Looking for advice - Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur

So, I’ll be making a two week trip to Asia early April. Finally back in Asia after 4 years! :slight_smile:

Hong Kong

First stop: 4 full days in Hong Kong. I’ve really missed the food and the vibe. Will be staying in Mongkok at The Cordis. Been there multiple times already, also at its Michelin star restaurant.

This time I want to focus more on low key eating places. I haven’t had time yet to look up some of my old favourites, but I will add them here once I have. Looking for local places offering bbq roast meat, claypot rice dishes, and actual dai pai dongs.

I still know a few restaurants, that is I know where they are located but can’t remember their names. For example, this sushi place with conveyor belt in Causeway Bay. And I really want to revisit Din Tai Fung there again.

I have already arranged for 1 dinner at Man Wah at the Mandarin Oriental.

Kuala Lumpur

First time! Will not stay long, probably two full days (as I want to stay a full week on a beach in Thailand). What is a good location to stay around, near outdoor food? I remember my parents staying at the Swiss Garden Residences and they had said there was a large food market outside, which sounds good.

What are some of the unmissable food stops in KL? Again, looking for local foods, preferably including seafood.



Looking forward to hearing about your trip. Have not been back to HKG since January 2019, really missing just about everything Hong Kong. We will finally be going back in late September.

We’ve learned to really enjoy the MongKok area. So many well known roasties and claypot rice places , as I’m sure you already know from your past stays. I find that the ones without the long lines are the ones that work best for me.

Have you been to Sai Kung harbor yet? A nice double decker bus ride from Mongkok. Buy fresh seafood off the boats and bring to local restaurant for prep. Or, just order from myriad seafood emporiums lining the waterfront.

A couple of MTR stops from MongKok is Sham Shui Po, best known for cheap electronics. This still very local Kowloon neighborhood has many restaurants that specialize in old time HK favorities like Beef Egg Sandwiches, Tofu specialities, Congee, Roasties, Cheung Fun, Pork Knuckles, Snake Soup and more.

Can’t wait to get there myself, will experience vicariously through your posts.


I also stayed in Mongkok every time. Great area for food and (window) shopping. And a big bonus for me, there are 2 new good craft beer bars smack in the middle of the busy Mongkok shopping area.

A bunch of roasters just a couple of streets from Mongkok MTR as well. They are simple and small eateries and not much communication is done in English but to make it a bit easier do use your phone translation app. (Before the phone communication was a lot harder at this type of local restaurants.)

I made sure I ate as much roasted meats as possible, plus dim sum every day.

Klyeoh is the Malaysia specialist. He’ll chime in soon, I hope.

I also did Kai Sung and Lamma islands for seafood, but then I had a whole week. Not sure if it’s worth going there if you only have a few days. So much to eat in Mongkok alone.


KL is pretty ‘navigable’ nowadays, with its MRT (subway) and LRT (light rail) system.

TIP: Avoid its taxis like a plague - the drivers there are a nightmare!
Instead, download GRAB - the local equivalent of UBER - it’s a lifesaver, and is perhaps the best option to move around KL. Drivers are dependable as the system determines the cost of the journey beforehand, and tracks your trip throughout. The cost per ride is very, very low.

That said, KL has a couple of areas I’d recommend staying at. One is near Chinatown.
A good option is Four Points by Sheraton Kuala Lumpur. It’s right next to Jalan Sultan, with its Chinese eateries and a bustling night market.
Ho Kow Hai Nam Kopitiam you can see on the map across the road from the hotel is a must-visit for Hainanese-style breakfasts of kaya-butter toast, soft-boiled eggs, or curried chicken with bread or noodles.
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A cheaper alternative in that area is Travelodge City Centre. Clean rooms, and very walkable to Chinatown.

Swiss Garden Residence is a good choice, as it’s a short walk from Jalan Alor, KL’s premier night street food market. There’s nowhere else in KL like it.

Some of my personal favourites when in KL:

  1. Oversea Restaurant Imbi for Cantonese fine dining, including very good seafood.

  2. Elegant Inn is a personal favourite of many of my KL Cantonese friends.

  3. Madam Kwan for her iconic Nasi Lemak, Nasi Bojari, and a whole host of other Malaysian eats. It’s grown into a chain now, but its flagship outlet at Suria KLCC mall is a must-visit for most visitors to KL. Go early and avoid peak meal times.

  4. For very good modern-Malay, there is no beating Adu Sugar’s offerings. Also, explore nearby Bangsar Village and its surroundings, a veritable goldmine of eateries and shops.
    [Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia] Modern-Malay cuisine from Adu Sugar, Lucky Gardens

  5. For a taste of KL-style wantan noodles, and if you’re feeling quite adventurous - go to Kei Suk in Pudu:
    [Kuala Lumpur] Uncle Kei's Wantan Noodles at Restoran Good Friend, Pudu

  6. Unique Seafood PJ23 is a good place for a wide selection of seafood dishes. A KL cousin of mine even held his wedding day luncheon there!

