Chinatown Kuala Lumpur Restaurants
Best places to eat in Chinatown Kuala Lumpur
A lively and colourful section of the city full of interesting sights and smells, Chinatown Kuala Lumpur restaurants top the list of best budget eats in Kuala Lumpur, helping you make the ringgits in your pocket stretch further. Letting you to eat out for less without the stress, you will love the fact that the Pasar Seni light rail transit (LRT) train station is located here, making it easy for tourists to access. Plus, a lot of these restaurants are usually open late, making them the perfect places to eat for travellers who are out late.
Expect to find hawker stalls inside simple coffee shops, Chinese and Thai seafood restaurants, quirky bistros that double as art galleries, and even award winning fine diners – the best places to eat in Chinatown Kuala Lumpur are certainly a surprise. From steamed buns to smoked pork meat, you will find so much variety at the best Chinatown Kuala Lumpur restaurants.
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More Restaurants in Chinatown
Arabesque is an atmospheric Lebanese restaurant that is a great place to head to when you need some air conditioned comfort after shopping along Petaling Street, with a kitchen offering a menu of some lovely meze dishes. It has, surprisingly, flown under the radar for quite some time now, but receives rave online reviews from diners for its hearty, great-tasting Middle Eastern dishes alive with bold flavour, colour and texture.
Open daily from 11:00 - 23:00, food-wise they do a mean 'shawarma' (roasted meat rolled into pita bread) - try it with side servings of hummus, moutabal, and button mushrooms sautéed with onions. Friendly service rounds up the restaurant’s inventory of great features.
- Opening Hours: 11:00 - 23:00
- Address: Jalan Petaling, Chnatown Kuala Lumpur
- Tel: +603 2022 1795
Assam Laksa Stall
Served with shredded cucumber and thick mackerel chunks, the assam laksa in Petaling Street is quite legendary, at once sweet, sour and spicy. The stalls selling this dish at Madras Lane have been in the business for more than 30 years, and has just the right balance of flavours to make their assam laksa’s popularity last throughout the decades.
- Opening Hours: Differ from stall to stall – some are open in the morning and some only open in the afternoon, and some are closed on certain days of the week.
- Location: Madras Lane, near the entrance of Petaling Street wet market.
- Cuisine: Assam laksa
Café Café is one of the most surprising entries in Kuala Lumpur’s list of best restaurants. A French-Italian fine dining restaurant, Café Café is no stranger to accolades and was nominated as the Best Continental Restaurant and Best Independent Restaurant in the 2010 Time Out KL Food Awards. Highly recommended, the grandiose yet unpretentious Café Café practically transports you to Paris. Perfect for couples, the romantic interior has candlelit tables, French background music, chandeliers, and twinkling crystal decorations. Service, however, could be better and the restaurant is starting to look a little run down but the food more than makes up for it. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 18:00 – 24:00
- Address: 175, Jalan Maharajalela, Kuala Lumpur
- Tel: +603 2145 8141
China Town Seng Kee Restaurant
Famous for their claypot lou shu fan (rat-tail noodles) and siew yuk (BBQ pork) noodles, China Town Seng Kee Restaurant serves delicious Cantonese dishes, some of which only available at night.
- Opening Hours: Daily, 07:00 – 04:00
- Location: opposite Bangunan Ka Yin Fui Kon & The Shanghai Bookstore
- Address: 52 Jalan Sultan
- Tel: (603) 2072 5950
- Cuisine: Cantonese, claypot lou shu fan, siew yuk noodles
Hong Kong Mee
Despite its hidden location behind a wet market, Hong Kong Mee enjoys a brisk business due to its delicious claypot noodles. Its specialty, however, is the wok chai mee, which is noodles served in a tiny black wok atop a mini burner, ensuring that the noodles stay hot.
- Opening Hours: Daily, 09:00 – 15:00
- Location: near Jalan Tun H. S. Lee, behind the wet market near Chinatown Pavillion
- Address: 9 Lorong Drury, Jalan Bandar
- Tel: (603) 2078 9296
- Cuisine: Claypot noodles, wok chai noodles
Jalan Hang Lekir Beef Noodles
Like most hawker stalls around this area, this beef noodle stall has been around for years. Offering an inexpensive and fulfilling meal, this stall uses flat rice noodles instead of egg noodles, tossed with oil and light soy sauce instead of dark soy sauce, creating a simple yet tasty treat.
