14 Places in KL to Find Authentic East Malaysian Food

In conjunction with the Harvest Festival, here are some eateries that offer delectable Bornean food.

Like most Malaysians, we will travel for food, although it can be challenging to fly to East Malaysia just to get our kolo mee fix. While it isn’t difficult to find foods from Sabah and Sarawak here in KL, it can be challenging to know which are truly good and authentic. That’s why, we are including this list of places to find authentic East Malaysian food in KL, encompassing both Sabah and Sarawak.

These eateries make the cut because they are not only owned and operated by East Malaysian folks, but they also come highly recommended by fellow Sabahans and Sarawakians. We know—we’ve asked them ourselves. Whether you’re an East Malaysian feeling homesick for local flavours here in the Peninsula or a West Malaysian wanting to indulge in good food, visit these restaurants and stalls.

1. Slurrp (Non-Halal)

Slurrp is a story of hardships resulting in success, and it all began in 2020 when the owner, Sarawakian-born Gary lost his job during the pandemic. Left unable to travel back to his hometown, Gary was spurred to recreate the foods he so loved back in Kuching, and thus began the home-based business of Slurrp, providing comfort foods like kolo mee and Sarawak laksa. A bit of bumps along the way, and Slurrp finally opened as a brick-and-mortar restaurant in September 2023. Today, you can visit for a taste of homely Sarawak flavours, with popular dishes including the effervescent Sarawak laksa, kolo mee, kampua noodles, crispy tomato noodles, and more.

Address: 22, Jalan SS 2/24, SS 2, 47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Opening Hours: 8AM-9PM, Tuesdays to Sundays. (Closed on Mondays)

2. Boiboi (Pork-Free)

They call themselves a “kopitiam with a twist”, and there are certainly many more twists than your usual kaya toast here. Sabahan food is hard to come by in KL, so imagine our delight when we saw Boiboi offers both Sabahan and Sarawakian treats here. From Tuaran Noodles to Sarawak Laksa, Dabai Fried Rice, and these intriguing Sandakan Century Eggs Dumplings.

Address: 14 Jalan Inai, off, Jln Imbi, 55100 Kuala Lumpur

3. Mama Ting Sarawak Noodle (Non-Halal)

For many of us, comfort food can look like a simple bowl of noodles: easy and delicious. When that craving hits, head over to Mama Ting Sarawak Noodle, which has an outlet in SS2 Petaling Jaya and Puchong. Here, you can find the usual suspects of kampua noodles, kolo mee, Sarawak laksa, and more.

Address: 8, Jalan SS 2/10, SS 2, 47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

4. Kafe Sarawak (Halal)

Authenticity is a major factor for most East Malaysians when they look for Bornean food in this part of the country—and Kafe Sarawak does not seem to have disappointed in that area. Those who visit the restaurant in Ampang praise the restaurant’s authentic flavours of Sarawak while also appreciating the variety of Sarawakian dishes available there—apart from the three noodle suspects—such as ayam pansuh, Sarawak-style corned beef fried rice, corned beef pucuk paku, and more.

Address: 43, Jalan Sulaiman 1, Taman Putra Sulaiman, 68000 Ampang, Selangor

5. Kedey Kamek (Halal)

With three outlets spread across the Klang Valley—TTDI, Sunway Putra Mall, and Lalaport—Kedey Kamek makes getting your Sarawakian food fix easier than ever. It’s best to come here with a full appetite and a group of people that love to eat, because you’ll want to try everything on their menu. Reviews typically point toward the variety of dishes that can be found here, which will usually be eaten family style: shared across the table and served with a side of rice. Try the linut with ikan terubuk, ayam pansuh, razor clams Sarawak laksa, and more.

Address 18, Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad 2, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur

6. D’Tungkus Takanon Sabahan Cafe (Halal)

Now here’s a full-fledged Sabahan restaurant in the Klang Valley. Located in Kota Kemuning, this humble little restaurant in the quiet residential area offers a full menu of authentic delicacies that are sure to cure any homesick Sabahans here. Here, you’ll find dishes such as Mee Sup Sabah, Nasi Kuning Ayam, Mee Basah Sabah Style, stuffed tofu, and more.

Address: W31/w, 2-G,Jalan Anggerik Vanilla, seksyen 31, Kota Kemuning, 40460 Shah Alam, Selangor

7. Kitchen Confidante (Pork-Free)

Straying from savoury dishes, Bornean desserts also deserve a shout and there’s no better (and more aesthetic) place to procure some than at Kitchen Confidante. Specialising in Sarawakian layer cakes, also known as kek lapis, chef-owner Karen Chai’s layered cakes are some of the prettiest and most intricately-designed ones you’ve seen. Merging tradition with her French culinary arts training, Kitchen Confidante offers more than just the classic flavours—Chai and her team has also experimented with other flavours such as Cempedak, Fig & Apricot, Choco Mint, and Hawthorne. We think this would make a great gift for a homesick Sarawakian.

