A farm-to-table restaurant set among lush hills, and a kampung-turned-boutique in the city are not on most tourists’ radars, but they are among the special places definitely worth visiting in the Malaysian capital.
Occupying an elegantly restyled kampung (traditional Malay village) house, this boutique in Bangsar is an interior designer’s dream. Colourful print fabrics and accessories are sold alongside scarves and bags with Malay-inspired motifs. Nala Muse, a sister boutique stocking beautifully curated homeware and fashion, recently opened in the nearby Bangsar Village II shopping centre.
NEXT: Malaysia Design Archive →
The Malaysia Design Archive is a hidden gem. This treasure trove of graphics – combining visual art and design, vintage advertisements and political posters – narrates the history of the Malay Peninsula, from colonisation by the British through the struggle for independence to the modern day. Visits are by appointment only.
NEXT: Limkokwing Fashion Club →
Created by the daughter of the prolific Malaysian entrepreneur after whom it is named, this clothing store presents eclectic urban styles created by students at the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology. Their seasonal collections, one of which was shown at the 2017 London Fashion Week, reflect the country’s patchwork of traditional and modern Malay, Chinese and Indian influences.
NEXT: The Bee →
The Publika mall abounds with buzzy bars and restaurants, but none captures KL’s cultural scene quite like The Bee. More than a bar and cafe, this eclectic venue champions local musicians – staging performances by bands and DJs – while showcasing an intriguing calendar of arthouse movies, comedy and art.
NEXT: Yellow Brick Road →
Situated in a residential area, this pancake house – arguably KL’s most popular – can be identified by the snaking queue that typically forms outside it. Delight in savoury specialities such as the pancakes with fried chicken and lashings of curry leaf-sprinkled butter sauce. Those with a sweet tooth will adore the hot-and-cold combination of pancakes topped with ice cream. Tip: Arrive early or be prepared to queue!
NEXT: A Little Farm on the Hill →
For respite from the city’s crowds, hit the road and take a scenic 45-minute drive to Bukit Tinggi. Set amid the tropical highlands, the rustic hilltop hideaway serves dishes made with organic cuisine – fruit, vegetables and herbs are sourced from the on-site farm, while honey is harvested from their beehives. A must-try from their regular menu is the slow-smoked ribs; and, don’t miss guest spots by KL’s best chefs.
NEXT: Tiki Taka →
Named after the Barcelona style of football, this Spanish-Malaysian bar and restaurant in residential area Medan Damansara specialises in fusion cuisine with bold flavours. Think wild boar rendang (dry curry), deep-fried pork ribs (pictured) and Asian-inspired pintxo (small bites) platters. There’s a varied wine and cocktail list, plus an outdoor terrace perfect for unwinding over a tipple.
NEXT: Jalan Kamunting →
Kuala Lumpur has burgeoned into one of Malaysia’s most exciting centres for the arts and creativity. At the heart of it all: Jalan Kamunting, where beyond the 1940s-style shopfronts lie world-class art galleries, creative businesses, charming cafes and, after dark, a glittering nightlife scene.
NEXT: Batu Caves →
Take a short, easy drive up North from KL and you’ll find yourself before the sublime Batu Caves, a labyrinth of majestic limestone caves said to be around 400 million years old. Light rays peek through beautifully from the mouth of the cave, and it’s not hard to see why this is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India. Guided tours are available – both educational, easy walking tours and more thrilling options that bring you off the pathway (Expect lots of climbing and crawling!).
NEXT: Nala Designs →
By Gary Bowerman, SilverKris, December 2017
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