Kuala Lumpur (or ‘KL’ for short) is home to a world street food haven so extensive, so magnificent, that it’s almost like a year round festival for food.

Every time I visit, my excitement is never any less – the streets of KL are constantly in food-party mode no matter what day you arrive.

In this article, I am excited to share with you just a fraction of the incredible amount of restaurants you could be visiting the next time you are in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Enjoy the stories, maybe learn about some new restaurants you can visit yourself, and just enjoy the food photos of some of our favorite Kuala Lumpur destinations.

No matter how many times I have the privilege to visit, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is a place that is always exciting .

Among many other reasons, when it comes to cities best made for an ‘Ultimate Food Tour,’ Kuala Lumpur is a true King.

The Best Restaurants in Kuala Lumpur would then therefore also be a list of some of the absolute best places to for food in all of Asia (if not the world).

Get Ready for Your Ultimate KL List

In the article below, we want to share with you a rolling list of the Best Restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. These are the best restaurants we personally have visited, and as we continue to travel to Malaysia, we will continue to add to and update this content.

For foodies, it doesn’t get much better than this.

I am absolutely in love with the people of Malaysia and their food, and I hope this article can share just a sampling of why I have such an inspiration for this place.

Each Mini-Section Has All The Links You’ll Need

Be sure to check out the links included in each restaurant portion as well. Many of the restaurants on this list are so good, that we just couldn’t help but write an in-depth article detailing an entire meal at each one.

Hopefully you can use this list to build for yourself an amazing food tour of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and when you do, we would love to hear about it (leave us a comment below).

Amazing bowls of Claypot Chicken Rice at Heun Kee Restaurant in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
A restaurant that’s so good you’re going to taxi here, straight from the airport

1. Heun Kee Claypot Chicken Rice

I’ll start off this list of Best Restaurants in Kuala Lumpur with one restaurants that’s so good, it was worth catching a taxi to, straight from the airport. Checking in not at a hotel, but first heading to Heun Kee Claypot Chicken rice – now that describes more than what words can say I can – this is some first-class comfort food.

Heun Kee Claypot Chicken Rice Restaurant in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia serves an incredible Chinese-Malay claypot chicken rice, cooking the traditional way, only using the intense, full-on heat of charcoal.

The chefs are taking their time to make each bowl individually, and constantly monitoring each pot – you will have to sit patiently, but this proves to customers that they’re really starting each pot from scratch.

No shortcuts in the purity and depth of flavor in every claypot here, and I guarantee you’ll appreciate that when the food finally reaches your table.

You have to order at least one claypot when you visit Heun Kee Claypot Chicken Rice on your next visit to Kuala lumpur, Malaysia
Tender claypot meat so juicy, even an adult could shed childlike tears of joy

What To Order

Obviously those gorgeously large chunks of meat have to be the first thing on your mind, and its totally fine, maybe even mandatory, to order more than one claypot (even if you’re coming here alone).

Inside each pot there is a glorious mix of meat and rice, and as the dark sweet soya sauce caramelizes under so much claypot and charcoal heat, that rice itself is also smoky, crunchy, sweet, and amazing.

There are some foods in the world that are worth traveling for, and for me this is definitely one of them.

Don’t forget to try their herbal soup, full of traditional Chinese-medicinal health giving herbs like Wolfberry (Go-ji Berry), ginseng, and Chinese anise (Bajiao), and finally, maybe finish off your meal with a few orders of fried vegetables, like Chinese Broccoli, or flash-fried White Lettuce.

Charcoal filled claypots at Heun Kee Restaurant in Kuala Lumpur
The Claypot Masters working here cook the traditional way, using blazing charcoal heat.

Name: Heun Kee Claypot Chicken Rice Restaurant
Location: (Google Maps)
Hours: 11AM to 845PM (closed on Thursday)
Prices: Our entire meal (3 adults) came to 59RM (US$14.34)

Amazing size of fish heads sold at Mr. Annuar's Fish Head Curry Restaurant
Red Snapper Fish Head in a pilgrimage-worthy red orange curry sauce

2. Annuar’s Fish Head Curry

Fish Head is an iconic South East Asian food, but its probably loved nowhere more than right here in the Malaysian peninsula.

Meals of fish head are popular in this area for many reasons (first of all because its delicious, of course), but I personally love the way in which an eater can experience such diversity of Malaysian cuisine just in this one single food!

You can hear more details about the local legends here (Migrationology in Singapore), but a quick version is that an Malay-born Indian chef was cooking up some curry for his Chinese guests, and after dropping a fish head into the curry instead of chicken or beef he created a new dish, one that all of Malaysia now enjoys, no matter their food heritage.

I love a great fish head, and I think that one of the places serving the best fish head in Kuala Lumpur has to be Mr. Annuar’s, at Annuar’s Fish Head corner in Bangsar (read the entire article here).

