Tourism Malaysia

Restaurant Kampung Melayu @ Low Yat Plaza

November 7, 2012 at 4:29 pm

It is common for travellers to sample the local cuisine whenever they travel to a foreign land. With the advent of commercial tourism, however, it has become quite a challenge to locate an eatery that serves authentic local cuisine as opposed to food served to tourists. So where would one be able to find a restaurant serving affordable yet authentic Malay cuisine in Kuala Lumpur?

Restaurant Kampung Melayu, an affordable and authentic Malay restaurant right in the heart of KL

The answer is Restaurant Kampung Melayu, conveniently located at the ground floor of Low Yat Plaza, in the heart of Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur’s shopping district. I had dinner there recently, courtesy of Moola, the first ever homegrown Cash-Back Lifestyle programme by ICT Utopia. Joining me on that day was Emily Tang of Sunrise Emily blog and all of us had a splendid time and great laughs too, thanks to one particular dish. More on that later, but for now you can check out what Emily thought of Restaurant Kampung Melayu on her blog!

Some of the simple but hearthy Malay dishes available at Restaurant Kampung Melayu

Why is affordable authentic Malay food that taste great rather hard to find? Simply because of modernization and the influence it brings with it, and perhaps the time and effort taken to prepare great Malay dishes. So you could imagine my delight to find myself face to face with some Malaysian favourites that evening.

The Mutton Biryani Rice

The Chicken Biryani Rice

Rice is an important part of Malay cuisine, and served in many ways at Restaurant Kampung Melayu. We had the Mutton Claypot Biryani Rice, the Chicken Claypot Biryani and the Nasi Goreng Kampung, or village styled fried rice. The biryani rice originates from the Indian subcontinent, and is a firm favourite among Malaysians due to its fragrance and complex mixture of tastes. Restaurant Kampung Melayu’s biryani tastes great without being overwhelmingly oily. The mutton was tender, while the chicken was just right. Both were spicy, so those who are unaccustomed to the heat should be mindful of the spicy curry. The fried rice was great, but once again caution should be taken if you are not partial to spicy food as this has potent chili padi stirred into the rice.

The spicy but delicious Nasi Goreng Kampung

Simple refreshing vegetable dishes that accompany the Biryani

The mixed pickled vegetables or Acar

The rice dishes were accompanied by several vegetable side dishes, including stir fried cabbage, curry eggplant and mixed pickled vegetables. These vegetable dishes are usually served with many Malay rice dishes and bring a light and refreshing taste in contrast to the rich and flavourful rice dishes. The mixed pickled vegetables, known as acar, is very common and simple dish to prepare, made with raw cucumber, pineapple, onion and red chili pickled in vinegar. While sourish in taste, the dish is light and very refreshing.

The Daging Masak Merah

The Ikan Pari Bakar

We were also served with three main dishes – Daging Masak Merah, a spicy beef dish; Ikan Pari Bakar, spicy grilled ray; and Kailan Ikan Masin, stir fried kalian with salted fish. These dishes are meant to be taken with rice, usually plain white rice, which is the staple for most Malaysians. The beef was tender, and had a spicy aftertaste, while the grilled ray was truly spicy and well grilled. The kalian was an interesting dish, the salted fish providing a lot of flavour.

Stir Fried Kailan with Salted Fish

The Thai inspired Tom Yam Soup

We also had two different soups – the Tom Yam Soup, which is actually a Thai dish, and the Sup Lidah, or Cow’s Tongue Soup. The Tom Yam is a favourite among Malaysians, and is a common feature at most Malay and Chinese eateries. The Cow’s Tongue Soup may sound rather daunting, due to the part of meat that it features, but is actually somewhat of a delicacy in Malaysia. The soup is a clear soup incorporating an assortment of ingredients, including spices. It is mild compared to any Tom Yam as it does not use chilli in its preparation. I have to admit that I usually steer clear of offal and that the Cow’s Tongue Soup was left alone by our dinner party for the larger part of the evening. That is until one of the braver souls ventured for a bite, and to our surprise, rated it very favourably. That sparked everyone’s interest, and before you knew it, we ended up declaring that the Cow’s Tongue Soup was one of the nicest surprises of the evening!

The evening’s unexpected highlight, the Sup Lidah

Restaurant Kampung Melayu also offers typical Malaysian favourites like Satay and Otak-Otak. Satay, I think would require no real introduction, being quite well known throughout the world. A simple meat dish, satay is marinated grilled meat skewers served with peanut sauce accompanied with cucumber and onion slices. Otak-otak is spicy fish paste wrapped in leaves which are then grilled over an open fire. The Satay and Otak-otak served at Restaurant Kampung Melayu were delicious and are a great introduction to Malay cuisine.

The Satay and Otak-Otak

Roti Tissue

The Making of Roti Tissue

During our visit, we also had a taste of Roti Tissue, a sweet variation of the Roti Canai, an Indian bread. The Roti Tissue is a paper thin roti canai that is flavoured with sugar and condensed milk. Different restaurants serve the roti tissue in different ways, Restaurant Kampung Melayu serves theirs in a cone shape. Finally, to wrap up the evening, we had some refreshing sweet lassi and mango lassi, as well as local shaved ice desserts known as ABC or Ais Batu Campur, and its fruity variant, the ABC Mango.

