Malaysian cuisine is exotic with an exciting range of flavours and culinary styles offering the uninitiated an endless gastronomic adventure.


ENJOY a profusion of mouth-watering delicacies while dining out in KL. The culinary traditions of the Malays, Chinese and Indians as well as other communities make the city a paradise for food-lovers. The annual Food & Fruits Fiesta is the best time for visitors to savour everything from authentic traditional delicacies, tropical fruits to creative fusion-style recipes. For a novel dining experience, try the array of tempting local fare at the many open-air food courts. Halal food is widely available in the city and there are ample eateries offering vegetarian food. Eating out is convenient as many restaurants are open 24 hours.




Traditional Malay food is characterised by searingly spicy and aromatic flavours. Rich coconut milk is used to give a creamy texture to the dishes while ingredients such as gingerbuds, pandan leaves and cinnamon render an irresistible fragrance. Popular Malay favourites include nasi lemak, satay and rendang. Sambal, a hot paste of pounded chillies, prawn paste and lime juice adds zest to any Malay-style meal. A wide range of sweet and savoury cakes, including the tasty banana fritters are staple tea-time favourites.




The many styles of Chinese cooking, ranging from Cantonese, Szechuan, Hokkien and Hainanese add variety to the cuisine. Chinese fare is mostly stir-fried and best savoured when it is piping hot. Extra care is taken to ensure that vegetables are crunchy and retain their original flavour. Lunchtime favourites include rice, served with several meat and vegetable side dishes. Noodles are another versatile and traditional favourite, with the popular styles being fried noodles, soup noodles and curried noodles




Spicy, flavourful and piquant are common descriptions of Indian cuisine. Indian food can be broadly classified into two distinct types, northern and southern Indian. Northern favourites include briyani rice and bread varieties such as naan. A typical southern meal consists of rice, curry, side dishes and yoghurt served on a banana leaf. All-time favourites such as thosai, chappati and poori are other relishes often enjoyed with coconut, tomato or mint chutneys. Mamak fare enjoys tremendous popularity among city folks. Characterised by thick, spicy dishes, the delicacies make excellent meals at any time of the day. Offerings include murtabak, teh tarik, fish head curry, nasi kandar and fried noodles.




Foreign visitors will be pleasantly surprised to discover the abundance of international restaurants and fast food outlets in KL. Restaurants serving Continental, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Thai, Indonesian and Italian cuisine can be found at major hotels and in the vicinity of Jalan Sultan Ismail, Jalan Ampang, Sri Hartamas, Mont Kiara and Bangsar. The Ain Al Arabia or Arab Square in Bukit Bintang offers a host of culinary fare from the Middle East.