  7. Mavalli Tiffin Rooms in Brickfields for good South Indian vegetarian breakfast.
    [Kuala Lumpur] Mavalli Tiffin Rooms (MTR) on Thambipillay Road, Brickfields

  8. Fierce Curry House is my go-to spot for a good South Indian banana leaf rice meal.

I actually used to go to the very popular Devi’s Corner in Bangsar Village regularly when I was living in KL 2011 to 2016 - it costed me an average of RM15 (US$3.35) for a banana leaf meal there each time. Then, one day, back in 2016, a group of 9 visiting British colleagues from London went there for their dinner. I found out later that they were charged an outrageous MYR450 for their meal, which worked out to MYR50 (US$11.10) per head!! I’d not gone back there ever since.

  1. You’ll find nasi lemak at every corner in Malaysia. But the best I’d had was from Nasi Lemak Tanglin:
    [Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia] 𝗡𝗮𝘀𝗶 𝗟𝗲𝗺𝗮𝗸 𝗧𝗮𝗻𝗴𝗹𝗶𝗻 - KL's top nasi lemak spot

  2. Another of my personal favourite dining experience in KL: curry noodles at Madras Lane in Chinatown:
    [Kuala Lumpur] Curry Laksa at Madras Lane

KL offers good dining experience wherever you turn. Just make the best of where you are, and what’s in the neighbourhood. I moved from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur back in 2011 - I felt like fish out of water at first. Then, I started exploring the city. It was amazingly gritty and grimy at first glance but, when you get used to it, the place really grows on you. I was a Chowhound back then - I made over 1,300 food posts of KL dining places over the next 6 years! I still mourn the death of Chowhound and, with it, my entire collection of KL dining experiences there.

Let me know if you need any tips when you are in KL!


Actually I don’t know many in that area! I know Hong Kong Island much better, as I once stayed in Sheung Wang for a month, on Hollywood Rd. Loved that area by the way! The times I went for shorter periods, and stayed in Mongkok, I usually still ended up eating on HK island. So if you have any good tips for Mongkok please share!

Yes, I’ve been there. But actually, if you love (the sight) of fresh seafood, right behind The Cordis in Mongkok is Nelson Str where they sell live fish. It’s one of my favourite areas in HK… :slight_smile:

Thanks for the tip re Sham Shui Po, don’t believe I’ve eaten there.

From what I’ve seen from your posts I must warn you I’m a less adventurous eater than you…

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Nelson Str.

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Thanks for the tip! I still have the app on my phone, from my last trip to Vietnam…

Thanks again! Looks good! Price is very reasonable (or downright cheap compared to HK). As I don’t know the city, being smack in the middle of great food is terrific.

Thanks for all your suggestions. They are making me consider skipping Thailand and staying in Malaysia for the week! Really looking forward to the combination of different cuisines, and from what I’ve heard incredibly friendly locals.


I’ll try to keep this thread as an overview of places of interest for myself and perhaps others. A business relation gave me below list. I’ve been to Kam’s and Luk Yu Tea House, both are excellent.

Restaurants (mainly authentic Cantonese with some Sichuan):

  • Grand Majestic Sichuan: Shop 301, 3/F, Alexandra House, 16-18 Charter Road, Central
  • Luk Yu Tea House: G/F-3/F, 24 Stanley Street, Central
  • House of Orient: Shop C&D, 2/F, Entertainment Building, 30 Queen’s Road, Central
  • Kam’s Roast Goose: G/F, Po Wah Commercial Centre, 226 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai


  • COA: Shop A, LG/F, Wah Shin House, 6-10 Shin Hing Street, Central
  • Quinary: 56-58 Hollywood Road, Central
  • Sevva (I wonder if this is the bar you mentioned that overlooks Hong Kong - it has a great view of the HSBC skyscraper): 25/F, Landmark Princes, 10 Charter Road, Central
  • Quality Goods Club: Basement, On Lok House, 39-43 Hollywood Road, Central
  • Iron Fairies: LG, 1 Hollywood Road, Central
  • Penicillin: Amber Lodge, L/G, 23 Hollywood Road, Central
  • Dragonfly: Shop 10-G1, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central
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Four Seasons Pot Rice is Clay Pot Rice specialist a 10 minute walk from Cordis. The wait during rush hours can be intense. The experience is the quintessential Hong Kong shop that focuses on mostly one thing, and does it right.

For the purists. Just Lap Cheung (Chinese Sausage) and rice.

Fancier embellishments available, signage in English!! Shitake with Chicken.

Chicken with Lap Cheung. Pick and choose the ingredients to your taste.

  • pricing from three years back. Likely to be higher these days.

Oh no, don’t do that. Thailand is amazing - Malaysians and Singaporeans go there for our food vacations! The quality of produce and cooking in Thailand surpass what we have in Malaysia.

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Don’t underestimate your home country! I was killing some time and was looking longingly through your various posts, they made me want to get on the next flight to KL.


We in Malaysia are rather different - Malaysian food’s taste profiles are quite a departure from what you get in Thailand. Over there, the Thais like very sharp, pronounced flavours: sweet, sour, spicy!

Malaysian food is multi-ethnic: with Malaysian-Malay, Malaysian-Chinese and Malaysian-Indian sub-categories.

