Kuala Lumpur self-guided food tour

Posted by Beth | May 26, 2016

We found ourselves with two nights and a full day to kill in Kuala Lumpur thanks to being big cheapskates and booking our flight from Yogyakarta, Indonesia to Surat Thani, Thailand on Air Asia. We decided to dedicate the day to a culinary adventure. Kuala Lumpur is known as Asia’s “foodie capital” for its diverse and rich food scene and there are a multiple companies offering food tours. At the time I was temporarily convinced I had a broken foot, so a walking tour was out. We decided to hobble together our own self-guided walking tour thanks to the help of the KL Food Trail Maps, Uber and public transportation.

Merdeka Square

Merdeka Square in Kuala Lumpur

We were staying at the Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral, which is right next to the biggest train station in KL (actually the busiest transit hub in all of Southeast Asia). It was also a short walk to Brickfields, also known as Little India, which was our first stop.


  • Sin Kee-Ironically, somewhat accidentally, ended up at a Chinese restaurant in Little India, but it was delicious! We had the onion rings and fried chicken in lemon sauce and sweet and sour pork.
  • Walking through Brickfields we stopped at an Indian food stand for a lemon juice and a savoury donut. The “donut” found it’s way to the trash can.
  • Jassal Tandoori-This restaurant was well known for their Indian milk candies

Merdeka Square

  • Took a public taxi here and back for only $3.30
  • City Gallery—highly recommend this little museum to see the city light show. The tickets were 5MR, but could be redeemed at the museum café for 5MR off food and drink. We got another fresh lemonade and tried a durian popsicle. I didn’t think it was possible for the taste of durian to be worse than the smell, but let’s just say the popsicle also found it’s way to the trash can.

    Highly recommend a stop at the City Gallery in Merdeka Square for the light show

    Highly recommend a stop at the City Gallery in Merdeka Square for the light show

Aloft Hotel, KL Sentral

  • When researching some of the best rooftop bars and happy hours in Kuala Lumpur, we were delighted to see our hotel bar Mai at the top of the list. Unfortunately it was raining so the rooftop pool wasn’t super enjoyable, and we ended up ordering some wine from the lobby bar, WXYZ, instead. Good wine in SE Asia is hard to come by but they had decent bottles from Chile.

    Too dreary to enjoy a rooftop cocktail

    Too dreary to enjoy a rooftop cocktail

Changkat/Bukit Bintang

  • Happy hour drinks on Changkat
  • Night market on Jalor Alor. We dabbled at several different stands ending up with…
    • Jackfruit
    • Deep fried broccoli
    • Deep fried mushrooms wrapped in bacon
    • Chicken satay
    • Chinese bbq chicken wings and iced tea (Wong Ah Wah)
    • Coconut ice cream


  • Chinatown supposedly has a great night market along Petaling Street, but we apparently lost track of time after wandering back to Changkit for another round of cheap drinks and by the time we took the free bus to Chinatown the market was shutting down.
  • Though we didn’t end up finding any food, the highlight was meeting a Malaysian friend who got off the bus with us and was quite helpful in directing us through Chinatown and on to the monorail back to our hotel.

KL Sentral Food Court

  • Our food tour came to an anti-climatic end when at 11 p.m. we found ourselves back at the train station by our hotel without ever having really eaten dinner. This is far later than we are typically capable of even staying awake, so we were simultaneously impressed with and disappointed in ourselves. Caleb ended up purchasing some less than stellar fried noodles from one of the only open restaurants in the station. Not exactly a happy ending but we had a fantastic time!
Late night train station food, party of 1.

Late night train station food, party of one.

We spent a grand total of about $70 for the entire day (compared to $40/person we would have paid for a three-hour guided tour) and had a blast trying new foods and exploring a few different neighborhoods. We’ll definitely be trying to do our own food tours in other cities in the future!

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