Shortlisting our recommended 8 dinner venues in Kuala Lumpur wasn’t easy, with such a wide variety of dining options ranging from international cuisine served in high-end restaurants to the make-shift stall down the street.

But for the best combination of taste and a truly Malaysian dining experience in Kuala Lumpur, here is our shortlist.

Here, we take you through choices 1 to 4.

1. Petaling Street (Chinatown)

We have recommended Petaling Street as a food haven for mornings but it is certainly worth another trip in the evenings as well since come nightfall the whole area takes on a festive air with lighted latterns, more shops and generally a more jovial atmosphere deserving of its status as KL’s Chinatown.

Walking along the street flanked by pre-war shoplots on both sides, there are plenty to see and eat within the vicinity.

You can’t go wrong with the classic Chinese fare here but here are a few that had stood the test of time and are generations old.

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Petaling Street (Chinatown), Kuala Lumpur
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Street dining in Chinatown

Hokkien Mee is quite a ubiquitous Klang Valley noodle dish and its legion of fans love it with a handful of pork crouton (crispy pork lard), sticky with soy sauce and aromatic from the wok- fire.

Kim Lian Kee serves it exactly that way.

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Hokkien Mee (Noodles) at Kim Lian Kee

Next look for Hong Leong Bank and you will notice a crowded dining area on the walkway just outside the building.

Investigate a little further and you’ll discover the popular hot and fiery Portuguese Grilled Fish stall where fresh seafood are wrapped and cooked with their special chilli paste in aluminium foil packs.

The packs are served directly from the coals to the table. Tear open the pouch and be rewarded with perfectly cooked smoking hot seafood. The mix of the vegetables, chilli paste and sweet flesh of the fish is worth the long wait.

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Sidewalk dining at Kim Lian Kee
ZAFIGO - Petaling St Night
Portuguese Grilled Fish

How to get there:
Address: Night market at Petaling Street, Jalan Petaling, 50000 Kuala Lumpur

Take the train (RapidKL LRT – PUTRA Line) to Pasar Seni Station.

Directions (Recommended mode): Walk from Pasar Seni Station.


What to wear: Casual.

What to expect: A busy market area with historical pre-war shop houses on the street with a wide range of classic Chinese food. Some food stalls are only open in the morning while others only at night.

Take your time to explore as finding some of the hidden gems can be a tricky task since some stalls are hidden in the alley or tucked behind a row of shops.

Operational hours: 6 pm onwards, daily

2. Jalan Alor (Alor Street)

Many consider this street a “tourists trap” and though that claim may not be entirely inaccurate, Jalan Alor is still popular for a good reason. Its convenient location on Bukit Bintang is one. Another is the buzzing energy and vibrant atmosphere.

Stroll down the road and witness hawkers hard at work over their stoves, waiters waving and loudly welcoming passerbys into their outlets and shop at streetside stalls selling anything from food to fruits and souvenirs. Hawkers fire up their woks as hungry customers start piling in, sitting on makeshift tables and chairs lined by the roadside.

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Jalan Alor

Jalan Alor is just one great place for visitors to really feel the vibe of KL city and it’s people. You will be spoiled for choice with the numerous hawker centers offering a wide variety of local delicacies ranging from claypot chicken rice, grilled seafood, char kuey teow, wanton noodles to BBQ chicken wing and local fruits in season.

Conveniently for tourists are pictorial menus which would ease in the order process.

A restaurant along Jalan Alor
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Durian, the King of Fruits, in Jalan Alor

At the end of Jalan Alor you will find another famous restaurant named Wong Ah Wah (aka WAW), which is famed for their barbecued chicken wings.

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The famous Barbequed Chicken Wings served at Wong Ah Wah

These wings are barbecued over charcoal fire until the skin is browned and crispy yet retaining the meat moist and juicy.
Apart from chicken wings, WAW is also famous for its Chinese style dishes.

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The Wong Ah Wah Wings
Sweet & Sour Pork.
Grilled Stingray

For most of the restaurants on this street you can choose to dine indoor with air-conditioning or dine al-fresco to experience the hustle and bustle of Jalan Alor.

How to get there:
Address: Jalan Alor, Bukit Bintang, 50200 Kuala Lumpur,

Take the train (Monorail) to Bukit Bintang Station, and walk from there.

Directions: Walk from Bukit Bintang Station.


What to wear: Casual.

What to expect: A vibrant food street with rows of F & B establishments offering an impressive range of classic Chinese food. A notable number are Thai inspired cuisine. Fruits, souvenirs, drinks and Malaysian snacks are all available for purchase here. Just be sure to bargain!

Operational hours: 6pm onwards, daily. (individual shops may observe their own days off).

3. North Indian cuisine at Jassals, Brickfields

The heart of KL’s transportation hub, the KL Sentral sits just paces away from the unique charm of Little India; a quaint and vibrant place ideal for exploration for just about anything related to the Indian culture.

