Restaurants & Cafés

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

Best pho in KL
Restaurants

Best pho in KL

Who doesn’t love a good bowl of phở? When done right, the popular Vietnamese street dish is a big bowl of beefy comfort, with a stock made from a long-simmered mix of beef, tendon and bones together with spices like ground cloves, cinnamon and star anise, and nước mắm.

Buka puasa meals and buffets in KL
Restaurants

Buka puasa meals and buffets in KL

This holy month, we’ve got your buffets and buka puasa experiences sorted with our list of menus and promotions across town, sorted by price. 

Guide to kacang putih
Restaurants

Guide to kacang putih

The history of the kacang putih (literally translated as ‘white nuts’) business goes back to the 1940s, when the British brought in migrant labourers from the Ettayapuram village in Tamil Nadu to Malaya. A few families settled down near the limestone hill in Gunung Cheroh, Ipoh – until 1973, when the residents were relocated to Teluk Kurin B in Buntong after a slab of limestone fell onto a longhouse, killing 42 people. It was in the new settlement that business kicked up. The new, larger homes allowed owners to set up retail storefronts selling kacang putih, as well as other fried Indian snacks like murukku and assorted fried nuts made using recipes from Tamil Nadu. Business was so brisk that the settlement’s unwieldy name was changed to Kampung Kacang Putih – and until today, remains as the heart of a growing kacang putih industry across the country. You won’t find kacang putih sold by the kacang putih manThe kacang putih vendor didn’t start by selling different types of murukku, fried nuts and potato chips – they just sold one thing: actual kacang putih, which are steamed lentils (also known as kacang kuda). But selling that alone wasn’t enough, especially as demand started to slow down and the burdensome steamer needed to keep the lentils warm made life difficult for cycling vendors. Eventually, they diversified their offerings to include snacks that were easier to carry around and had a longer shelf life – which is how we ended up with the modern-day kacang putih man s

Best lunch delivery services in KL
Restaurants

Best lunch delivery services in KL

So you’re bored of dragging your feet to the office food court for chicken rice, and the allure of nasi campur is non-existent after you’ve mixed and matched all the options. Have your lunch delivered right to your desk or office lobby with these lunch delivery services in KL, set to make makan time less mafan and more fun.

Best durian shops in KL
Restaurants

Best durian shops in KL

Come durian season, head to these places to get your fix – just make sure you’ve stocked up enough mouthwash at home. 

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
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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
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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
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New restaurants and cafés in KL

Beta KL
Restaurants

Beta KL

Just when we were worried that the year’s F&B scene will be little more than a succession of safe-betting brunch cafés and comfort-food restaurants, up comes Beta KL with their bold venture into modern Malaysian cuisine. Formed by the same folks behind Skillet @ 163, Beta KL radically departs from its European-focused elder sibling by focusing on Malaysian ingredients and flavours, while maintaining the modern techniques Skillet is known for. Beta KL is divided into a dining area and bar that combine contrasting elements of a modern restaurant and a laidback hangout. In the dining area, cool blue neon lights, dark-coloured walls and an expansive floor-to-ceiling batik mural are set against the abundance of natural light, live tropical plants and bare concrete floors; while the bar is an equally intriguing mix of a high-end bottle service bar – complete with an elevated dance stage and cognac-stocked 12-ft tall bar – and a chill tiki bar that’s decked out with rattan chairs. Helming the kitchen is Chef Raymond Tham, who is also the executive head chef for Skillet. A former culinary instructor at KDU University College – alongside Dewakan’s Darren Teoh, one of the chefs leading the charge for modern Malaysian cuisine – Raymond has used his research of regional cuisine and ingredients to craft a menu that celebrates humble and familiar dishes in new and surprising ways. The starter dishes provide an insight to Beta’s novel approach to Malaysian cuisine. In Ox Tongue (RM27)

Vantador
Restaurants

Vantador

The first thing you notice about Vantador is its sophisticated premises spanning multiple levels; think winding matte black stairs, copper light hangings emitting a warm glow, mahogany and deep olive walls, and industrial and vintage furnishings from the dry-aged steak boutique founders' own personal collection. As you walk into the place and are greeted by affable waitstaff, you won’t be able to miss massive German-made coolers stocked with dry-aged beef near the entrance. Dry-aged steak is a serious matter here, with a carefully curated selection from Argentinian chef Ramiro Moya that includes Spain's Rubia Gallega (Vantador’s pride and joy), Margaret River Wagyu, Tasmanian Angus and Victoria Hereford. Best to beef up on your dry-aged steak knowledge before you make your way to Vantador for a better appreciation of your meal: Dry-aged beef is hung in near-freezing temperatures (for at least 30 days in Vantador’s case) during which fungi will cling to the meat’s surface to form a dry, hard crust. Of course, this is discarded before cooking. This ‘breathing’ process allows the natural juices and flavours to be sealed into the meat and works especially well with fatty cuts. Hence, cooked dry-aged beef doesn’t release blood or juice when cut; instead, you get a syrupy sweetness when biting into the meat, with a tenderness and more concentrated flavour than wet-aged beef. Cuts for the dry-aged range here include tomahawk, rib eye, striploin and T-bone; the wet-aged selection

