One of the main highlights of visiting a big city like Kuala Lumpur is tasting the local food. We have travelled through KL twice in last few years, on our way to the Perhentian Islands. We had heard that there was great vegetarian food in the Brickfields’ neighbourhood so on our first trip we chose to base ourselves in the area and booked a room at the Hotel Summer View. It’s a basic hotel but we found it to be very good value for money at USD$42/night, including a buffet breakfast. It’s also easy walking distance from KL Sentral where the airport bus route ends. For those of you who are unfamiliar, KL Sentral is a major transport hub for the city’s bus and the light rail systems.
There are 2 excellent Indian vegetarian restaurants within a few blocks of both KL Sentral and Hotel Summer View.
Gopala’s at 59, Jalan Thambipillai (which runs parallel to Jalan Tun Sambanthan) is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and their food doesn’t contain garlic or onion. We found the food to be excellent and inexpensive. We ate their multiple times for dinner during our stays in KL. We particularly enjoyed the Masala Dosa and were guilty of not trying much else on the menu because we like it so much! They made a good mango lassi too. There are two eating areas to choose from – a dining room with fans, and an air-conditioned room which we really appreciated. The decor is simple and low-key. The toilet facilities out back were not very hygienic but the kitchen must OK because we never got sick from eating there.
The other restaurant we loved was a finer dining experience at Annalakshmi, 114-116 Jalan Berhala. It is a little tricky to find as it is inside the Temple of Fine Arts Malaysia, an unassuming modern building with no obvious sign for the restaurant on the outside. It is opposite a Buddhist temple. We went there several times for the buffet lunch and loved it. There are about 10 main dishes as well as condiments, and 1-2 desserts. You can order different types of Indian bread (sans Naan) and I enjoyed the wholemeal Roti. The restaurant is a long elegant room decorated in Indian art and sculpture. There is a dress code – no shorts or flip-flops. It was good value for money at MYR16 or just over USD$5 each. As I understand it dinner is a set menu and is a bit more expensive. Hours are Tue-Sun 11am-3pm, 6:30-10pm. There is also apparently a cheaper version of the same restaurant down in the basement/car park area of the building by the river. This has a simpler buffet and you pay a donation – recommendation MYR2-6. We can’t comment on this one as we didn’t go it.
Another great thing to do in Brickfields is visit the night market on Jalan Berhala every Thursday, 4.30-10.30pm. We really loved the fresh produce and local street foods. For other night markets in KL click here.
On another visit we splashed out and stayed at Traders Hotels at KLCC (City Center). To be honest we always caught the light rail over to Brickfields for our evening meals, but we did find the “Cold Storage” Supermarket in the basement/concourse level of the Suria KLCC mall to have an excellent selection of everything else that we needed. There also some good fruit stalls at the exit to the KLCC light rail station, before you enter Suria KLCC.