Halal Food in Kuala Lumpur: Your Essential Guide

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In this guide, you’ll learn about the best halal food in Kuala Lumpur to enhance your foodie experience in Malaysia’s capital.

Kuala Lumpur was the first Southeast Asian destination I visited back in September 2015. It was for a solo backpacking trip across the country that went haywire. Let’s save this story for another time…

Since then I’ve been back over a dozen times, having learnt from my mistakes! With one of the main reasons for my regular visits back to KL being for the wide variety of halal food.

So, after all these years, I’m finally going to share my knowledge and tips that I’ve accumulated (the hard way) to help you have a wonderful halal foodie experience in KL.

Kuala Lumpur is a halal food haven and in this guide, you’ll learn how to eat your way around this city.

Is Kuala Lumpur Muslim-friendly?

Skyline of Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is the vibrant capital of Malaysia which has stated that Islam is its official religion. As a result, food is halal in Malaysia, unless otherwise stated. There’s no doubt that Kuala Lumpur is Muslim-friendly.

However, I wouldn’t go as far as saying Malaysia is as conservative as Saudi Arabia for example, as alcohol & pork is common. Nevertheless, it’s effortless to find halal food all over the country.

Owing to this, Kuala Lumpur is a favoured holiday destination for Muslim travellers from all over the world. The halal facilities including mosques, hotels and dining options can be found all over, making it as convenient as it is exciting.

Some facilities and dining locations provide food that isn’t halal, however, these are not as common.

If you have any doubts, just ask and people will be happy to explain what is and isn’t halal.

Keep in mind that there is a large population of Chinese Malays who mostly follow Buddhism. This means that most of their dining options are not halal due to their ingredients. 

Where to find the best halal street food in Kuala Lumpur?

Halal street food market in Kuala Lumpur

Halal street food in Kuala Lumpur can be found in every corner of the city. Night markets with vendors cooking up local dishes are common. However, there are several street-food hotspots in Kuala Lumpur, showcasing the vibrant culture and delicious cuisine.

One such location is Jalan Alor, a bustling street of stalls each offering something new and exciting. This area is particularly good for people who haven’t experienced street food before as there are restaurant options too.

Another location is Taman Connaught, a night market stretching over a mile long and celebrating everything that is Kuala Lumpur. With hundreds of stalls packed into this space, you can find an array of foods and souvenirs sure to catch your fancy.

A popular market in the city for street food is Petaling Street Market, which is in the heart of KL’s Chinatown. However, halal food in Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur is limited. You could pay this market a visit for souvenirs, handcrafts, and perhaps desserts. 

Our 5 best Malaysian halal food in Kuala Lumpur

Malaysian cuisine incorporates Malaysia’s three main ethnicities: Malays, Chinese and Indians, as well as the indigenous populations. The main features of Malaysian meals are rice, noodles and bread along with proteins, fruits and vegetables.

These are flavoured with herbs and spices like bird’s eye chillies, green chillies, soy sauce, lemongrass and coconuts. Also essential is Belacan, a sun-dried shrimp paste that can be made into relishes, curry pastes and more. These all come together to make those signature Malaysian flavours that people travel from all over the world to try.

1. Roti Canai

Plate of roti canai

Roti Canai is an Indian flatbread dish found all around Southeast Asia and for good reason. The buttery and flaky pastry can be filled with a variety of fillings, making it sweet or savoury.

An ideal choice for any mealtime or snack. Typically the dough is stretched in a theatrical display of throwing it in the air in a spinning motion.

This helps to make the layers extra thin, allowing for the flakey layers. The sweet fillings can be anything from bananas to condensed milk or simply sugar.

Savoury options on the other hand can be an egg mixture, minced meat and spices, vegetables and more.
These can be found in Mamak street stalls, making them a great choice for lunch during a day out. Especially when they’re served alongside a daal or curry.

2. Nasi Lemak

A plate of Nasi Lemak

Considered a national dish, Nasi Lemak is a ball of rice with coconut milk served in a banana leaf. A popular breakfast option, usually it’s served alongside chilli sambal, hard-boiled eggs, fried anchovies and cucumbers. As it was designed as a meal to be eaten in the paddy fields, it incorporates everything you need for a busy day.

