Kuala Lumpur or, as its friends call it, KL, has something for everyone. Get ready for a feast of the senses when we open our newest hotel and restaurant in the heart of Malaysia’s bustling financial, cultural and economic capital.
There’s no better place to situate ourselves in this vertically growing city than inside the new Tun Razak Exchange. This sprawling urban oasis will be the heart of the city and its new Central Business District and Malaysia’s International Financial District. You’ll be able to find everything you need inside its 30 buildings, but don’t get too comfortable; you’re going to want to get out there and see as much as you can – promise. Here are a few insider tips for your Malaysian adventure.
First, You’ve Gotta Eat (Like A Local)
Malaysia is a melting pot of Malay, Chinese and Indian cultures. To say the food here is good is like saying that KL has a couple of tall buildings. The city has tons of tasty options from night markets to chic eateries. Here are some of the best.
- Skip the jam-packed Jalan Alor market and head to Lot 10 Hutong Food Court, a basement-level heritage food court. With over 30 different stalls to choose from, you can try fried noodle dishes like Hokkien mee, roasted duck and fragrant durian desserts (no, that’s not an oxymoron). Plus, you can escape the heat in this air-conditioned food hall.
- Heading to Yut Kee Restaurant, an iconic Hainanese breakfast spot, is a morning ritual for Chinese locals. Order the signature pork chop, yes for breakfast, or kaya butter toast with a half-boiled egg. Whatever you do, don’t leave without trying a slice of the marble cake. You’ll want to buy a whole one, once you’re done.
- When in Malaysia, eating laksa, a bowl of spicy noodle soup is a must. At Limapulo: Baba Can Cook, the owner is famous for his curry laksa made using a traditional Nyonya, or Peranakan Chinese recipe. Come on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday, the only days they serve this beloved dish.
- If you’re looking for something a little different, Dining In The Dark is for you. This pitch-black restaurant serves four-course dinners entirely in the dark. The menu is a surprise and will only be revealed to you once you’ve finished your last bite. Like we said, different.
Explore the Colorful Side
This thriving city has a unique mixture of architecture from the ultra-modern to the old British colonial. Side streets are lined with brightly painted shophouses, and colorful neighborhoods dot the city.
- Just outside Kuala Lumpur in the Gombak district is Batu Caves, one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. Book a Grab, Asia’s version of Uber, or call a metered taxi to take you to the sight around 9 a.m. before the tour buses arrive. You’ll be able to marvel at the giant statue of Lord Murugan, and the rainbow painted stairways stretching all the way up to a massive cave with a shrine inside. Once you catch your breath at the top, you’ll be able to see the Kuala Lumpur skyline. Just watch out for the monkeys; they are known to steal.
- Ignore the touristy shopping on Petaling Street; Chinatown is a fantastic neighborhood to stroll through during the day. The streets are lined with colorful stalls selling Chinese tea and brightly colored Hindu flower garlands. You’ll spot small, ornate Taoist temples around hidden corners and some beautifully detailed Hindu temples as well. Take your camera and soak in the culture.
Shop Till You Drop
Malls are an important part of Asian culture, especially in Kuala Lumpur, where there are a staggering 66 shopping malls. From locally crafted souvenirs to the world’s top designers there’s always something to buy in KL.
- Bukit Bintang is a high-end shopping district with a multitude of trendy shopping malls, clubs and restaurants.
- A historic market dating back to 1928, Central Market is now a tourist attraction housing quality Malaysian goods and souvenirs to take home with you. The architecture inside is impressive, and there are a few street food trucks outside.
- Just steps from Kimpton’s front door inside The Exchange TRX will be an experience-led destination crowned and seamlessly integrated into a 10-acre TRX City Park. Set to be the new lifestyle epicenter of Kuala Lumpur, The Exchange TRX will combine experiential retail, dining and entertainment to create a social destination that will offer reimagined store formats, experiential dining concepts and new-to-market brands spanning over 500 stores.
Get Sky High
This capital city loves a good rooftop bar and restaurant, and with dozens of skyscrapers dotting the horizon, there are plenty to choose from. Here are a few of the most unique.
- Heli Lounge Bar located on the 34th floor of the Menara KH building is one of the world’s unique rooftop bars. At 6 p.m. this operational helipad transforms into a cocktail bar with incredible 360-degree views of the famous Petronas Towers.
- Marini’s on 57 is a must-visit bar in Kuala Lumpur. The floor-to-ceiling windows right next to the Petronas Towers are enough reason to visit, but their award-winning mixologists are the reason to stay.
- Dinner In The Sky is another truly outrageous experience high above the city sidewalks. Enjoy a multi-course meal suspended 50 meters in the sky. You have unobstructed views of the city skyline and the food being cooked directly in front of you.