Adventurous Family Eating in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia is a diverse, dynamic and intense city. The cultural diversity of this city will leave a lasting impression on us and so will the incredible selection of food. If you love food then you have to visit. Malay, Indian, Chinese, Thai, Korean, Middle Eastern and Western food is all on offer. We are half way through our stay here and have sampled at least one dish from each apart from Korean. This is on our list to try before we leave.

We all love trying different food, Max included. He will pretty much give anything a go. Since weaning Max at 4 months old we have consistently encouraged him to try at least one mouthful of his meal. If he spits it back out and refuses to eat any more then that is fine. We just try again a few weeks later. Max is now approaching 18 months old and loves food full of flavour. He can handle and enjoys quite a lot of spice in his food too.

Max Menu

Max choosing his next meal

Noodles and Rice

Max trying some rather spicy rice

We are staying in the outskirts of the city. In the evenings we head out to one of the local restaurants. There are about 20 all on our door step. We are on a budget for this trip but are able to afford to eat like kings. $15 / RM45 gets you plenty of food for a family of three including mineral water. If you order drinks other than water you are looking at about $19 / RM55 for a family of three. Apart from some rather bland fried fish rolls we had at lunch today all the food has been full of flavour.

Breakdown of the average cost of a meal per person:

          • Main meal: $3.20 / RM10 – $5 / RM15
          • Mineral water: $0.3 / RM1 – $0.5 / RM1.5
          • Juices, smoothies, yogurt drinks: $2 / RM6 – $2.6 / RM8
          • Soft drinks, coffees, teas: $1 / RM3 – $1.6 – RM5
local KL meal

Another yummy local meal consumed

We went up the Menara Tower on our second day here and had lunch in the Rainforest Cafe beforehand. The food was beautifully presented but the taste was only ok. The meal was also 50% more expensive than those had at our locals.


Michelle’s Laksa from the Rainforest Cafe, Menara Tower


James’ fried chicken and rice from the Rainforest Cafe, Menara Tower

Chicken, Egg, Rice Pattaya

Michelle’s Nasi Goreng Pattaya – One of our family favorites from a local restaurant

Malaysia is by majority a Muslim country so by default restaurants do not serve alcohol. What they do serve is a wide selection of hot and cold teas and coffees. Freshly squeezed juices, smoothies and yoghurt drinks are also in abundance. James and I tried bubble drinks for the first time. James’ was a strawberry smoothie and mine an iced cappuccino. Both included bubbles but also small chewy tapioca balls called pearls which you suck up using an extra wide straw. They were pretty good. Being mainly water, red wine and coffee drinkers I don’t think we will be getting any more. If you are into frappuccinos then I think you will enjoy these.

Apple, Yoghurt

Max drinking a freshly squeezed apple juice and Michelle a yoghurt drink

Pearls in iced Cappuccino

Michelle trying a bubble cappuccino

Then there’s the western food. Sometimes you just feel like a chocolate milkshake or a vanilla sundae. No problem in Kuala Lumpur.

western food

James and Max tucking into some western food

If we come back to Kuala Lumpur we will stick to eating in local restaurants. The food tastes better and is cheaper. I think we will be back as this is a city for foodies.

Who’s been to Kuala Lumpur? Did you have the same food experiences? Any restaurants you would recommend?

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2 responses to Adventurous Family Eating in Kuala Lumpur

  1. Awesome trip! Hey, I didn’t know you were going to KL! Singapore is just an hour away to KL by plane. We made our family trip there last year and also had an adventurous city tour.

    I’m impressed with your kiddie who can tolerate bits of new taste of food! I wonder how far did he get. Did you let him try spicy food? My princess would not take anything spicy. When she was smaller, one day, she was on my lap while I was taking dinner and my eyes went somewhere for a while and she picked up the chili that I had set aside on my plate because I did not want it. And she swallowed it! Poor princess, she did not know what was going on and was crying!

    The typical local restaurant in KL would not be the well known branded chain. You can go around the city and check out some decent and clean restaurant where you’ll find the real stuff.

    Next time, drop by Singapore and try the local dishes in the hawker centers. Let me know so I can recommend some ;)

  2. Hi Rob

    James and I have been to Singapore but we would love to take Max. I am pretty certain that we will be there for a few days next year. So I will be in touch!

    There are loads of decent and clean local restaurants in and around KL. We have been very impressed with the quality and standard of the restaurants.

    Max did try some spicy food. He likes a certain level of spice which James and I would say is a bit spicy. He tried a couple of dishes that we would consider quite spicy and it was a bit much for him. He was fine after a glass of water!

    Thanks for your comment.


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