Nowadays, it’s more commonly served with rendang, fried chicken, squid sambal or fried eggs, giving it a more indulgent feel. Being such a popular dish, it’s incredibly easy to find wherever you go in Malaysia, especially in Kuala Lumpur.

Available in both restaurants and street food stalls, it just depends on how you’re feeling that day.

3. Rendang

Plate of beef rendang

Rich and fragrant, Rendang is a spicy dry curry made with coconut milk with Indonesian origins. In true stew fashion, the ingredients are left to simmer on low heat over a long period. This develops the rich flavours and allows the meat, most commonly beef, to become tender and juicy.

Due to the long cooking time, this dish has also been used to welcome special guests and celebrate festive occasions. You’ll usually find this dish served with fresh steamed rice, providing the perfect base for all of the strong flavours.

A popular variation is to have it made with chicken. This allows the cooking time to be reduced whilst still getting all of that tender meat and strong flavour. This is a must-try dish when you visit Kuala Lumpur.

4. Nasi Goreng

Plate of nasi goreng

All around Southeast Asia, fried rice is a popular dish for its easy preparation and delicious taste. Where Nasi Goreng differs is with its smokey and caramelised undertones adding an extra level of umami savouriness.

Typically, this is seasoned with chilli, turmeric, sweet soy sauce, shrimp paste and more to develop the complex flavours. There is also the variation of having egg cooked into it, or as a garnish served on top.

The addition of the rich egg yolk from a fried egg adds a creaminess that adds to the savoury notes. Whereas having it cooked through develops the texture to complement the bite of the rice. It all depends on where you go to eat this delicious treat.

5. KL Hokkien Mee

Halal KL-style hokkien mee

We had to make sure to include a noodle dish in our list so this is KL-style Hokkien Mee.  Originating from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur’s version uses a dark and fragrant sauce which is absorbed by the springy egg noodles.

The rich and salty sauce comes with a sweet caramel mixture of dark soy sauce, sugar and salt. The saltiness is made more pronounced by being cooked with chicken stock and both dark and light soy sauce.

The only stipulation is to ensure you eat this at a halal restaurant as it’s commonly cooked with pork fat! Some variations incorporate duck meat to provide that umami flavour.

You’ll be able to find seafood versions, chicken and more so that you can still try this delicious treat.

Bonus: Nasi Kandar

Originating from Penang, Nasi Kandar is both a dish and what locals would call traditional eateries that serve.

It works in a similar fashion to how Thailand’s Khao Gaeng stalls operates.

Firstly, you get a plate of fluffy rice as your base. You then have a variety of curry options to top it with. From succulent chicken, tender mutton, spicy prawns, or crispy fried fish. There are also vegetarian options too such as okra curries.

You can add and mix as much as your plate can handle until it overflows! You’ll find deep flavours in mixing those curries.

The total price is then calculated based on your unique combination.

This hearty, flavourful mix is a true taste of Malaysia. So, visit a Nasi Kandar restaurant, mix those curries, and enjoy!

Our top 5 halal restaurants in Kuala Lumpur

Of course, there are countless numbers of halal restaurants in Kuala Lumpur serving all types of cuisines. 

Shortening them to just the top 5 is not easy. So, we have listed them based on our first-hand experience of dining in these eateries. 

1. Sri Nirwana Maju Bangsar

Banana leaf set in Kuala Lumpur

Possessing a Michelin Bib Gourmand Award, this local Indian hotspot is a must-try dining location. Sri Nirwana Maju is situated in Bangsar Village, one of KL’s popular & trendy areas.

The lively atmosphere wonderfully compliments the delicious food, with truly authentic Indian flavours that tantalise and exhilarate.

Their signature dish is Thali, a platter of curry and condiments with rice served on banana leaves for an extra aromatic experience. The curries can be made with fish, chicken, or chickpeas so there’s something for everyone.

2. NALE - The Nasi Lemak Company

Dishes in Nale the Nasi Lemak Company, Kuala Lumpur
Courtesy of NALE

As the name suggests, Nale dedicates its service to Nasi Lemak and similar dishes. What we love about this restaurant is its consistency, great service, and premium flavours.

You take the classic Nasi Lemak with your choice of protein and then you can add extra elements to elevate the flavour. Whether you fancy the rich taste of Beef Rendang or the spicy-sweet Sambal Sotong, there’s a variety of choices.

