Kuala Lumpur is a buzzing city that’s famous for its impressive skyline, rich mix of cultures, and incredible food. One of the best things to do in KL is eat your way around the city, and try a mix of Chinese, Indian and Malay dishes. While there is so much great food available at street markets, spread around the city are restaurants that offer more than just food. From eating suspended in the air, completely in the dark, or on a Boeing 737, these dining experiences turn a regular meal into an unforgettable event.
Here are some unusual and delightful places to try on your next visit to Kuala Lumpur.
Plane in the City
Opening Hours: 4–11:30PM
Address: 231, Bukit Bintang Street, Imbi, 55100 Kuala Lumpur
Price: 259MYR / £47 / €56 per person for a three course meal with wing walk, cockpit visit, and a window seat.
Get a first class plane dining experience, without even leaving the ground at Plane in the City KL. Here, you are served a 3 or 5 course meal on a Boeing 737 right in the middle of the city, surrounded by skyscrapers. Get strapped into a harness for a wing walk and have a tour of the cockpit before your meal is served, with professional photos taken and displayed for you while you eat.
There are three options to choose from, from economy to first class – we had economy and the food was delicious. Sometimes with themed restaurants there can be a fear that so much work has gone into the experience, and not enough into the food – but this isn’t the case here. Each course is provided by Elements KL, so the food is of a very high standard. Vegetarian meals are available, and there is no pork served.
This is an immersive experience, and the staff really do their best to make you feel like you’re about to fly. Before your meal you are given a funny safety demonstration for your ‘flight’, after which the plane starts to shake like it’s taking off. It was a really fun evening, and more than delivered on my expectations – especially the quality of the food. We were there in December, so the plane was decorated in a festive theme with Christmas trees and Christmas music playing throughout the ‘flight’.
No skirts or dresses should be worn, as you have to wear a harness for the wing walk. I wore heels and it was fine to keep them on during the walk. Special packages are available at Plane In The City from 24th – 26th December if you are here over Christmas, and the experience will be festive themed until the year end.
Dinner in the Sky
Opening Hours: Sun – Thurs: 5 – 10pm, Fri & Sat: 5-11:30pm
Address: 231, Bukit Bintang Street, Kuala Lumpur, 55100 Kuala Lumpur
Price: 499MYR / £92 / €108 per person for entrance to the SkyLand Lounge, a three course meal, free flow water & juice
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Fine dining with a unique twist! Dinner in the Sky uses a crane to hoist its diners, table, and waiting staff 150 feet into the air for this 1 hour experience. Enjoy a 3 or 4 course meal suspended in the air with a 360-degree view of Kuala Lumpur – and an experience that you will never forget. You’ll be treated to a stunning view of Petronas Twin Towers, and a 5-Star meal by Elements KL,
From 3 Dec-5 Jan 2020 they are running a special ‘Santa in the Sky’ experience, with the table decked out in festive decorations – including reindeer at the front! You can see a photo of the decorations here.
Lockers are available for any belongings you don’t need to bring up with you, and there is a bathroom in the waiting lounge – but once you’re at the top, you’re going to have to hold it!
Dining In The Dark KL
Opening Hours: 6 – 9:30pm all week
Address: 50A, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang, 50200 Kuala Lumpur
Price: 138MYR / £25 / €30 per person for a 4 course ‘classic’ or vegetarian menus.
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Dining in the dark aims to bring food appreciation to a higher level by removing one of your senses during the meal – sight! You eat in pitch darkness and enjoy your food through taste, smell, touch and sound. You are served by blind or visually impaired wait staff, who will guide you through the process of eating without your sight and are aptly called ‘darkness experts’. They skillfully bring you through the pitch black restaurant to your table and show you how to master simple tasks like pouring a glass of water without sight.