Fried Chicken is both cheap and extremely satisfying, its the local favorite at Annuar's Fish Head Curry Restaurant
Gorgeously orange, flavor encrusted, mamak-style fried chicken, just 3RM with rice

Some of the Best Fish Head Curry in KL

You don’t need to take my word for it – the line of people stretching down the street every single day is proof enough to show you – this restaurant serves some of the best fish head curry in all of Kuala Lumpur.

When you’re in line at Annuar’s Fish Head Corner, there are only a few things you need to do.

First, know that the rice, the chicken, the squid, and the fish, are all self-service here. Grab the tongs, and help yourself (restrain yourself, I should say, but there’s little hope of doing that here when you’re standing in the direct line-of-smell from their incredible mother pots of curry broth).

After you’ve made your selection, throw a handful of fresh bean sprouts on the side of your rice, and then just show your plate to any staff member nearby (to price it, but I hope you’re also showing it off!).

Finally, no matter what you’re ordering, make sure to pause at the counter for a few bonus ladles of curry sauce. There’s no real limit on sauce here, but trust me – you are going to want as much as they will give you.

What To Order

It is very much worth noting that the favorite meal at this restaurant is not the fish head (that’s just what we came here to eat).  The gorgeous, orange colored, flavor encrusted mamak-style fried chicken is what most customers are coming here to eat.

Have a few pieces of chicken yourself to crunch on amidst enjoying all the gooey chunks of okra, crispy and flaky fried Indian Mackarel (‘ikan kembung’), and of course, all of the nooks and crannies of soft, gelatinous fish head meat just waiting like buried treasure within your Red Snapper’s massive head.

Finally, Annuar’s Fish Head Corner also serves some wonderful squid (using that same delicious curry sauce as a marinade), and be sure to pick out one with the longest tentacles you can find. The squid bodies here are huge, and nicely chewy, but its the tentacles that grab up just maximal amounts of curry flavor.

Note: Not only is their chicken delicious, but its also one of the most budget-friendly meals in the entire city of Kuala Lumpur.

Street view of Annuar's Fish Head Curry Restaurant
The lunchtime rush here can get very busy, get here at 10am to have some time to sit

Name: Annuar’s Fish Head Curry (changed from ‘Bangsar Fish Head Corner’)
Location: (Google Maps)
Hours: 9:30AM to 5PM (closed Sunday)
Prices: Plates of fried chicken with rice, or fried fish with rice, are just 3RM each.

Visit Ikan Bakar Bellamy, the stall you are going to look for first is Ikan Bakar Seri Melaka
Their grill selection at Ikan Bakar Bellamy is as diverse as any zoo’s ocean exhibit

3. Grilled Fish at Ikan Bakar Bellamy

Ikan Bakar Bellamy is a section of food carts and restaurants home to some of the best grilled and barbecued seafood you could ever want to include in your do-it-yourself Ultimate KL restaurant and food tour.

The words Ikan Bakar simply mean ‘grilled fish’ in the Bahasa Malay language – but no matter how simply the name, this is a food that I can’t possibly visit KL without having at least once.

In Malaysia, where nearly every dish of food comes with a dipping sauce, a spicy paste, a dumping sauce, or a colorful mash of sambal, ‘grilled fish’ here includes so much more than just the name entails.

Every fish on the grill of Ikan Bellamy Seri Melaka is smothered in the restaurant’s own recipe of red Malay-style curry, a traditional curry recipe that comes originally from the Eastern Malaysian coast of Melaka (read the full article here).

Banana leaves protect the tender fish meat from the high heat of these grilling trays
These tilapia are one fish you have to try at Ikan Bakar Seri Melaka

‘Ikan Bakar’ for Days

This Eastern Malay-style curry recipe includes red chillies, kaffir lime leaves, and coriander, and you can really taste the lemongrass in it as well.

Finally, the large amount of shallots it includes have almost fully carmelized on the heat of that grill, making this curry quite sweet without needing to add much sugar to it at all.

Each fish is dunked, and rubbed in curry sauce. After that curry massage, each fish is then wrapped in a protective, smooth, green banana leaf, and cooked on a pan covered in coconut oil.

Ikan Bakar Seri Melaka also has many pre-made foods to over rice as well (this is called ‘nasi campur‘). The table full of the rectangular stainless steel trays is where you find it, they are holding all the curry, veggies, and meat, located at the end of the grilling hot plate area.

Sections of stingray, grilled in a banana leaf after being smothered in red curry
You have to get at least one hunk of stingray to go with your meal.

Finally, I think out of all the fish available, the Stingray just matches the amazing curry sauce at the best.

