Where to Eat in Kuala Lumpur
Cafes, Pubs, Restaurants, Mamak
Kuala Lumpur and the adjoining Klang Valley offer visitors a spectacular array of food. From sweet and spicy to bitter and pungent, there are a wide range of local delicacies and dishes to try out.
If you long for something closer to home, Kuala Lumpur has a whole host of international restaurants to cater for the most fussy of taste buds.
The young and trendy of Kuala Lumpur popularise the many pubs and cafes located in and around the city. Most have a definite Western theme to them; the cafes having European pastries, ice blended coffee and modern ambience and furnishings while pubs stock international brands of beer and spirits complete with counters and blasting music. Some are locally themed but others may be franchised from overseas, such as Starbucks Coffee and Zouk Discotheque. Read More...
Kuala Lumpur's upper crust of society congregate in some of the city's finest restaurants dedicated to international cuisine and fine dining at its best. Be pampered by first class service and gourmet food that's meant for taste and not just filling. These are the places to opt for if you want class. Read More...
Food Courts/Medan Selera
Food Courts are called 'Medan Selera' in Malay. These are not tribunals to adjucate disputes between chefs, but a collection of food stalls, sometimes housed within their own mini-shops, on an established concrete foundation or building. You can find food courts within the city in many places, from residential areas to shopping malls and factory areas to office blocks.
A food court enables you to choose a variety of local food, the range depending on just how large the place is to fit in a relative number of food stalls. Most food courts are a multi-racial mix of dishes, the most typical being Malay, Chinese and Indian food, though you do find many Thai, Western, Japanese and Italian offerings. Food courts may either be open-air or covered.
Kopitiams & Coffee Shops
'Kopitiams' are literally coffee shops that you can find in almost every nook and cranny of the city. While you may picture an elegant cafe that has an assortment of java beans, it is actually quite the opposite. Kopitiams are budget Chinese restaurants that offer local dishes and drinks with nothing fancy in between.
Almost all these shops utilise square porcelain tiles on their walls and floors. There is no air-conditioning; ceiling fans provide cool and the tables and chairs are often made of flimsy plastic.
Within a kopitiam, you may find several stalls offering dishes which are ordered and cooked on the spot. While it's a cheap way of dining, kopitiams are popular with locals, especially Chinese. People from all walks of life congregate in kopitiams to have their breakfasts and lunch mostly. This also makes the place extremely loud, noisy and filled with chatter, a typical trademark of kopitiams.
Mamaks were originally open-air food stalls opened by Indian Muslims, often by the sidewalks, road-sides and parking lots. 'Mamak' is actually a term for Indian Muslims but it has now become so commonplace that it simply refers to any roadside stall run by an Indian that sells traditional Indian food and drinks, not necessarily Muslims.
Extremely popular with young adults in Kuala Lumpur, Mamaks have become a past-time of sorts, where after work or college, the young will gather for drinks and chat the night away. You can also enjoy delicious Indian hawker offerings, such as Roti Canai and Indian tea. They are often opened from morning till well past midnight to cater to a nightwalker crowd.
Pasar Malams or 'Night Markets' are one of the best places to do shopping for traditional groceries, knick-knacks and other household items. However, Pasar Malams are also great places to dine on light traditional food or to pack local dishes for the home. Here, you can find savoury items such as cookies, local cakes called 'kuih-muih', Chinese pastries and sweet, watery desserts. Then there are often stalls selling kebabs, roasted duck, noodles and other heavier food items. The choice is endless!.
Restaurants are the bread and butter of the dining world. In Kuala Lumpur, you can find a wide variety of cuisine, from local food that spans Malay, Chinese and Indian offerings to international favourites such as French, Italian and Japanese. From shop lots to shopping malls and fancy hotels to home restaurants, visitors to Kuala Lumpur will be spoilt for choice!