NATIONAL DISHES: BEST RESTAURANTS NEAR MERDEKA SQUARE
Looking for what to do this coming Merdeka? Try out these iconic restaurants near our most iconic landmark!
ALI, MUTHU & AH HOCK
This cozy Kopitiam around the corner from the National Stadium and a short walk from Merdeka Square really characterizes Malaysia’s multiculturalism – quite literally, thanks to the eponymous Ali, Muthu & Ah Hock. These three characters represent Malaysia’s three major ethnic groups (Malay, Chinese and Indian) and their individual influence can be seen everywhere from the decorations to the dishes – the ‘Mee Goreng Muthu’ is a favorite item on the menu. This rustic restaurant has a vintage feel and authentic taste.
+60 3-2022 3588
SHIN KEE BEEF NOODLES
A popular shop between Pudu and Pasar Seni, Shin Kee Beef Noodles has been keeping customers coming back for more for generations, many of whom will tell you they serve the best beef noodles in town. They have a fixed price and menu, and the offering is definitely quality over quantity; four types of noodles, and beef in various forms, from beef slices to beef stomach. A small bowl of mixed beef noodles costs only RM8 – amazing value for food this good! It’s small and permanently packed, so prepare to share a table with strangers.
10:30am – 8:30pm Everyday
+60 12-673 7318
A city centre seafood institution, Hakka enjoys a prime location in the heart of downtown Kuala Lumpur, just minutes from KLCC and Pavilion Shopping Mall. It’s been serving authentic Hakka cuisine since the mid-1950s, earning a place in the hearts (and stomachs) of all near and far, from local diners to foreign tourists stepping out from one of the five-star hotels nearby. The prawns, pepper crab and pork belly are firm favourites. It is slightly pricey, but that’s city-centre dining for you; and for the food, atmosphere and location, it’s well worth it.
12am – 3pm & 6pm – 11:30pm Everyday
+60 3-2143 1908
KEDAI KOPI LAI FOONG
Another famous face from the 50s, Kedai Kopi Lai Foong challenges Shin Kee for the crown of best beef noodles in town. Lai Foong’s lala (clam) soup also keeps the locals coming, serving generous portions of osyters cooked in a spicy ginger chicken stock with Chinese rice wine – it’s classic comfort food. There are multiple stalls in the Lai Foong set-up, serving old school delicacies and familiar favourites such as chicken rice, char siew, siew yok, wantan mee, hakka luei cha (vegetable mix), even a western breakfast.
6:30am – 9:30pm Everyday
+60 3-2072 8123
PRECIOUS OLD CHINA RESTAURANT & BAR
Perfectly placed in the centre of Central Market, this nostalgic Nyonyan restaurant is a quaint and cosy corner away from the downtown hustle and bustle. Like the name suggests, they’re proud of their traditional touch and cultural heritage, so admire the artwork and antiques while you wait for a plate of their delicious Straits Chinese and Malay fusion food – the Lemak Nenas Prawn is unmissable.
11am – 10pm Everyday
+60 3-2273 7372