Stingray meat sort of pulls off in strips, as the stingray doesn’t have a single back bone most other fish. This also makes it a perfect food for Malay cuisine (as the traditional way to eat here is using your fingers), the stingray meat just comes away in nicely even sections.

The Restaurant Experience

Like most parts of Kuala Lumpur, there is a huge selection of great and local street food to be found here, but its also just a cool and fun area to walk around in as well.

Located amidst a large grove of trees, these restaurants also sit slightly up on a hill, up and over the noise of the city’s streets.

Don’t forget to try some durian ice cream while you’re here as well, the vendor selling it opposite the entrance to Ikan Bakar Seri Melaka makes it with a huge chunk of real durian (D24 species) on top!

Visit Ikan Bakar Seri Melaka for some of the best street food in kuala lumpur
Grilling Tilapia, Catfish, Squid, and Stingray, serving all with sambal and white rice

Name: Ikan Bakar Seri Melaka, a stall at Ikan Bakar Bellamy
Location: (Google Maps)
Hours: 10am to 3pm (Open Daily)
Prices: Our total bill (for 4 people), came to 68RM (US$16.44).

Delicious fish head is also just fun to eat, try getting out as much meat as you can using just your tongue, lips, and fingers!
Malaysian-Style Fish Head curry in one of the better curries I’ve ever had in my life

4. Tugu View Cafe

At the Tugu View Cafe, the curry broth alone is so good, we had to write an entire article about it (read more here). They also have an amazing selection of Nasi Campur, a huge display of fried chicken and chicken parts, and finally, some pretty massively delicious Red Snapper fish heads as well.

Using only these large heads from Red Snapper ocean fish (‘Ikan Merah’), their famous recipe is a Malay-style curry. They’re including huge chunks of spongy brown tofu and lady fingers in the mother pot of curry, and then shredding huge amounts of fresh sour mango and spicy ginger to use as a garnish before serving.

Just gazing at that fish head, the beautiful stainless steel serving bowl, I think there must be an entire liter of delicious curry broth they are ladling over every fish head here.

Gorgeous and thick curry broth to ladle over every fish head served here
I Could bathe in this smell all day, If I could stop from getting too hungry that is…

Extra Curry Broth Please

As anyone who loves a good fish head will share with you, the fun part is digging around inside this delicacy, searching out the most flavorful bites of meat that any fish has to offer.

You’re not coming only for the fish head though, as this restaurant has perfected a curry broth that is out of this world full of flavor. Be sure to ask the attendant manning the pot for at least one extra giant ladleful of that curry broth, no matter if you’re here to order the fried chicken, fried fish, or any of the dishes they have to go with rice (‘nasi campur’).

At the Tugu View Cafe, don't forget to try some other dishes like kerabu, or curries from the nasi campur glass counter section
One of the best versions of Kerabu (cold salad w/ bean sprouts, onions, and herbs)

Tugu Negara Kuala Lumpur

The cafe takes its name from the famous Tugu Monument (Tugu Negara) located slightly down from the restaurant, and its only fitting that a tribute to Malaysia’s warriors is so near to food so delicious – the whole country should be be proud.

Besides the huge selection of nasi campur here (curried meat and vegetables over rice), they also have a great herbal salad mixed with coconut meat and chili peppers (called ‘kerabu,’ pictured above), and finally, several different types of spicy sambal dipping sauce, all of which are made in-house.

Now that is a meal of Malaysian local food so good, its worth building a monument to celebrate.

Note: The actual entrance to the restaurant is not so obvious if you are coming by foot, you need to walk through the ice cream shop that seems to be blocking the stairs (if you are in a taxi, no problem, as all of the taxi drivers we talked to on this trip knew this restaurant by name).

Near the Tugu Negara independence monument in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The rear entrance, not so easy on foot, but every taxi driver around will know it by heart

Name: Tugu View Cafe
Location: (Google Maps)
Hours: 7am – 6pm (closed Sunday)
Prices: Our entire meal came to 144RM (US$35), (but we got a gigantic fish head)

The serving table at Nasi Lemak Tanglin is busy from the time it opens, until the time it sells out... and this usually happens BEFORE lunchtime!
These are some options you can choose from to go with your Nasi Lemak ‘fat rice’

5. Nasi Lemak Tanglin

‘Nasi Lemak’ is Malaysia’s national food, and the name literally means ‘fat rice.’ This food though has so much variety throughout Malaysia however, that there couldn’t possibly be a more understating name for such delicious food.

To make this food, the chef uses coconut milk to soften the rice, and then adds pandan leaf as well – its this combination that gives nasi lemak both its soft texture, and that gentle fragrance.

Usually serving it in a banana leaf to-go wrapper, some common ingredients that top this coconut rice include something salty, something crunchy, and a sour and spicy sambal to tie it all together.

