Must-try Malaysian signature dishes (KUALA LUMPUR and beyond)

As most of the veteran travelers believe, food plays a huge part in promoting the culture of one’s country. That’s why my wife and I were making sure that we get to have a taste of their really important food. Although honestly, we’re really particular on the place to try those foods. We mostly ate our meals at mall food courts since my wife and I are serious about being careful on what to eat. Yet it didn’t stopped us to somehow have that same food experience as those who travels more extreme than us.

By the way, I was able to list a very few signature dishes (and beverages) that you really need to try when visiting Kuala Lumpur (and the rest of Malaysia) especially for the first time. I also decided to include the place where we bought them. But I need to already give a disclaimer that being always hungry and on the rush during our trip, I’ll need to tell you that all the photos that I took were all messy.



Considered as Malaysia’s National Dish, I think it would be fair to say that you really have to try Nasi Lemak when you visit this culturally-rich country. Nasi Lemak is usually a breakfast meal consists of rice cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf. Being widely known across the country (and in nearby such as Singapore, Indonesia, and Brunei), with even fast food chains having their own version, it’s typically paired with anchovies (dilis in Tagalog), peanuts, boiled egg, cucumber, traditional special chili sauce, and fried chicken. My wife and I were only able to really eat this notable dish during our most recent trip.

Where did we bought: Ah Cheng Laksa, Upper Concourse Level Avenue K Mall, 156 Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur

Price: MYR 9.90 (approx USD 2.50) 

Rating: 8/10 (Reasonable enough to try but not my personal favorite)


But during our 2017 trip, we stayed at a hotel that includes breakfast buffet and Nasi Lemak is included. Since my wife was pregnant during that time and hated its smell, we really didn’t much gave attention to it. Let’s also add the factor that we had to make our own version since all ingredients are served separately. Setting aside that, upon being able to taste it, I already know why it’s a must-try.



Albeit not as popular as Nasi Lemak and were somehow common in the whole of Indo-China, Laksa I guess is also a must-try in this place. It’s primarily noodles in a spicy coconut milk. Some also had curry in it. We’re also able to take the one with curry as our meal.

Where did we bought: Ah Cheng Laksa, Upper Concourse Level Avenue K Mall, 156 Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur

Price: MYR 10.90 (approx USD 2.75).

Rating: 8/10 (As much as I love curry, I honestly can’t find anything special about it. But still tastes good.)


My wife and I we’re also able to try another variation of Laksa: no curry and much more sour one which I just found out that this variation is much more popular in Penang Area. Also termed as “Assam Laksa” in which tamarind is a substitute from the usual coconut milk.

Where did we bought:  Penang Cuisine at Quizinn Food Court, NU Sentral at KL Central Mall, No. 201 Jalan Tun Sambanthan 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Price: MYR 9.50 (aprox USD 2.40)

Rating: 9/10 (Not a fan of sour foods but I loved it. Not too sour and a little spicy)



Well, I just found out that the infamous pineapples on Pizza was just the tip of the iceberg. Malaysians also places pineapples on their fried rice. It’s not something new to me since back home, my wife cooks chicken with pineapples and milk. Now, in my opinion, putting pineapples on food aren’t bad after all. In fact, it complements whatever they placed on the rice. It was said to be one of that particular stall’s bestsellers. This dish, also being popular in the Penang area, it made me curious on visiting the NorthWestern part of Malaysia. Maybe next time (LOL!).

Where did we bought:  Penang Cuisine at Quizinn Food Court, NU Sentral at KL Central Mall, No. 201 Jalan Tun Sambanthan 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Price: MYR 11.50 (approx USD 2.90)

Rating: 9/10 (I loved it as much as I love pineapples on pizza… lol!)


I suddenly had a hunch that this pineapple fried rice will taste great with the Beef Paprik (Thai dish but Malaysian-modified) that I ordered during one of our many meals in Kuala Lumpur. The fried rice that was paired with it during that time wasn’t the same pineapple fried rice that I ate before this meal though. For the love of fried rice, why not?

