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Foodie things to do in Kuala Lumpur


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I was wondering if anyone would be able to advise on interesting food experiences in Kuala Lumpur, restaurants, markets etc. Currently I am staying at the Datai in Langkawi (Does anyone know of any outstanding restaurants on the this island?) and will arrive in Kuala Lumpur in about 5 days.

I know that Kuala Lumpur has an extremely eclectic food scene due to the influence of so many different cultures however any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Have you gone island hopping in Langkawi? Take one with a lunch stop and for lunch they'll stop at one of the islands where you'll have grilled seafood. Not a fine dining experience but a good travelling experience.

As for KL, local food of course is the draw and as you said the mix is eclectic. Go visit a "pasar malam" or night market. There are many about KL, open at different nights. For example: Monday - SS2, Sat - Bangsar, etc. Some nice eating there.

Anything in particular you want to try?

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People, keep posting!

I have to do two days in KL on the 17th and 18th, and it's not my money, so I'm looking for good ideas.

so far, the chinese kitchen at the Ritz has a good review, as does the Zhang Kitchen.

Anyone else with good ideas?

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The hawker centres in KL are great for delicious local food. Go early if you want bakuteh (pork rib soup with herbs; the Malaysian type is more herby and less peppery than the Singaporean bakuteh) - it's only served at breakfast or until they sell out. Street food is also very good. And KL has an excellent coffee culture - there are the big chains but local coffee is excellent and much cheaper.

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One should try Cilantro at the MiCasa, your concierge should be able to direct you through the labyrinth that is KL or at best, get you a decent cab.

The chef is Japanese and in my opinion, they do the best fine dining in KL at the moment in terms of product quality, refinement, interest and etc. You should be able to get into Cilantro tonight, or tomorrow and your hotel is actually quite close to MiCasa.

Lots of pretension and okay but not quite good places but some architect foodies I know well say that the chef at 3rd floor, while once a Tetsuya's cook, the food does not reflect the legacy of the great institution. Also, the chef also once worked at Cilantro, so you might do better to get to the fount rather than sipping from the cusp.

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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If Chinese if your thing, then one should try Elegant in Puchong. Once again, refer to your concierges. The chef however, is currently on leave in Guangzhou, but the standard should have been maintained. Definitely an expense account only place for some, given astronomic prices due to the use of rare ingredients (as opposed to endangered species, but close!).

Also, there is a new Italian place, called Neroteca, and it is surprise surprise, an enoteca. Good wine selection, knowledgeable staff ( a rarity in Malaysia at the moment ) who actually speak Italian, and lots and lots of pork... homemade salami, cotechino, culatello... the list goes on... It is in the Somerset Apartment building, in Changkat Bukit Bintang.

If you're in that area... maybe pop into Frangipani's for a drink... Friday night is 'pink' night... nudge nudge wink wink... they also do food... expensive, chic... cool... or so the marketing material and buzz around town says. Interesting interior design though. Ask for directions from hipsters loping around the area.

Finally, there's Atrium. Okay steaks, good drinks. They are located on Heritage Row, behind the Sheraton Imperial Hotel. The rest of the menu looks interesting enough, but they do have a good drinkies/snack menu. Try to get there for happy hour in the late afternoon early evening where jugs of Cuba Libre featuring Havana Club can be had for a pittance...like RM40.00 or so... but you would do well to remind them to add lime juice to the mix, or better still, ask for fresh lime wedges and DYI.

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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People, keep posting!

I have to do two days in KL on the 17th and 18th, and it's not my money, so I'm looking for good ideas.

so far, the chinese kitchen at the Ritz has a good review, as does the Zhang Kitchen. 

Anyone else with good ideas?

Was at the Ritz Carlton Chinese for lunch today. They do good dim sum. Very good dim sum. Enjoy. Then go over to Q-Bah at the Westin and blow more money on rum/wine/cigars.... good food there too... but drink... drink and drink more... and pay... and pay...

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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Thanks everyone for your suggestions, especially PCL. On your advice we have decided to go to Cilantro tonight so I will keep you posted about the meal.

My husband's relations who live in KL have lined up some interesting sounding meals hakka and a steam boat experience?

Obviously we will also try out the hawker food of which there is a very comprehensive thread.