Most restaurants are using a combination of salted fish, fried peanuts, and a few crunchy cucumbers to target these traditional textures and flavors, and everywhere you go on your entire Malaysian trip, you’ll be ever so slowly falling head over heels for Malaysia’s use of spicy sambal.

Be Sure to Arrive Before Noon

Local friends recommending this restaurant to us warn that Nasi Lemak Tanglin will finish their rice and all the ingredients every day without fail before its actually time for lunch (it often sells out by 1130am).

There is usually a live band, playing pop music (local Malay’s own style of “Pop Yeh Yeh”), so arriving early and sitting to wait for a short time is not so bad at all.

Sitting outside, in open space under tents, the incredible jungle surrounding makes for a very peaceful feeling to this restaurant, even while the kitchen is hustling and busy the entire time they’re open.

Nasi Lemak is one of the Worlds great foods, and there are few things better for your budget or for your stomach when it comes time for lunch in South East Asia
All things necessary for one of the most delicious and budget friend lunches on earth

What To Order

They have a ton of different options available to go over the coconut soft rice, but the standard peanuts and salted crunchy fish (‘ikan belis’) are always the best place to start.

Choose next from some rich curries, fried vegetables, or stewed meats, and choose wisely as to which curry sauce you are going to use as your ‘bonus scoop’ – this is the final ladle of curry sauce over your rice, which will really tie all the flavor together when using your fingers to eat.

Last but not least, as just about every food in the world, including Nasi Lemak, only improves when you add an egg, go for one (if not two) fried eggs from the serving tray.

The Restaurant Experience

In the parking lot of Kompleks Makan Tanglin, there are numerous stalls, stands, and tables, selling drinks, fresh fruit, and even some non-food items like kid’s toys and games.

The ice fruit shakes and cold drinks are quite popular here as well, and they also serve to add atmosphere to this unique and lively lunchtime Kuala Lumpur street food scene.

It doesn’t get much more deliciously local than a plate of Malaysia’s national food, Nasi Lemak, and a great place to have this experience has got to be Nasi Lemak Tanglin.

This restaurant is specializing in Malaysia's National Food, Nasi Lemak, and they also have a large selection of meats and curries to go over rice as well as the Fat Rice, Nasi Lemak, made with coconut milk and pandan leaf
Trays full of curry, fried vegetables, and stewed meats await you at Nasi Lemak Tanglin

Name: Nasi Lemak Tanglin
Location: Kompleks Makan Tanglin (Google Maps)
Hours: 7am – 1pm Open Daily
Prices: A single plate of Nasi Lemak is just 2RM (US$0.60), and our entire meal (for 4 people) this day came to 35RM (US$8.50$).

The owner pouring milk tea from heating vessel to glass is what makes the Teh Tarik so frothy and foamy
Frothy, sweet milk Malay tea – Be sure to try the Teh Tarik at Mansion Tea Stall

6. Mansion Tea Stall

Roti Canai is one of the ultimate ways that Kuala Lumpur’s early-morning work force guarantees their breakfast to be both quick and convenient, while assuring maximum deliciousness.

This is one food that you can’t visit Kuala Lumpur without trying, and one of the best versions I’ve ever had is the one they are serving at Mansion Tea Stall – be sure to try the Roti Canai ‘Special.’

Amazing consistency and quality at Mansion Tea Stall, one of the best places to have Roti Canai in KL, Malaysia
Mansion Tea Stall’s Roti Canai Special – roti, curry, sambal, and two soft-boiled eggs

Constructing a Roti Canai ‘Special’

The beginning of each roti canai starts with the chef smoothing, twirling, and stretching out the white dough balls, oiling each one by hand before frying them on a huge counter-top cooking pan.

Moving the roti to a chopping board and quickly cutting it into strips, the chef then moves all those shreds of smoky and crispy dough to your plate before ladling onto it a double spoonful of liquid curry magic.

The Roti Canai ‘Special’ here includes a scoop of sambal followed by a pair of perfectly soft-boiled eggs – for the final step, the chef expertly breaks open each egg onto the side of your roti and curry mix before bringing your plate to your table.

Enjoy the simple pleasure of slowly bursting open each yolk, and drizzling it on to the rest of the items on your plate. Using your fingers, mix in all that flavor, maybe add some extra sambal if you would like, and finally, wash it down with a steaming hot cup of teh tarik after finishing your last bite.

Check out the full video here of our breakfast at the Mansion Tea Stall.

The two soft-boiled eggs just set this Roti Canai Special to another level of good, and its so cheap as well!
I’m in love with how they treat such a simple breakfast – creamy, spicy, and so satisfying

Wonderful Morning Atmosphere

I love the morning atmosphere at Mansion Tea Stall, and you can tell that they are just a well-loved community establishment.