The Sweet Lassi and the Mango Lassi

The ABC Mango

The Original ABC

This Dining With Moola experience is courtesy of Moola, the first-ever Cash-Back Lifestyle Programme specially designed for shoppers to enjoy free shopping, great savings and best deals in town. Moola is a mobile application that utilises QR code technology for all interactions; from member registration, Moola accumulation and redemption, to the actual shopping.

Moola Frenz who dine at Restaurant Kampung Melayu are entitled to a HUGE 30% cash back everytime! What’s more, you can also grab FreeMakan vouchers for even MORE savings here!

Moola is completely hassle-free; no administrative effort; no joining fee; no cards; and comes with even greater flexibility for shoppers to enjoy the variety of rewards for redemption. Visit for more information and download the Moola app today! Apple, Android and Blackberry phones supported.

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Cuisine in Melaka


The Hainanese Village of Melaka

MyKampung 2012-10-09 16:53

The Hainanese people started to emigrate to Melaka about a century ago. Photo courtesy: Guang Ming Daily
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Translated by WINNIE CHOOI
Guang Ming Daily

MELAKA — A translucent sunlight makes a perfect timing to explore Hang Tuah’s tomb with a wonderful setting of azure sea and blue sky. A complete journey should be accompanied with a search of the Qiongzhou accent omnipresent in the Hainanese Village as well as the unmistakable Hakka Dongjiang cuisine.

Tanjung Kling

Melaka is such a casual and romantic place where the beach could be reached within 30 minutes. One of the popular beaches in Melaka, Tanjung Kling is also the final resting place of national hero Hang Tuah.

Tanjung Kling is located about 10km northwest of the historic city. Along the road are rows of shophouses erected on reclaimed land with the coastline beyond. The beach is easily accessible with a short 10-minute drive from town. Its serene ambience makes it a perfect venue for leisure and recreational activities.

Kampung Hailam

Half way towards Tanjung Kling from the city centre, along the small road leading to Pantai Kundor is a milestone standing next to a shabby Malay shop house marking the entrance to “Hainanese Village, where environment is our common responsibility.”

Walking into the alley and not far away lies the sea followed by a few houses at one corner. Some 95% of residents living in the 9-acre Kampung Hailam are Hainanese, with only three Hokkien households.

During the West Han dynasty of China, the Hainanese people began emigrating to Southeast Asia. The Hainanese people started to come to Melaka about a hundred years ago. They came together to form a tiny fishing village rich in the Hainanese culture.

Fishing and cooking

There are about 50 households in the Hainanese Village leading a typically laid-back lifestyle in a strongly bonded society. However, due to the lack of development, most young villagers have moved to the city to make a living.

According to older villagers, their livelihood was mostly dependent on fishing during the colonial days. Many families here boil and dry the salt in their own compounds and almost every vacant plot of land in the village has been turned into salt fields. As fishing is the most primitive skills of the Hainanese people, many villagers have started to make fishing their main source of livelihood.

Records show that during the colonial days back in the 1950s, villagers quit fishing because of inconsistent income and became domestic helps for senior British officers in order to earn more lucrative incomes. In addition, the Hainanese were also known for their cooking skills and almost every Hainanese family has produced at least a chef serving at major restaurants worldwide.

Cherishing freedom

83-year-old villager Lin Jin Luan told Guang Ming Daily she had been living in the Hainanese Village for more than six decades ever since she was married to her husband and relocated here. She said majority of the fishermen in the village used to be Chinese but now there are more and more fishermen from other races.

Having grown accustomed to life by the sea, Lin said she would have problem adapting to the new life if she were to move away from the beach.

“How would you like to live in the city?” When confronted by the question from the Guang Ming Daily reporter, Lin replied, “Urban people lock themselves in the concrete cages; city living is not my cup of tea.

“I would never want to move into a bungalow even if I become rich one day. I would prefer to live by the beach and stare at the open sea.”

Lin’s daughter Yan Yu Zhuan, a maths teacher in the nearby SMK Bukit Rambai, chooses to remain in the tiny fishing village, unlike her contemporaries.

“If possible, I would like to continue living in the village.”

He Ping Hakka Restaurant

Hakka dishes are also known as Dongjiang dishes. Traditional Hakka food is characterised by its heavy taste and is somewhat salty, spiced and fatty. The saltiness is to prolong the preservation period of the food while fat provides the energy for Hakka people who used to be engaged in manual works, while spicy food stimulates the taste buds.

Located at Pantai Kundor about 10 minutes from Tanjung Kling and the Hainanese Village, the restaurant has been in operation for 15 years now. Among the Hakka specialties served are the abacus yam balls, pork with preserved vegetables, steamed duck and stewed bean curd.


Kampung Hailam is also near to the Malacca Club Rotunda which is Malacca’s oldest club which was founded in 1890. Melaka Sailing Club used to be located near Kampung Hailam during the 1970s. Unfortunately, the sailing club is non-existent now.