A list: Where to eat food from different states in Malaysia

For many Malaysians, the expression “live to eat” would be more appropriate to describe their appetites than “eat to live”.

Enjoying food is almost a hobby here.
Besides, there’s always a reason to feast – during work meetings, after gym, at gatherings, catch up sessions, celebrations and well, just about any occasion really!

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Another reason that contributes to this gluttony habit is the fact that Malaysian cuisine varies so much within the country.

Hey, we are not talking about merely local or international eats.

Just “Malaysian cuisine” alone encompasses cuisine from 3 main races plus a host of other lesser known ethic groups. In addition to that, every state within Malaysia boasts of its own specialties.

And thus food options are infinite!

imbi morning market - good food in imbi market

So what are your cravings for today?
Nyonya? Chinese? Malay? Indian? Peranakan?

Or shall we pick and choose by states?
Penang food is legendary. Melaka boasts of strong Peranakan heritage.

No less popular are East Malaysia kolo mee and East Coast nasi dagang and nasi kerabu.

Recently I came across Expedia Malaysia activities and food guide and discovered a section that provides useful, concise information of places and food outlets to visit in different states within Malaysia.
I had thought that was a grand idea!

Inspired by its content, below is my compilation of eateries within Klang Valley, sorted by the STATES the dishes originated from.

NOTE: This is an ever-growing list so I do appreciate any inputs or recommendations. Just message me on FB (fb.com/RebeccaSawBlog) or leave a comment here! 🙂


PENANG FOOD: 


Penang cuisine is so popular that there are uncountable outlets dedicated to serving authentic Penang grub.

One of my favourite used to be Penang One at Kota Damansara. Another pretty reliable outlet is Chew Jetty at Kepong.

As I’m a Penangite, I have high expectations of outlets offering my hometown cuisine. More often than not, outlets or hawker stalls claiming “authentic Penang XXX” proved to be a disappointment.

But fret not, my explorations around Klang Valley had yielded a few notable outlets/hawker stalls.

However, here’s a note of warning, some outlets does some items better than the other.
For example, the kuey teow thng at Chew Jetty is good, but the Char Kuey Teow is merely passable.

BELOW: Penang Char Kuey Teow, Kuey Teow Tng and Jawa Mee.

penang feast at chew jetty

Penang Curry Mee.

curry mee penang feast at chew jetty-001

  1. WHERE: Chew Jetty Kepong
    WHAT: Penang hawker dishes.
    SHORT VERDICT: Curry mee, Jawa Mee and Kuey Teow Thng good.
    ADDRESS: 3-36A, Jalan Desa 2/4, Desa Aman Puri, Kepong

2. WHERE: Penang One (Puchong/Kota Damansara)
WHAT: Penang hawker dishes.
SHORT VERDICT: Curry mee, muar chee and
ADDRESS2, Jalan Puteri 2/6, Bandar Puteri Puchong OR 6, Jalan PJU 5/7, Kota Damansara, 47810. 

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PERANAKAN (Melaka Nyonya) FOOD: 


Nyonya/Peranakan cuisine comes from the Peranakans, descendants of early Chinese migrants who settled in Penang, Malacca, Singapore and Indonesia inter-marrying with local Malays and combines Chinese, Malay and other influences.

Just like its people, the cuisine a mélange of flavors, punchy thanks to the copious use of spices and while there are variations and ingredients change from region to region, it is generally flavourful and unique, reflecting Malaysia’s diversity.

One of the most loved Nyonya dish is the Nyonya Laksa, essentially a hearty bowl of creamy goodness consisting of of noodles with fishballs, fishcakes, chicken, fresh cucumbers, tofu puffs and sometimes, half an egg.
Just like any other soup based dish, the gravy forms the powerhouse of the Nyonya laksa.

limapulo set lunch - good nyonya food in kl-006

The Mee Siam is another tedious to-prepare-dish, but it is one of my personal favourites as a good Mee Siam offers a good balance of sweet, tang and spice in every forkful.