You have to wonder how many generations of families have made this their go-to roti canai stop on they way to work. I am so happy to have had the chance to eat there (thank you again to Oh My Media! for their great introduction of this KL’s street food paradise!), and hope to visit again soon.

Don’t miss this Mansion Tea Stall on your next self-guided Ultimate Food Tour of the amazing city of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Now on to the next restaurant!

This is the entrance to Mansion Tea Stall, directly next to a large canal in Kuala Lumpur

Name: Mansion Tea Stall (also Al Amnah Tea Stall on Google Maps)
Location: (Google Maps)
Hours: Open 24 Hours
Prices: Our total bill (for 4 people) came to 14RM (US$3.45$)

An amazingly large portion of fish meat comes with every 'fish head' at Mun Kee Steam Fish Head in Pudu, Kuala Lumpur
You order just the fish head, but they bring almost the entire body to you as well!

7. Restoran Mun Kee Steam Fish Head

For all you lovers of a traditional Chinese-style steam fish head, there’s one place that has to be at the top of your list in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Restoran Mun Kee Steam Fish Head.

Using a ‘Big Head’ fish for their fish head, the most amazing thing to me straight away was how they don’t just serve you the fish head, but your platter will include the back, the stomach, the fillets… pretty much every single part of the fish but the tail!

Pay for just the fish head, but get nearly an entire fish?! Now that’s a deal!

Restoran Mun Kee Steam Fish Head has six different styles of fish head for you to choose from. They also serve a nice assortment of Chinese-style stir fry vegetables, and don’t forget about their amazing yellow chicken in garlic sauce.

Serving the yellow skin chicken with chinese kale and fried garlic, this dish makes an excellent food to pair with your steam fish head
Soft, chewy yellow chicken skin covering taut, firm white chicken meat

Fish Head and Yellow Skin Chicken

I love how they just cover the entire fish in shreds of fresh ginger, as well as a healthy littering of freshly cut chili peppers (and you can ask for more of these as well).

The fish meat too was very obviously of saltwater origin, and the gorgeously sweet and sour wine, vinegar, and Chinese plum steaming sauce is delicious to the last spoonful.

There is a garlic-heavy dipping sauce to go with either the fish, or with your chicken, as well as a pile of diced garlic for you to mix up your own side sauce as well.

Also try the Chicken, and their amazing Sambal-Fried Morning Glory

The skin-on yellow chicken they serve is not colored, its a species of chicken favored by Chinese cooking, and it actually has yellow skin. The way they serve it here is by boiling it in broth for 2-3 hours, and then serving it topped with deep-fried garlic, and a few huge stalks of fried Chinese Kale.

The fried garlic in each bite is wonderful, and I also love the combination of eating all that fresh garlic and ginger with the fish, and following it with deep fried crackling garlic on the chicken and fried veg.

Morning Glory fried with Sambal

Finally, I think their Morning Glory vegetables fried in sambal just may be my new favorite dish of 2019. I could not get over both the sourness, but also the crisp and punching flavor from the sambal, it just lights up the tastebuds like I could not believe!

You need to try at least one plate of this the next time you visit Mun Kee Steam Fish Head in the street food heavy area of Pudu, in downtown Kuala Lumpur.

This vegetable fried with spicy sambal is mind-blowingly good, full of sour and spicy flavor, I could not get enough of this - it is a must-order dish at Mun Kee Steam Fish Head
Possibly my new favorite food – although its not the main event, this is a must order!

Name: Restoran Mun Kee Steam Fish Head
Location: (Google Maps)
Hours: 1030am – 1030pm (open Daily)
Prices: Our entire meal (3 people) came to 99RM (US$24.40)

One of the most fun, yet ultimately delicious meals, you'll eat during your time in malaysia
South Indian Banana Leaf meal at Sri Ganapathi Mess in Putra Jaya, KL

8. Sri Ganapathi Mess

One of the meals most fun to eat in Malaysia is one of South Indian food.

Malaysia is a place with unending amounts of local food, but the cuisine of KL is actually full of authentic India food (as well as Chinese, and Chinese-Malay as well!).

The Restaurant Vibe

Its beautiful, its aromatic, its delicious of course, but so fun because of the way that its eaten.

Each small portion of food is ladled out onto a massive banana leaf, and this is your plate, your tray, for you to mix up with your fingers any combinations you want of curried meats, fried vegetables, chilies and chili sauces, all of it with mixing and mushing into a pile of soft, white rice.

Some things you just have to order are the mutton curry, and the crab rasman. Never having had this food before, I was blown away – the crab is actually served in a cup, and you drink it like a soup. Tasting the crab meat, tasting the spices, even tasting the shell, everything is so incredibly flavorful, I highly recommend it when you visit Sri Ganapathi Mess in Putra Jaya, Kuala Lumpur.

