The Random Writings of Rachel: Off-Beat Places to Eat in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Off-Beat Places to Eat in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Normally, our family tends to be the type that makes vacations more affordable by getting our meals from grocery stores while on vacation. This is a very useful strategy, but on our recent trip to Kuala Lumpur, Mom requested that we alter our strategy a little bit and incorporate some 'food tourism' into our travel schedule, taking the time to check out off-beat restaurants with cuisine that was more interesting than the average loaf of french bread at a grocery store.

That sent me to the computer, searching for what interesting restaurants were in the area and didn't have too high of price tags, and these were the fascinating food experiences that we found:



Magnum Cafe



Dude. You get to design your own ice cream bar, choosing the ice cream flavor, the chocolate coating, three toppings, and the flavor of the chocolate drizzle. Somehow, this is the coolest thing ever. Not too crazy expensive, either, with the ice cream bars priced at just under 10 RM. For a tasty dessert AND the fun experience of creating your own combination, along with the chance to sit and eat in the beautifully decorated, quiet cafe--so worth it.





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Panchos Mexican Taqueria



We loved this place so much, we ate here twice! I wouldn't really call it a 'taqueria', though...probably nobody who has spent much time in Texas would call it one, as it's really a completely different sort of feel than an actual neighborhood taqueria. I would describe it more as a Qdoba or Chipotle type of restaurant--only better, because our meals tasted significantly better than anything I've had from those two chains. I got the Chipotle Beef Nachos at both meals, because they were so good I couldn't pass up a second opportunity to eat them, but everyone else really enjoyed their meals, too!
And there's a pinata, which Angel would appreciate, because he believes it's not a party till there's a pinata!




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Out of Africa Restaurant



We were looking for offbeat places to eat. We weren't really looking for Malaysian food, because we can eat that all the time. Something we can't try every day is South African cuisine. We arrived at Out of Africa just about the time it opened for lunch, and had the whole restaurant to ourselves. We enjoyed the meat from the braai--and Dad got a lesson in pronouncing boerewors, though I'm not sure he could do it again.



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A&W



Okay, perhaps this one doesn't sound as off-beat, but we were startled to stumble across this A&W in KL and stopped in for a couple of root beer floats. Being here was a somewhat surreal experience, as the design of the somewhat shabby building and the sprawling parking lot made me feel like we were back in the USA at a fast-food joint. Stand-alone restaurants with large parking lots all to themselves are not at all the norm here, where many times, dozens of restaurants and shops are packed into strip malls and you have to fight for street parking. Sarah was impressed by the classic float, but what I thought was interesting was how it felt, just because of the building and area around it, that I'd stepped back into my birth country for a few minutes.


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The Apartment at KLCC



The Apartment is an elegant/hipster styled cafe. The decor and various 'rooms' throughout the restaurant are meant the evoke the experience of being inside an apartment, more so than a restaurant. We couldn't quite relate to that--I imagine the type of apartment they are trying to evoke is a very modern, classy, open concept penthouse in a snazzy new skyscraper. Having no experience at living in those types of apartments (I have more experience with living in a dingy 600 sq. ft. 3rd floor walk-up in China), we couldn't relate to the apartment aspect too much, but it was a really nice atmosphere, and, being that we were there for lunch on a weekday, we made use of the 2-course specials for 29 RM, enjoying a meal that was quite fairly priced.



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Dip-n-Dip at Sunway Pyramid



This one's for the chocolate lovers. It was pretty mesmerizing watching the three chocolate fountains in the kitchen. We were highly amused by "The Choice Helper Page" within the menu, which advocates using the strategy of closing your eyes and pointing your finger at something to choose your dessert.  I didn't order anything here, as we had just eaten lunch, and I'm not really the meal + dessert type, it has to be one or the other. Footage from our Dip-n-Dip visit does appear in our recent music video, however!




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What do you like to eat on vacation? Have you been to any of these restaurants before?

27 comments:

  1. Wow, Magnum sounds like such an amazing place!!!!!! Those ice cream bars all look awesome. The South African food sounds really intriguing; I've never had that cuisine before, so I have no idea what kinds of foods would be on that type of menu! Dip n' Dip sounds like Heaven, and all these places seem really cool. We don't vacation much, but on special occasions play "food tourist" in our city-the only restaurants we really look for are sushi places, though, since we're really into sushi :)

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  2. That all looks great, but that ice cream....YUM!

