The city of Kuala Lumpur, perhaps better known for its traffic mazes and soaring humidity, but that’s not the only thing heating up, the culinary front has caught some flames over the years too, presenting everything about Malaysia from – fancy masala thosai for breakfast, to juicy dim sums for lunch and then perhaps some sticky date pudding with homemade ice cream for tea, followed by hmm… beef rendang for dinner?
This article has created a concise list of the never-exaggerated extraordinary, extraordinary 20 best Kuala Lumpur restaurants in 2017. This list encompasses chic dining rooms with award winning cuisine, serviced by efficient service team’s right from the kitchen to the main floor.
This list will blow your mind with some next-level stuff, so indulge below to know just where to not only knock your pallet out the door, but also impress your guests with the diversity of the country that enlightens all senses.
The clear intention of the players at these restaurants is to dazzle diners by putting out menus that will live long in the memory. Living on the edge as they call it, this culinary leisure is cutting edge of culinary innovation as a whole with these dining rooms that lead the pack in KL’s dining scene; take a look at our choice of the best places to eat in Kuala Lumpur this year and pick your very whole special place for dinner tonight
Cilantro is probably among the top fine dining restaurants in Kuala Lumpur. Head Chef – Takashi Kimura dishes up sleek modern French cuisine laced together with a dash of Japanese influences.
Think grain-fed lamb rack with houba miso and unagi paired with foie gras, sounds pretty insane does it not? Purely French staples are given an intricate contemporary twist, such as the steak tartar with a sunny quail’s yolk and wafer-thin parmesan crisp.
The degustation menu lets you sample his signatures for just RM220 ringgit, this is for three courses, a definite steal given the top quality of the cuisine, and the way your pallet will be aroused.
2) Marini’s on 57th
Marini’s on 57 is an exclusive Italian ristorante set on the 57th floor of Petronas Tower 3, which is situated right beside the twin towers. Located in the heart of the KL city centre, it consists of a restaurant, bar and lounge. In the private elevator the atmosphere is hushed and posh with gold finishing adding to the suspense of the ambiance.
When you pass through the front doors the feel turns into one of refined elegance. Sounds of champagne glasses clinking and quiet chatter lingers the space. With a height like this, the view is beyond priceless as it overlooks the beautiful night lights of the city of Kuala Lumpur.
3) Shanghai Restaurant
Kuala Lumpur may be better known for its Cantonese food, but Shanghai specifically dishes up tasty and refined Shanghainese dishes. Must say it is a good addition of flavour to this city.
The speciality here is the braised pork belly bathed in a rich savory sauce, best enjoyed with plenty of rice to mop up the flavourful drips of sauce. Another great dish is the siew long bao, or steamed pork dumpling that are filled with piping hot broth and tender minced pork seasoned with their marinate.
4) Troika – Sky Dinning
Cantaloupe is no stranger to anyone that’s ever keyed in “best restaurant in Kuala Lumpur with a view” in his or her search bar. This award winning fine dining restaurant boasts an intricate menu of fine French cuisine and also presents a bar suited with an extensive range of liquors and wines to devour in and compliment the dishes. Best remember to make reservations, especially if you’d like a table on their balcony which overlooks the beautiful – KL.
Bijan is in a prime KL location, at the top of the popular Changkat – Bukit Bintang road strip. One of the few up-market Malay dining restaurants in the town and must say it is a very charming one too. You can sit outside amid the green and try traditional Malay favourites such as rendang and ayam percik (barbecued chicken). It has hosted a pretty decent wine list too. Bijan is popular for its atmosphere and flavour, so reservations are recommended.
6) Thirty 8 Kuala Lumpur
38th floor of the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur, THIRTY8 is located and overlooks the Petronas Towers basically showcasing a panoramic view of the entire city. Executive Sous Chef Stefan Beck is at the helm of the kitchen, providing a menu made up of a combination of Western, Chinese and Japanese cuisine, thrown together and executed to perfection. The Australian Wagyu steak and the Szechuan chicken come highly recommended, and have yet to be badly sought after.
Manicured gardens, a minimalist decor and delicious Japanese cuisine combine to make Fukuya a Zen-like sanctuary in aura and taste. It’s a particularly welcoming stop amidst the mad bustle of Kuala Lumpur’s city centre. Fukuya also has several semi-private rooms that look out onto the gardens, making the experience private and a popular spot for love birds and corporate discussions’. Artfully presented multi-course kaiseki meals are chef Takao Ando’s specialty.
8) My Elephant
Thailand boarders Malaysia, so it’s seemingly right that Malaysia is able to offer some delectable Thai soups, rich curries and refreshing salads make up the hit list at My Elephant. This casual Thai eatery started life as a neighborhood joint in Petaling Jaya and has since expanded to a second, more stylish outlet at Sri Hartamas. The pork-free menu, however, has remained the same since the dawn of time and the food is still as good. Recommended dishes include the duck curry with tender roasted duck and topped with a choice of lychees, grapes or pineapple. There is no wine list although you can BYO and beer’s are readily available.
9) Marble 8
Marble 8 needs no introduction to the city’s foodie scene, as there reputation and status has been set in the years before. They are home to some of the most luxurious cuts of prime dry-aged Australian Wagyu beef and you can choose to dine in their lounge/bar, dining or courtyard area, which ever best suits the mood they say. Either way, this glass bungalow is ready to impress inside and out with a view of the twin towers from ground level, allow you to feel just like Alice in the Wonderland of Kuala Lumpur City.