(*Sorry for the photo, the lighting isn’t the best, but this restaurant absolutely needs to be a part of this Ultimate KL Food Guide!)

Name: Sri Ganapathi Mess
Location: (Google Maps)
Hours: 1130am – 4pm (open Daily)
Prices: Meals here are about 25RM per person (US$6.15)

This is a healthy, traditional, herbal soup loved by Chinese-Malay throughout Malaysia and Singapore, and a great place to have it, is Yik See Ho Bak Kut Teh
Hokkien-style Bak Kut Teh (“Bone Meat Tea”), at Yik See Ho Bak Kut Teh Restaurant

9. Restoran Bak Kut Teh Yik See Ho

Bak Kut Teh Yik See Ho is serving an incredible and traditional version of one of Malaysia’s favorite foods – ‘Bak kut teh,’ or Malay-Chinese “Meat Bone Tea.”

Made with pork ribs, and packed full of Chinese medicinal herbs, it is said that no two meat bone tea recipes are the same. Chinese traditionally use foods like this to warm themselves in the cool times of weather, or to rebuild one’s immunity after a time of sickness.

This is a very healthful dish, but wow is it also just incredibly delicious as well.

There are many delicious items on the menu at Bak Kut Teh Yik See Ho Restaurant
Amazing herbal soups, chewy tofu and mushrooms, and sour tender mustard greens

Meat Bone Tea – Huge Amount of Ingredients

Besides the ultra-tender pork rib meat, this version at Yik See Ho is full of vegetables and herbs. Chinese cabbage, green onions, and wonderfully thick tofu, and soup made with Wolfberry (Go-ji), cinnamon, tangerine peel, and star anise (that’s only what I can taste, and I am sure many more dry herbs as well).

My favorite ingredient out of all of these though are the mushrooms – very fat, nicely chewy, they add such a nutty flavor to this already complex soup broth taste.

The clay pots of soup, meat, and herbs, gve the air at Yik See Ho Restaurant a deliciously thick atmosphere for the meaty soup loving food traveller
I could sit here for hours just watching as (or drooling rather) these bowls slide past…

Travel for Food, and Eat Local

Malaysian Bak Kut Teh is famous in its own right, and although Singapore cuisine is also well-known for its love of Bak Kut Teh, I think that Yik See Ho serves an amazing and delicious version.

Finally, don’t forget some of the other great foods on the menu at Bak Kut Teh Yik See Ho, like their salted soft tofu, their braised mushrooms with pork belly, and other versions of meat bone tea made with pork intestines (instead of the more common ingredient of pork ribs).

Wonderful examples of Hokkien chinese-Malay cuisine at Bak Kut Teh Yik See Ho
The outdoor seating at Bak Kut Teh Yik See Ho (order food from the station in front)

Name: Bak Kut Teh Yik See Ho
Location: (Google Maps)
Hours: 11am – 11pm (closed Monday)
Prices: Our entire meal came to 144RM (US$35), (but we got a gigantic fish head)

I love the atmosphere at Sek Yuen Restoran, and you just know from the first few moments that you are in for what can only be called Chinese comfort food with a tropical Malay twist
Classic look and feel of a restaurant that’s been serving this community for 70 years!

10. Sek Yuen Restoran

Sek Yuen Restoran serves some of the best Chinese-Malay food I personally have ever had in Kuala Lumpur, but I am not the only one I’m sure – Sek Yuen has been faithfully serving great food for generations – for 70 years to be precise!

Seeing the amount of elderly local Chinese-Malay families already sitting down inside only served to build my excitement (its one of the little things that I have learned to look for when trying to pick out a delicious restaurant before actually eating there).

Pei Pa Roast Duck is something you have to order at Sek Yuen Restaurant
The crispiness and fattiness of the roast duck skin is just incredible

Straight to the action here, and the first plate of food you simply have to order is by starting off with their specialty item – Pei Pa Duck (roast duck).

We got a whole duck, but you can also order a half here if you want (the entire duck went down so fast though, I don’t know how you could order a half unless you’re coming here alone (which is though, quite respectable in its own right)).

The combination of duck skin and oily duck meat is mind-blowing, I just have to applaud the chef for this food. Just as with any of the jaw-droppingly crispy Cantonese-style ducks you can enjoy in Hong Kong, the duck recipe here is totally authentic – my tongue and tastebuds were in love.

Sek Yuen Restaurant serves amazing food besides the specialty item of Roast Duck.
I absolutely love the way Malaysia treats eggplant (here simply fried with mince pork)

What To Order

When you finally finish salivating over that Pei Pa roast duck and all of its gloriously fatty flavors and crispy skin texture, next you just have to order their salt fried shrimp.

