Deciding where to eat in a city as large and as diverse as Kuala Lumpur can be quite overwhelming. Apart from having a wide selection of cuisines that cater to your every craving, there are more than a few exceptional restaurants that range from traditional Asian dishes and delicacies to international eateries that are both authentic and creative. This is actually a good problem because it means you have plenty of food choices–it is all a matter of knowing where to eat. Of course, I wasn’t able to do an immersive food tour while I was there, but I did enjoy dining in several places (three of which are included in this post). To be clear, this is in no way a food critic’s guide to KL restaurants but more like an amateur foodie’s resto list. If you’re spending a few days in KL and don’t know where to eat, well, these wont disappoint.
KL is definitely a melting pot of different cultures, which probably explains why my recommendations are so diverse. Included in my list is a famous food hawker center, a cool coffee shop, and a well-known Japanese restaurant with an incredible view. It was love at first bite for me (at three different occasions)–I felt the need to write about these restaurants because they were memorable and inventive, and their dishes were outstanding.
1.) ANTIPODEAN CAFE. More than your typical coffee shop, Antipodean Cafe is best known for its hearty breakfast offerings that are fresh (ingredients are locally sourced), hearty (some dishes are enough to feed two persons), and delicious. I sampled their Bang-up Breakfast (you get a choice of chicken, beef or pork sausages, served with scrambled eggs, herbed hash brown and crunchy bacon) during our feature shoot at the restaurant for #TrendingWithKelly (where Chef Tatung and I interviewed owner Alun Evans along with expert foodie Connie Chew) and it was indeed a complete meal that could tide you over lunch. Apart from this, they have quite an extensive selection of breakfast food (like eggs benedict, french toast, pancakes, bagel, muesli, croissant, and waffles to name a few), which is in my opinion, the best kind of restaurant because who doesn’t love breakfast, right? If you’re not a fan of breakfast, well, you can order from their ‘After 11am’ menu and still be very satisfied with your order/s. I sampled and loved their Buffalo Mozzarella Salad with Tomato, Basil and Walnuts, Grilled Chicken with Tomatoes, Green Beans and Balsamic Vinegar, Chicken Kofta Kebab, and Salmon Pizza, which were all made really well. They were fresh, flavorful and tender (for the chicken). I’ve never had salmon in my pizza before, and it was incredible. For dessert, try their cakes! I ordered the Balinese Date Cake and Carrot Cake–and wow! These were so satisfying–it was worth breaking my keto diet! Lastly, try their coffee (they are a café after all)–they have a plenty of options to please any coffee connoisseur.
Price range: around RM 25 per dish, which is more or less P300 up.
2.) NOBU KUALA LUMPUR. This Michelin-starred restaurant is well-known for its classically comforting yet creative dishes by chef Nobu Matsuhisa. Most of us know the name as it is a franchise from the world famous New York spot co-owned by Robert de Niro, which opened in 1994, and because it also opened in Manila a few years ago. What makes this Nobu different is the dramatic 360 degree view of the KL city skyline, which is absolutely breathtaking. It is on the 56th floor of Menara Petronas 3, adjacent to the iconic Suria KLCC, so this is really quite an impressive view. Nobu’s food is actually unique because it is a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian flavors. Their signature dish is the Black Cod with Salty, Sweet Miso, which of course, we had to order. I loved its delicate, clean flavor! Other dishes we ordered were Mixed Seafood Salad with Spicy Ponzu, Tuna Sashimi Salad with Matsuhisa Dressing, and the New Zealand Lamb Anticucho Miso, which were exceptional and flavorful. The kitchen is helmed by head chef Philip Leong, who was brought in from Nobu Berkeley St. If you are looking to impress a date or celebrate an anniversary, this is the place to take her!
Price range: dishes range from RM 70-250, which is around P850 to P3000 per dish.
3.) JALAN ALOR. If you’re looking to eat authentic Malaysian dishes, well, this is the place to go. Japan Alor is one of the most famous roads in KL when it comes to food, as it has plenty of hawker stalls and seafood restaurants. It is located just behind Jalan Bukit Bintang, so it is right in the center. This is also why it has become the favorite after-clubbing dining spot–because of their location, and they are open till late. The hawker food is what you need to try here, which means sampling their barbecued meats, noodles and desserts right on the street. These are cheap, clean and tasty! You have to try eating here at least once when you’re in KL so you really get to taste what their food is all about. Of course, it can be warm (even at night), loud and crowded, but that is all part of the experience. What to try: chicken satay, roasted barbecue pork, grilled chicken wings, fried oyster egg and frog porridge. Oh, and major fail–I took photos when we dropped by during the day (this was before going to the airport) which meant most of the stalls and restaurants were still closed. During the day you can buy fresh fruits, some desserts, snacks and pasalubong like those spicy-sweet pork sheets though!
Price range: for RM 50 (or P600) you can get your fill and try A LOT of dishes!