Instead of spending (read: wasting) a good quarter of your lunch hour deciding where to eat, take the stress out of your precious break from the office with our guide to the best workday lunches in KL Sentral and Brickfields. From café fare and sandwiches to chicken rice, biryani and pork noodles, we’ve got you covered.
You can always rely on a food court for variety. The underground Plaza Sentral food court has plenty of choices from vegetarian zhap fan and roti canai to chicken rice, nasi kukus, rojak and more. It can get really crowded at lunchtime but the vendors here are wellprepared – some food are already packed and ready for takeaway.
The small Taiwanese-inspired café in Nu Sentral fills up quickly come lunchtime, thanks to office workers looking for KOHI’s home-cooked meals. Prices are a little steep – the cheapest set clocks in at RM14.90 for dry curry chicken noodles with cold brew coffee or iced lime juice – but the varied menu, attentive service and short wait time makes KOHI a worthwhile stop for lunch.
For a quick zhap fan takeaway, look out for this restaurant along Jalan Thambipillay. Besides all your lauk, Restoran Happy also has a chicken rice stall; if you’re looking for something light, the vegetarian bao is good too. You’ll notice that the restaurant has an interesting old bar decor, making us wonder if it turns into a dive bar after hours. But no, they don’t (at least we don’t think so).
If you’d prefer lunch at a snazzier place, Menara CIMB’s Hubba Hubba Sentral is a good spot. At RM29nett, the lunch set comes with one main (ranges from grilled beef with mushrooms and cream to Penang assam laksa) and dessert, with a choice of either coffee or tea. Get a seat at the alfresco area so you can take in the view of the city before you head back to your desk.
Here is where you can eat biryani for lunch, minus the queues. Look out for this warung tucked between a dingy bar and a budget hotel. Seats are limited so we suggest you tapau your food. Their current set meal goes for RM8 and you’ll get chicken biryani, an egg and iced sirap – and the portion’s good enough for two. Not feeling like biryani? There’s also sup kambing, mixed rice and other options. Complete your lunch with cut fruits from the stall operating next to Sami’s.
Next to Brickfield’s Asia College is Money’s Corner Food Court – the word ‘money’ here, we’re guessing, means your money’s worth because it’s cheap and perfect for those broke-in-KL moments. We recommend Peter’s pork noodles (yes, with egg please) and Moorthy’s banana leaf. The latter’s vegetarian option is only RM6 and the portion is generous.
At GwaKu (pronounced jiwa ku), you'll see a good crowd of people working in Q Sentral tucking into the eatery's daily lunch specials that change daily. Expect dishes such as roast leg of chicken with potatoes, carrots and peas; ayam masak merah, begedil, acar nanas-timun and rice; and more. Tea time kuih like bingka ubi, lepat pisang, pulut panggang, talam seri muka and others are also available.
When the lunchtime swarm of people at Q Sentral’s Gwaku shows no sign of disappearing, go down one floor to the pareddown Brewberry for mushroom udon soup and black pepper dry udon with miso soup. It’s safe to bring less than RM12 here, but if you’re on a strict budget, order the potato raisin chicken puff at RM6.90 and add RM3 for black coffee.
No stranger to the office crowd, this bustling food court in Nu Sentral offers the usual suspects such as claypot dishes, pepper rice, bento sets, yong tau fu, ayam penyet, Thai food and more. Quizinn scores for speedy preparation and variety, as well as stalls with popiah, salads and sandwiches on display. Aim to arrive before noon to avoid circling the area for vacant seats.