Given its ethnic diversity, Malaysia is quite a food lover’s paradise. It is here that you can find the popular Indian curries, Chinese soups as well as Malay rice-based dish, being served all across restaurants in the country and being savoured with equal delight by locals and visitors. It is then no surprise that Malaysia also has few great options when it comes to budget friendly dining. Its hawker stalls and food centres, in fact, are often preferred over up-class restaurants by budget travellers as well as those who believe that the finest and traditional local flavours are still found at these budget-sensitive places.
Here are top recommendations if you are looking for delectable food options that won’t burn a hole in your pocket in Malaysia:
Celebrating the Hakka cuisine from South China, the Hakka Restaurant in Malaysia is one of the best places to eat if you are looking forward to trying some bold and unique flavours without burning a hole in your pocket. All dishes served here are cooked with simplicity and highlight the earthy and rustic flavours typical of the Hakka cuisine. Running for over 60 years, the restaurant remains popular for a dish called ‘kangkong belacan’ which uses morning glory greens and spicy shrimp paste for cooking as well as its slow-cooked herbal chicken. A meal here starts around £2.
Serving people of Malaysia since 1921 when the British still ruled the country, the Coliseum Cafe woos locals and travellers by delivering some of the finest classic dishes in an ambiance that induce nostalgia for an era gone by. The cafe remains dominated by dark wooden swing doors and antique furnishings that retain much of its charm. The time old classics such as French onion soup, chicken chop, tenderloin steak, ox tail, mulligatawny soup as well as Welsh rarebit still remain top sellers here. A meal here starts at £10.
Restoran Han Kee Bak Kut Teh
A gem that gets noticed even amidst some of the finest street food stalls in the bustling Chinatown, Restoran Han Kee Bak Kut Teh has been serving delectable food at prices that leave a happy smile on the face of its visitors. Situated in the close proximity of some equally good, though smaller, food stalls from where intoxicating fragrance of freshly cooked dishes reach you; Restoran Han Kee Bak Kut Teh is where you eat with more than one of your senses. While here, you must order herbal broth cooked with pork ribs and intestines, called ‘bak kut teh’ for which food lovers make special visits to the restaurant.
Soo Kee’s Son Restaurant
Run by the daughter of a man whose all 13 children are cooks and restaurant owners and who started this restaurant in 1950s; the expectations are quite high from Soo Kee’s Son Restaurant, and unfailingly, the restaurant delivers to its promise of great food. The prawn noodles and the beef noodles draw visitors and locals from different parts of Malaysia to the Imbi Garden Sqaure where the restaurant is located. The Cantonese style fried rice noodles with beef also have many takers who remain enamoured by the smokiness of the meat. But if you to try just two dishes, make sure you order a plate of ‘sang har mee’, a noodle and prawn combination as well as ‘Hokkien black mee’, a fat yellow noodle, wok-fried in squid ink with crunch pork crackling, prawns and pork.
Saravanaa Bhavan, located in Bangsar, might look like an odd ball in the arena surrounded by fancy bars, restaurants and clubs; but it nonetheless serves the tastiest and most budget friendly dishes in Malaysia. The restaurant cooks mouth-watering dosas (a pancake of rice stuffed with different kind of fillings) as well as sumptuous combinations of rice and curries, all containing strong flavours that do a little dance in your palette. The restaurant’s milky tea called ‘the tarik’ remains quite popular among visitors for the way it is poured into cups from a great height in an attempt to air it.