Food in Malaysia

One of the best things that I love about Malaysia is the food. There are so many different varieties of Asian and local food that we never get bored with it, and it isn't all that expensive.

I like to eat at mamak restaurants because of the large selection of foods and low cost. Who doesn't like to have roti canai with teh tarik or freshly squeezed orange juice? But I also like tosai masala, mie goreng and maggi goreng, all cheap and delicious and can be found allover Malaysia.

Then there are the Indian banana leaf restaurants which are truly delicious but very popular and crowded, especially the ones that I frequent in Bangsar. And the chinese restaurants where you can have chicken rice or laksa. All so delicious.

But Malaysia is also great because here we see cuisine from all over the world. Japanese restaurants have become common and Korean restaurants are also becoming more popular. Middle Eastern restaurants too. Whilst western food restaurants can be found everywhere. It seems we are truly spoiled for choice.

This thread is about food in Malaysia, favourite restaurants and favourite foods. Let's hear about your favourite places to eat, and your favourite foods, and feel free to upload some photos.

Kopi Club

This gem of a place is located at the basement level of Low Yat Plaza in Bukit Bintang and they also have another branch in the basement of Sungei Wang Plaza. I've been eating here for 9 or 10 years because the food is just so incredibly tasty. I mean everything on the menu. However, this is what we normally order if we just want a snack.

Hot Teh Tarik

Bee Hoon Goreng with chicken, prawns and Fried Egg

Mee Goreng Mamak with chicken and prawns

Ice Teh Tarik and Fresh Orange Juice


I have to admit that Italiannies is one of my favourite places to eat. And I am always surprised at how low is the bill. I mean getting two adult meals, a drink and the free meals for the kids as well as the warm bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for around RM100 is really good, especially when the dishes are so large.

Italiannies has a points based membership card that can be used in other restaurants within the group, and when redeemed the bill goes down even further, really not bad.

Back to the food, we usually order one or even two of the starters which are huge and filling and totally delicious. The favourites are the stuffed mushrooms and the Spinach & Artichoke Formaggio. Bearing mind that you will be served warm bread with olive oil and basalmic vinegar at the start of your meal. Then I will usually order the beef lasagne, which is really huge and very delicious and easily enough for two people while my wife usually orders the Sizzling Roasted Chicken which is also big and very delicious and slightly spicy. For drinks we like the non-alcoholic sangria, and for dessert the tiramisu which again is served as a huge portion and very delicious.

This is a link to Italiannies menu with prices:

For every adult meal kids get a free one. So usually we will order chicken strips with mashed potatoes or spaghetti.

I usually eat at the Italiannies at the Gardens Mall at Mid Valley. There used to be a branch at the Pavilion Mall in Bukit Bintang but I think that one might have closed.

Sizzling Roasted Chicken

Beef Lasagne

Sizzling Roasted Chicken

Deep Fried Crispy Chicken Strips with mashed potatoes

It's undeniably true that Malaysia is really generous when it comes to food choices! It is definitely one of many things to enjoy about this lovely country.

Aside from just the norms like mamak restaurants and other common food places, Kuala Lumpur also has so many hidden treasures for those who enjoy food hunting!

There are so many aesthetically pleasing cafes and restaurants around the city which are not only unique to our eyes, but also offers a variety of exclusive food and beverages.

Here are some of my personal favorites:

1. Malaysian-Italian Fusion @ Grafa, SS15, Subang Jaya
Link: … ian-fusion
Courtesy of ZVFFY.COM

2. 6 good places for Vietnamese Pho in KL & Selangor
Link: … -selangor/
Courtesy of EATDRINK.MY

SK Restaurant

Got to say, I really like the food in Indian Mamak restaurants. I can remember when this restaurant first opened, and it was instantly a success. The food is always delicious and the prices cheap. I mean RM3 or 4 ringgit for a Maggi Goreng and I think it was around RM3 for a Roti Canai.

Simple Breakfast

Hot Teh Tarik, unhealthily delicious

Spicy Maggi Goreng

Tosai Masala, sorry I love this dish so much!

You must be paid to advertise these restaurants. Italliennes?? Really? Unfortunately I disagree.
In regards to Asian food, I only found  Thai and Cantonese and maybe Japanese food to a certain standard and good taste.  I did not find such a great variety  in local food taste here...pretty much same smell, color and taste, same spices. I am very disappointed with the food variety. 
Italian restaurants are trying and few are decent, but you really have to go to Italy to find  what is Italian food about or to go to France, to see what is food about.

Which are your favourite restaurants?

I eat a lot of Chinese and Japanese and Indian food in Malaysia. I rarely eat at french restaurants because I lived in France on the border with Spain for seven years and I don't think french restaurants here do it justice, but I may be wrong. Same goes for Spanish food.