Brasserie Fritz
Restaurants

Brasserie Fritz

Christian Bauer and Eddie Chew are old hands at turning dining into a form of escapism. At Troika Sky Dining, you’re lifted from the hustling streets of KL as you dine on pastas, cheeses and caviar on the 24th floor; at Mr Chew’s Chino Latino Bar, you’re whisked to an otherworldly realm at the top floor of WOLO Bukit Bintang, where Latin-American and Oriental cultures merge to create dishes like catfish char siew, nori tacos and salmon ceviche with garlic-infused soy sauce. The duo’s latest venture, Brasserie Fritz, is a similar attempt; this time drawing you away from the daily grind of Jalan Bukit Bintang to a fashionable Parisian street. The experience starts from the moment you step past its doors: freshly baked croissants, kouign-amanns and pain au chocolats greet you from as early as 7am, while a waiter in a creaseless white shirt and clipped tie stands ready to explain the menu and plat du jour. Inside, the two-storey high space is filled with tables and chairs that wouldn’t look out of place in a modern bistro, complete with a long bar that offers a slew of day-drinking spritzes and Bloody Marys. Further in is a seafood bar stocked with produce from around the world – oysters, king crabs, scallops, sea urchin, caviar – that are displayed in all their exotic glory. Upstairs is yet another bar, offering cocktails in a lounge environment during the evening.  The ambitious menu spans from Melbourne-influenced breakfasts (avocado toast included) to European-style sharin

Users say
1 out of 5 stars
Poseidon Caviar & Seafood Bar
Restaurants

Poseidon Caviar & Seafood Bar

Helmed by the restaurant group Ironwoods – which also runs Ingrained at Cellar 18 and The Flowerpecker – Poseidon Caviar & Seafood Bar is where fresh seafood and affordable wines can be found in the affluent township of Desa ParkCity. Located above S’mores in Plaza Arkadia, the cosy interior exudes a cool Nordic vibe, furnished with items from the Red Dot Award-winning Normann Copenhagen. If you feel like you’re dining in a furniture showroom, that’s because you are – chairs, tables and selected tableware can be ordered or bought through the restaurant. The two-month old restaurant (at the time of writing) currently boasts a compact menu of seafood dishes. A must-have here are the freshly shucked oysters which are brought in on a weekly basis, and options include French oysters such as the Fine de Claire, Marennes-Oléron and Tsarskaya, and English ones from Morecambe Bay. For a more complete meal, start off with poached prawns sourced from Sabah, which are served with nothing more than slices of lemon to bring out its sweet freshness. The choices of mains are equally simple, highlighting their individual main ingredient without much fanfare; the tiger prawn aglio olio is a solid choice, or if you prefer fish, get the pan-seared red snapper that comes with seasonal sides. Lobster and Wagyu beef are also on the menu, but it’s best to check with the restaurant on their availability before coming over.  Since you don’t mind splurging (you’re at a caviar bar after all), Poseido

Makan Mana

Talitha Tan
Restaurants

Talitha Tan

Singer-songwriter and gym addict Talitha Tan shows us her favourite makan spots in town.

The Rojak Projek
Restaurants

The Rojak Projek

The three people behind social art enterprise The Rojak Projek – Faye Lim, Jonathan Chong and Rachel Lee – tell us more about the restaurants in the Klang Valley they recommend for a taste of Malaysian comfort food.

Fuad Alhabshi
Restaurants

Fuad Alhabshi

Kyoto Protocol's frontman, Fuad Alhabshi takes us through his favourite makan spots in the city. You can follow him on his Instagram page.

Trisha Toh
Restaurants

Trisha Toh

As a professional food stylist, photographer and community manager for food discovery app Burpple, Trisha Toh is never short of recommended places to eat in KL. We asked her for her top five, and this is what she told us. Continue to follow Trisha's food discoveries on her Instagram. 

See where else to makan

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
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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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