Where did we bought: Food Junction, 3F Avenue K Mall, 156 Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur

Price: MYR 10.00 (approx USD 2.50)

Rating: 8/10 (I would love it more if the pineapple fried rice was paired with the beef paprik)



Back home, I tasted a lot of Milk Teas (or teas in general): Taiwanese, Japanese, Chinese; you name it. In Singapore, I was able to taste the Thai one which I would be writing a review in the future. But during our stay in Kuala Lumpur, we’re able to taste the Malaysian one; called as Teh Tarik (literally “pulled tea”). Well technically, we’re only able to taste teh tarik when we got back home in Manila. The hazelnut flavored instant teh tarik that we bought at the Central Market which usually priced starting from MYR 5.00 (approx USD 1.25) per pack.

Trying it for both hot and cold would be a must although for an acidic stomach like mine, cold ones work more.

Where did we bought: Central Market, Kuala Lumpur

Rating: 8/10 (much better when cold.. we bought the green one)

But as far as I know, being Malaysia’s national beverage, teh tarik can be bought almost every restaurant, eateries, tea stands around the city. Also, their local brand TeaLive and the internationally known tea brand ChaTime may had their respective versions of this national drink. Albeit I really can’t say if the milk teas I ordered from these two brands are the cold version of this iconic beverage. Prices range from MYR 7.50 to 15.00 (approx USD 1.90 to 3.80).



I remember last year when my aunt requested me to bring some chocolates home. Given that I don’t want to risk my wife’s health by walking too much and since we’re only staying for approximately 3 days, we failed to buy it for them… at least for us.

But during our recent trip, my wife and I decided to try out these same chocolates that my aunt craved last year… particularly out of curiosity. Tasting this almond nuts wrapped in chocolate, I now knew why would she wanted me to bring something like that home.

We bought 3 jars of these chocolates for MYR 21.00 (approx USD 5.27) at the Central Market. But I’m fully aware that around Kuala Lumpur, there are lots of shops selling this brand of chocolates. Even at Singapore.

Where did we bought: Central Market, Kuala Lumpur

Rating: 8/10 (I bet all chocolates taste great… but there’s something unique with this one)



Like what I said, we really haven’t able to try all the local foods in Kuala Lumpur. However, I’m hoping that this would be helpful for you when planning a visit to Kuala Lumpur (and its adjacent cities). Now, you can tell me what are those from my list that you already tried? Also, do you have something to add? You may comment them below.

Thank you for reading and have a great day!

– Dex B


DISCLAIMER: This post aren’t sponsored by any of the brands I mentioned above. However, all words and opinions are my own. Please note that you may only follow my suggestions if you mean to and following doesn’t necessarily give you the same experiences as we did.

5 thoughts on “Must-try Malaysian signature dishes (KUALA LUMPUR and beyond)”

  1. Pingback: Your long and not-so friendly travel guide about KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA – dextograph

  2. These dishes look so delicious. I have never been to Malaysia but I will definitely put this in my to do/eat list if ever I’m going there. First thing to buy and eat is the Beryl Chocolate. HAHA! Chocolate lover here 😀 ! .

  3. Ooh, I remember the riceless chicken meal of KFC Malaysia haha… I actually wondered why when I know that Malaysians also eat rice. Maybe nobody likes rice more than the Filipinos. I wasn’t able to go on a food trip in Malaysia, not even in Penang, a place known for good food. I tend to not eat a lot when I travel alone, mostly because I get lazy. I did want to try nasi lemak, but for some reason, I didn’t try it. Okay this just made me hungry at 2:00 in the morning, not good.

  4. Having a sweet tooth, Beryl’s chocolate immediately caught my attention 🙂 The rest of the dishes look interesting too. In fact I live in south India. And here also a lot of preparations are done with coconut milk and tamarind gravy. I guess I could try preparing one of these malaysian cuisines.

  5. Hey, Dex! These dishes are so tasty and I love Malaysian cuisine. With my favourite being nasi lemank, I also love all the other dishes and you’ve included some great places to have them. I definitely agree that they are a must try!

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