You have probably exhausted every restaurant and cafe in Bangsar or Damansara Heights by now. And perhaps tried almost everything in TTDI. But there’s another affluent township in the northwest of Kuala Lumpur that deserves some attention – we are talking about Mont Kiara.
In the last two decades, Mont Kiara has been known as a residential enclave with an influx of expatriates; mostly Japanese and Koreans who make up almost half of the total residential population here. The resurgence of Korean restaurants in Solaris Mont Kiara explains the growing Korean population in this township. They even have a dedicated Korean supermarket selling important produce and foodstuff from the land of the morning calm.
Mont Kiara neighbours Desa Sri Hartamas and Publika are two of the most happening places to hang out during weekends. Check out the bazaars and marketplaces, as well as a selection of outdoor dining places to satiate your appetite for everything from BBQ ribs and Ramly burgers to alcoholic ice cream.
If you’ve hung out enough in the vicinity, you’d also know that Mont Kiara is quite the foodie’s paradise – not just as a place for your occasional Korean fix. Start looking around the adjacent neighbourhood malls – Arcoris Plaza and 1MK — for some unique coffee joints like Ra-Ft Cafe and Copenhagen Coffee. If you stay on until dinnertime, sample Kumar, an Indian fine dining restaurant, and The Majapahit, which serves up Thai-Indonesian cuisine.
Of course we would also recommend trying out various Korean delicacies available in Solaris Mont Kiara – from Korean BBQ to kimchi ramyeon. Still cannot decide on where to eat and drink in Mont Kiara? Here’s a simple guide to on where to have breakfast, lunch and dinner in the neighbourhood.
There is a quaint café tucked in Vista Kiara serving smørrebrøds and Normann Tea from Denmark. The Scandinavian coffee shop adopts a minimalistic open kitchen design in line with the hygge concept that is spreading across the globe. Owner Peter Sehested who is from Copenhagen will always be around to greet customers and make them feel like home. Since its opening, Copenhagen Coffee has been the to-go place for brunch, coffee and homemade cakes. Pop in a brookie (a chewy brownie cookie) into that list too.
If you’re a morning person, and want to get a quick coffee fix right after your jog around the neighbourhood, pop by Ra-Ft café which is located in Arcoris Plaza. This all-day breakfast place serves a unique coffee blend of Asian, Central American and South American beans for a darker roast with low acidity and a smooth finish that is perfect for espresso.
You’d be pleased to know that there are gluten-free and vegetarian options available on the menu. Start with the hearty Gourmet Eggs Benedict or Eggs Royale. If you’re still feeling peckish, go ahead and order the Bacon–stuffed Pancakes or something sweet from their daily specials.
Fat Olive Food Garage
The Verve Shops is the place to be for lunch. The area is quiet and situated right next to a supermarket – you can get your grocery’s list checked on the way out. One of the latest additions to the neighbourhood is Fat Olive Food Garage. This little Spanish gem is great for a Sunday brunch especially with the Mixed Tapas Platter that comprises Spanish tortilla, Serrano ham, Iberico chorizo, deep-fried calamari, chilli and garlic tiger prawns, chicken croquettes and homemade sourdough.
What stands out is the burger selection that is perfect for a hearty lunch. Order the Wagyu Beef or Iberico Pork Burger, both come with a side of fries. Otherwise, sample their wide selection of tapas that is best for sharing.
Kumar’s has been around since 1969 with its first stall in Brickfields. The dishes here are traditional and authentic. For starters, it is always a popular choice to order the fish head curry – one of Kumar’s signature dishes. If you’re here for a quick lunch on a weekday, the Thali Set offers a balanced and satisfying meal. Choose between chapatti, biryani or white rice that go well with every condiment and side dish in the menu.
The interiors of The Majapahit Restaurant come with a high ceiling and jade green feature walls that serve as the perfect setting for an Instagram photo. It is best to come in big groups of four to six to enjoy the Thai-Indonesian menu meant for sharing. Majapahit’s signature Crispy Flying Fish served with a sweet and spicy dark sauce is a must-try.
Sample the Satay of Southeast Asia that comprises Balinese Sate Lilit (fish), Sate Meranggi from Java (beef), Malaysian chicken satay and the Vietnamese sugarcane prawn skewers; each with its own dipping sauce. If you fancy some curry, the Curry Galore gives you four types of all-time favourites including Thai red and green curry, Indonesian squid curry and Malaysian prawn curry.
Sae Ma Eul
On rainy days, a hot bowl of kimchi soup would be the most comforting soul food to have. Head over to Sae Ma Eul for a hearty bowl of Korean stew – choose between Sundubu (spicy soft tofu stew) or Doenjang jjigae (soybean stew).
The Mont Kiara outpost is popular for its barbeque menu recommended by local residents. Besides the usual meat options, try the baby octopus; it will not disappoint.
Don’t forget to order the spicy rice ball that is equally delicious and satisfying as well. Complement your BBQ dinner with some Korean beer or Makgeolli (pronounced mahk-oh-lee), which is a native light sparkling rice wine.
And if you’re still in the neighbourhood, hop over to Kim’s Mart for some yoghurt and pear flavoured ice pops imported directly from Korea.