Native Malays go for spicy flavours, but gentler than their Thai counterparts’, and can be sweeter on the most part. Malays also like the creaminess of coconut milk, which they introduce liberally into their cooking.

Malaysian-Chinese cooking built upon their Chinese origins, but with significant adoption of chilis and spices, and fresh herbs and vegetables typical of South-east Asian cooking.

The five largest Chinese ethnic groups in Malaysia are the Hokkiens/Fujianese, Hakkas, Cantonese, Teochew/Chaozhou/Chiuchow and the Hainanese - these are exactly the same as in Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore, which also have the 5 main Chinese ethnicities.
Each ethnic-Chinese group has food similar to those from their ancestral homeland in China, but their adaptation of local cooking techniques and ingredients over the last few centuries have resulted in very localised dishes.

Ditto Malaysian-Indians - the majority of local Indians are Tamil, but there are also very large Malayalee, Telugu, Gujerati, Punjabi and Bengali communities. Again, after two centuries of living together with the Malays and Chinese, Indian regional cuisines here have taken on some “Malaysian” characteristics.

Thailand, on the other hand, can seem rather mono-ethnic, in comparison.


Yes indeed, Malaysia is different and that is what makes it so interesting. I don’t really know what I expected when I first went there, but it was a very nice surprise. There is a lot to be said about foods that emerge when a broad range of traditions come together. Nothing wrong with mono-ethnic food either, I love Thai food!

My husband was working near KL for a couple of years and we tried to see as much as we could given schedules - I had a job in the USA so only got to visit from time to time, but finally got to go over for about six months. I loved it and want to let you know that I relied on your posts for recommendations when we went to Penang. Thank you!


In Hong Kong I definitely want to try this restaurant I found through instagram. It’s a local guy I’ve been following for a while.


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Question to Peter I guess as he is a local: what is the correct way for me to behave during ramadan time, as a tourist? And are there any things I should be doing differently? Thanks! First time for me being in a muslim country during ramadan.

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You can behave much the same way, only be aware if you are eating and drinking in certain areas. If you look foreign, chances are the locals just take it in their stride. Local Malays/Muslims get into trouble if they are seen eating or drinking in public during daylight hours in the month of Ramadan.

Just do as the locals do, as it may vary from place to place - in Penang’s Little India, where there’s the annual Ramadan food bazaar by the Muslim League of Penang, it is acceptable for non-Muslims to eat at the food bazaar even before the breaking of fast time (currently, around 7.30pm). My friends and I were there around 6pm two days ago, and the vendors will gladly serve us:

At most other Ramadan food bazaars in Penang, one may have to do just take-aways.

In more conservative Muslim states in Malaysia, like Kelantan and Terengganu, where Muslims constitute 97% and 98% of the population respectively, do not eat in public during the fasting times (sun-rise to sun-set), or else the locals may be irked.

In Kuala Lumpur, where number of Muslims and non-Muslims are about equal in number, most chain restaurants and non-Muslim-owned eateries are open and it’s business as usual.

Muslim-owned eateries in KL will open around late-afternoon, e.g. 4 pm, and do take-aways. Muslim eateries with dining-in facilities will see large Muslim crowds by 7-ish pm, as they occupy tables and await the breaking of fast call (usually prayers broadcasted aloud from the radios). Again, do as the locals do - if you are at any Muslim eatery at the time, observe if everyone (Muslim and non-Muslim alike) is awaiting the time to break fast - if they are, just follow suit.


Okay, so I will one by one add some of my experiences while in Asia. Typing on an ipad so not ideal! :slight_smile:

HONG KONG. Wow where should I start. I missed this place badly! Been almost 10 years since I last was here. But back then I had rented an apartment for a month, on Hollywood Road, and had visited numerous times before, so I know the city quite well.

Some cities change rapidly, eg London and Paris have changed a lot over the past decade. New buildings, new money, cleaner. Hong Kong has stayed surprisingly more or less the same. Which is a good thing, as I was a little worried because of the new political reality.

While I love the Sheung Wan area of Hollywood Road, I also did not want to miss out on one of the greatest food markets in the world imho, the one in Mongkok. So I stayed at the Cordis. Unfortunately this hotel does need an update, it hasn’t been improved in any way compared to a decade ago when I had last visited.

It’s a great area though. Can’t post videos unfortunately, have some great footage of the market.



Some more, stills from videos. All of the fish and seafood is alive and kicking, including the ones below. I should also add at this point that I am a good (home) cook myself, so I tend to orient myself in a city that way.


And on to the food. There was a whole fuss last week when the ranking of 50 best Asian restaurants came out, and Hong Kong falling behind. Reason being the strict covid measures which hindered people (including voters for the list) from actually visiting these restaurants.

As I have once again found out, don’t take these lists too seriously, the quality of food in HK is amazing, there is an innate appreciation of anything that is 100% fresh as if just plucked from a garden, or an animal just killed 5 minutes ago. As can be seen from the markets.

Unfortunately I was mostly a solo traveller here, apart from one business dinner, so could not try out a lot of dishes.