Last time we were here we ate at the Japanese in the Renaissance which I remember to be very good has anyone been recently? I think we might go tomorrow for lunch

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No worries...

Hakka Steam Boat is an institution... don't forget to order the famous braised pork belly with preserved vegetables.... and deep fried 'wan-yue' although with steam boat you will be well fed... eat slowly and drink beer...

RE: Jap... You're better off going to Wasabi at the Mandarin Oriental to continue from Cilantro. It's in the basement... setting is average, but food is good... try to sit at the sushi bar... more interesting watching the chefs work than the so so decor...

Hope you enjoy Cilantro... and if you don't let us know why.

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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PCL, I agree with your tastes. I was also going to mention Cilantro to GastroChick. I do like the food there better than 3rd Floor.

And for Japanese I was also going to say Wasabi Bistro, but you beat me to it. :)

So you're in KL at the moment?

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Hi JC... I really hope GastroChick and hubby enjoy themselves in KL.

Right now, I'm typing this from Xiamen, China. Returning to KL tonight, but then heading off to KK tomorrow, back in KL in a week or so I think. I know I know... need to organise, group up, then eat up!!

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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Thanks PCL for your recommendation, we had a great time at Cilantro, the food was both inventive and delicious a mixture between Japanese and French.

OUr mixed starters comprising - wagyu beef, a delicate mushroom broth, salmon sashimi with truffle infused angel hair pasta, a single oyster were all equally as lovely.

For main I opted for scallops in a saffron broth, the scallops were a special variety from Japan which were tender, plump and sweet. The broth itself was meaty and fragrant and perfectly offset the delicate nature of the scallops. My husbands sea bass was cooked to perfection maintaining a transluscent centre.

OUr two souffles for dessert were as good as any that I have tasted in some of the top French restaurants in Europe. I went for the Green tea flavour which worked particularly well and lent the dish a distinct Asian flavour.

All in all it was a successful trip and would favourably compare to most fine dining experiences in London, Paris etc

Over the next couple of days we intend to eat at the more low key kind of establishments, hawker food, dim sum.

The chef at Cilantro mentioned Maeshima at the Federal Hotel and Inagiku as the two Japanese restaurants he would recommend does anyone know of these?

Also where can I find the best Laksa?

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Excellent. Really glad you enjoyed yourselves. Gives me a warm fuzzy feeling overall.

Now, where the best laksa is will be up for serious debate, and I'll defer to the KL regs, but one should note that the key to hunting down the best laksa is to identify the type of laksa one is after... Penang Laksa, Johor Laksa etc etc etc... it goes on and on and on...

Maybe the best satay is something to consider too!!!... My favourite, or one of them, happens to be on the way to the airport on the highway... it's a couple of stops from the airport exit proper... too vague I know, but I'm sure someone will chirp up!

JC... over to you re: hawker food!

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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Not sure I'm afraid what type of laksa I am after.

As far as satay is concerned, the best I have tasted was on a business class flight on Malaysian airlines, bizarre but true. Although if any body else has any good recommendations..............

At the moment we are staying at Hotel Maya, I know this is a food website but for anyone else contemplating where to kip for the night I don't advise here, the rooms are tiny and ours overlooks a graveyard. Today we went for a drive with my husbands relatives and they took us to a beautiful colonial style hotel, called Carcosa Seri Negara, they kindly negotiated an excellent room rate so we are leaving Maya tomorrow. Apparently the afternoon tea is fantastic, although we will have to travel further for food. Incidentally has anyone eaten at any of the restaurants at Carcosa?

Well off soon for a steam boat dinner although we are both still stuffed from all the dim sum we ate at lunch!

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I just tried L'Opera over on Piccolo Walk and had an interesting dish.

Dalen, the chef there (or was that meant to be Darren?) had wanted to do something with a Milanese bent, so he had this pasta dish down with red caviar, vodka, anchovies, garlic, ikura, and capers.

But he had the waitress come out and warn me not to eat it.

A number of clients had had it and had complained.

Well, I figured it was worth a shot.

If you like salt, it was great.

I like salt.

The anchovies dominate, but the capers and the big chunky mushroom bits carry a certain amount of authority as well. Pair this up with the house red (I'd already spent two hours in the lounge punishing the Chardonnay) a good enough Syrah-Merlot, and you had a good meal to get started on.

