenty of natural sunlight streaming in during the day. With a nature-themed decor that includes murals of palm trees and animals on the walls plus a scattering of ornamental plants, The Embassy offers a laidback spot to while away an afternoon. There’s also an alfresco area with a view of the surrounding Uptown area. On the menu you can find a mix of pork-free Western and Eastern cuisines, along with coffee and cakes. For starters, the Spicy Sausage Ikan Bilis offers a spicy kick while the Nordic salad will appeal to clean-eating diners with its mix of seasonal greens, crispy soft-shell crab and spicy dressing. The mains are more substantial: try the Rack’O Lamb (grilled lamb cutlets on a bed of garlic butter mash with a side of honey-glazed baby carrots and mint sauce), or if you prefer Asian flavours, get the Embassy Nasi Istimewa – fried rice with anchovies, tempeh, mango kerabu and aromatic ayam pindang. Another highlight on the menu is The Ambassador burger: a thick chargrilled beef patty topped with a sunny-side up and beef bacon strips. To end your meal, go for the gula Melaka cake, the cendol cake, or the café’s signature Sago Kg Melaka – cubes of sago and diced fruits drenched in gula Melaka and santan. Otherwise, try the Café Borgia, a sweet, bitter and tangy hot drink made with espresso and chocolate, topped with whipped cream and lime zest.

One Half x Ilaika
Restaurants

One Half x Ilaika

Remember the commendable pop-up coffee bar at Brats last year? Founded by Adly Azmy and Keith Koay (one of the top baristas in Malaysia), One Half have since opened two new offshoots after ending their run at Brats: one at Random Food Store in Damansara Uptown, and the other at Taman Paramount’s Ilaika multi-label store, just a few doors up from Brats. The coffee bar is hidden at the back of the store; the space is minimalist and small, with just a few cosy seats. But we suggest you grab a seat out front, where a few tables have been set up among the potted plants. It’s a very pretty spot. Drink-wise, you can always count on their filter or pour-over coffee, which uses a selection of single origin beans that changes periodically. There are also espresso-based coffee such as long black, latte and cappuccino, as well as a small selection of tea and iced drinks. If you’re feeling peckish, check out the display of cakes from local bakers.

Kopenhagen Coffee
Restaurants

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.

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
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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
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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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