Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia



Malaysians are obsessed with food and therefore not surprising to find Kuala Lumpur, as the country's capital, having a love affair with eating. You'll be able to find an entire range of Malaysian cuisine though people from Penang will argue that Kuala Lumpur does not offer the best. Beyond Malaysian cuisine, Kuala Lumpur also offers food from around the world often available at the major hotels. Like all major cities of the world, Kuala Lumpur is experiencing an invasion of American-style fast food establishments including McDonald's, KFC, Burger King and Pizza Hut.

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McDonald's, Kuala Lumpur

McDonald's in Kuala Lumpur

Budget Eats
As far as the eating on a budget is concerned, you can eat fairly well for relatively little in Kuala Lumpur. Head to the roadside stalls and what Malaysians call coffee shops (kedai kopi). There is no tipping, service charge or sales tax at these establishments. Some serve halal meals (permitted for Muslims) while others serve non-halal foods (generally Chinese eateries). Coffee shops are found on practically every street in Kuala Lumpur. However, Chinatown (along Jalan Sultan, Jalan Hang Lekir and Jalan Petaling) and Jalan Alor in the Golden Triangle have a high concentration of coffee shops and stalls.

Rivaling the coffee shops in terms of numbers and price are what Malaysians call 'Mamak shops' - food outlets operated by Malaysia's Indian Muslim community. The foods served here are halal and like the coffee shops, they are found at almost every street corner of Kuala Lumpur. The most common food served is the filling 'roti canai', a type of flat bread. The street side version are the 'Mamak stalls' are also popular with the locals. One famous collection of street side 'Mamak stalls' can be found at Jalan Doraisamy near Heritage Row.

Food Courts
Food courts are becoming increasingly popular as the number of roadside stalls have declined in recent years. Food courts are often found in the shopping malls and larger office buildings, often providing a good range of Malaysian foods under more hygienic conditions and comfortable environment compared to the roadside stalls. Prices at the food courts are a little higher than the coffee shops and roadside stalls, usually about 20-30% more.

Food court at KL Sentral

Food court at KL Sentral

Kuala Lumpur has a good number of restaurants serving Malaysian, Western and other Asian cuisines. Most are priced in the mid-ranged (around MYR20 per person) with a few upscale fine dining establishments. Most of the major hotels in Kuala Lumpur offer a good range of Asian and Western fares. Major destinations for restaurants outside the hotels include the Golden Triangle, Bangsar and Midvalley, Heritage Row and some areas in Damansara and Hartamas. Many restaurants open for business around 11.00 a.m. and close by 10.00-10.30 p.m.

Ethnic Foods
In terms of ethnic foods, Malay foods can be found in Jalan Masjid India, Chow Kit and Kampung Baru. Chinatown is the best place for Chinese foods especially Cantonese but you can find all kinds of Chinese cuisine, from the simplest to the most sophisticated in Chinatowm. Head to Lebuh Ampang in the city and Brickfields for Indian food. Bangsar has many high-end restaurants offering Western food. If you are dying for Korean food, head to Ampang Jaya. A lot of Arab and Middle Eastern restaurants have mushroomed in Bukit Bintang, Cyberjaya and Damai.

Guide to
Kuala Lumpur
Hotels in Malaysia
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