[Updated 14 September 2020]
Do you remember your last nasi kandar in Penang or Nyonya laksa in Melaka? The thought of it is enough to bring out all sorts of cravings. Guess what? You don’t need a bus or flight ticket to savour the flavours once more. The best thing about living in the Klang Valley? You get to experience it right here! That's right - the next time you’re craving for mee kolo from Sarawak or masak lemak cili api from Negeri Sembilan, make your way to these restaurants below. You’re welcome!
1. Johor (Laksa Johor)
It’s true, you can only find the best laksa Johor in the Malaysian state itself. For the closest thing to the classic laksa Johor, the Klang Valley is brimming with good contenders. One of them is D’Cengkih Assam Pedas restaurant.
Situated in TTDI, this homegrown restaurant draws the crowd with a menu of Johorian favourites such as rojak petis, nasi ambeng, mee rebus and the famous laksa Johor. Once you’re full and ready to leave, take home some lepat pisang, sardine roll or bingka ubi for your family and friends.
Opening hours: Tue-Sun; 7AM-6.30PM; Closed on Mon
Addres s: D'Cengkih Assam Pedas,
6, Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad, Taman Tun Dr. Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur Contact: +6012-499 9908
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2. Kedah (Laksa Kedah)
When it comes to flavours from the north, Kedah is exceptionally proud of their very own laksa. Also known as laksa Kedah or laksa utara, this rice noodle dish strikes the perfect balance between sour and sweet, thanks to the use of ikan kembung and tamarind apple. Laksa Kedah is better when topped with coconut sambal or sambal nyiur, as the locals called it.
Finding the perfect laksa Kedah in the Klang Valley is not easy. However, there’s a food truck in Shah Alam where locals go to satisfy their cravings. The famous Jitra Mai truck is popular for two things, laksa Kedah and cendol. If you catch them during lunchtime, you’ll definitely have a light feast waiting for you.
: Sat-Thu; 10.30AM-10PM
: Laksa Utara (Jitra Mai) Food Truck, Seksyen 7, 40000 Shah Alam, Selangor
3. Melaka (Nyonya Food)
Melaka is known for many things, and Nyonya food is one of them. Mee Siam, cendol, and pie tee - the delicious variety continues to entice Malaysians to the heritage
city. If you want to relive the rich flavours of Nyonya food in the Klang Valley, Baba Low is one of the places you can visit.
This homegrown restaurant is lauded for their spot-on Nyonya flavours. Garnished with fresh ingredients and traditional flavours, every table at Baba Low is decked out with Nyonya laksa, popiah, chicken pongteh and more. Arrive with a huge appetite and you'll step out with a smile on your face.
: Open daily; 7AM-10PM
: Baba Low Bangsar Utama, 2, Jalan Abdullah, Bangsar, 59000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
: +603-2284 8486
4. Negeri Sembilan (Masak Lemak Cili Api)
Your friends from Negeri Sembilan would agree that their version of masak lemak cili api is unlike any other. The combination of fresh turmeric, coconut milk and bird’s eye chilies play a role in amplifying the unique flavours of this Negeri Sembilan favourite. Don’t believe us? Sample it yourself at Restoran Raso Omak Den.
Do us a favour and reach out for the masak lemak daging salai or siput sedut above everything else. Once done, make room for other dishes such as ikan jaket sumbat, ulam raja and udang sambal. If you want to
finish your meal on a sweet note, bubur pulut hitam is the dessert for you. Halal status
: Sat-Thu; 7.30AM-5PM (closed on Friday)
: Restoran Raso Omak Den, Taman Melawati, 53100 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur
5. Pahang (Gulai Tempoyak Ikan Patin)
Walk up to any locals in Pahang and they’ll rave about the deliciousness of gulai tempoyak ikan patin. Known for their bright curry-like sauce, this traditional dish combines the best of ikan patin and tempoyak (also known as fermented durian).
There are gastronomic gems in the Klang Valley that serve gulai tempoyak ikan patin. If you’re looking for The One, it has to be Restoran Temerloh Catering Ikan Patin - even the name says it all. Stirred in a huge pot, you can expect piping hot gulai to land on your table. Experience the flavours with a side of steamed rice and ulam, and you’re good for the day.
: Open daily; 10AM-7PM
: Restoran Temerloh Catering Ikan Patin, 33, Jalan Wangsa Delima 12, Wangsa Maju, 53300 Kuala Lumpur
6. Perak (Mee Udang)
Ipoh has certainly elevated Perak into one of Malaysia’s food paradises. Whether it’s the bean sprouts chicken
rice, egg tarts or tau fu fah that won you over, the abundance of tasty food will make you return for more. Popular among locals (and still unbeknown to tourists), prawn noodles is one of the local favourites in Perak.
Just to remind yourself of how tasty mee udang is, head over to Mee Udang Banjir. Situated in Kuala Selangor, their version of mee udang comes with large, succulent prawns. Dressed with a side of lettuce, kaffir lime, and hard-boiled egg, this dish will hit the spot.
