Typical dishes you should try
Vegan and vegetarian dishes in Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur is in my opinion THE FOOD CAPITAL of Asia! The multi-cultural city is famous for its diverse food from many different countries. Whether you're looking for Indian curries, Malaysian streetfood or Chinese food courts, you can try it all here.
So that you don't lose track of the abundance of restaurants and exotic dishes, I have compiled an overview of the most delicious dishes. Below I have also linked to a detailed food guide as an e-book.
Enjoy your feast!
Salty pancake & milk tea
Roti Canai & Teh Tarik
You have to try this breakfast classic! Roti means bread, but it's more like a hearty wheat pancake eaten with lentil curry and chili sauce. The dough is made of wheat flour, egg, water, sugar, salt and milk. What makes it special is the throwing technique used to prepare the rotis. Be sure to look over the shoulder of a chef, I am impressed every time!
The locals prefer to drink the famous Teh Tarik with it. Here, too, the preparation is a true piece of art: black tea is mixed with sweet condensed milk and then poured from one glass into the other with large swirling movements. This gives the tea a head of foam and the perfect temperature for drinking.
Dough roll with peanuts & vegetables
Popiah is a classic dish from Singapore and Malaysia. The dough roll is made of rice flour and is filled with various vegetables (cabbage, carrots), tofu and peanuts. Popiah is often filled with meat, but there are also vegetarian and vegan versions.
Kopi is the Malaysian word for coffee. Malaysians love to drink coffee really strong and sweet. You can order the following variants:
Kopi O - coffee with sugar
Kopi Tarik - coffee with sweetened condensed milk
Kopi C - coffee with milk and sugar
Nasi Campur is a Malaysian buffet where you can choose from a variety of vegetables, tofu, sauces and even fake meat. The dish never gets boring, as you can choose a different combination each time. The base is rice, where you can choose between white, red and yellow rice. Sometimes there is even rice cooked in coconut milk, which is my absolute favorite! The price is determined by the number and type of side dishes you choose. The food is always affordable, on average you pay between 1 and 3 euros per plate.
Spicy lentil pancake
These lentil pancakes with spicy potato filling originally come from India. Due to the Indian influence, they are also available in Malaysia. Besides potatoes and vegetables, dosas are filled with the spice mixture masala. Sometimes the dosas are also filled with paneer, which is a soft Indian cheese. I find this variant even more delicious!
Food like in India
Due to the large Indian population in Kuala Lumpur, you can of course also get really authentic Indian curries here. You can find the best selection in 'Little India' . Here you can even find completely vegetarian restaurants that offer fake meat in their curries. Especially popular are the thali sets, which you can see in the photo above. When you order thali, you get several small bowls with different sauces and vegetables that you can mix together with the rice.
My favorite curries, however, are in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, at TG's Bistro. My highlight are the fresh ginger slices that are served on the curries. A taste explosion is pre-programmed here!
Nasi Lemak is probably the spiciest rice dish you can eat in Malaysia. The rice is cooked in coconut milk and served with a sweet and spicy sauce made of chili and tomatoes, which is simmered for hours. The side dish is usually a piece of meat, but in some restaurants you can also find vegan alternatives. As a substitute for meat you get tofu and some vegetables. The dish is topped with peanuts and cucumber slices.
Spicy noodle soup
Laksa is a spicy noodle soup that is usually eaten with meat or fish. Some restaurants also offer delicious vegetarian options with tofu and lots of vegetables. The base of the soup is coconut milk and many many spices. Make sure to give it a try!
Steamed street food
On many street corners and at the famous Jalan Alor night market, you can have various vegetables and tofu cooked on skewers in spicy broth. This is served with a spicy sauce or a sweet peanut sauce. The price depends on the number and type of skewers you choose. I especially liked broccoli and tofu.
Looking for more food tips and restaurant recommendations?
Feel free to check out the food guide from Frau Blattgemüse.
Sarah and her boyfriend lived in Malaysia's capital for 1 year and tested nearly every restaurant.
We met them in Kuala Lumpur and they showed us the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants. In the guide, you'll find restaurant recommendations for every budget, cool cafes and bars, a phrasebook, and even a handy Google Maps map linking all the locations.
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