These ocean shrimp are surprisingly meaty, and they cook in a light chili paste, frying only in salt and cooking oil. These are one of the more exciting finger foods for any adult eater, and the style used to fry them makes them so crunchy and crisp. The back sections are very quick and easy to peel back revealing some incredibly soft and meaty tail sections inside.

Last but not least, a plate of fried eggplant – you literally will not believe the soft texture of these gooey, creamy purple eggplants fried with chilies, green onions, and mince pork meat.

The Restaurant Experience

A classic Kuala Lumpur Chinese-Malay restaurant, there were several tables full of waiting customers at least a half-hour before the restaurant was officially open (I know this, because ours was one of those tables!).

Sek Yuen Restaurant serves one of the best meals I’ve had in 2019 so far (in any country), I highly recommend a visit to this wonderful restaurant, and in this article (LINK HERE) I would love to share even more details with you of a recent meal there.

Chinese Malay cooking and my own personal favorite comfort food, a great meal at Sek Yuen in Kuala Lumpur
Our full table spread including Chinese-Malay Roast Duck at Sek Yuen Restaurant (Pudu)

Name: Sek Yuen Restaurant Jalan Pudu (original location)
Location: (Google Maps)
Hours: Lunch from 11am to 230pm, Dinner from 5pm to 10pm (Closed Monday)
Prices: Our total bill (3 people), came to 102RM (US$25)

Visit Lai Foong Restaurant for a truly special bowl of clam noodles (huge bowls as well), for the price of just 10RM
Street food noodle heavy-weight Kedai Kopi Lai Foong is on Jalan Tun, Kuala Lumpur

11. Lai Foong Restaurant

They serve one dish here, and in keeping with only the purest of street food traditions, when a place only serves one single dish, they usually do that food extremely well.

Each (huge) bowl of clam noodles here is full of incredibly rich, oily, soup broth, which comes light on the noodles, but heavy on seafood and seafood clam flavor.

Lai Foong Restaurant is famous in an area already jam-packed with must-visit street food destinations.

Doing food research for a city like Kuala Lumpur is difficult to say the least, but when it came to the noodle selection, there were plenty of recommendations calling Lai Foong Restaurant the ‘best noodles in Kuala Lumpur.’

Choose Your Noodles Wisely

It was an easy choice to pick out Lai Foong**, and I can guarantee you will happy with your own visit here. You could even make it a combo tour like we did (watch the full video here), finishing with the short walk over to Jalan Tun. Finish your day off by early afternoon, and relax in your success, after having a bowl (or two) of these wonderful clam noodles.

Note: An easy choice deciding to visit, but a very difficult choice deciding between the clam noodles, or the insanely aromatic beef noodles just a few meters away! Luckily, thankfully, it is very possible to enjoy more than one bowl of noodles in a day… bon appetit!

Thin white rice noodles and a huge amount of fresh clams. The soup broth is incredible, and packed with chilies garlic and ginger
You won’t believe the amount of clams – each bowl is a slurping, joyous, occasion

Name: Kedai Kopi Lai Foong
Location: (Google Maps)
Hours: 630am – 9pm (open Daily)
Prices: 10RM (US$2.45) per bowl of Clam Noodles

incredible richness due to the smoking, and simmering in that golden curry broth
Smoked duck curry to make you question reality… or am I indeed still dreaming?

BONUS: Itik Salai Masthar

Technically, this restaurant is not in Kuala Lumpur. But if I was in your shoes, and you knew that I was within one hour’s drive of an entire landscape of smoking ducks and catfish steaks on this level – I would want you to make sure that I knew about it.

Itik Salai Masthar serves a smoked duck coconut milk curry that is so delicious, I literally contemplate traveling to Malaysia just to eat this food.

I have to just mention here, the full video (link here) will give you a better idea of the amazing things happening daily at this restaurant serving masak lemak cili padi (smoked duck curry), but it very nearly does have to be seen (and tasted) to be believed.

This food is just that good.

Smoked duck at Itik Salai Masthar
Chopping up dozens of ducks at a time to feed each monstrous cauldron of curry

What To Order

Their curry broth recipe is amazing – it includes cup-fuls of spices and mashed chilies, tons of coconut milk, and finally, duck meat that is smoking using only the shells of coconuts.

A very special ingredient which gives this dish its signature flavor is turmeric leaf.

After your tastebuds are fully and wonderfully blown away by that smoked duck curry (masak lemak cili padi), there is also the same curry but made with smoked beef instead.

You definitely need at least one dish of both the duck, and the beef curry here.

Due to the fats, the textures, and the individuality of these meats, the curries have amazingly distinct and different flavors! Both are wonderful, and although I like the duck just slightly more, you definitely need at least one small bowl of each just to be safe.

