12-Hour Kuala Lumpur Street Food Binge

By Mark Wiens 43 Comments
Nasi Campur - Malaysian Food
Nasi Campur – Kuala Lumpur Food

A few months ago I landed in Kuala Lumpur with a smile on my face.

In fact, every time I land in Kuala Lumpur, I’m immediately in happy spirits, knowing that what I’m about to fill my belly with will be out-of-this-world delicious!

With only a 12 hour layover this time, I didn’t have time to tackle all the best Malaysian foods or even make the trip to the Durian buffet (heartbreaking),

but…

I was able to fit in a few plates of ridiculously tasty Kuala Lumpur food!

Delicious Plate of Nasi Campur
Ikan Bakar – Grilled Fish

Meal #1 – Malaysian Nasi Campur

I can’t think of any better way to get the party started with food in Kuala Lumpur than with a heaping plate of Nasi Campur.

Nasi Campur means “mixed rice,” and that’s exactly what it is.

Upon entrance to any joint serving nasi campur, you are handed a pile of rice in a banana leaf and from there you get to go crazy on the buffet of mixed toppings.

This time around I got some fried fish, a giant piece of chili tofu, tempe soybean cakes, fried eggplant, and a few heaping spoons of the chili sauce.

Ikan Bakar - Grilled Fish
Irresistible Grilled Fish

Then I saw the grilled fish, known as Ikan Bakan, and without any sort of hesitation the waitress was bringing it to our table.

This is a bold statement for me to make, but Nasi Campur to me is just about as good as it gets in the culinary department. Eating is one of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur.

Address:

Kedai Nasi Padang Minangkabau
No. 5, Jalan Raja Abdullah, Kg. Baru, 50300 Kuala Lumpur
[email protected]

Irresistible Grilled Fish
Irresistible Grilled Fish

Meal #2 – Another Ikan Bakar

Meal #2 was completely unplanned.

Merely a few moments after finishing the first meal, I remembered a place located near Little India that should never be missed on any trip to Kuala Lumpur.

Ika Nasi Campur
Ika Nasi Campur

It’s a little food-court, and by that I mean it’s a bumping series of stalls with crowds of people in the middle devouring huge plates of food and heavenly aromas luring everyone in.

Ikan Bakar - Grilled Fish #2
Ikan Bakar – Grilled Fish #2

It was the Ikan Bakar (grilled fish) that caught my attention, and even though I had just eaten one not long ago, it was my call to eat another.

This one was meaty and big, lathered in rich chili tomato sauce and splashed with a salty vinegar. I was ecstatic.

Address:

Ika Nasi Campur
Located near Masjid Jamek on TAR street

Malaysian Teh Tarik - Milk Tea
Malaysian Teh Tarik – Milk Tea

Tea Time – Malaysian Teh Tarik

By this early afternoon time the tropical rain was threatening, and I decided to dip into Restoran Yusoof Masakan Kari, a huge Halal restaurant located across the walkway from Kuala Lumpur Central Market.

This place is famous for their Indian influenced Malaysian food, but I opted for just a few cups of Teh Tarik, or tea loaded up with condensed milk.

Address:

Restoran Yusoof Masakan Kari – Central Market
No. Syarikat Istinewa 000554423-U

Kuala Lumpur Food
Nasi Kandar

Meal #3 – Nasi Kandar

Ever since I visited Kuala Lumpur for the first time in 2009, I have been a religious fan of a restaurant called Hameed’s.

Come to realize now, there are probably hundred’s of restaurants in KL with the name Hameed’s, but this one is located right below the Pasar Seni LRT Station.

They make Nasi Kandar and they make it well.

Nasi Kandar is basically the Indian version of Nasi Campur (eaten at Meal #1). You get a big pile of rice and then get to choose what toppings you want to smother your rice in.

I couldn’t resist the mutton curry, a piece of chili chicken, curried cabbage, and some kind of pickled cucumbers.

Hameeds' Tandoori Chicken
Hameeds’ Tandoori Chicken

Hameed’s also makes killer Tandoori Chicken.

Though it may look overcooked on the outside, somehow the meat remains tender, juicy, and busting with spices.

Meal at Hameed's in Kuala Lumpur
Meal at Hameed’s in Kuala Lumpur

Of course, this meal just wouldn’t have been the same without a few pieces of naan – straight from the clay oven.

Hammed’s shouldn’t be missed on any Kuala Lumpur food excursion!

