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  • Writer's pictureAround the World in Vegan Eats

TOP PLACES TO EAT VEGAN IN KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA


As the last place we visited in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur was a place that really built up in my expectations. I got an increasing understanding of Malay culture as we travelled through this vibrant country, and with this came an increasing love of Malaysian food. Mike, who had visited KL before, gently hyped it up as we were travelling too - so needless to say, by the time we arrived in the Malaysian capital I could not wait to see what the city had in store for us.


From the Petronas Twin Towers to Batu Caves, from the malls to the markets, from the lovely, welcoming people to the enchanting wildlife, I couldn't believe how much there was to see and do in Kuala Lumpur. And even better, there was so much incredibel food that I could eat! After just a few days of exploring genuinely concluded that I really love this city. Luckily, Mike is a big fan too: we will be back for sure!


Eating Vegan in Kuala Lumpur

"Despite the regional differences, Malay food can be described as spicy and flavourful, although this does not necessarily mean chilli-hot. But you can rest assured that even if the main dishes are not hot, there’ll be chilli-based sambal on hand" - Wendy Hutton

I can easily and confidently say that eating vegan in Kuala Lumpur is not a problem or an obstacle like it can be in some places: here, finding and devouring the plant-based food was an absolute joy. If you're heading to KL I'm sure you won't struggle to find something to delight your tastebuds whatever your dietary requirements: but to get you started, or provide a little inspiration, here is a shortlist of some of our favourites. Read on, then watch our video at the bottom of the page to see more!


1st: Minf Houze

Wisma Cosway, Lot 3.20 & 3.21, 3rd Floor, 88, Jalan Raja Chulan, 50200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

This cafe became a firm favourite for us as soon as we headed over to try their signature Nasi Lemak. First of all, the dish itself was incredible. We loved mixing and matching all of the elements on the plate, with a wide selection of different textures and flavours all on one plate! I was obsessed with the sambal, while Mike really loved the mushroom and potato curry - honestly, the variety and flavours of this dish were the stuff of dreams and we still think about it often!


Surprisingly though, despite being incredible, the Nasi Lemak wasn't the best thing we consumed at Minf Houze. Along with our food, we ordered a smoothie each: Mike (the world's biggest dragonfruit fan) ordered the dragonfruit smoothie, while I went for the banana one. There is really no describing how great these smoothies were. We drank a whole lot of smoothies during our time in Southeast Asia and it is no exaggeration to say that there were the best drinks we had in the entire region. Unlike some smoothies, they were really rich and sweet and creamy: the fruit flavours were fresh and delicious, but with the incredible vegan creamer used, these were close to a milkshake in flavour. We would genuinely go back to Kuala Lumpur just to drink these smoothies again. We absolutely loved them.


Minf Houze was also a really comfortable place to eat. We went a kind of an odd time, so were actually the only people there, but the cafe is fairly large with loads of nice, comfortable tables and chairs. Minf Houze was also the cheapest place we visited! The nasi lemak cost RM14.90 per portion (approx. £2.70, €3.06 or $3.36). The smoothies were a little more expensive: my banana one cost RM10.90 (approx. £1.98, €2.24 or $2.91) while Mike's dragonfruit smoothie was RM12.90 (approx. £2.34, €2.65 or $3.36) due to the higher price of dragonfruit. The staff were really lovely: they made us feel really welcome, and they were so passionate about what they do, we loved talking to them and really recommend that anyone heading over to KL pays them a visit.



2nd: Sala

A-G-03A Galeria Hartamas, No 21, Jalan 26a/70a, Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

We headed to Sala in Galeria Hartamas for a spot of lunch, and could not believe it when we got there. This WHOLE ENTIRE fast food menu is completely vegan! Sala have two locations in KL but the Galeria one was super convenient for us: so much so that we popped by a couple of times!


The High Fibre Chick'n Ranch Wrap caught my eye as I walked past the stall and I couldn’t stop thinking about it until I tried it. I actually went there for tacos, they had a special offer on tacos, and I still had to try this! I was so glad I did, it was tasty and delicious with the firm and tasty air fried chick’n which blew my mind in itself. The ranch sauce and veggies made for tasty and delicious textures and the BBQ dip was a perfect contrast. I could eat this every day. Mike chose a similar dish, in the Pulled Jack Burrito. He was really impressed by the jackfruit, which was tender, a good impersonation of beef: it was really delicious. The burrito had everything you’d want with rice, beans and delicious sauces: it was really satisfying, and not too filling like some burritos can be.


We didn't stop there though! On the side, we shared a portion of the High Fibre Chick'n Popcorn. Honestly, we have never tried an imitation chicken as good as this! The chick’n was firm like non-processed cooked chicken breast, with almost a familiar texture to it - flavour wise I’d say it was perfect, it was incredible. The batter itself added so much more flavour and the nacho cheeze sauce was super tasty in itself too. I would come back to KL for this popcorn chick’n alone!