10) Prime KL
PRIME Kuala Lumpur prides itself in serving only the finest halal certified imported beef, complemented and paired with an exquisite wine selection. Imaginative interior design with secluded sections enables diners the chance to see and be seen and even have a choice to be discreetly seated away from the crowd. PRIME – KL also offers an innovative ‘private dining room with a view’ which seats 10, offering diners an up close and personal view of the kitchen activities, and gives a group gathering an ounce of privacy.
Impressive floor-to-ceiling wine walls are present throughout PRIME – KL, reflecting the partnership of great steaks and great wines. Wines from around the world are featured and have been priced to represent some of the best value for wine enthusiasts of and in Kuala Lumpur.
11) Maison Francinse Restaurant
In a converted three-storey mansion along Jalan Changkat Kia Peng, Maison Francaise (French House) is a French fine-dining restaurant drenched in a romantic, vintage feel. There is a classic Rolls Royce parked in the driveway out front and the interior design of the restaurant is classic with white walls, terrazzo floors, modern crystal chandeliers and white tablecloth-ed tables.
The place is divided into three areas, an upstairs is a private cigar lounge, while the ground floor houses the main dining hall which has a patio that overlooks a garden and has view and snips of KLCC. Also on the ground floor is an al fresco dining section surrounding a swimming pool, which hosts a cocktail bar and lounge chairs and tables under a canopy of trees, fairy lights woven through the greenery and canvas of sky to view the stars.
12) Dancing Fish
The signature dish at Dancing Fish is, predictably, is dancing fish – a fresh, whole fish deep-fried so that it resembles a fish leaping out of water. Served with sambal teresi and soy sauce, it is an Indonesian favourite in fact. This restaurant articulates Malaysian and Indonesian specialties that include an excellent sate and kerabu (salad). In addition to the food, Dancing Fish’s friendly service and pleasant air-conditioned setting have earned it a loyal, well-heeled following
13) Enak Restaurant
Enak is another upscale Malay eatery, this one is situated in the very posh Starhill Gallery. Diners that can be tried is home-style Malay dishes, many based on recipes handed down through the generations in owner Sherena Razaly’s family. The presentation may be modern, but the flavours are all has traditional as it comes in signatures such as sambal tumis udang (fried chilli prawns) and ayam goreng lengkuas (fried chicken with blue ginger).
Existent for a couple of years now, yet most locals still are unaware of its presence here in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. Enter Tanzini and you’ll be in awe of how they’ve managed to do up the place with plush seating, crisp white linens and the perfect lighting to compliment the high ceilings and golden grand royal drapes. The Italian menu is seasonal and changes twice a month, giving diners a whole new experience every visit, never repetitive and always a shocker.
15) The 39 Restaurant
If you’re looking for a modern twist on the Malay cuisine, then head on up to the 39th floor of PNB Darby Park. Located in one of the city’s prime areas, guests are not required to get their fingertips down and dirty as every element on the dish is well thought of, and certainly thought through. The highest recommendation for this swanky place is the Udang Raja Sambal Petai, cooked and peeled to perfection.
16) Malt & Leaf @ The Roof
Are you in Petaling Jaya area, and hungry? Well I think that the drive out to the city center is a bit of a hassle, fret not, because perched on the rooftop of First Avenue is Bandar Utama’s very own entertainment hub. There you will find @ The Roof – Malt & Leaf is a cozy, dimly-lit restaurant and cigar lounge with an extensive malt collection to match its name. Nibble through their tapas or slice through one of their hearty steaks as you gaze through the little trinkets of city lights from the suburban end of the city onwards.
17) Inaho Sushi
Here’s another one for you the Petaling Jaya peeps, Inaho Sushi is nestled on One City Skypark’s rooftop. Over here you can expect crisp and fresh sushi with a view across Subang Jaya and perhaps, an even better sunset than what you’d expect in the city as there are few high rises and more suburban landscaping. Their menu is welcoming and affordable, perfect for a quick hop in on a simple night out with a view.
18) Spring Garden Restaurant
Spring Garden is part of the Tai Thong Group, a very well known company of Chinese cuisine restaurants and franchises. They have just taken over the Putrajaya Seafood restaurant overlooking the Botanical Lake Gardens, and seeing as nothing beats a good wholesome meal this is the perfect garden spot.
19) The Orchid Conservatory
Girls, get ready to squeal and be in utter awe, the princess glass house has arrived! We can almost guarantee there is no prettier place for an afternoon high tea in Kuala Lumpur than this. For RM88++ per person, you get an array of scones and treats both sweet and savoury, as you seat nestled within the petals of these majestic flowers. The seats are extremely limited so be sure to book in advance for your squad.
This hidden gem amongst the greens of Bukit Lanjan calls for those looking for simple hearty family meals at an affordable price range. Their menu ranges from your all-authentic Malaysian affair to the usual international mains, such as a meaty rack of lamb, but regardless of the tag the flavours and satisfaction is consistent and world class. This setting is perfect for big groups looking for a quiet surrounding to have fun banter over simple fulfilling food that shows the similar side of the city.
I truly hope this article has enlightened you to new places and chefs to allow to take charge of your pallet, especially when it comes to entertaining those clients and colleagues, these elegant spaces have got you covered from satisfaction to privacy and class as a whole.