The menu is a surprise, so you don’t know what you will be receiving until it arrives and you pretty much have to guess what’s on your plate. A lot of effort goes into creating dishes with different textures and flavours, and you can focus a lot on these with your sight gone. Meat makes me a little sqeamish sometimes, so I opt for the veggie menu when I try these restaurants! Every meal I’ve had has been so good.
Dining in the dark is something I’ve tried a few times, and while it takes a minute to get used to – it’s an incredible sensory experience. I really recommend it if you want try something new, and to gain an appreciation both for food and those that take on the world each day without a sense that we take so much for granted.
This is a certified halal and pork free restaurant, and vegetarian and vegan options are available. Dietary and allergy restrictions can be accommodated. However I just want to stress that there is literally no light at all, so those with serious allergies may not feel comfortable eating without seeing their food.
Din Tai Fung
Opening Hours: 11AM–9:45PM all week
Address: Lot 6.01.05, Level 6, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, 168, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur
Price: Appetisers are around 15MYR / £2 / €3 each, 6 dumplings / soups / main dishes are 20MYR / £3.50 / €4, individual bun are 4MYR / 75p / 87c.
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Feel like some Michelin-starred dim sum for the price of a McDonalds? Din Tai Fung has you covered! This restaurant was a highlight for us on our first trip to KL, and is absolutely worth the wait for a table.
Located in the Pavilion shopping centre, Din Tai Fung has a lot of character for a shopping mall restaurant. While you wait for your table, you can watch chefs prepare the famous dishes, and it’s almost hypnotizing to watch the speed at which they work.
Once inside, it’s impossible not to over-order, so I highly recommend you arrive here with a big appetite! The menu is wide and varied, with many vegetarian options and also some vegan options available. There will be paper and pencils on your table, and you go through the menu and tick off the items that you want to order. If you do have any questions about the food you can flag down a waiter. We tended to google the dishes instead though as the staff are moving about so quickly to keep up with the stream of diners coming through.
The steamed veggie mushroom dumplings were delicious, and there was also a truffle dumpling which I loved. Tim had spring onion and pork dry noodles, and we shared the veggie mushroom bun too! It is quite meaty here, and there is a lot of pork, but I had plenty to eat as a veggie.
On weekends, try to come here just outside popular eating hours – like 11am / 3 – 4 pm. Coming just before or after lunch & dinner means its quicker to get a table. Queuing is almost a part of the experience here though, so don’t worry if you arrive at peak times – since you’re in a mall it’s not like you’re standing in the heat or rain.
Opening Hours: 11:30AM–11PM all week
Address: Menara Kuala Lumpur, 2, Jalan Puncak, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Price: 76MYR / £14 / €16.50 for afternoon tea, 128MYR / £24 / €28 for lunch, and 232MYR / £43 / €50 for dinner
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This is probably the longest running and most famous restaurant on the list, as it can be seen from almost everywhere in the city. 282m above the ground, located in the famous Menara KL tower, Atmosphere 360 is a stunning restaurant that gives you 360 degree views across the city.
Day or night, you’re treated to impressive views of the Kuala Lumpur skyline. And the best bit is that there is no fighting to get the table with the best view here – the entire restaurant rotates as you eat so you can see the entire city without even standing up. You won’t notice you’re moving, but every so often your view will change and you’ll suddenly see another impressive sight.
The reason for the reasonable prices is that food is served buffet style, rather than a la carte. Malay, Indian, Chinese, and western dishes are served, with vegetarian options and some vegan options available (not many though, but since it’s a buffet you can have as much as you like of the things you can eat). There is a halal station, and if you like simple foods there is a pasta station where you can have penne with tomato sauce or something easy like that. There is also a huge dessert station where you can satisfy your sweet tooth.
As well as lunch and dinner, afternoon and high tea are also served here daily and are more affordable for budget travellers. I do recommend booking in advance so that you are guaranteed a seat. You can do this online using the link above.
