If you’re planning a trip to Malaysia, specifically Kuala Lumpur, you might be wondering what we ate, and what kinds of things you can expect to find when you travel there. We’ll eventually post a Top 10 Foods of Malaysia blog (or you can watch us talk about it here), but I wanted to give a breakdown of what we ate during our three days in Kuala Lumpur.
Our first day in Malaysia was a tough one. If you read our Day 1 Recap Post, you know that it was primarily a travel day. We had big plans food-wise, but ended up taking the easy way out and found a mall with lots of quick food options.
The first official meal we had in Malaysia ended up being Nando’s Peri Peri Chicken and fries, and it was actually incredibly satisfying! Even though it technically isn’t Malaysian cuisine, Nando’s sells really delicious food. If you’re a picky eater, or you’re just not comfortable eating food from hawker stalls or open air buffets, this is a great option.
Price: Two orders of the Peri Peri Chicken and fries + a mango drink + a soda = RM57.15
Location: This is just one out of 19 Nando’s locations in KL alone. Check this link for even more in other cities.
Lunch at Gerai Pak Lang Ikan Bakar:
We initially went to this place to try the Ikan Bakar (charcoal-grilled fish/seafood), but we got there a little bit too early, and we weren’t really sure when they were going to start cooking it. Because we were really hungry and on a bit of a time crunch, we decided to try the lunch buffet.
At first glance, the buffet at Gerai Pak Lang seems pretty daunting; the food is laid out in open containers, and you might wonder how long it’s been sitting out. However, there’s really no need to worry, and the buffet is safe for both local and foreign stomachs.
You pay based on how much you put on your plate, which is nice if you just want a small sampling of each dish. There aren’t any labels or signs, so you take what looks good and hope for the best.
Even though we were bummed that the Ikan Bakar wasn’t available, we’re really glad that we tried the buffet. The food wasn’t mind blowing, but the experience is what has stuck with me. Utensils are not available to you, and we tried our best to eat with just our hands. It was also really fun trying to figure out what we were eating, and sampling things that we had never eaten before.
This is definitely a local place, and we were actually brought back to it during our Kampung Baru Walking Tour – we proudly told our tour guide that we had stopped there for lunch, and he was happy we had tried a more traditional spot.
Check this place out if you’re feeling adventurous!
Price: Two plates of food from the buffet + 2 bottles of water = RM28
This sweet treat is something that we first found on our way out of Gerai Pak Lang, but was a snack that we were able to enjoy all throughout Malaysia.
Putu Bambu is made out of rice flour that is filled with palm sugar, and steamed inside a round bamboo tube/cylinder with a pandan leaf. The pandan leaf gives it a greenish hue, and the palm sugar makes it perfectly sweet. Once the flour and sugar have melded together to form one of the best flavor combos, it’s covered with shredded coconut, which takes it to the next level.
The Putu Bambu we found outside of the buffet was just so-so, but we tried it a few different times in KL, and each time it got better and better! It’s cheap, sweet, and SO delicious. It also started our obsession with pandan, which is sad because we have yet to find pandan desserts outside of Malaysia and Singapore.
Price: We got about 6 pieces for RM3.5, but prices will vary depending on the vendor.
Location: You can find Putu Bambu pretty much anywhere around KL!
Vegetarian Dinner at Gurdwara Tatt Khalsa:
If you watched our Day 2 vlog, you know that at the end of our Kampung Baru Walking Tour we stopped at a Sikh Temple. We were told that each night, the Gurdwara Tatt Khalsa offers a vegetarian meal to anyone that enters – regardless of gender, religion, or social standing.
This is definitely an experience that anyone should try and have when they visit KL – it was so humbling to be welcomed in, even though we were complete strangers. Much like our lunch, the food wasn’t the most amazing, but it was the experience that has stuck with us.
Our meal at the temple included spicy lentils with rice, but I think it might change each night. Nonetheless, I would recommend checking this out for one of the most memorable and special meals you’ll have in Malaysia.
Price: Absolutely FREE! You just have to be willing to wash your feet, take off your shoes, and wear a bandanna. It also helps to wear more modest clothing if you decide to go with this option.
Traditional Malaysian Breakfast:
Looking back at everything we ate in Kuala Lumpur, this probably stands alone as my absolute favorite meal!
We stayed at a gorgeous Classic Heritage Loft House in Kuala Lumpur, and along with a beautiful and comfortable room, the host offered a home-cooked Malaysian breakfast (at an extra cost). We spent our third morning in KL waking up slowly, and then the host’s mother knocked on our door to take us to the dining area.
Our breakfast started off with orange juice and homemade teh tarik, and we were given delectable sweet & savory pastries as a sort of breakfast appetizer. Some of them were filled with mouth-watering ingredients like curry, potato, coconut, and shredded meat.
Next came the main event: home-made Nasi Lemak, which happens to be the national dish of Malaysia. The rice was steamed with coconut milk, and the chicken that came with it was tender and perfectly seasoned. It was all served on a banana leaf with different sauces and toppings on the side.
But the meal didn’t stop here! The food kept flowing, and we were brought a breakfast sandwich and sweet desserts made of rice flower. Our host also graciously gave us all the bottled water we wanted, and kept our cups full of teh tarik.
This breakfast was definitely on the pricier side (and we got a lot of negative comments on our vlog because of it!), but it was so worth it. It was also nice because we happened to be the only people staying in that Airbnb, so we were able to take our time and eat in peace.
Price: RM35 per person
Location: I can’t give out an address for this Airbnb, but if you want to book a night here, click this link!
Dinner at Restoran Rebung:
Restoran Rebung is another Malaysian buffet, but unlike the one we tried in Kampung Baru, this is a more upscale joint….but where jeans are definitely acceptable.
It’s actually owned and run by a celebrity chef (Chef Ismail), and Malaysia’s first astronaut (Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Al Masrie).
The food was delicious, and there were a lot of different options to choose from. They had a variety of curries, Nasi Lemak, tons of vegetable and fish dishes, and an outdoor area with satay and a sweet pandan drink. Of course, there were also fresh fruits and other desserts, and we had our second taste of durian in a creamy pudding.
If you’re looking for an introduction to Malaysian cuisine, this is a great place to visit. Only if you’re willing to spend a bit more than you would on street food, that is! The staff of Restoran Rebung are also very kind, and willing to answer any questions that you might have.
The main dining area is more casual, but there are also a lot of rooms available for parties and private events.
Price: Our total bill for this buffet was RM106.
Location: The restaurant was a little hard to find, but just look for the parking garage that says KL Seafood Market.