The Local Favorite (Malaysia’s Happy Meal?)

Finally, the combo meal most common I saw among the hungry customers this day was a grilled and smoky catfish, placed on a pile of white rice, and paired with a pile of local green veggies and herbs, all eaten with fresh chilies and sambal belecan (spicy dipping sauce made by mashing chilies, garlic, and young sour tamarind).

If eating with a friend, the two may be sharing a small bowl or two of that smoked duck curry, but if going solo with a massive single plate of rice, people will just stop by the chef station on their way to sitting down, and ask for a bonus ladle of that coconut milk curry straight onto the middle of their rice pile.

Finally, the fresh veggies tables is huge, and rubber banded together are portions of wing bean, jengkol nut, eggplant, basil, cucumbers, bean sprouts, and a few local herbs I don’t even know the name of in English, all fresh, and all perfect partners for each bite of that delicious duck cili padi.

A Perfect Farewell Meal Choice

Spending hours there during our previous visit to Kuala Lumpur, this being one of our own last meals for the trip – food like this only proves time and again that the cuisine of Malaysia is a world heavyweight, a giant, a plentiful land of food and natural production that just deserves to be explored, year after year.

It will never run out of things to impress this thankful foodie traveler – I love Malaysia and I love its food, and I am happy to be able to present to you this list of the best restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

As always, please leave a comment below to let me know how you enjoy yourself during your travel and food adventures in KL as well!

Smoked duck curry is one of the most well-loved local dishes of Central Malaysian cuisine
Not kidding at all, this was the amount of customers just 10 minutes after opening.

Name: Itik Salai Masthar
Location: (Google Maps)
Hours: 11AM to 845PM (closed Thursday)
Prices: Our entire meal came to 59RM (US$14.34)

Kuala Lumpur Is a World Haven of Street Food

Eating like a local in the city of Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, is an experience that is going to take you through not just one, but actually three entirely different cuisines.

The most beautiful thing about this city, is how you can journey through all three of these food cultures without even leaving the KL city limits.

You need a healthy appetite, and a clear schedule, a couple of friends makes it even better still, and a few days of eating in Kuala Lumpur is guaranteed to be a wonderful and memorable time indeed.

Thanks for Reading!

That’s it, and the Ultimate Food Guide to Kuala Lumpur is there for you, waiting to be used to start your own food explorations in one of the most wonderful food havens in the entire world – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Again, each restaurant descriptions includes links to more information (full meal descriptions of our own visit there), and each also includes a bit of information to help you find the restaurant (using Google Maps), as well as what to expect (hours and pricing).

See you for the next article!

Thanks for reading through this Ultimate List of the Best Restaurants in Kualu Lumpur, see you for the next article!

10 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

  • Janet

    3 years ago

    Amazing. Am Malaysian and don’t know half of the list. Will certainly try when I’m back home after all this covid is over. Thanks Mark!

  • Joel Bruner

    4 years ago

    Bitterman! You are quite right with your choice, and hey best of luck with your own food blog! Thanks for the support, and for taking the time to comment today.

  • Joel Bruner

    4 years ago

    Rachita! Awesome, glad to know that you know Malaysia (you made a great choice, and I remember that I was a total ‘newbie’ in Malaysia myself… and it was a good place to start 🙂 ). Hope youre doing well today, thanks again for the support! All the best, and good luck with your own blog and travels! Cheers!

  • Joel Bruner

    4 years ago

    Sam, awesome comment!! Stomach aches from eating (too much? the right amount, which in KL is too much 🙂 ?). Have a great day! Thanks for reading.

  • Joel Bruner

    4 years ago

    Myline, its a very important question. Its usually only thanks to readers like yourself that we can get any info ‘on the ground’ as it were. Its very difficult to return to what is now literally thousands of restaurants included in this blog. Google maps though, is a great resource, Ive always found it to be MOSTLY accurate!

  • Joel Bruner

    4 years ago

    Right on Lee! Thats awesome. Have a great day today!

  • Joel Bruner

    4 years ago

    Hi Beth! Well, KL is a great place for wandering around (definitely there were several items on this list originally found with your same good tactics 🙂 ). But yes, you do need to visit again, as do we!! Have a great day, thanks for reading!

  • Joel Bruner

    4 years ago

    Ali, way to be, thanks so much for taking the time to follow, and to send a message today! Hope all is well. Cheers!

  • Joel Bruner

    4 years ago

    Harriet! Thanks for the message (hope you find something awesome to snack on)… thanks for reading, hope all is well today!

  • Hasher Ummar

    4 years ago

    Woah, loved the post. Knowing that a impulse travel to Malaysia to enjoy all these is not going to be possible soon does make reading this post difficult; nonetheless its a perfect temporary cure for the travel-to-eat bug. Great post Joel & Mark.