For drinks to help mellow the spicy flavours, fruit juices are available for a deliciously refreshing element. It’s also nice to note that they provide a prayer room for guest use if needed.

3. Kapitan Tandoori House, Bangsar

Chicken tandoor in Kapitan, Kuala Lumpur
Courtesy of thefoodbunny.com

Penang’s famous Kapitan Tandoori restaurant has finally landed in Kuala Lumpur. It’s an Indian restaurant serving delicious tandoori, curries and briyanis.

The Chicken Tandoori is especially tender and flavourful, try it as the Tandoori Chicken Briyani for an extra flavour element.

You also have to try the Cheese Naan. It’s buttery, fluffy and full of flavour, ideal for soaking up the flavours of the main dishes. Their Mango Lassi is also a great addition to your meal, adding a sweet element to help balance the spices.

Additionally, Kapitan is also a Nasi Kandar restaurant, so you’ll have the option to try ready-made curries.

4. Halab Gate

Middle-eastern food is very popular in Kuala Lumpur, so it’s incredibly easy to find delicious halal restaurants. As one of our favourite halal restaurants near Bukit Bintang, Halab Gate is one such place, well-known, with fast service and delicious food, it’s a top location.

The Mixed Shawarma offers that delicious mix of chicken and beef with both a garlic or spicy sauce option. The meat is juicy and flavourful and superbly complimented by the crunch of the fresh vegetables.

Keep in mind that at the moment there are no sit-in tables at this restaurant, although soon there will be. It’s best to save this place for an evening when you don’t mind standing or walking to eat.

5. N97 Bangsar

A variety of halal steak in Kuala Lumpur's N97 Bangsar
Courtesy of N97 Bangsar

Last on our list is N97 Bangsar, a true location for indulgence with creamy pasta, halal Wagyu steaks and more.

If you find yourself wanting a break from white rice with your meals, this is the place to go. The buttery Wagyu Striploin melts in your mouth and is highlighted by the Roasted Truffle Potatoes. The Tomahawk comes with Wagyu Beef Fried Rice and grilled vegetables, making it the best meal to share in groups.

However, this restaurant is also the ideal spot for couples, especially with the opportunity to share dishes between you. If you’re also a fan of seafood, the King Gambas is a delicious addition to your dinner.

Note that although the food is halal, the restaurant serves alcoholic beverages.

Best hotels in Kuala Lumpur with halal food

In short, pretty much all hotels in Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia as a whole serve halal food.

We’ve personally visited and inspected the following hotels based on location, service, atmosphere and of course dining options. So, explore below our favourite KL hotels with halal food.

1. Shangri La Kuala Lumpur

Bedroom in Shangri La Kuala Lumpur
Courtesy of Shangri La Kuala Lumpur

Nestled in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, this Shangri La is your urban sanctuary designed for leisure. The Health Club is fitted with state-of-the-art facilities and The Spa is a 16+ area of relaxation and rejuvenation.

There are many rooms and suites to choose between, with Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur having 662 rooms onsite. The Premier Selection Suite showcases timeless elegance with lavish interiors and spacious rooms. You also get to see the city at all hours with floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows.

Dining at this hotel is as luxurious as residing here, with 5 restaurant options. Shang Palace is your authentic Cantonese experience, with signature dishes like Pan-fried Lamb Cutlets and Deep-fried Prawns.

There is also a delicious halal Dim Sum menu to explore. Lemon Garden is for seafood lovers, with an extravagant buffet highlighting local and international delights with tropical outdoor views.

Lastly is Zipangu, a traditional Japanese restaurant providing the culinary artistry Japan is known for.

Muslim-friendly features at Shangri La Kuala Lumpur

  • Alcohol removed from room
  • Halal food served
  • Mosque nearby the hotel

2. Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur

Infinity pool view in Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur
Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur

Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur is set between the KLCC Park and Petronas Twin Towers, offering stunning views from every angle. The Spa offers treatments to help you find your inner strength and take a Digital Wellness Escape. You can also take classes with the chefs to learn all of your favourite Dim Sum recipes.

The rooms at this hotel are divided into those facing the KLCC Park and those facing the Twin Towers. With this in mind, it’s easy to make your accommodation choice. Twin Towers View Room provides tower views, their lights in the evening are not something you’ll want to miss. The Deluxe Park View Room sits on the other side, overlooking the lush 50-acre park.

Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur offers 6 dining locations for you to try throughout your stay. Mosaic is your all-day international and local speciality buffet stop, with live cooking stations and an expansive dessert bar. Aqua Restaurant & Grill Bar overlooks KLCC Park, making it ideal for lunch and evening dining.

The menu of global tapas, wood-fired pizzas and freshly grilled meats is complemented by an array of refreshing signature mocktails. Lai Po Heen is where you can experience open kitchen Dim Sum in an ornate setting.

Muslim-friendly features at Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur

  • Alcohol removed from room
  • Halal food served
  • Mosque nearby the hotel

3. Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur

Vertigo view in Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur
Courtesy of Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur

Located in Bukit Bintang, Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur offers elegance and spectacular views. It’s within walking distance from key public transport and is connected to Pavilion Kuala Lumpur Mall for ease of access. The award-winning Banyan Spa is personalised to offer you just what you need. The hotel also has a prayer room for guests to use.

These modern and well-thought-out rooms offer spacious retreats from the noise of the lively city whilst keeping the views. For ultimate relaxation, Banyan Retreat – King allows you to bathe whilst overlooking the skyline from your soaking tub.

There are several dining opportunities at Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur, including Horizon Grill, Bake by Banyan Tree, Altitude and Vertigo. Horizon Grill boasts gourmet dining within a Gatsby-esque atmosphere, with a carefully curated menu of seafood and premium steaks.

Altitude offers decadent immersion for their signature Afternoon Tea, with fresh pastries and luxury small bites. Vertigo offers a stylish bar experience, with stunning views and professionally mixed mocktails served alongside Southeast Asian-inspired tapas.

Muslim-friendly features at Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur

  • Alcohol removed from room
  • Halal food served
  • Mosque nearby the hotel

4. Hotel Stripes Kuala Lumpur

Pool view from Hotel Stripes KL
Courtesy of Hotel Stripes Kuala Lumpur

A part of Autograph Collection Hotels, Hotel Stripes Kuala Lumpur is located within Jalan Kamunting, a downtown urban district. This melting pot location makes it an exciting and refreshing Kuala Lumpur location. The hotel offers a rooftop pool to oversee the city skyline and a gym to help boost your energy.

184 bespoke guest rooms blend a mix of contemporary luxury and urban minimalism. The Executive Deluxe Room provides a bouncy king bed and sofa next to the floor-to-ceiling windows. The neutral colours keep the focus on the outside city which makes Hotel Stripes what it is.

Dining at this hotel is kept simple but delicious with 2 onsite options. Brasserie 25 provides rustic charm with French fusion delicacies. Man Tao is your other destination, a rooftop bar with soothing music and easygoing vibes. As you look over the city sipping on a refreshing mocktail, you become part of Kuala Lumpur’s iconic skyline.

Muslim-friendly features at Hotel Stripes Kuala Lumpur

  • Alcohol removed from room
  • Halal food served
  • Mosque nearby the hotel

5. Villa Samadhi Kuala Lumpur

View of Villa Samadhi Kuala Lumpur
Courtesy of Villa Samadhi

Last on our list is Villa Samadhi Kuala Lumpur. A true definition of a villa-in-a-room escape as it sits hidden in the middle of the city.

As an adults-only location, you’re promised relaxation and privacy, with an onsite Spa for rejuvenation and a lagoon pool.

The 21 rooms at Villa Samadhi are unique in their villa-inspired appearance and luxurious design. Understandably, this location is popular among couples, making it an ideal option for a Muslim-friendly honeymoon. To experience that extra layer of luxury, the Luxe Sarang room features a private plunge pool and balcony. Making it truly the epitome of rejuvenation.

You get to choose between a buffet and a la carte breakfast for your stay. It is also a Malaysian-style Afternoon Tea ideal for any day you may spend relaxing in the hotel. The Dining Room offers all-day dining exclusively for residents.

The restaurant takes special care to source local ingredients to curate a sumptuous menu of local and Western cuisine. So although the menu may appear limited, it’s a testament to the thought the chefs have put into every detail.

Muslim-friendly features at Villa Samadhi

  • Alcohol removed from room
  • Halal food served
  • Mosque nearby the hotel

Time to plan your halal holiday?

Contact us today to begin planning a one of a kind trip.