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Makan Mana: Davina Goh

We talked to media personality and vegan Davina Goh about her favourite eating spots in KL

Media personality Davina Goh has taken her love for vegan food to another level by starting her own social media endeavor, DavinaDaVegan, in which she teaches Malaysians about the benefits of vegan cuisine through cooking shows, recipes and restaurant guides. Here are five of her favourite restaurants.

The Ganga Deli and Café

I was introduced to this restaurant by a friend who was a fan of their Sunday brunch buffet. They serve up North and South Indian cuisine with an Ayurvedic influence and a home-cooked feel. Although they have an impressive regular menu, their Sunday brunch offering is what attracts the biggest crowds. The sumptuous buffet spread is mostly vegan, save for a few dairy-based dishes – if you’re not sure which dishes are, check with Sumon, the humble restaurant manager.

WHAT TO ORDER: Aside from heading for the brunch buffet, try the Pranic Juice (containing honey), which I tried before my vegan transition. Drinking the minty, peppery concoction is an experience in itself!

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This is a new kid in town for vegan hangouts! I was lucky enough to attend the opening of the café in April when they were serving everyone a free lunch, and I was hooked from the first bite. It caters to working people in the area who want something fast and fuss-free, but the environment here is inviting enough to stay a while, with plenty of natural light and attentive staff.

WHAT TO ORDER: Their nasi lemak is divine, and if you’re extra hungry, a custom-made burrito is a satisfying beast of a meal. If the owner Fauzi is around, ask him for the thoughtful meaning behind the café’s name.

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Organic Vegetarian Fresh Mart and Restaurant

A non-vegetarian friend suggested this place because it was one of his favourite places to eat. Specialising in Chinese-Malaysian food, the restaurant doesn’t serve egg or milk, but some drinks do feature honey. During peak hours, it’s hard to get a table, but it’s worth the wait. The menu is so diverse, you might need some time to mull over what you’d like to order.

WHAT TO ORDER: I love the kam heong mock fish rice set, seaweed fried rice and lei cha, a Hakka dish featuring a bright green herbal soup (only available on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday). If you get inspired to cook some plant-based meals for yourself, the walk-in cold storage room at the back of the restaurant offers fresh organic local produce at fair prices.

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Kon Rak Pak

An event manager who knew I was vegetarian said that he saw a restaurant just around the corner from the venue where we were working together at the time, and we discovered Kon Rak Pak just a week into its opening! I’ve had a lot of Thai food in my life, meatbased included, and I can say that this place has served some of the most memorable Thai food I’ve ever had. It’s Asian comfort food at its finest, and fully vegan with no garlic and onion.

WHAT TO ORDER: Go for the mixed herb salad for starters, followed by the Chef’s Special tom yum soup, green curry with lion head mushroom, and Red Ruby for dessert.

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The Black Cat Café

I stumbled upon this vegetarian café after looking around for something to eat after watching a performance at the nearby klpac. The charm is in its eccentricity: it’s part restaurant, part library, part museum of curios from all over the world. There’s also a piano and games corner, so there are many ways to keep yourself entertained for hours. You can easily have a meal here for less than RM10, which is surprising given the quality and generosity of its dishes.

WHAT TO ORDER: They offer flavours from around the world, and the Asian part of the menu is vegan; I say go for the Sarawak Laksa and gado-gado.

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See where else to makan

Makan Mana: Razif Hashim

As the host of AFC’s ‘Best in the World’ and co-founder of web-based food channel FungryTV, Razif Hashim knows his way around some of the best makan spots in KL. For a guy who eats out as often as he does, you can imagine how difficult it was to round it down to just four of his favourite spots to eat.

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By: Time Out KL editors