Soon Heng Social Club
Opening Hours: 6 – 11pm
Address: Only made available after you have made a reservation
Price: Appetisers 25MYR / £4 / €6, Mains start at 39MYR / £7 / €8.50 each
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As they proudly state on their Instagram page, Soon Heng Social Club is ‘Not your normal restaurant’. Walk-ins are not accepted at this vintage Shanghai-style restaurant, which is impossible anyway as their address is not disclosed until you have made a reservation.
To reduce food waste, they ask for food to be pre-ordered and prices are extremely reasonable at £7 for a main. The menus change regularly, and are posted on their Instagram page which is linked above. There is very little to be found online about Soon Heng, which makes it quite an intriguing place to visit while you’re in KL!
The menu is small, with one appetiser, one dessert and 3-4 main course options. All main courses I have seen are meaty, but I have messaged to ask about vegetarian options. Dishes include spicy grilled Moroccan harissa chicken, citrus and lime marinated lamb loins, and Angus sirloin steak. All mains also come with two side dishes included in the price.
I recommend trying to book your table here as early as possible, as they are often booked out. Right now they are booked through December and January already, so book ahead if you don’t want to miss out!
Opening Hours: Tues – Fri: 7 – 9 pm, Sat & Sun: 4 – 9pm
Address: 231, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Imbi, 55100 Kuala Lumpur
Price: 399MYR / £74 / €87 per person for a 5 course meal
Whimsy is a unique multi sensory fine dining experience that is much more than just a meal. I’ll do my best to describe it here, but I highly recommend watching the video below to see what the experience is like. It really is like nothing else I’ve seen before!
Whimsy aims to take you on an adventure of sight, sound and imagination while you eat, combining inventive food with state of the art projections to turn your dinner into a cinematic experience. They aim to push the boundaries of dining and entertainment, and provide you with once in a lifetime dining experience.
All meals are pork free, but some do contain alcohol. I can’t see any reference to vegetarian menus on the website, but they do specifically say that the specially-designed meals cannot be changed so I’m not sure if it’s suitable for veggies. Dishes include smoked Duck and Lentil Salad, Roast Scallop, Japanese Turnip, Samphire, and Red Ogo Seaweed.
This experience is suitable for children over 7 years of age, so this is suitable for families. Maximum group size is 10, and the entire experience lasts 90 minutes from start to finish.
Le Petit Chef
Opening Hours: Tues – Thurs: 6-10pm, Fri: 6-11pm, Sat: 5 – 11:30pm, Sun: 5 – 10pm, Closed Mondays
Address: HIVE Unit H-G-11, TREC, 438, Jalan Tun Razak, 50400 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Price: The classic 4 course menu is 299MYR / £55 / €65 per person, kids menu is 99MYR / £18 / €20. More expensive options including alcohol are available.
Le Petit Chef is a worldwide dining sensation that I have tried to book into many times in many cities, but it has been full every time! Like Whimsy, this dining experience is impossible for me to explain fully to you – so here is another video to show you what it’s like (skip to 40 seconds and start there if you’re short on time).
This innovative dining experience tells the story of a small animated chef ‘Le Petit Chef’ who is projected onto diners’ plates and proceeds to ‘cook’ their food, on their plates in front of them. Each course is preceded by an animation of the chef preparing the different components of the dish and getting it ready to serve. As well as entertaining you, it shows you the different ingredients and flavours you can expect in your dish. This is suitable for children over the age of 6, with a special cheaper kids meal available.
Dishes include Prawn and Crab Bisque with Koji Seabream, Wagyu Beef with Bordelaise Sauce, and Butter Roasted Maine Lobster with Black Truffles. I can’t see a vegetarian option on the site, and again there is a reference to not being able to change meals.
The menu is pork free, but alcohol has been used in some dishes. I have emailed both Whimsy and Le Petit Chef to ask if they do have veggie and vegan options, so I’ll update the post once I have a response.
If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience on your next trip to KL, give one of these restaurants a try – and let me know how what you think! If you have any more unique dining experiences to add to the list, leave them in the comments.
Thanks for reading!