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The best local rice dishes in KL

Where to go for the best local rice dishes in KL

As part of our 100 best dishes and drinks in KL feature, we show you the best local rice dishes you have to try, from the contentious nasi lemak with fluffy rice and punchy sambal, to the humble chicken rice topped with succulent meat and fragrant garlic chilli dip.

Nasi dagang at Chunburi Seafood
Photo: Joyce Koh
1/11

Nasi dagang at Chunburi Seafood

Traditionally an East Coast breakfast, the Kelantanese nasi dagang at Chunburi is served as part of their nasi campur lunch spread, which means that you can have it with more than just gulai ikan tongkol. But go easy on the lauk – you’ll want to savour the lightly sweetened, almost pulut-like rice on its own.

From RM5

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Kampung Baru
Banana leaf rice at Devi's Corner
Photo: Daniel Chan
2/11

Banana leaf rice at Devi's Corner

Bangsar’s most treasured Indian restaurant is built on its banana leaf rice, tucked away on the top floor. Ask for the crab and Kerala fish curries, order a plate of the prawn sambal, fried squid and mutton varuval, and top off with rasam, mango chutney and a basket of papadum – in one sitting, you’re all set for the salty, sweet, spicy and sour.

From RM7.50

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Bangsar
Nasi biryani at Moghul Mahal
Photo: Daniel Chan
3/11

Nasi biryani at Moghul Mahal

The mutton dum biryani at Moghul Mahal ticks all the boxes – fluffy long grains of basmati rice, succulent chunks of mutton, a generous dose of spices (cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, garnished with nuts) and topped with half a hard-boiled egg. Ask for a bowl of raita to tone the heat down.

RM18

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Brickfields
Claypot chicken rice at Heun Kee Claypot Chicken Rice
Photo: Hizwan Hamid
4/11

Claypot chicken rice at Heun Kee Claypot Chicken Rice

This place takes its claypots seriously – as you walk in, rows of pots burn on individual stoves while restaurant staff exhaustingly fan the embers. Through careful method, the claypot rice here avoids the dreaded overcooked texture and instead breaks easily into loose grains for a fluffy finish. Chicken, lap cheong and – if you wish – salted fish are standard mix-ins.

From RM10

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Pudu
Chicken rice at Kar Heong
Photo: Daniel Chan
5/11

Chicken rice at Kar Heong

In the pursuit of perfection, the Ipoh-style chicken rice at Kar Heong is the cornerstone of Subang Jaya. It has three things going for it: The chicken, tender and succulent, swims in a small pool of soy sauce and sesame oil; the rice, fluffy, flavoured grains cooked in chicken stock; and finally, the fragrant garlic chilli dip, holding it all together.

From RM5.50

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Subang
Nasi goreng at Yusuf Tomyam
Photo: Daniel Chan
6/11

Nasi goreng at Yusuf Tomyam

The crowds throng here for a bowl of strong tom yam, but the popular no-frills stall in Lucky Garden also has great nasi goreng. Pick from nasi goreng cili padi, nasi goreng belacan or nasi goreng pattaya, but the reliable nasi goreng biasa or kampung should do the trick.

RM8

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Bangsar
Nasi kandar at Line Clear
Photo: Daniel Chan
7/11

Nasi kandar at Line Clear

A full plate of rice generously drenched in at least four different curries and piled high with ayam kicap, fish roe, telur dadar, papadum, steamed okra and more – this famed mamak-style nasi campur is the best reason to sneak in that post-lunch nap.

From RM6.50

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Kampung Baru
Nasi lemak at Medan Selera 223
Photo: Daniel Chan
8/11

Nasi lemak at Medan Selera 223

Nasi lemak: the de facto national dish. At Medan Selera 223, you’ll be torn between two stalls: Suri and Yati. The former’s much raved-about nasi lemak boasts fluffy rice with less spicy sambal, but to kick things up a notch, try Yati’s version, which packs a punchier sambal. Remember, there is no wrong nasi lemak.

From RM1.50 per packet

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Petaling Jaya
Nasi kerabu at Kesom
Photo: Hizwan Hamid
9/11

Nasi kerabu at Kesom

This Kelantanese dish is just as pretty as it tastes, featuring blue rice (the colour comes from bunga talang), acar, salted egg, shallots, kerisik, serunding ikan, ulam and sambal belacan. The flavours are heightened with the addition of spicy sambal and a dash of tumis sauce.

RM8

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Petaling Jaya
Zhap fan at Sin Tai Kar Lok
Photo: Stacy Liu
10/11

Zhap fan at Sin Tai Kar Lok

The spread will have you hemming and hawing; it’s a showcase of over 60 culinary treasures and comfort food alike that’ll remind you of your mother’s cooking – and for cheap too. Pile your plate with baby kailan in oyster sauce, Chinese sausage and sweet and sour pork.

From RM5

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Bukit Bintang
Porridge at Hon Kee
Photo: Daniel Chan
11/11

Porridge at Hon Kee

Take in the sights and sounds of Chinatown with a hearty, hot bowl of porridge at the sevendecade old Hon Kee. A standout set is one with thinly-sliced raw ikan haruan in sesame oil, garnished with Chinese parsley, chopped spring onions and julienned ginger. Scoop the fish into the silky smooth porridge and swish it around to cook it on the spot.

From RM5

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Petaling Street

Want nasi lemak instead?

Best nasi lemak in KL

We pick the best places in town for a satisfying plate of the country's pride and joy – the mighty nasi lemak. Hunt down these nasi lemak joints for breakfast, lunch, dinner or even supper, because our national dish doesn't restrict itself to a certain meal time – which is why we love it so much.

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By: Time Out KL editors

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