Address:

Hameed’s Restoran
outside Pasar Seni LRT station

Malaysian Nasi Lemak
Malaysian Nasi Lemak

Meal #4 – Nasi Lemak

Yet another Malaysian food you will fall in love with is something known as Nasi Lemak.

Now by this time my belly was swelled almost to its maximum capacity, not to mention I had to jump back on the bus to the airport in just a short time.

I didn’t have much choice of where to get this plate of Nasi Lemak, so I just stopped into the nearest location that served it.

Nasi Lemak is coconut infused rice served with a pile of sambal hot sauce, an egg, dried anchovies, peanuts, and sometimes a piece of fried chicken on top. It’s normally served in a banana leaf.

This wasn’t the best Nasi Lemak that I’ve ever had, but it was in a convenient location. If you have more time in KL and are looking for some really good Nasi Lemak, go check out Nasi Lemak Daun Pisang.

Address:

Maulana Food Court
No. 90, Jalan Pudu, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel 03 2070 5248

And with that, I completed a 12 hour Kuala Lumpur food binge!

Want to see this food adventure of video? Watch my Malaysian food video now!

43 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • Mo

    3 years ago

    I love your videos man I’m a huge food lover. There a great banana leaf restaurant in little India called Devis corner next time your in KL you must go there.
    My Malaysia trip was completely down to your videos where to eat etc.

  • Kirin

    6 years ago

    Your post is amazing. I will be sure to visit most of these places on my next trip to KL! Great job!

  • Violacea L.

    7 years ago

    Hey, stumbled upon your site from your Youtube channel. I must say, you’ve been into the more secluded restaurants in KL for your adventures. Anyway, I just wanna point out that the restaurant in your ‘Meal 2’ has been wrongly named.

    For your information, ‘Senarai Harga Makanan dan Minuman’ translates to ‘List of prices for food and beverages’. So, it’s NOT part of the restaurant’s name.

    Coming from a fellow Malaysian, I kid not. Yes, it’s actually a little funny.

    • Mark Wiens

      7 years ago

      Hey Violacea, haha, thank you very much for letting me know!! I’ll go back and revise it now. I was just back in Malaysian a few weeks ago and was able to eat a lot more food again, and it was all absolutely amazing! What part of Malaysia are you from?

      • Violacea L.

        7 years ago

        Oh, just a small and quiet district in Kuala Lumpur. Yet, I myself are not as familiar as you when it comes to good Ikan Bakar places.

        Hope you had a great time here. Do come again!

        • Mark Wiens

          7 years ago

          Hello Violacea, I had a wonderful time in KL, thank you!

  • melvin

    7 years ago

    I regret reading this post,now i’m hungry hahaha.i think the no.1 reason to visit malaysia is the food,i’ll go to penang one of these days

    • Mark Wiens

      7 years ago

      Haha, I agree, food should be a major reason for anyone visiting Malaysia!

  • sheon

    7 years ago

    Hi Mark! Good to know that you love M’sian food as much as I do. Its all about food here in Msia isnt it?

    The food you featured here are predominantly Malay food, and a couple of Indian food. The common thing in these two categories of cooking is that they use a generous amount of spices to bring life to the dishes!

    Try some Chinese and Baba&Nyonya dishes the next time you are here! Oh and another thing, “Senarai Harga Makanan Dan Minuman” translate to “Price list of food and beverage” 🙂

    • Mark Wiens

      7 years ago

      Hey Sheon, thank you so much for looking at this article – yes Malaysian food is outstanding, one of the best cuisines in the world, and I just love the spice make-up of all the dishes. Malaysia does have great Chinese food as well, but too bad I wasn’t able to really get any last time I was there. Next time for sure! Thanks for the translation. What part of Malaysian are you from?

      • sheon

        7 years ago

        I’m from KL and food is my passion too! My friends and I embark of food trips across the country every once in a while (KL-Ipoh-Penang being our favorite), and I make sure I get the best durians fresh from the orchard in Pahang twice a year (next being Nov/Dec). Please email me if you decide to come by KL and I see if I can plan out something for you.

  • munirah

    7 years ago

    Hi,

    Seems like you loveeee chillies and spicy food. Have you try tom yam?

  • Vincent

    7 years ago

    Dude,

    I don’t know how you stuff sooooo much food in 12 hours and you haven’t even been to Penang yet.

    Salute.

    • Mark Wiens

      7 years ago

      Haha, thanks Vincent. I would love to visit Penang soon and eat there too!

