Kuala Lumpur (KL) is home to a street food heaven. The city’s food options are so extensive that being here is practically a year-round food fest… provided you know where to go. Apart from the always modish mamaks and friendly food trucks, there’s much to explore if you’re looking for something to satiate that hunger for international culinary delights.
If you’ve got your bibs packed and your palates ready for an array of the sweet and sour and everything in between, Bangsar is probably where you’d start. One of KL’s most popular nighttime entertainment districts, you’ll find more than just pubs and parties in this bustling neighbourhood. Buckle in and get ready to bookmark these spots for your next food-venture outing, because this small suburb has a veritable feast for the foodies.
Australia: Urban Daybreak
A little brunch spot that originated from Penang, Urban Daybreak became a massive hit within months of its launch and thus spawned a sister outlet in KL due to high demand. The menu here consists of Australian-inspired dishes from avocado toasts to yummy sandwiches. Perfect for the lazy weekend brunch!
The eatery also makes its own sausages, ice cream, and peanut butter, so keep an eye out for those on the menu if you’re looking to indulge.
Must try: The Avocado Smash is a crowd favourite, but for those looking for a bite, the Urban Baked Eggs will do the trick for an umami-packed meal with sliced pork and a tomato stew hidden within the plate. Top it off with a Honey Latte to bring a sweet balance to your morning (or afternoon) coffee.
Address: 1 Jalan Telawi 5, Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +603 2303 0172
Operating hours: Daily, 8am to 7:30pm
France: Yeast Bistronomy
A charming little bistro on Telawi, Yeast delights with its charming interior and an intimate outdoor patio. The restaurant takes pride in being both an authentic French boulangerie (bakehouse) and patisserie (a place selling pastries and cakes), so if you’re looking for some great bread, pastries, or tarts, you know where to go. But beyond the good bakes, its dine-in menu focuses on French cuisine with Asian touches making it a true culinary adventure.
Must try: Pastries, brioches, and croissants are aplenty here, so classics like Oeufs Benedictine Salmon (poached egg served with hollandaise sauce and salmon) and Le Croque Monsieur (ham and cheese sandwich) are a good bet. But for those looking at heartier mains, traditionally-French dishes like Le Boeuf Bourguignon (beef stew usually cooked with wine and stock) and Confit de Canard (duck meat cooked in duck fat) is where Yeast truly shines.
Zafigo tip: Bread lovers ought to take advantage of Yeast’s dedication to fresh goods and snag 30% off on all breads and selected pastries from 5pm onwards.
Address: 24G Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +603 2282 0118
Operating hours: Daily, 8am to 9pm
Italy: Proof Pizza + Wine
Did you know that wood-fired pizza isn’t just tastier than regular pizzas but it’s also healthier? While this may not be the only reason why Proof Pizza + Wine is so popular with the pizza lovers of KL, it certainly doesn’t hurt to mention.
Located in APW Bangsar, Proof has the hallmarks of a traditional Italian dining experience, from its wood-fired oven to the wide range of wines available to accompany your pizza-eating experience. Pizzas come in 8-inch and 12-inch portions and non-cheese based toppings for those with a disinclination to lactose-based products.
Must try: The Umbrian Black Truffle Pizza was the rave about town when Proof Pizza + Wine started becoming the talk in the city, and it remains a crowd favourite (we’ve had it numerous times and are never disappointed). Seeking something a little less pizza and more calzone? Go with the Focaccia de Recco, a thin and crispy bread stuffed with melting mozzarella, pecorino romano, mascarpone, ricotta, as well as prosciutto (dry cured ham), and arugula.
Address: 29, Jalan Riong, Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +603 2201 3613
Operating hours: Daily, 12am to 3pm & 5:30pm to 10:30pm; Closed on Mondays
China: Ruyi & Lyn
Nestled in a corner on the 4th floor of Bangsar Shopping Centre, dining at Ruyi & Lyn is an experience that feels like it’s straight out of the movies. As you walk through its black warehouse-style sliding door, one almost expects to be asked for a password to enter, but once you do, you’ll discover it’s more than just a speakeasy-esque restaurant.
Ruyi & Lyn boasts an understated grandeur with a multi-conceptual dining space with a bespoke cocktail bar, an award-winning pork-free kitchen, a mezzanine area, a Western bistro, and private rooms — all at a mammoth 22,000 square feet. Ruyi & Lyn is definitely on the more exquisite end of dining in KL, a modern Chinese restaurant with exclusive creations.
Must try: Founder Yng Lyn Siew works under a strict philosophy – if a dish is forgettable, then forget it. The menu, of course, is created exclusively to mirror this and its crowning glory? The fusion 6-piece sushi platter, Ruyi’s Sushi. Incorporating the flavours and textures of Nasi Lemak, Hainanese Chicken Rice, and Mango Sticky Rice, makes it a truly unforgettable dish.
We also enjoy their modern take on traditional dim sum — like the Crispy Swan & Demon King that are artfully shaped into swan and ox pastries stuffed with perfectly-cooked wagyu. Also don’t miss out on the Porcupine Lotus Buns!
Address: 4th floor Bangsar Shopping Centre, 285 Jalan Maarof, 59000 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +603 2083 0288
Operating hours: Daily, 11am to 3pm & 6pm to 11pm
Sri Lanka: Lankan Crabs
Will a trip to Lankan Crabs fix even the worst of days? We don’t know, but this bullet train to Sri Lanka with our mouths is sure to be a lip-smacking memory that you won’t soon forget. Boasting a casual contemporary and wooden-chic vibe as its interior, the food is unpretentious and, most of all, a crab-tasticly authentic dining experience – that is to say, the effort to fish out the meat is well worth the flavours that come bursting through.