- Opening Hours: Daily, 20:00 – 03:00
- Address: Along Jalan Hang Lekir, Kuala Lumpur (next to Hong Leong Bank)
- Cuisine: Beef noodles
Maybank Tong Sui
If you’re in the mood for some good, old homemade tong sui (porridge), then look no further than the stall situated at the corner of Jalan Panggung and Jalan Sultan. Offering green bean porridge, hak loh mai (black glutinous rice porridge), noodles and yong tau foo, this stall has been in operation for more than 20 years. These cheap treats come with a rich taste, as the stalls’ many customers would testify to.
- Opening Hours: Daily, 14:00 – 22:00
- Location: Corner of Jalan Panggong and Jalan Sultan (right outside Maybank, hence the name)
- Cuisine: Tong sui (green bean porridge & black glutinous rice porridge)
Nam Heong Hainanese Chicken Rice
Well-known for its Hainanese Chicken Rice, sworn by some to be the best in town, Nam Heong Chicken Rice’s main dish is reportedly so good that some customers refuse to have their chicken rice anywhere else but here. Aside from chicken rice, they are also well-known for their fook chow fishball soup and roast pork.
- Opening Hours: Daily, 10:00 – late
- Location: opposite 5 Element Hotel and down the road from Swiss-Inn Hotel
- Address: 56 Jalan Sultan
- Tel: (603) 2078 5879
- Cuisine: Hainanese chicken rice, roast pork, fook chow fishball soup
Some of the older parts of Kuala Lumpur are decaying little by little, but some institutions still stand strong to remind us of the character it once held. A good example of these is the Old China Cafe, a cafe serving delectable Peranakan dishes, slightly off the beaten track in Chinatown. Previously the premise of the guild hall of Selangor and Federal Territory Laundry Association, the cafe is housed in a heritage pre-war shop house dating back to the early 1900s. The cafe retains its quiet charm, with most of its original furnishings still gracing the interior. Expect to find old Chinese furniture such as marble-topped tables at least 100 years old, and Wild-West-like wooden saloon doors that flap as you push them to enter. Little antique trinkets line the shelves for sale for those who would like a piece of history. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 11:00 till late
- Address: No. 11, Jalan Balai Polis, Kuala Lumpur
- Tel: +6 03 2072 5915
- How to get there: Old China Cafe is just a walk from the nearest LRT Station, Pasar Seni. From the station, alight east to Jalan Sultan towards Jalan Hang Kasturi and turn right onto Jalan Panggong. Turn left onto Lorong Panggung, and the cafe will be on your left.
Peter Hoe Beyond is a store along Jalan Tun HS Lee with a lovely collection of homeware, clothes and souvenirs. The 8,600sqft warehouse-sized shop is divided into three colourful sections: a retail store, boutique and café. Fusing Asian and modern style, some of the best things to buy here include colourful, woven rattan baskets and place mats in bold colours and designs as well as flowery shirts, batik print pareos and scarves. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 10:00 – 19:00
- Address: No. 145, Jalan Tun HS Lee, Kuala Lumpur
- Tel: +603 2026 9788
Portuguese Grilled Fish
A stall located in the alleyway in front of Hong Leong Bank serves a unique culinary experience: charcoal-grilled fish, Portuguese style. The fish is smeared all over with their specially-made chilli sauce and wrapped in aluminium foil, before grilled to perfection. Once the fish is cooked, the aroma that rises as you peel back the aluminium foil is quite out of this world.
- Opening Hours: Daily, 17:00 – 23:00; closed on Mondays
- Location: On Jalan Hang Lekir, in the alleyway in front of Hong Leong Bank
- Cuisine: Spicy grilled fish wrapped in aluminium foil, Portuguese style
Tucked away in the cultural bazaar Central Market is Precious Old China, sister restaurant to the renowned Old China Cafe. Sporting a slightly grander interior than the Chinatown outlet, the restaurant maintains the same hospitality and menu, but keeps it pork-free to entice more visitors, especially the Muslim crowd (Malaysia is an Islamic country). Situated in the mezzanine floor, the restaurant is right before the food court, so you can’t miss it after you’ve climbed the stairs at the main entrance. Expansive and filled with art and antique pieces such as 19th century Shanxi medicine cabinets and paintings of the Chinese opera singers, the ambiance is easy-going, yet full of charm. The restaurant is divided into three sections – a bar, and two separate dining areas. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 11:00 – 23:00
- Address: Lot M2, Central Market, Jalan Hang Kasturi, Kuala Lumpur
- Tel: +6 03 2273 7372
Restoran Hung Kee first started out in the mid-60s serving wan tan mee (Hokkien noodles in black soya sauce with dumplings). Over the years it has expanded to include two shop lots along Jalan Loke Yew in KL (near the pedestrian bridge): the first shop lot is air conditioned while the second is not. The restaurant gets rather busy, especially at lunchtime, so arrive early to snag a table in the air con section. Parking in the area can be difficult but as with most local fare in the city, you cannot find great, authentic cuisine in KL without some minor difficulties. Most people park their cars in the side streets and walk the short distance to the shop. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 07:00 – 22:00
- Address: 28-5 and 28-6 Jalan Loke Yew, Pudu, Kuala Lumpur
Restoran Kim Lian Kee bills itself as the birth place of hokien mee in KL. Set at the junction in the centre of Petaling Street (beside Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf), it is a corner lot restaurant that is over 100 years old. Locals say it is one of the best (if not the best) hokkien mee joints in the city. Although Restoran Kim Lian Kee’s menu is fairly extensive and includes typical tai chow (dishes) to be eaten with rice, it is the fat yellow hokkien mee noodles stir-fried and doused in delicious and thick soy sauce gravy that draws in the crowd. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily, 07:00 – 16:00 (chee cheong fun), 17:00 – 05:00 (Hokkien fried noodles). Closed on Wednesdays.