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  3. A magnum store, where you can design your own bars. How cool. Great that you were able to find a variety of international cuisines in Malaysia. On our end, we prefer to eat the authentic dishes of the place we are visiting :) Cheers!

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  4. Oh my gosh! I want to go to that ice cream place! I love there ice cream and think it would be so fun to make my own!

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  5. The ice cream place...OMG, it looks delicious!

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  6. So much yumminess! Magnum Cafe looks awesome :)

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  7. Design your own ice cream bar?? How on earth have I never heard of this before?? I'm drooling!

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  8. Fun! We ate so different than you guys did in KL but it is so interesting to see what other people eat.

    I think it is really neat to find an 'American' restaurant when you live abroad. I also have commuted 2+ hours for Mexican food when I lived in Korea and it was so worth it! Is it kind of weird to see Sarah impressed by American food and root beer floats? I mean that isn't her normal food so I bet it is just very different for her.

    Dave and I ate noodles in KL and I also purchased fresh juice from the vendors on the street. I picked my fruit and they juiced it right there so I wasn't worried about getting sick. We also ate some charcoal noodles in China town. They were highly recommended and although they looked like legit worms it was so tasty!

    I'm glad you guys had a fun time with the food in KL. =)

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  9. The Magnum cafe sounds like the best thing ever!! I want to visit that place :) Ice cream is delicious and creating my own ice cream bar would be too much fun!

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  10. This looks amazing! And so much fun!!

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  11. Those are like ICE-CREAM BARS ON STEROIDS!!!!! omg.

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  12. Not afraid one bit to admit that I wanted to lick the screen. Those chocolate bars looked so good!!!

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  13. Food tourism is a lot of fun! As you've probably noticed, I love visiting various restaurants myself, so I loved this post! The ice cream bars look delicious, and you guys did a great job on decorating yours. Sounds awesome! Also the guacamole at the Mexican restaurant looks delicious. Neat decor at the African restaurant, and The Apartment sounds like an interesting place to see. I like the Choice Helper page--that might be a good way of making the order-time shorter!

    About your remarks on A&W: my family and I were just chatting the other day about whether there were "American stores" in other countries to sell American foods (as we had just been in an Asian market in Des Moines). Good to see we'd find some good authentic American restaurants! :)

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  14. OMG! You found some very interesting places! I'm still thinking about that make your own ice cream bar place!

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  15. Oh man! Now I'm hungry! The Magnum cafe is like my total dream! And it's been years since I haven't had a float. Mmmm so yummy. Awesome post!

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  16. I love the look on Sarah's face at the root beer float. A picture really is worth a thousand words.

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  17. This is like the 3rd post about food I had read in a row so now i'm extremely hungry! haha It was the magnum cafe that tipped me over the edge. Great post!

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  18. These places look so good! I'd never have thought to find them in Kuala Lumpur!

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  19. This was an awesome read! Your pictures are incredible, I am so hungry. I spent about a week in KL earlier this year, one of the most underrated cities I've ever been to

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  20. Magnum also had their temporary store here in The Philippines, but I think their choice of toppings varies in every country, not sure. By the way good read Rachel!

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  21. I have never been to any of these restaurants. This was an interesting read. I am a big fan of ice-creams!

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  22. Never been to any of those restaurants. Magnum cafe was the biggest surprise. A & W made me laugh though!

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  23. Believe me, even if I just had lunch, after seeing these pictures I'll start over!
    And I'd really like to try the soup from The apartment :)

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  24. FOOD!!! These are such amazing cuisines.. My favorite was definitely the first one. Who can say no to ice cream? Especially Magnum.. You make me want to visit Malaysia!

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  25. haha, i had no idea that restaurants like this even exist :D would love to visit the magnum restaurant. there is nothing better than ice cream!

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  26. I love these types of places. Can't wait to try them out when I go to KL again. Gosh I'm geting hungry now!

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  27. Looks like a tasty variety of restaurants you were able to try out! It is surprising the different types and styles of restaurants you found in Kuala Lumpur. Thanks for sharing!

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