Must try: With a name like Lankan Crabs, non-seafood eaters might want to look away as the restaurant offers three signature preparations — their bestseller Negombo Crab Curry that is authentically Singhalese, the Jaffna Crab Curry that kicks up the heat by a notch, and the Garlic Butter Crab. Wash it down with a selection of craft beers and finish with some fresh appams whipped up with Amma Lalli, the resident appam maitresse.
Address: 4 Jalan Kemuja, Bangsar, 59000 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +603 2201 0128
Operating hours: Daily, 12pm to 3pm & 5pm to 10pm
If you’re in it for the meat, look no further than N97. Meet the meat of your dreams with their well-seasoned slabs of beef. Diners swear by their Tomahawk (available in Wagyu and Angus variants), which they also use to make fried rice to round out the meal with a hearty dash of carbs. Boston lobsters are also available here for those longing for a bit of surf and turf, but we think that you go beef or go home here.
Must try: If you’re dining in a group, the N97 Signature Wagyu Tomahawk Steak is the way to go. With each slab served on an entire board, pair that with a range of sides available, and you’re good to go! If you’re looking for something lighter, be sure to check out their pulled beef burger.
Address: 9 Lorong Kurau, Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +603 2858 3641
Operating hours: Daily, 6:30pm to 11pm; Closed on Mondays
England: Jarrod & Rawlins
An award-winning Western restaurant in Bangsar with a well-deserved glowing reputation, Jarrod & Rawlins (popularly nicknamed J&R) is quite quintessentially a British pub. And, as a pub, it pulls in a surprisingly steady crowd for, you wouldn’t guess it, breakfast.
If you’re in the mood for a traditional English meal, the gastropub also offers a weekly Sunday Roast with beef, pork, and chicken lovingly served with all the trimmings. Get the complete experience with brews like Guinness, Tiger, Heineken, and more if you’re not the kind to rush home after a meal.
Must try: We hope you’re up for a big breakfast because the J&R’s breakfast is quintessentially English combo of rich and flavourful pork sausage, crispy and savoury bacon rashers, mushrooms, runny sunny-side-up eggs, grilled tomatoes, and two slices of homemade toast that would rival even the most hipster cafe brunch sets.
Address: 63 Jalan Bangkung, Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +603 2095 1608
Operating hours: Daily, 12pm to 10pm; Closed on Mondays
Japan: Niko Neko
Located opposite the iconic McDonalds in Bangsar, Niko Neko’s matcha drinks are top-notch and made with only the finest ingredients. Paying homage to the traditional Japanese tea, Niko Neko crafts speciality drinks based on one’s palate and preference while also offering a selection of pastries, puffs, and cakes. It is a relatively small spot, so we recommend heading over early for your par-tea or run the risk of having your drinks and bites ordered to-go.
Must try: Grab a Hojitcha Croissant or a Mini Genmaicha Burnt Cheesecake, and hope there’s space to sit and sip your fill with the smooth Ren Matcha Latte; which is described as packed with super high umami savouriness, high creaminess, and a clean aftertaste.
Address: 82A Lorong Maarof, Bangsar, 59000 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +6011 5620 8692
Operating hours: Daily, 11am to 5:30pm; closed on Wednesdays
England: Jaslyn Cakes
Founder and baker extraordinaire Jaslyn Rangson started her dessert empire during her university years, selling baked goods from a small studio apartment in London. After acquiring baking skills from Le Cordon Bleu in London, Jaslyn started supplying various baked goodies to several popular cafes in KL and gained quite a following from the half-shop in Jalan Telawi in Bangsar.
With cakes, organic teas, freshly squeezed juices, and pastries, all made in-house daily, Jaslyn doesn’t chase the trends of hybrid pastries. Sticking to timeless recipes that satisfy a craving for delectable classics and sweet tea time treats. It doesn’t get any better than this! Just think of this as the Malaysian equivalent of London’s The Hummingbird Bakery.
Must try: The tall, fluffy, and creamy Pistachio Cake and Victoria Sponge are a fan favourite, but those who like a bit more zest in their desserts would be remiss to try out the Lemon Curd Cake and Lemon Bars that expertly toe the line between sweet and sour. Their Blondies are pretty good too!
Address: 7A Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +603 2202 2868
Operating hours: Daily, 11am to 7pm; Closed on Mondays
Japan: Taka, St Regis Kuala Lumpur
Brought to you by Tokyo’s 3-Michelin starred Sushi Saito, Taka claims to serve one of the best sushi in KL. All the chefs here have been trained personally by Takashi Saito, the youngest sushi chef to be awarded three Michelin stars.
Get seated at an intimate 10-seater counter and be served handcrafted sushi prepared with only the freshest seasonal ingredients from Japan. Fine dining at its best, enjoy the Taka Omakase experience at RM1,400 per person, which comes with six appetisers, one grilled fish, 10 sushi, and a sushi roll.
Address: Level 3A, Jalan Stesen Sentral 2, 50470 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +6012 330 3600
India: Gajaa at 8
Indian food may not be the first to spring to mind when you think of fine dining, but Gajaa at 8 is committed to serving only the finest, most exceptional Indian cuisine from Kerala.
Unfamiliar with Indian cuisine? The friendly staff at the restaurant will be more than happy to provide dish recommendations based on your preference. With chefs that hail from Kerala, you can taste the authenticity in the flavours.
With the fragrant spices wafting in the air, you’ll probably be inspired to explore their Indian-inspired cocktails too. And who can blame you?
Address: 8 Lorong Maarof, Bangsar, 59000 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +603 2201 7369
*Editor’s note: This article was originally published on 01 March 2022 and has been updated to include more locations.