Interesting thread, we tend to eat Malay food about 80% of the time. Of course my wife's  Malay and isn't really a fan of western food outside of KFC and Pizza Hut. But I've found in my travels, which it seems you have as well, you can never compare Italian food found in SE Asia to Italy, French food to what is found in France and so on. The best food in Malaysia is by far Malaysian food, everything else is substandard if you compare it to the original. But on the other hand, I still crave Italian, American, French food from time to time and do so (mostly with friends or on my own since my wife doesn't like it).

Agree. The Malay restaurants and the Indian mamak restaurants are both very affordable, delicious and the variety of food pretty big. I'm also a fan of good Indian Banana Leaf.

Of course there are gourmet restaurants in KL, but frankly speaking, I'm not going to eat in them very often because I need somewhere that has food that the kids like and I tend to eat out a lot when prices are so cheap.

So for me, Malaysia is a definitely food heaven.

Wow look at Italiannies prices, really up over the years. Talk about inflation.......RM50 for a plate of spaghetti?? Yipes.

I think we would be beating a dead horse if we talk about non-malaysian food. We all know its not the same. Even Pizza Hut here is different and much worse than USA Pizza Hut. Enough said.

I'll try to remember to take pics of good dishes of malaysian food I get outside--or that I cook myself!  Used to be that I always ate outside, then for years I cooked, then I went back out, now Im 50/50. I have been working hard to learn to cook these dishes at home because the quality outside continues to decline. In the year 2000 the food was incredible; today its highly possible, ive done it, to take one bite off a plate and get up and walk out because its inedible! The parents are all retiring and the kids do not wish to take up the restaurant trade and so the cuisine arts are being lost. Foreigners are the cooks now and what do they know?

The best local food also happens to be the cheapest. Thank god! A friend bragged that she and three friends went out to a french restaurant and spent RM1100 for dinner. They took pics and the food, to me, was highly disappointing. I countered the attack with pics from a mamak, superior in all ways, for RM12!! Welllll, she says in retort, YOU didnt have the ambiance!! I attacked her flank with pics of that mamak food at a sunset waterfall complete with table cloth and candles!!! Take that!!

Had this been the old days this thread would be overflowing with popularity because every dish was fantastic. Now, no. Sad!

If you ever eat at Banana Leaf Indian restaurants then upload some pics, I really miss it. Cheap and tasty. Can't find a decent Indian restaurant in Bandung Indonesia so far.... :(

I have to  agree with cvvo,  the best food is local and cheap. I get the craving for something western, and every time I am disappointed. Better to do all western food myself at home and save myself the frustration and money. The only problem is that I've ruined western restaurants for my in laws now.

For my taste there was a very good banana leaf restaurant in Bangsar and it was surprisingly expensive.

Ok stop,  ive been spoiled by good mamaks, of course after that everything is expensive. Strangely, or is it strange, I know many expats who never once ate in a mamak or the roadside or even night markets. They have huge budgets from their employers and only eat in finer places. They complain that the hygiene is the reason they wont go and they say it arrogantly like bigots and racists, frankly. It makes no logical sense since they can plainly see that the breadbasket of the entire country is mamaks, roadsides, hillsides, and morning/night markets. So you are right and the whole country is wrong? (not you, hansson).

But it is very hard to say whats best out there, everyone has a different taste and expectation.

Maybe i'll start a thread called Malaysias Secret Menu. Do people know they dont have to order off a menu? You can order whatever you like to eat and they will try to cook it. In Sri Damansara there is a mamak where once I saw the owner eating a huge plate-bowl of Cantonese Bee Hoon Kuey Teow, a concoction I didnt even know existed. Its not on any menu anywhere. He got one for me, the best ever I had of this noodle soup, and said its only available a few nites a week, to the discretion of the Thai cook. If I remember it was like RM6, clearly worth more than that just on its huge size alone.

Second, for the extreme best food, and on the cheap, you have to piece together a complete meal from different places. Mamaks and the like dont cook all food well, they usually will have ONE great dish followed by 10 mediocre dishes. Example, my wife likes picnics at the beach in Penang and so what we do is cruise around the island picking up bits. She likes the black-sauced chicken from Pelita at Tesco, the only branch that has fantastic taste, so we get that and then go to Kapitan for a load of briani rice, then go to a chinese shop for curry pau, kuih from a table-seller located in the alley behind a shoplot group, and when we have the full picnic we are off to the beach. You can do the same in KL when you have the energy and know the dishes. Just piece together a complete and fabulous meal from a number of restaurants and eat as you go or drag it all home. There is a wet market I like to go in the mornings for roti telur. But....I take the roti from him and skip his dahl and fish curry. I get dahl from another place and fish curry from another and drink from the Viets and THEN sit down and eat.

Having said all that I still do not know the best of everything and all the secret menus. But ive made a lot of progress over the years and Malaysia is truly a food lovers paradise--if you know the ways.

Is that the banana leaf restaurant opposite Bangsar Village 2? That was my regular place for banana leaf and I think we normally pay about RM55 for two banana leaf meals one with tenggiri and the other with chicken and a couple of drinks. The opened a new one just around the corner which is really cheap in comparison, but not as nice food. That expensive one still gets queues every lunchtime.

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