Best department store food halls in KL

Supermarkets the likes of Mercato, Jason's Food Hall, Isetan Foodmarket and more have upped their game
By Time Out KL editors |
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We searched the city for the best grab-and-go meals available at department store food halls, so you can say goodbye to instant noodles and microwaved meals, and say hello to chicken curry katsu, freshly baked breads, hot barbecue pulled chicken sandwiches and more.

Mercato
Photo: Bryan Ong
Restaurants

Mercato

icon-location-pin Bukit Bintang

If you want some quick and easy food for your lunch break, Mercato in Pavilion is your go-to place. Here, you can get your food at either the bakery or the ready-to-eat section. From the bakery, you have the usual assortment of freshly baked breads alongside warm pies and pretty slices of cakes.

At the ready-to-eat section there are more dishes to choose from such as roast chicken or the popular Korean fried chicken. If you have a little time to spare, the pastas, tapas and soups are cooked to order.

Village Pantry
Photo: Bryan Ong
Shopping, Supermarkets

Village Pantry

icon-location-pin Bangsar

The new pantry extension of Village Grocer in Bangsar Village I boasts an extensive range of packed hot food as well as a salad bar and meat station. You can also find sushi and sashimi at the Japanese corner; japchae, gyeran-mari and select banchan in the Korean section; and hot on-the-go sandwiches like barbecue pulled chicken sandwich in the sandwich area.

There’s also a pasta station where you can take your pick of fresh pasta and sauce to cook on the spot. But we say go for the readymade seafood aglio olio packed with mussels, prawn and squid and has a little fiery chilli kick.

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Isetan Foodmarket KLCC
Photo: Bryan Ong
Shopping, Department stores

Isetan Foodmarket KLCC

icon-location-pin KL City Centre

While Isetan’s admittedly good (but slightly pricey) lunch bar will have you jostling with other frazzled city centre workers doling out pasta, meat and salad greens as fast as they can, give that a miss if you’re pressed for time and walk to the grab-and-go area located behind Japanese restaurant Senya.

Here, you’ll find a wide variety of Japanese rice meals packaged as all-in-one bowls or bento boxes that include chicken curry katsu, unagi and grilled mackerel. If you want to indulge, there’s also a selection of sushi and aburi-style dishes that you can finish before reaching the LRT station. Tip: ask the obliging staff to reheat your meal before you make your way back to the office.

Jason's Food Hall
Photo: Bryan Ong
Shopping, Grocery stores

Jason's Food Hall

icon-location-pin Bangsar

You’ll find a wide mix of dishes at Jason’s Food Hall ranging from local favourites like nasi goreng, mee goreng and fried bee hoon to Western dishes such as beef lasagna, mac ‘n’ cheese and minced beef pie. Their fried kuey teow is a surprising hit – the noodles are chewy, there’s a good amount of seafood, the spiciness is just right, and it isn’t very oily.

For a healthier lunch, opt for their chicken Caesar salad, which packs in a good amount of chicken strips, a hard-boiled egg and crunchy croutons. Jason’s Food Hall also has a separate non-halal counter, which sells a decent char siew you can add on to your packed meal.

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IKEA
Photo: Bryan Ong
Shopping, Home decor

IKEA

icon-location-pin Mutiara Damansara

A complete contrast to IKEA’s wide array of home improvement products, the offerings in their takeaway sections are limited and simple. In both the Mutiara Damansara and Cheras outlets, you’ll find a dedicated take-out counter where you can grab a bag of six freshly fried curry puffs for RM5.50 – still regarded by many as the best value-for-money puffs around – or a hotdog with self-serve condiments for RM2. There’s also soft serve vanilla ice cream, frozen yoghurt, as well as coffee and soda you can get for pocket-change prices. All things considered, it’s a cheap way to fill your growling stomach.

Alternatively, head to the main canteen for a wider array of dishes, including its famed meatballs, chicken wings, as well as croissants and muffins that are begging to be grabbed as you’re about to pay. The only caveat here is that you’ll need to bring your own container.

Grab a salad instead

Restaurants

Best salad bars in KL

Sure, you can toss lettuce in a bowl with some meat and dressing and call it a salad when you’re at home, but it can’t beat going to a sleek salad bar and have an attendant assemble your green meal for you with all the superfoods you want. These places in town are out to prove that eating your greens doesn't need to be boring.

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