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Sep 19, 2009 08:27 PM

Recommendations for Kuala Lumpur - 3 days

We'll spend three days in Kuala Lumpur and intend to do nothing but enjoying the hotel (we're staying at the Mandarin Oriental) and eating. :)

I've never been to KL but I heard it's wonderful for food. So.... where to go? We're game for anything - street stall to fine dining - as long as it's a great food experience.

I did some research on the blog, but one reader cautioned that the traffic is horrible and not worth braving for any kind of food. Is there good chow not too far from the Mandarin Oriental?

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  1. Mandarin Oriental is linked to Petronas Twin Towers & Suria KLCC mall. In the mall, you shouldn't miss Madam Kwan's - nasi bojari, nasi lemak, etc. House of Sundanese Food (Indonesian) is also good for its grilled fish and chicken.

    From your hotel, you can actually walk to Bukit Bintang/Jalan Imbi area (15-20 minutes) or take a monorail (your hotel concierge should be able to advise). Jalan imbi has Oversea, a very popular Cantonese restaurant which serve the best "har loke" (large prawns in sweet-soy sauce) in the world! Don't miss the "loong tan" (deep-sea giant garoupa skin stewed in claypot).

    The Hakka restaurant is also near your hotel. Order the steamed pork & yams, besides many other Hakka dishes.

    For Malay food, try Enak at Lot 10 mall in Jalan Bukit Bintang.

    Jalan Alor (for street food) and Tingkat Tung Shin(for good international restaurants - El Cerdo Spanish, Le Bouchon French, Cuban, Sao Nam Vietnamese, etc) are 10-15 minutes by taxi.

    You can take Light Rail Transit train straight from KLCC to Petaling Street (Chinatown). Try Koon Kee, the old wanton noodles shop there.

    9 Replies
    1. re: penang_rojak

      Thanks for the recommendations in KL! Will be there late Oct. for 5 days. My favorite is the "chow lor" - (some called it "fookien chow") - where is the best in KL/Petaling Jaya? I could eat that every night before hitting the sack! Will be in Penang next for 9 days and needs your expert advice for the best street food, hawker centers to hit and restaurants for nonya, chinese, indonesian, etc, but not western food. Ambience is not important to me - food must be good and I don't even mind squatting next to the monsoon drain to eat it! Will be staying at the Trader's Hotel at Magazine Road and at the Gurney Hotel. Got to be selective, not enough stomachs to go around in the 9 days! Thanks.

      1. re: axthepond

        KL Hokkien mee - everyone seems to have their own favourite. My favourite is undoubtedly AH WAH HOKKIEN MEE, 1, Jalan 20/16 Paramount Garden, 46300 Petaling Jaya. Owner Ng Choon Hua has been frying the black KL-style noodles since 1969. It's open for dinner only but closes on Mon/Tue in hte middle of each month. Call his mobile 016-251 2591 to check before you go.

        If AH WAH is closed, try his close neighbour & rival, FAMOUS HOKKIEN MEE @ MEI YEN, 39, Jalan 20/7 Paramount Garden, 46300 PJ. Mobile: 019-229 8566. The old man, Siow Teng Lai has been frying noodles since 1965.


        Trader's Hotel is quite close to Penang Road & lots of good old eating spots in Kimberley St, Campbell St, etc - read Eating Asia food blog, the BEST guide to penang street food eating in the whole world.

        Gurney Hotel is close to the two bah kut teh restaurants fery popular during breakfast - ZEALAND EATING HOUSE & CARNATION. Let me know if you have anything specific in mind.

        1. re: axthepond

          Nothing like a local to show you the ropes;

          Was a great help for a recent trip. Check out the dives she recommends for Thai. Stellar!

        2. re: penang_rojak

          I visited Oversea the other night. The food was rather disappointing, compared to the other food I had at other places during this visit.

          I had the har loke, braised pork belly with fish in a claypot, and mixed vegetables stir-fried in an oyster sauce. All of the sauces were just too rich and much, much too salty to really enjoy any of the other flavors. The food also seemed expensive for what was served (I got the distinct feeling there were canned or bottled mushrooms in the mixed vegetables; and the charge for the bowl of peanuts that I thought were on the house -- I didn't order them and didn't eat them -- was annoying.)

