Kuala Lumpur Eating, Drinking, and going to the Mall(s)

So this is some city for eating folks. I’ve been going to the smaller food courts, cafes, and restaurants that serve up such a variety of foods! I had wondered about the prices here for food after being in Singapore for a week and mostly eating at cheaper places that came in there around $4.50 or so for dinner. Here I have eaten for much less. One lunch at a local vegetarian places was about $1.70 and some other lunches came in at around $3.00. This includes places where you get the big heaping spoon of rice and then you pay for whatever you want after. In one restaurant down by the Central Market, I paid about $3.00 and got this huge plate of food. I got a fresh squeezed orange juice which cost $.50. So eating here is easy and cheap for so many types of food. I do like to find hamburgers and western food though and KL really does not disappoint there but truth be told I have done one meal at a Burger King and then a meal at a McDonalds and that’s about it. In the NU Sentral Mall across the street from my hotel there are both an Outbacks and a Tony Romas. 

The second thing is drinking here. Many of the smaller restaurants down the street from the hotel have outside dining and you just get the big bottle of Tiger Beer or Carlsberg and sit and watch. You do this because everyone else sits and watches the people too. And you see an amazing variety of people come by and more than a few characters. I watched the other diners and they all do the same thing in the evenings. Eating, drinking, and people watching. Other visitors will come by and stop to eat and soon they do the same thing. Lets face it though even at the wide variety of coffee shops I can visit everyone does the same thing there too. Most of these are somehow located by Malls. Which kinda brings me to the last subject.

I am a mall lover for some reason. I love just wandering malls from the Antelope Valley in California to the Tokyo Subway Station to Hanoi and Hong Kong. KL is no slouch. One of them the MidValley Megamall was in a word “mega”. I don’t think I have seen a mall that big and inter-connected yet with other malls. The mall by my hotel is the NU Sentral Mall which is no slouch either. Floors upon floors of restaurants, shops, elegant names on stores, food courts, more shops. If you combine malls with markets, KL has a lot of markets too. What I mean here is the asian type of market where there is everything. The most intensive I have ever found though is in Cambodia at the Central Market. Nothing matches that market for the level of stuff you can find but the markets are specialized in ways that malls are not. Markets may be more focused on produce and meats at one where another has clothing, backpacks, touristy things. Take the Old Mall in Siem Reap by the river. Its a great place to end up after strolling the city because restaurants and coffee shops line all the sides of the market. Next door almost is the Night Market which is kind of next door to Pub Street in Siem Reap. I’ll just say for all the areas eating, drinking, and shopping, Siem Reap is pretty nice.

The other place has to be Singapore. Malls are just organic there and sprout up all over the place. The Singaporeans love to walk them I think but also love the eating and drinking at food centers. A food center in Singapore and here in KL will have numerous hawkers or food court stands vying for your business. Often, a person comes out to take your drink order. Most often the bill is cheap even with a drink. In Singapore and even here in KL, the food is cheaper than the beer!

I mention all this just in case you are planning a trip. Don’t rely on what google maps tells you about restaurants and food courts or centers. You have to walk the streets. All the places on the first few weeks of my time in both Singapore and Malaysia have been really good for all the things I like to do. Definitely try to get to the markets though. I don’t get a sense at the Central Market in KL that haggling is done so much while in Phnom Penh or Vietnam or wherever, its just a thing you do. 

There are lots of other things to do besides eat, drink and shop. But I do like seeing the local shops and trying so many different kinds of food. The food here in KL is absolutely excellent and so many different varieties to try that will not break the bank. Makes for a good time for me. As I mentioned though, I cannot just eat one thing all the time. I could not just do Chicken Rice although I love it. I need to have a burger or steak or tacos. All of the cities I have been to in the last year have been well equipped to provide a variety of foods. 

That’s my basic report on eating, drinking, and shopping. I won’t try to exhaustively name places because there are so many especially here in KL.

Author: Michael Perry

I've been blogging for over 20 years and now am living in Southeast Asia. The blog is about my slow vagabonding wherever I want to go. My home base is in Cambodia but I'm rarely there.

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