For food, the variety ranges from Indian Muslim/mamak to North Indian and South Indian thosai and banana leaf to a selected few Malay and Chinese restaurants.

The number of North Indian restaurants in KL is considerably less compared to the Southern Indian ones. Out of the few specializing in North Indian cuisine, Jassal Tandoori Restaurant has consistently garnered positive feedback for tis naans, curries, tandoor meats, biryani and vegetarian dishes and sweets that satisfy the sweet tooth without being cloyingly sweet (though they have those too!)

Jassal Tandoori Restaurant where they serve authentic North Indian cuisine

This family run outlet has been in business for over a decade and its menu offers a wide selection of food prepared in rich spices and thick, tasty gravies. Really delicious with bread or rice. Unlike a few North Indian restaurants in the city, the gravies does not taste the same!

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Butter Chicken, a must-try

We recommend a Tandoori Platter for a bit of everything, the palak paneer; a creamy vegetarian delicacy and of course one of the many fluffy naan breads available.

You could also order the Rogan Josh (a flavourful and medium spicy mutton curry), the veg jalfrezi or the veg kholapuri (beware, stay away if you can’t handle the heat).

Do order their raita to cool yourself down if things get too fiery in the mouth.

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The Tandoor Platter
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Eat with your hands for an authentic experience

If possible make space for the Indian sweets artfully displayed at the shopfront or order their ras malai, kulfi or gulab jamun. Sometimes they also have a few sugar free laddus, do ask them about it.

We ordered the rasmalai and it was lovely!

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Indian sweets

BELOW: Rasmalai – rasgulla (ball shaped dumplings of chhena (an Indian cottage cheese) and semolina dough, cooked in light syrup made of sugar) soaked in rich saffron flavored creamy milk.

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The Rasmalai – Rasgulla

How to get there:
Address: 84, Jalan Sambathan, Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 2274 6801

Take the train (Monorail or KTM or Putra) to KL Sentral Station.

Directions (Recommended mode): Walk from KL Sentral or take a metered taxi.


What to wear: Smart casual or casual.

What to expect: It is air conditioned outlet and the menu is in English. The short description of each dish does ease the ordering process. However, the staff is friendly so do inquire or ask them for recommendations. Most importantly do let them know your tolerance level of spice!

Operational hours:
Monday to Thursday: 11:00am – 11:00pm
Friday to Sunday: 11:00am – 11:30pm

Tips on safety, communication, ordering and directions:
Brickfields is known as KL’s Little India. There is a rich history to Brickfields as it is one of the pioneer settlements in Kuala Lumpur with a large Indian community. Some of the best Indian cuisine (Pakistani, Southern Indian, Northern Indian) can be found here.

Always busy and colourful, Brickfields is a wonderful area for street photography especially along the street market selling the traditional Indian costumes like saris and scarves, Indian jewelry, flowers, henna artist and also at some of the temples in the area.

4. Pudu Wai Sik Kai

Similarly to Petaling Street the Pudu Wai Sik Kai (Pudu Glutton Street) comes alive in the evenings with a good number of food stalls hawking generation-old local favourites.

The steamed eggs are available for a limited quantity daily and are worth the effort of being there early just so you can sample some. While you’re at it, do give the herbal tea eggs a try too.

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Steamed Egg & Herbal Tea Eggs

Both are sweet so you may want to start your meal here with the savoury, smooth porridge (choose from seafood, pork).

We strongly recommend the fried carrot cake, the curry chee cheong fun with pork skin and if stomach space still permits the sweet tong shui (Chinese sweet dessert soup) and fried chicken.

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The Curry Chee Cheong Fun
Pudu Wai Sik Kai
Smooth Porridge
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Fried Chicken
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Frying the Carrot Cake
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The Pudu Wai Sik Kai


How to get there:
Address: Jalan Sayur off Jalan Pudu

Take the train (RapidKL LRT – Ampang Line) to Pudu Station.

Directions (Recommended mode): Walk from Pudu Station. Exit the station, look for the sign that says “Jalan Pudu” and walk toward Jalan Pudu. When you come to the busy main road, cross it and turn left. Walk til you see the busy stalls.


What to wear: Light clothing, shoes.

What to expect: Local spot. Expect a busy food street.

Operational hours: 7am til late.
Hakka stall: Closed on Mondays and 1st and 15th of the month in Lunar calendar.
Other stalls observes their own off days but the least stalls are open on Tuesdays and rainy days.

Tips on safety, communication, ordering and directions:
Traders would understand basic English and ordering is not a problem. Prices are usually shown on the stall; S for small portion – RMXX (RM denotes Ringgit Malaysia) or B for Big.

Like anywhere else do watch out for your belongings.

Next: Top 8 Dinner Venues in Kuala Lumpur, Part II