- Location: at the corner where Petaling Street meets Jalan Hang Lekir – usually opposite a Longan drink stall – you can’t miss its big red signboard saying ‘Restoran Kim Lean Kee’
- Address: 49-51, Jalan Petaling, 55100 Kuala Lumpur
- Tel: +603 2032 4984
- Cuisine: Chee cheong fun, Hokkien fried noodles
Restoran Koon Kee is one of the best places in the city to sample wan tan mee. A Cantonese dish popular in Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore, it comprises noodles sautéed in sweetened black sauce and is traditionally served with toppings such as char siew (barbecued pork slices) or chicken slices. The shop is over 50 years old and is located opposite Hong Leong Bank along Petaling Street. Locals are especially partial to the noodles served here as their texture is springy and flavoursome – the perfect combination for wan tan mee. Another uncommon garnishing for the noodles is braised chicken feet with mushrooms. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 10:00 – 22:00
- Location: Jalan Hang Lekir
Restoran Platinum Chinatown
With a bright yellow and red exterior that is hard to miss as you enter Petaling Street market area from Jalan Sultan, Chinatown Pavillion beckons hungry visitors into its enclosures with an eye-catching signboard and a tempting aroma. Serving kopitiam favourites such as curry and prawn noodles, char kuay teow, wantan noodles, fried rice and beef noodles, this restaurant’s strategic location and affordable prices prove to be a great pulling factor.
- Opening Hours: Daily, 08:00 – 00:00
- Address: 27 Jalan Hang Lekir (adjacent to Jalan Petaling)
- Cuisine: Local kopitiam (coffeeshop) favourites
Syarikat Makanan Salai Kiew Brothers
Daging salai or smoked, dried meat (sometimes referred to as ‘barbequed meat’ here) can be found in abundance around Chinatown, particularly along Jalan Sultan. The Kiew Brothers’ outlet reputedly sells the best smoked meat in town, a family-owned business which has been passed on from generation to generation, specialising in all types of smoked meat from pork to prawn
- Location: On Jalan Sultan, next to Kong Wooi Fong Tea Merchants
Housed in a colonial-style, 100 year old former textiles warehouse in Chinatown, The Warehouse is a hip and quirky art gallery with a café, bar and restaurant (Ril’s Steakhouse) attached to it. During the day, at the small Café Art, you can have a light breakfast, lunch or just cakes, play board games or just take advantage of the free Wi-Fi. One of its quirky features is serving drinks with artistic flourish – like a cappuccino that is served with an impression of US President Barack Obama done in the foam. Sri Mahamariamman (the oldest Hindu temple in KL) sits directly opposite The Warehouse, while Sze Ya Temple (the oldest Chinese temple in the city) is just a few doors down. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 10:00 – 1:00 Tuesday – Sunday
- Address: 198 Jalan Tun HS Lee, KL.
- Tel: +603 2022 0528
Yook Woo Hin
Having been around for a long time, Yook Woo Hin’s longevity can be attributed to the quality of its food, which is so good that it’s still popular with the masses even after all these years. Its famous dim sum is served only in the mornings, while their live prawn noodles and deep-fried chicken remain firm favourites.
- Opening Hours: Daily, 05:00 – 15:00
- Address: 100 Jalan Petaling
- Tel: (603) 2078 4681
- Cuisine: Chinese, dim sum
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