What? This Cantonese restaurant in a mall – some of the best restaurants in South-East Asia are in malls – and this is one of the best dim sum places in Kuala Lumpur. They serve breakfast and lunch. Bangsar shopping mall is a high-end offering and the dim sum here is more creative. They have normal dim sum too, which are big, succulent and full of quality prawns.
Dish to order scallop dumplings and the wok-fried carrot cake.
Where? Bangsar mall.
What? A specialist in nasi kandar, an Indian-Malay dish with 20–30 types of rice and curry to choose from, so you can make your own dish. Their rotis are superb – and order the iced tea for the full experience. This branch is open 24 hours – great after a night out.
Dish to order A lamb curry plus bitter melon deep fried into crisps.
Where? Their flagship is in Mid Valley Megamall.
What? A no-frills eatery serving Chinese-based dishes. It’s only open for lunch and always packed. The Malaysian dish of lo shu fun is on the menu – stubby silver noodles that come sizzling in a pot with sweet fish.
Dish to order As well as lo shu fun, order the Guinness chicken wings.
Where? Unusually located between coffin shops on Jalan Kuchai Jaya street.
What? A street of hawker stalls in Bukit Bintang. Here you can try fried fish, satay and lok-lok – bubbling pots of steaming hot water for dipping skewers of meat in. You cook the skewers yourself then dip in a sauce. Go for dinner and try food from a few stalls.
Dish to order Wok-fried clams, squid and the barbecue chicken wings.
Where? Bukit Bintang entertainment district.
What? Bak kut teh is one of the foods that you must try in Malaysia – it’s a herbal soup with meat tied with string. This place makes an excellent version with chicken served with rice. Here, you can try many different small bowls.
Dish to order The bah kut teh and stir-fried bok choi.
Where? Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Bukit Bintang.
Ping Coombes is executive chef at Chi Kitchen in London