It’s nearly impossible to get through a week in KL without taking in some form of Arab food including grilled meats, shawarmas, kebabs, and hot breads fresh out of the oven. A few of my faves…
1) Wadi Hadramawt
Location: 226 Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur
Not only is their food amazing, their staff has always been extremely nice to us, no matter how late we come in (i.e after class at 10 pm and there’s no food at the casa). They have a very casual atmosphere with the option for outdoor or indoor seating. Don’t forget to ask for their amazing hummus, garlic sauce on the side and for the giant serving of fresh bread with toasted sesame seeds (last order for bread is 11 pm!) Also try their traditional mint tea made with fresh mint leaves or spiced milk tea, which are both excellent and served in Moroccan tea glasses. I could go on…
The one drawback I can think of is getting in/out of their parking lot. On busy nights it’s a tight squeeze and Jalan Ampang, the main street in front of the spot, gets veryyy busy and packed between 5-8 pm. It might be easier to take a taxi.
2) Sahara Oasis
Location: 243B Lorong Nibong (off Jalan Ampang, behind Hock Choon supermarket) 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Another place in KL offering a wide variety of Middle Eastern menu options is the Sahara Oasis. It’s been operating for less than one year but every time we’ve gone the crowds seem to be getting larger. They have quite the scenic interior with soothing mini waterfalls and calming blue painted walls. The owners and staff are very nice. Their grilled chicken and lamb dishes are nice and please don’t leave without trying their coffee. Café latte is not what comes to mind when I step into a Middle Eastern restaurant but their coffee is excellent!
1) Betel Leaf
Location: 77A Leboh Ampang, 50100 Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA
To be honest I didn’t venture out to many South Indian restaurants in the US. Why bother when my mother was an amazing cook and her recipes and kitchen hygiene couldn’t be beat? Well, it’s now years later, mom has passed away and my Indian cooking skills are nowhere compared to hers (thank goodness my mother-in-law is a great cook and loves to teach). The cost to eat out in KL is much more affordable than in the US and we’re spoiled for choice.
All that being said, we’ve surveyed a few places and hands down our vote goes to Betel Leaf. Located minutes away from the busy Masjid Jamek LRT station, it offers a relaxing and clean environment in the middle of the hectic bustle of the city surroundings. It’s hard to pinpoint one particular dish as we’ve tried so many and they’re all fantastic. If you’re wanting to try a “sampler” I would suggest trying one of the Thali dishes which are offered at lunchtime and have multiple small side dishes accompanied with rice or chapati. My husband orders the butter chicken without fail every time along with a side of garlic naan. You can ask them to reduce/increase the spice level of the food depending on how adventurous you are. =)
If you want to step away from all the local food and your tastebuds are yearning for a different flavor, I highly recommend:
1) Antipodean Café
Location: They have 2 locations but the one we frequent is located inside the Menara Tan & Tan building on Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur.
It’s usually easier to find a table and here compared to the Bangsar outlet. They also have a few underground parking spots but most are taken up by the various embassies housed inside. Another option is to use public transport and take the LRT. The closest rail station to this outlet is Ampang Park and it’s a 10-12 minute walk from there.
I would say they have quite the eclectic menu ranging from large Australian and New Zealand style breakfasts (including an all-day breakfast) to a few Italian pasta dishes (including their new pizzas which I have yet to try) and then extending into some Thai and Vietnamese salad and meat dishes. Their coffee/juice/tea options are one of the most varied I’ve seen in KL and the coffee is quite good. Their staff is always nice and attentive to your needs without hovering over you (a common trend in many sit-down restaurants in Malaysia). I think it’s operated by Australians, hence the difference in customer service (not to sound rude but it’s a difference I’ve noted). A few of our fave dishes is their Moroccan beef kebab with couscous (alas I don’t have a picture to share), Thai chicken satay and a fabulous Thai beef salad (they use a tantalizing spicy yet sweet vinaigrette dressing). As far as costs go, you will spend a bit more here (RM 10-RM 25) for meals compared to several other places in KL but you are definitely getting your money’s worth!