I enjoy my Mee Siam tossed with a squeeze of lime.

limapulo set lunch - good nyonya food in kl-003

  1. WHERE: Straits Food Company
    WHAT: Nyonya fare, great for lunch. They offer individual dishes so anyone, from single diners to groups can dine here.
    SHORT VERDICT: Pork free, mid range prices and food is generally acceptable.
    ADDRESS: 2, Jalan Abdullah, Bangsar Utama, 59000 Kuala Lumpur.
    Contact: +60 3-2202 0038
    Hours: 10 am – 10 pm

2. WHERE: Limapulo – Baba Can Cook
WHAT: Nyonya fare, great for lunch. They offer individual dishes as well but the menu here is much more extensive.
SHORT VERDICT: Flavours here are punchier than Straits, which would be my preference.
ADDRESS:  50, Jalan Doraisamy, Chow Kit, 50300 Kuala Lumpur.
Contact: +603 2698 3268
Hours: 12 -3 pm, 6 – 10 pm (Closed: Sun).

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East Coast – Kelantan/Terengganu FOOD: 


The east coast of Malaysia offers beguiling flavours in their traditional dishes.
We have raw vegetables served with blue tinted rice and thick rice rolls eaten in white fish paste with coconut milk gravy.
For snacks we have fried fish sausages and duck egg kuih grilled over coconut husks called “akok“.

Truly our east coast delights are unique in every sense!

capital uptown - nasi dagang.PNG

Nasi Kerabu: Blue tinted rice served with crackers, a variety of raw vegetables, salted egg, desiccated coconut and usually with choices of sides such as Kelantan Ayam Percik, Sambal Kelapa, Solok Lada and Ikan Goreng.

nasi kerabu dua by skonhs

Laksam – Kelantanese Laksa (RM 7.90).
Rice noodles with thick fish gravy, garnished with raw greens.

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Nasi Dagang : Glutinous rice, Kelantanese red rice and fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk and fenugreek served with homemade spicy sambal, egg, salted fish and a side dish of your choice, commonly Gulai Ikan Tongkol, a spicy fish red curry cooked with tuna and a hoard of spices as well as buah belimbing.

capital uptown - nasi dagang

  1. WHERE: Dua by Skohns
    WHAT: A cafe that offers traditional Malay food as well as western fare.
    Their Nasi Kerabu and Nasi Dagang are one of the best in Klang Valley.
    SHORT VERDICT: Authentic taste, good portions and reasonably priced.
    ADDRESS12A, Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad, Taman Tun Dr. Ismail, KL.
    Contact: 03-7731 6954
    Hours: 12 pm to 10:30 pm DAILY.

2. WHERE: Capitol Nasi Dagang Kelantan
     Address : 29, Jalan SS21/1A, Damansara Uptown, 47400 Petaling Jaya
     Contact : +6012-921 5200
     Hours : Daily – 8.30 am – 4.30 pm.

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East Malaysia:  SARAWAK FOOD: 


Mention Sarawak and food and the most iconic has to be the flavourful and aromatic Sarawak Laksa.

It is essentially rice vermicelli, shredded omelette, cooked prawns and strips of chicken in an aromatic chicken and prawn broth, added with a dash of coconut milk served with sambal and lime on the side.
The gist of the dish is in the paste, some recipes call for up to 20 ingredients that require grinding and blending to make the spice paste.

christina sarawak laksa

That is a lot of work but the reward is a bowl of multi-dimensional flavours that is simultaneously complex, hearty and spicy. The chilli paste and squeeze of lime adds an appetizing sourish tang to the whole dish.

Besides Sarawak Laksa, Sarawak Tomato Mee is another of my personal favourite dish.
I love the watery, vinegarish yet tomato rich gravy!

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Another iconic Sarawak favourite is Kolo Mee; essentially curly noodles tossed in aromatic lard, soy sauce and vinegar and then topped with minced meat, BBQ pork and fried shallots.