  • Sandra

    7 years ago

    Another great post, Mark! Here’s a list of Malaysian specialties you should definitely try the next time you visit:

    – Laksa
    – Rojak
    – Petai (you’ve probably had them in southern Thailand)
    – Wonton mee
    – Mee rebus
    – Pasembor

    And of course, some ice kacang for dessert. 😉

    …gosh, I’m hungry now.

    • Mark Wiens

      7 years ago

      Awesome Sandra, thanks for sharing this – I’ll definitely be back in Malaysia at some point!

  • Arti

    7 years ago

    I will have the tea Mark:)
    Wish you and your family a very Happy New Year:)

    • Mark Wiens

      7 years ago

      Cool, thanks a lot Arti! Wishing you the best for 2012 as well!

  • sully86

    7 years ago

    mark: that is the beauty of Malaysia cuisine…it is just everywhere..

  • Bama

    7 years ago

    Hi Mark! When I saw your first photo I instantly felt that it is anything but strange to me. Then after kept reading and found the address, then I know why I felt so. Minangkabau is an Indonesian community in West Sumatra province. In the past some of them migrated to Malaysia and brought their dish and culture along with them to the new land. In fact Minang people, as they are usually called, opened so many Minangkabau restaurants across Indonesia (also known as Nasi Padang).

    • Mark Wiens

      7 years ago

      Hey Bama,
      Great, thanks for the added information! The owner of that restaurant also said they own one of the best Nasi Padang restaurants in KL too, but I didn’t have time to go there. What island / city are you originally from in Indonesia? That Sumatran food is so delicious!

  • Ron | fliptravels.com

    7 years ago

    this is exactly the reason why in this side of the world, i became heavier! and no it has nothing to do with a different gravitational force! LOL

    When will you be visiting Singapore and Philippines again?!

    • Mark Wiens

      7 years ago

      Haha, the food is just too good man! I’m not sure yet, but I hope I can get back to the Philippines and maybe Singapore soon. Are you guys based in Singapore these days?

  • Maria

    7 years ago

    Excellent variety of dishes, sauces, sides… YUM!!!

  • nod ‘n’ smile

    7 years ago

    Wow, this post is killing me! This is my kind of day. I was in KL about a decade ago, and your photos brought back a lot of wonderful food memories.

    • Mark Wiens

      7 years ago

      Haha, glad to hear these photos brought back some vivid memories of food! Hope you can get back to KL at some point and re-live the incredible Malaysian cuisine!

  • Turkey’s For Life

    7 years ago

    Oh, we would just be in our elements in Kuala Lumpur. The fish looks amazing and any restaurant that has a buffet system running is always tooooo tempting for me. Loved this post, again!
    Julia

    • Mark Wiens

      7 years ago

      Haha, awesome Julia. Quality buffet’s are amazing! Hope you can make it to KL for some feasting soon!

  • Gerard ~ GQ trippin

    7 years ago

    Looking forward to eating all of this in March when I head to KL. Must prepare my belly for all delicious Malaysian food. How did you research on which places to eat on the street?

    • Mark Wiens

      7 years ago

      Hey Gerard! Malaysia in my opinion has some of the best food in the world – you’ll really enjoy it. I spent about 3 months living in KL about 3 years ago, and I would eat at these places just from walking around and passing them. Also, be sure to check out http://cumidanciki.com/ for lots of KL food advice. Enjoy!

  • ciki

    7 years ago

    haha.. great post my dear .. you nailed all the good stuff, and thanks for the link;) Hope to hangout and eat with you when u are in KL the next time, yo!

    • Mark Wiens

      7 years ago

      Thanks Mei! Yah, would have been great to do some dining in KL with you guys, this time it was just a few hours of unexpected layover… Will definitely contact you next time for a more knowledgable KL street food binge!

  • Jodi

    7 years ago

    Ah, my food twin. Mark, I am very glad I ate before I read this post today. Really enjoy KL’s food as well, and glad to see my favourites on this list! Next time please to be going to Jl Alor and getting chicken wings from the vendor at the end (the farther end from BB Plaza side of the street) – huge chicken wing oven, roasting to perfection!

    • Mark Wiens

      7 years ago

      Yum, chicken wings are good, and I don’t think I’ve ever had any in KL! Next time for sure!

  • James Shannon

    7 years ago

    Ate at Hameed’s en route to KL Sentral to go back to Thailand … as good as you describe and hot hot hot! 🙂

    • Mark Wiens

      7 years ago

      Great to hear that James! I love the food man!