After that, I did two more meals. But it's almost 1:00 a.m. here, and I need to get up at 6.

Cheers

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GastroChick,

Don't know if you're still in KL. I was away for a few days, so I'm a little late chiming in. Glad you enjoyed Cilantro.

If you like satay, try Kajang style satay. You don't have to go all the way to Kajang, there a vendor at Jalan Gurney (off Jalan Tun Razak). For laksa, if you like Penang laksa (which is hot and sour) there a side stall along Petaling Street. Sorry, these are not places with names.

Otherwise, for a better selection and cleaner environment try the Laksa Shack which has an outlet at the Suria KLCC food court. They have several varieties of laksa - I like the Laksam Kelantan best.

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Maybe the best satay is something to consider too!!!... My favourite, or one of them, happens to be on the way to the airport on the highway... it's a couple of stops from the airport exit proper... too vague I know, but I'm sure someone will chirp up!

You're probably referring to Satay Kajang Haji Samuri. They have an outlet at one of the rest stops along the PLUS highway.

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  • 1 year later...

I'm heading to Kuala Lumpur in a week and wondering if the above recommendations still stand? Having read the posts, I'm thinking of trying Cilantro - but is there something else, not mentioned above, that shouldn't be missed? Anything new and interesting? (or old an unmentioned?)

thanks for any input!

52 martinis blog

@52martinis

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Just a little update to my request for information - i just looked on the map and will be staying near the Putrajaya International Convention Centre which doesn't appear to be exactly in KL. If anyone has any specific recommendations for that area (in addition to KL in general) I'd love to hear them.

Thanks!

52 martinis blog

@52martinis

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Hi there.

Cilantro is closed for renovations.

The Putrajaya area is sometimes described as a shit-hole. Not much of interest there except for bureaucratic monuments of dubious architectural merit and convention centres, although the one you're going to is the best of the lot.

I travel in and out of KL quite often and have been frequenting a small Japanese restaurant called Hajime in Jalan Damai, Ampang. Good omakase sushi, and delicate dishes that can be served kaiseki style. Worth a try if you're visiting the Twin Towers area.

The Japanese restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental is also good, next door to the Twin Towers. Sorry about the jap overload, but that's all I've been eating lately.

The new mega shopping Mall known as Mid-Valley Gardens has a good hawker center approximation called Gurney Drive, after the famous food strip in Penang Island. A bit touristy, but I've been known to indulge there. Pricey, but at least you've got air-con and a good selection of hawker type dishes under one roof.

I'm scratching my head now, but what about Italian?

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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Thanks PCL - I guess I'll take Cilantro off my list! (hmmm...doesn't sound like I'll be staying in the most promising of locations!)

What about the markets and/or street vendors? Any suggestions? I followed markemorse's noted link above and it lead me to the KL Time Out featuring the Imbi Market, which looks interesting. I'll mainly be working when I'm there, so when I do get some time to explore food, I'd like to hit worthwhile places.

52 martinis blog

@52martinis

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The Changkat Bukit Bintang area is quite good for cool bars and a couple of good restaurants in the zone:

El Cerdu - serving up pork pork pork... they say they're nose to tail eating, but it's a blatant 'homage' to Fergus Henderson's tag line, but the food has a mediterranean/german bent to it. Owned by Germans.

Vinoteca - also serves pork, like salami, prosciutti etc and good pasta and their home made cotechino is pretty good considering it's Malaysia (a Muslim country) that we're talking about

In terms of hawker food, and local specialities, you really need a guide. In town, the Imbi market is great as there's lots of hawkers there. Notable things to eat street food wise in that area:

- pork jerky (Wing Heong is the name of the shop)

- Har Mee (prawn broth noodles, slightly spicy)

- Hainanese Chicken Rice

- Char Kuey Teow (various spellings, but it's basically fried chinese rice based 'fettucine' with cockles, prawns, chili paste, bean sprouts and chives... it's a Malaysian original and a bit of a cult dish)

If you're eating street food in a 'coffe shop' where hawkers have their stalls, you must try the local 'kopi' or coffee... for a change the 'chum ping' (iced coffee and tea with milk) is a novelty and very refreshing.

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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