: Open daily; 12PM-11PM
: Mee Udang Banjir Kuala Selangor, 587, Jalan Batu 2, Pasir Penambang, 45000 Kuala Selangor
7. Perlis (Ikan Bakar)
At the edge of Kuala Perlis, there’s a row of seafood restaurants that are popular for ikan bakar. Thanks to their close proximity to the sea, the ikan bakar that make its way to the table are always fresh.
To recreate the dining experience in the Klang Valley is easy because seafood restaurants are aplenty here. One of them is Manbai Ikan Bakar, which is famous for their grilled seafood and meats. With options ranging from ikan siakap, tilapia, lobsters and squids, choose any catch of the day
and let the grillers work their magic. Once it’s presented before you, enjoy it with ulam and sambal belacan for a memorable meal. Halal status
: Open daily; 5PM-12.30AM
: Manbai Ikan Bakar, Bandar Pinggiran Subang, 40150 Shah Alam, Selangor
: +6019 465 2424
8. Penang (Nasi Kandar)
Hands down, Penang is the home of Malaysia's best nasi kandar. Hearty and flavourful, nasi kandar is as popular as asam laksa and char kuay teow in this food paradise. What makes nasi kandar special is the heaps of curries and tasty side dishes that come with it.
To rekindle the flavours of good ol’ nasi kandar, head over to Zainul Nasi Kandar and feast to your heart’s content. A food stall situated inside PJ Oldtown Food Court, it’s usually packed with lunch crowds. To complement your plate of steamed rice, go for the fish head curry, ayam kicap and famous fried chicken.
: Open daily; 7AM-5PM
: Zainul Nasi Kandar, Medan Selera Kompleks C, Lorong Sultan, Seksyen 52, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
: +603-7956 2724
9. Sabah (Beef Noodles)
Credit: Idamoo Foods on Facebook When Sabah’s famed beef noodles make their presence known in
the Midvalley food court, food lovers rejoiced. Originally served at Nyuk Pau Zai restaurant in Menggatal, this KL franchise, Idamoo Foods, is helmed by the owner’s daughter Jennica Saw.
Credit: Idamoo Foods on Facebook
After your shopping rounds, head over to Idamoo Foods for a taste of Sabahan beef noodle soup. With meat slices, beef balls, braised briskets and tendon swimming in a delicious broth, slurp down this heart-warming meal during lunch or dinner. They also serve other dishes such as Tuaran and Beaufort noodles, which are equally delicious.
Uses ingredients sourced from halal-certified suppliers
: Open daily; 10AM-9.40PM
: Idamoo Foods, T-013, Stal 16A, Third Floor, Midvalley Mega Mall, Jalan Syed Putra Ring, Kuala Lumpur
10. Sarawak (Mee Kolo)
Sarawak is known for many things, and one of them includes the popular mee kolo. A noodle dish that is lightly tossed with meat, spring onion, garlic and light soy sauce, it is a Sarawakian staple that everyone knows and loves.
For mee kolo fans in the Klang Valley, Restoran Dapur Sarawak is where you should be. Widely frequented by the locals, their mee kolo is garnished with classic ingredients topped with chicken, beef or prawns. If you enjoy
the sight of variety, maximise your table space with nasi manok, nasi aruk dabai and more. Halal status:
Open daily; 10AM-10.30PM
Restoran Dapur Sarawak, No.19, Jalan Sarikei, Off Jalan Pahang, Pekeliling, 53000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
11. Kelantan (Nasi Kerabu)
With blue-coloured rice as the stand-out characteristic, nasi kerabu is a traditional Kelantanese dish. Served with a side of fried chicken, crackers and fresh herbs, you can feast on this local delight any time of the day.
If you happened to be in Puchong, you’re in luck! Kak Mah Nasi Kerabu has everything you want and need from this popular rice dish. Open for breakfast and lunch, Kah Mah’s version comes with the classic fried chicken, bean sprouts, salted egg and stuffed chillies.
Open daily; 6AM-1PM
Kak Mah Nasi Kerabu, Jalan Kinrara 1, Bandar Kinrara 1, 47180 Puchong, Selangor
12. Terengganu (Nasi Dagang)
Every Malaysian knows that a trip to Terengganu would be incomplete without sampling nasi dagang. A classic dish crowned with flavourful fish curry, pickled cucumber and carrots, nasi dagang is a famous lunch staple on this side of Peninsular Malaysia.
A road trip to Terengganu may be
far away, but you can relive the traditional flavours in Kuala Lumpur itself. The place to be is Mok Teh Nasi Dagang. After you secure a seat in this restaurant, try their home-cooked nasi dagang. Then, make room for others crowd favourites such as nasi hujan panas, nasi lemak ikan, ketupat palas and more. Halal status:
Tue-Sun; 8.30AM-2.30PM (closed on Monday)
Mok Teh Nasi Dagang, 50, Jalan Wangsa Delima, Pusat Bandar Wangsa Maju, 53300 Kuala Lumpur
If your main goal is to sample all the traditional delicacies in Malaysia, you can do it in the heart of Klang Valley itself. Whether you’re craving for Penang nasi kandar, Sabahan beef noodles or laksa Kedah, remember that they're a lot closer than you think.