Sala have a big range of fully plant-based Mexican dishes: there's also frequent offers, and so many things we would have loved to try! The prices were a little higher, but this is in an excellent shopping centre, close to the Petronas Towers - you'd expect a slightly higher price point for this amazing location. And honestly, the service was great and the food was really tasty, so we thought it was well worth it. My chick'n ranch wrap cost RM22 (approx. £4.01, €4.52 or $4.98); Mike's vegetarian pancakes, meanwhile, cost RM24 (approx. £4.35, €4.93 or $5.41). The incredible chick'n popcorn came in at RM16 (approx. £2.93, €3.28 or $3.63).



3rd: The Hungry Tapir

135, Jalan Petaling, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

If you've been following our travels you'll know already that we were both massive fans of The Hungry Tapir. This was the legendary place that we tried the mind-blowing vegan version of the Malay classic, roti canai.


We adored the restaurant, its vibe and its staff and the menu was a vibrant and eclectic combination of local and western veggie-vegan delights. As well as the delicious roti canai, we tried their oyster mushroom-based 'fried cheeken' and WOW, we were really impressed. I genuinely believe that if you gave this dish to KFC-obsessed meat-eaters they would be none the wiser. It tasted so good, and we loved the texture too, it was a great imitation. A word about the portion sizes too: we were beyond full after sharing a roti canai and portion of fried cheeken, we couldn't believe it! But being very full was very worth it for this vegan taste sensation!


The Hungry Tapir is such a lovely place with great vibes: when we come back to Kuala Lumpur we will be heading here on an evening too to see what their late night atmosphere is like and how those incredible-sounding cocktails taste! Being a funky plant-based eatery in central KL, of course the prices are a little higher, but not horrifyingly so. The roti canai (traditionally a breakfast dish) cost RM20 (approx. £3.66, €4.11 or $4.54) while the fried cheeken was RM22 (approx. £4.01, €4.52 or $4.98). We would totally go back for more!



4th: Hijau

REXLK building, 80, Jalan Sultan, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

This completely plant-based eatery offer innovative Indo-Malay fusion cuisine within a funky food court with a modern and lively atmosphere. We loved the style and imagery that their stall was clad in, and the ordering and service process was super easy with lots of communal tables nearby.


It took us a little while to narrow down what we fancied from Hijau's menu! They offer lots of breakfast dishes, starters and mains - as well as two exciting looking fusion choices: including a rendang grilled cheese! However, we decided to go with something a little more traditional for one of our final tastes of Malaysia. I chose the Nasi Goreng Nenek, while Mike went for the Kuey Teow Goreng.


Though we were a big fan of the idea of Hijau, the food itself didn't excite us as much as the things we tasted elsewhere. It was convenient and the food looked great - there's no doubt that it was packed full of quality, healthy ingredients. But we weren't such a fan of the flavours themselves. It's a strange thing to say I know, but we found them a little too flavoursome and would have preferred slightly subtler flavours - in fact, Mike and I swapped dishes because his was more to my taste and vice versa! We loved all the textures, the lively atmosphere and the wholesome ingredients though so if fusion dishes are your thing you might like to give Hijau a try!


The prices at Hijau are fairly standard for modern vegan cuisine in Kuala Lumpur, and a little cheaper than many. The nasi goreng cost RM16 (approx. £2.93, €3.28 or $3.63), whilst the kuey teow goreng came in at RM20 (approx. £3.66, €4.11 or $4.54). This is a really cool place to hang out, and their prices were fairly on par with other eateries in the food court - the food looked a lot more exciting than others, too.


Where is your favourite place to get plant-based food in Kuala Lumpur? Are there any new places or old favourites that we've missed? Leave us a comment to let us know (and others who might be visiting too!)


Recommendations

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The centre of Vienna with tall, historic buildings all around
The Batu Caves are famous for many things - including the monkeys!

Where should I stay?

For a hostel vibe with a bit more luxury, check out La Vista. This place has a city view, an infinity pool, and a choice of sumptuous private rooms or small dorms.


1,000 Miles Hotel offer a quiet yet convenient place to stay with free tea, coffee, and amenities. This place has en suite rooms and a view of the Petronas Towers from the terrace.


Tours & Experiences

There's loads to do and see in KL, with Batu Caves and the Petronas Twin Towers among our favourite spots for sightseeing in the city. If you have a bit of extra time in Kuala Lumpur, why not head out to the stunning Cameron Highlands for the day? Or, if that's not for you, check out some of the top-rated Viator tours below!



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