Malaysian restaurants and food you have to try at least once
Feast on traditional Malay dishes and try new cocktails while overlooking the city’s skyline.
Sip on cocktails at sky bars in Kuala Lumpur and fine dine on an exquisite fusion of Malay dishes in Penang.
Malaysia is a combination of various Asian cuisines that come together to create the most memorable dishes stuffed with spices and unique flavours.
We share the best restaurants to dine at and the foods that you simply can’t miss.
Malay cuisine is often pushed to street stalls but Bijan has brought local cuisine to fine dining. It serves classic dishes with traditional Malay flavours, including dishes such as lamb shoulder cooked in a number of spices.
3-5, Seri Bukit Ceylon, 8 Lorong Ceylon Off, Jalan Raja Chulan, Bukit Ceylon, Kuala Lumpur
Songket utilizes traditional Malay and Southeast Asian influences to create an authentic cultural experience. On the menu, you’ll find dishes such as prawns with pineapple chunks and chargrilled marinated short ribs. You can also enjoy entertainment in the form of traditional Malay song and dance.
29, Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur
It’s hard to beat the view from Fuego, a restaurant that overlooks the Petronas Towers. The chic feel is paired with a South American influence in the dishes, which are theatrically displayed. There is even a team of guacamole chefs.
Level 23A (Tower A) The Troika, 19 Persiaran KLCC, Kuala Lumpur
Sip on a cocktail in the garden and take in the view of the Petronas Towers or stay inside and admire the trendy decor. M8 is serious about its cocktails with a team of award-winning mixologists that have inventive styles.
Jalan Binjai, Persiaran, Kuala Lumpur
Kebaya Dining Room
Kebaya Dining Room is the featured restaurant in the luxurious boutique hotel, Seven Terraces. It prides itself on authentic local experiences and serves classic Indo dishes prepared using French cooking techniques. Try the hong bak lamb, which is lamb cooked in a combination of Indian and Chinese spices.
Stewart Lane, Georgetown, 10200 George Town, Penang
Once a high-profile politician’s home, The Blue Mansion has been transformed and now houses the restaurant, Indigo, where you can enjoy top dishes. Appetisers include curried pumpkin soup with chicken and eggplant.
14 Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, Leith Street, Penang
Three Sixty° Revolving Restaurant and Sky Bar
Stop by Three Sixty° for views over Georgetown and the ocean. The restaurant rotates so you’ll get the full experience of seeing the city from every side. It’s best on a sunny day and has optimal views for sunset. The Sky Bar is open air with local DJs often playing. The restaurant and lounge areas serve buffet dinners.
Bayview Hotel, Level 17, 25A Lebuh Farquhar, Penang
Served for breakfast, nasi dagang is a rice dish steamed in coconut milk with fresh curry. Other ingredients can include fried shaved coconut, hard boiled eggs and vegetable pickles. You will typically find this dish on the east coast.
A staple of Indonesian and Malaysian cuisine, nasi goreng literally translates to fried rice. Unlike the Chinese version, nasi goreng is typically flavoured with a sweet sauce called kecap manis, ground shrimp paste, tamarind and chillies. It’s often paired with some kind of protein such as prawns, eggs, chicken or dried salted fish.
Nasi lemak is Malaysia’s national dish and translates to fatty rice. This is because of how it’s cooked: in coconut milk with pandan leaves. It’s traditionally served in banana leaves with dried anchovies, a spicy sauce, a hard-boiled egg and roasted peanuts.
Mee kolok is a Chinese Malaysian dish typically served for breakfast. It consists of egg noodles that are tossed in lard and vinegar dressing. It’s then topped with slices of roast pork and char siu.
Char kwey teow
Wide, flat rice noodles are fried alongside vegetables such as bean sprouts, Chinese chives and prawns. To give the noodles their rich brown colour and full taste, the dish is flavoured with light and dark soy sauces and chilli. Often served on a banana leaf, you’ll be given the choice of what kind of meat to pair it with, including beef, pork, chicken or seafood.
Food tours and cooking classes
Discover local delicacies and learn how to cook like the locals at a home-cooking class.
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