Best Kuala Lumpur breakfasts

roti canai local dish on a plate

Affectionately known as ‘KL’, this cosmopolitan city is a melting pot of cultures: Malay, Indian, Chinese and Western. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the variety of cafes, restaurants and impromptu stalls all over town, dishing out foods formed from some 150 years of fusion.

Forget cereal, toast and eggs at home – do like the locals do and eat out! Intrepid traveller Kelly Law lists her Top 5 dishes to try while you’re in Malaysia…

Roti Canai:
This flat, round bread is cooked on a hot griddle – usually right in front of you – so you can have it crisp. It goes perfectly with curry and a steaming glass of teh tarik, strong black tea served with condensed milk.

Nasi Lemak:
A traditional Malay favourite and the country’s most iconic dish – fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk, served with spicy sambal and a sliver of boiled egg. Fancier versions come with cucumber, peanuts, pickled vegetables or beef rendang.

Won Ton Mee:
Chinese egg noodles – long, stringy and yellow- in hot, clear broth, with a handful of fresh veggies and a couple of succulent pork dumplings on the side.

Bak Kut Teh:
Literally “Meat, bones and tea”, this delicious, chunky soup is a combination of pork meat, bones and offal boiled for hours with a selection of spices. Eat with steamed rice, deep fried Chinese doughnuts and wash down with tiny cups of tea – you’ll be dreaming about it for days afterwards.

A specialty from the island of Penang, this is a vegetarian delight. Crunchy turnip, bean sprouts, lettuce and shallots drizzled with a sweet, thick sauce and wrapped in a thin, wheaten pancake, you’ll definitely want more than one. Variations are served with fried egg and pork sausage.

Have you enjoyed a delicious local breakfast surprise while you’ve been travelling?

If you’re hungry for adventure or crave a taste of the world’s culinary hot spots, check out Intrepid’s new Food Adventures. Plus you can munch on international treats and share your experiences with #Intrepidfoodies on Twitter.

* photo by Angelica Tan – Intrepid Photography Competition

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

Similar Posts


Some of my friends who had been in Malaysia has actually recommended Roti Canai. And I wonder, does trying it feels like eating pancake?'

I heard satay is also nice in Malaysia! But while I love meat so much, I think I’ll love Penang’s version of Philippines’ lumpiang sariwa.. POPIAH!!!'

I prefer Thai food. But, basically, Asian food quite similar. For example, during my whole trip went to Lanka, I never tried the traditional food. Subsided only to home, at the airport, I looked into the dining room for the pilots! Oh! – It was the food divine. Very spicy, but very tasty!

Leave a reply