Address: 18, Jalan SS 21/32, Damansara Utama, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

8. Karen’s Ethnic Plate

While Karen’s Ethnic Plate doesn’t have a physical restaurant she operates out of, you need to keep this Instagram account on your follow list to stay updated on when they will do pop-ups. Possibly one of the more interesting dinner menus you’ll have in Malaysia, Karen of Karen’s Ethnic Plate hosts Ethnic Sarawak Night, a curated dining experience that brings you on an educational and gastronomical journey through the indigenous cultures of Sarawak and their cuisine. Previously, they have explored Dayak cuisine and Sarawakian Malay’s Pengilan (ceremonial or banquet feasts). Their Instagram account also serves as a platform to educate people on indigenous ingredients and lesser-known dishes.

Their next dining experience will explore Central Sarawak flavours and will be held at Temu House in Petaling Jaya on May 24th, 2024. Find out more here.

9. Lin Li Xiang (Non-Halal)

Yet another reliable restaurant serving comfort Sarawakian noodles—recommended by a Sarawakian, no less—is Restaurant Lin Li Xiang in Damansara Jaya. If you’re feeling soupy and spicy, the Sarawak Laksa should be on your order list. Inclined for something non spicy? Try the Special Tomato Mee, with the deep fried noodles that will achieve the perfect soft-crunchy texture with the thick tomato gravy. The restaurant also serves Foochow dishes.

Address: 93G, Jalan SS 22/11, Damansara Jaya, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

10. Happy Fellow (Non-Halal)

Come for good food and leave happy—now that’s something we can get behind. At Happy Fellow, the vibes are cheery and immaculate, and the two signature dishes: Sarawak Laksa and Kolok Mee in a bright red hue are as delectable as they come. There are also other Sarawakian noodle signatures like Tomato Noodles and Kampua Noodles, but don’t skip out on their breakfast classics too, like kaya toast.

Address: 23G, Jalan SS 22/23, Damansara Jaya, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

11. 7th Mile Kitchen

We debated against including this restaurant in the list, but a classic establishment such as this deserves a mention—although they sincerely do not wish to go viral. This restaurant is a true “hidden gem” in the sense that it is pretty difficult to locate. The owners have also intentionally kept the restaurant small and the service team lean. At 7th Mile Kitchen, they encourage takeout and asserts that dine-in customers must self-service and pay an additional RM1 as a form of service charge. Regular patrons know and accept this, and are rewarded with some of the most underratedly amazing and authentic Sarawakian noodles in town.

Address: 20-1-3, Block C, Jalan 2/101C, Batu 5, Jln Cheras, Cheras Business Centre, 56000 Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

12. Camy Linopot (Pork-Free)

They may not have a physical restaurant to visit, but Camy Linopot serves us authentic Sabahan food. After all, Camy herself is Sabahan. Camy Linopot does catering and her offerings consist of classic Sabahan food from your quintessential linopot (leaf-wrapped rice), indigenous greens, deep fried fish, white pepper salted fish, young mango sambal, and more—these are dishes you’ll find in the everyday homes of Sabahans.

13. SALTed (Halal)

It will be hard to forget an eatery that has Anthony Bourdain painted onto the wall, looking like he’s having a meal with you. Luckily, a meal at SALTed will be hard to forget anyway—for the right reasons. Coming highly-recommended by friends from East Malaysia, the Sarawak laksa here is supposedly as close in flavour to what you can get back home. Don’t miss out on the Mee Jawa Sarawak too, and wash it all down with a classic Sarawak-style three-layer tea.

Address: 30, Jalan PJU 7/16a, Mutiara Damansara, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

14. Dapur Sarawak (Halal)

A quick look at Dapur Sarawak’s tagged posts on Instagram shows the love and gratitude Sarawakians in this part of Malaysia have for the food that this restaurant provides. Other than the staples of Sarawak laksa and halal kolo mee, Dapur Sarawak also offers dishes and kuih that you wouldn’t normally be able to find in Peninsula Malaysia. These include items like kuih celorot, kuih bongkol, lempeng tupik, mee jawa, linut, and more.

Dapur Sarawak has two outlets for now: one in Pekeliling, and another in Putrajaya.

Address: 19, Jalan Sarikei, Off Jalan Pahang, Pekeliling, 53000 Kuala Lumpur