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  1. WHERE7th Mile Restaurant
    WHAT: Sarawakian hawker delights
    SHORT VERDICT: I find the kolo mee a bit lacking but love the Tomato Mee. The Sarawak Laksa is worth ordering.
    ADDRESS: RG 24, Pangsapuri Kelana Sentral,
    Kelana Jaya, 47301 Petaling Jaya
    Tel: 016 228 3832 (Alex)
    Hours: 7:30am to 3pm daily

PORK FREE OPTION:

2. WHERESALTED 
WHAT: Sarawakian hawker delights
SHORT VERDICT: I enjoyed both the Sarawak Laksa and Kolo Mee. Portions are great for the price!
ADDRESS: 30-1, Jalan PJU 7/16A, Mutiara Damansara, 47810 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.
HOURS: 10am – 5pm DAILY.
Contact+60 3-7733 4566

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EAST MALAYSIA : SABAHAN Specialties:


If you are a fan of noodles and have not tried Tuaran Mee or Beaufort Mee from Sabah, you can enjoy it in Petaling Jaya now!

Ah Soon Kor offers a variety of steamed fish (tilapia from Rawang and garouper etc from Sabah) as well as other popular dai chow dishes.

Do try the Hinava, Ikan basung, Sayur Assam with ikan bilis and paku pakis.

Tuaran Mee (RM7.50).

ah soon kor - tuaran mee

Beaufort Mee (RM7.50).

beaufort mee in KL PJ - ah soon kor ss3-006

Ikan Basung.
It’s best paired with “kicap hitam” (soy sauce) with chilli and lime. Very economical yet delicious!

ah soon kor - authentic sabahan food

***Ah Soon Kor is open every day from 11am till 3pm and 5.30pm till 10.30pm but it closes on alternate Mondays.

Ah Soon Kor
42, Jalan SS 3/31, Taman Universiti,
47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.
Contact: 013-856 7669
Hours: 10:30 am – 3:00 pm, 5:30 pm – 10:30 pm.


IPOH FOOD: 


Ipoh is famous for dim sum, taufufa, chicken horfun, yong tau foo and baked salted chicken, just to name a few.

I haven’t been exploring much of Ipoh food in KL since I visit Ipoh regularly, but claims of “Ipoh dim sum/yong tau foo/hor fun” are many among hawker stalls around the Klang Valley.

There is one however, that stands out particularly for its Ipoh hor fun and chicken.
It is a rather long-standing shop named Pau Kee in Imbi.

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WHERE: Pau Kee
WHAT: Ipoh hor fun and other varieties of noodles
SHORT VERDICT: Tasty but expect a long wait.
ADDRESS: 10, Jalan Utara, Off Jalan Imbi.
Contact: +6016 375 1360 – Mr & Mrs Chong

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JOHOR FOOD: 


Muar, Batu Pahat, Kluang are just a few of the districts in the big state of Johor.
Thus there are many dishes synonymous with Johorean cuisine but Laksa Johor is certainly one of the top must-try as well as Mee  Bandung and Kacang Pol.

BELOW: Laksa Johor and Mee Bandung Muar.

REVIEW - the canteen by chef adu - national textile museum-004

Laksa Johor: Fish based, aromatic and spicy broth with spaghetti.

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Mee Bandung Muar: Thick yellow noodles in rich tomato based gravy, an egg and seafood.

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WHERE: The Canteen by Chef Adu
WHAT: Meticulously prepared Johorean cuisine by a local celebrity chef.
SHORT VERDICT: So far I’ve tried the Mee Bandung and Laksa Johor and found both delicious!
ADDRESS: No. 26, Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50000.
Contact+60 3-2694 3457
HOURS: 9am – 6pm daily. 

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There you go!
Some of the places in the Klang Valley that you can enjoy multi-racial, multi-state cuisine.

Bored and at loss for nom-nom ideas?

That’s impossible! 🙂