          1. re: racer x

            I will be visiting KL in the next 2 weeks and wonder if there's any other recommendations.

            At the moment I am planning TAMARIND HILLS (Thai), TYKOH INAGIKU or GONBEI (Sushi), KAMIMURA (Tonkatsu), OVERSEAS (should we go?).

            What's considered best the Malay restaurants in city center?

            1. re: theskyflyer

              Try Bijan (Tengkat Tong Shin), Enak (Starhill) or Ibunda (Bukit Bintang) for Malay

              1. re: mikey8811

                I'd second Bijan and Enak. Both are not cheap though.

                Bijan's more atmospheric - the food's Modern-Malay: lighter, with an emphasis on fresh ingredients. Authentic taste.

                Enak's located in an upmarket mall, and is very convenient - accessible from the Bukit Bintang monorail station. I'd been there a couple of times but, though food & service standards are fairly satisfactory, the tastes are not as strong/assertive as you'd find in street stalls or the "real" Malay places in Chow Kit or Kampung Baru. Eat here ONLY if you really, REALLY want a taste of Malay food, and can't find better alternatives.

                I heard good things about Ibunda but haven't had the opportunity to visit it yet. One of my first food destinations on my next trip up to KL!

                On the aside, any visitor to KL now should check out Hutong, the new posh food court in Lot 10 Mall (Bukit Bintang) which EVERYONE in KL is talking about at the moment. The food court brings together note-worthy hawkers from all over KL, Klang, Penang, Ipoh and even Singapore - into one place. Authentic/traditional methods of cooking are de rigeur here: so you have charcoal braziers & large, hot smoking woks. Most of the hawkers are third or fourth-generation family members plying their trade. Definitely a MUST to check out!

                1. re: klyeoh

                  Thank you guys. We'll be staying at WESTIN (Bukit Bintang) so it looks like all the recommended places here are nearby. Lot 10 looks reaaaally good!

          2. re: penang_rojak

            Well done Penang Rojak,

            About halfway down this article there is the single best article that serves as an overview to the street food scene in Kuala Lumpur:


          3. Shangri La's Shang Palace for Dim Sum and LaFite for dinner. :)

            JW Marriott's Xiao Long Baos, handpulled noodles and black sesame glutinous rice balls coated with peanut powder

            Zing at Grand Millenium Hotel next to Pavilion for dim sum.

            Kampachi at Hotel Equatorial.

            Wonton noodles at Fun Kee, Jalan Sungai Besi and wonton noodles at Grand Imperial, Bangsar Shopping Centre. Just use google maps if at doubt. :D

            These are the best places to eat in KL, in my opinion. Lived and grew up in KL for my whole life. :)

            1 Reply
            1. re: micheniche

              Good places - we stayed at Shangri-la. All round good eating. Can also commend Zinpangu. What a feast. And wifey normally can't stand anything with fish.

              Thanks for the heads up micheniche

            2. I was in KL for a weekend and would recommend these places:
              - El Cerdo for dinner on Jalan Changkat Bukit Bintang - famous for the suckling pig and the paella is awesome
              - Belanga in the Gardens Mall (a bit off from Westin but the mall is worth checking out - it's the biggest mall in KL) - food from Kelantan, surprisingly very good even though it's located in a mall
              - Oversea restaurant - this was my second lunch of the day so just came to eat the famous soy sauce shrimp so not sure how is the rest of the dishes, but I would go back to have the shrimps again.
              - Pork belly (siew yoke) in Jalan Nyona (not too far from Westin area, maybe 10 mins car ride)

              For more info:

              3 Replies
              1. re: aj84

                I liked Oversea's char siew pork, heavily seasoned and very fragrant. Did you go to the main branch in Jalan Imbi? There is a fish maw dish there which is absolutely unbelievably good. I need to recall what it's called.

                1. re: M_Gomez

                  Yes I did went to the main branch on Jalan Imbi. Next time I'm there will definitely try the other dishes

                  1. re: aj84

                    Try the Imbi market for lunch. Pretty close.