It’s been close to eight years since my family and I decided to move to the residential township of Ara Damansara. In the Petaling Jaya district, Ara Damansara is a suburb that has everything – from residential homes and gated communities to commercial properties. There’s even a PAWS nearby, which is great news for animal lovers who love spending their free time volunteering.

Ara Damansara also has some of the best spots for foodies like myself, though it wasn’t always the case. It took a while for me to get to know the surrounding area and the kinds of cuisines it has to offer. Fast forward to the present, I am still discovering, but now have a curated list of favourites.

1. Lala Chong Seafood Village

Tucked away in the quiet part of Ara Damansara, it took me a few years to discover this seafood haven. Its open-air concept and clean environment make it the perfect place to have weeknight dinners when you’re too lazy to whip something up after work or even for a semi-special occasion.

Some of their must-orders include the marmite chicken, venison with spring onions, kung pao chicken, and of course, any of their crab dishes with a side of man tao buns. No guesses on what I am ordering for dinner tonight!

Address: 31 Jalan PJU 1A/ 5A, Ara Damansara, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Contact: +603 7842 2837

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2. Thai Nyonya

This quaint little Thai food restaurant is easy to miss as it blends into its surrounding area, but if you’re searching for authentic and affordable Thai food — this is the place to go. Their dishes are full of flavour, generous, and Muslim-friendly.

If you’re stuck on what to order, I highly suggest the Thai BBQ Fish, Crab Fried Rice, and Bangkok Chicken. For an appetiser, their Deep Fried Spinach is a must.

Address: L27 Blok L, Taipan Damansara 2, Jalan PJU1A/1, Ara Damansara, 47500 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Contact: +6012 227 6183

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3. Crazy Crabs

Calling all crab lovers! At Crazy Crabs, you can satisfy all your crustacean cravings. Regardless of your taste buds’ preference, you’ll find something to your liking here with four ways of preparation available: buttermilk, kam heong, steamed, and salt-baked – all as delicious as one another.

Though if you’re really twisting my arm, I’d say the buttermilk is the best out of the lot. You’ll get your money’s worth here for what you’re paying, as their crabs are fresh and fleshy. So, get ready to hit that hammer for your prize!

Address: Lot R02 , Central Piazza Oasis Square, 2 Jalan PJU 1A/7, Ara Damansara, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Contact: +6018 218 0333

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4. Sanzuru Izakaya & Bar

A new kid on the block, Sanzuru Izakaya & Bar in Ara Damansara is the chain’s second outlet. If you’re a fan of yakitori and appreciate the typical Japanese pub setting, I suggest stopping by.

Give their sashimi platter (if you have the stomach for raw food), Avocado Dragon Roll, or their Sanzaru King Ebi Uni Misoyaki (grilled king prawn with sea urchin paste) a go.

Address: F-G-11, Block F, Jalan PJU 1A/20D, Dataran Ara Damansara, Ara Damansara, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Contact: +603 7832 2949

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5. Underscore Coffee

I was today years old when I found a decent coffee spot that is a stone’s throw away from my apartment. When I say Underscore Coffee is hidden, I mean it’s really tucked away, which I suppose is a good thing because it can remain Ara Damansara’s best-kept secret.

Come here for a cold brew or delicious tarts, and if you need a fuller meal, give their Teriyaki Chicken Bowl a go. Other noteworthy dishes include GF Bowl, Pomodoro Pasta, and ABC Chicken Stew. While you’re there, show some love to the resident cat, Haru.

Address: 31, Jalan PJU 1A/20A, Ara Damansara, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Contact: +603 7499 0011

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6. Jatujak Bangkok Street Food

Looking to devour authentic Thai food but can’t jump on a plane to Bangkok just yet? Well, Jatujak Bangkok Street Food may just be the thing for you. With a simple dining setting, the food here surpasses its simple ambience.

Expect classic Thai dishes when you dine here and you’ll be glad to know that everything tastes as it would at a street stall in Bangkok.

Hatyai Chicken, Stewed Pork Leg, Deep Fried Siakap with Sweet Chilli Sauce, Green Curry Pork Ribs, and Southern Crab Meat Curry are some of the must-try mains. Fancy something grilled? Give the Grilled Salted Baked Fish a try. Of course, don’t forget to end your meal with dessert with Mango Sticky Rice or Sago Corn Pudding. Or both?

Address: B-G, 31, Jalan PJU 1A/3J, Ara Damansara, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Contact: +6010 219 6359

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7. Mikey’s Original New York Pizza

Bringing fuss-free meals to the Ara Damansara neighbourhood is Mikey’s Original New York Pizza. Take your pick from their many original flavours, and if you’re a small eater, we suggest sharing ‘cos their slices are pretty big!

Their Buffalo Chicken and Tony Soprano Pizzas are must-haves, and some notable sides include their waffle fries and cheesy garlic bread. Give their Sweet Tea with Fresh Mint a try too, which is perfect for the scorching weather we’ve been experiencing.

Address: CITTA Mall, 1, Jalan PJU 1A/48, Pusat Perdagangan Dana 1, 47301 Petaling Jaya
Contact: +603 7620 8262

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