Where chefs eat: The foodie’s guide to Kuala Lumpur

From fine-dining restaurants to local food stalls, Sricharan Venkatesh, Chef de Cuisine at Nadodi tells us where his favourite F&B haunts are in Kuala Lumpur.

  • Lee Sihan
  • November 2019

Sricharan is very much at home at contemporary South Indian themed restaurant, Nadodi. Here, he weaves contemporary techniques with fond memories of his childhood studded with vivid spices. When he hits the town on a night out, it is usually in search of equally culturally immersive experiences. Here are his recommendations.

Nadodi offers a nine or 11-course tasting menu, including one for vegetarians.

Top fine-dining restaurant: Dewakan

To call Dewakan a modern Malaysian restaurant would be an injustice to the path that chef Darren Teoh has charted in the local restaurant scene. The name Dewakan is a combination of two Malay words for “food” and “God”. To a certain extent, the name embodies the restaurant’s philosophy of celebrating the bounty of Malaysia’s mountains, seas, jungles and farms, but it doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of chef Darren Teoh’s dedication to experimenting with indigenous ingredients.

On the tasting menu, you’re likely to see native ingredients you never knew existed. You’re also just as likely to encounter something as commonplace as bak choy that’s reinvented in mind-blowingly imaginative ways.

Dewakan is the first Malaysian restaurant to make the list on Asia's 50 Best Restaurants.

“I really appreciate chef Darren Teoh’s culinary philosophy and his research into the study of indigenous local produce in Malaysia. It really is a one-of-a-kind dining experience.”

Address: Level 48, Naza Tower, Platinum Park, No. 10 Persiaran KLCC, 50088 Kuala Lumpur
Telephone: +60355650767
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Favourite local food fix: Yarl

Tucked within the throngs of Indian restaurants in Brickfields lies Yarl — an eatery dedicated to serving authentic food from the capital of the Northern province of Sri Lanka.

Prices are incredibly affordable at Yarl.

“It’s a quaint eatery located within a cluster of shop houses that serves authentic Jaffna cuisine. What a gem! One of my favourite dishes include the aromatic pennyworth spinach leaves that is served alongside a savoury soft-shell crab curry. It’s very reminiscent of the popular Jaffna crab curries we have back home. It’s creamy and sweet with a slight tang.”

Address: 50 Jalan Padang Belia, Brickfields, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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Best supper joint: Kedai Kopi Mee Bon

Kedai Kopi Mee Bon
Do as the locals do and head to Kedai Kopi Mee Bon for dim sum.

“I don’t usually go out to supper often, but if I have to choose a place, it would be Kedai Kopi Mee Bon in Jalan Ipoh. They serve a great selection of dim sum.”

Address: 491, Batu Tiga, Jalan Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur

Restaurant to watch out for: Ember Modern Bistro

Kampung fried chicken with togarashi and gula melaka, grilled fish with shio konbu butter ... Ember Modern Bistro’s menu of shared plates draws inspiration from a spectrum of Asian flavours.

Ember Modern Bistro
A menu of sharing plates is the perfect excuse to order more food.

“I’ve heard good things about Ember Modern Bistro and though I haven’t personally found the time to try it, it’s definitely on my list of things to try in KL."

Address: 20 Jalan Wan Kadir 1, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur
Telephone: +60183232786
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Top dish to order at Nadodi: Red Kari

“Beets have always been a common ingredient in curries in South India but what I wanted to do was to deconstruct the tradition by taking it apart and assembling it in an unexpected way. I think I achieved that with my Red Kari, a playful trio of beetroot curry, beetroot sorbet and pickled beetroot.”

Address: Lot 183, 1st Floor, Jalan Mayang, Off Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Telephone: +60321814334
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