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Best Places For Vegetarian Eats In Kuala Lumpur

Best Places For Vegetarian Eats In Kuala Lumpur

Going vegetarian may not be easy, but surely, it's much more convenient now that the city is laden with choices. From the plethora of places, we handpicked these 10 that inspire green-eating habits with irresistible mixed rice spreads, meat-free Mexican fare and vegetarian bak kut teh. There is even a sweet spot for vegan ice cream!
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Dharma Realm Guan Yin Monastery sports a canteen in the back, a discreet temple eatery that sets the bar for a solid vegetarian lunch in the city. The Buddhist cooks here are steeped in years of kitchen experience, all while adhering to a strict practice of cooking without white sugar, MSG and preservatives. Join the rest of Jalan Ampang in line for a meal that's both easy on your waistline and your wallet. Variety is what to come for — the zhap fan counter sees over 50 vegetarian dishes on offer, from simple stir-fried eggplant to neat squares of braised tofu and tasty fried beancurd skin in many forms. A rice or noodle lunch plate piled on with two to three dishes should cost about RM5-8 depending on portion. There is also a stunning amount of delicious mock meats in the mix, but we'll advise you help yourselves to those sparingly lest your carb intake shoots through the roof. If it's a Friday, skip out zhap fan for the day's special fragrant Lei Cha (RM5). For dessert, grab a pack of freshly cut fruit or a sweet-sticky Red Bean Pancake (RM3) to take back to the office!
Avg price per person: RM10
Photo by Burppler Trisha Toh

Making a solid appearance in yet another guide is Lorong Kurau's Ganga Cafe. This cosy abode is home to our favourite Indian vegetarian eats, made with organic produce fresh from the restaurant's own backyard. Mark this down for early eats with good company — note that space isn't a luxury here, so keep the group small. Served with brown rice, three vegetables, two dhals, papadam and a salad, the Ganga Standard Thali (RM9.90) makes a simple, self-contained choice for lunch. Tastemaker Nicholas has nothing but praise for the sauces, "all strongly flavoured but delicate, and taste so good you don't realise there's no meat involved at all." Rice aside, the menu offers excellent breads too. The Chapati (RM1) is a favourite, cooked to a beautiful tan with crusty edges — great to sop up creamy dhal with! For fans of the revered butter chicken, their Paneer Butter Masala (RM17) with cottage cheese will make a delicious meat-free alternative.
Avg price per person: RM10
Photo by Burppler Edric Lee

This decade-old Chinese restaurant in Taman Desa continues to be a focal point of the neighbourhood when it comes to vegetarian ideals. Previously a seamstress, matriarch Madam Gan established Fan Cai Xiang with hearty dishes inspired by her family's taste for good food sans MSG. With over 150 dishes in their menu, this restaurant replete with round tables and sturdy wooden chairs is the universal answer to an all-pleasing family dinner. Even if you are not pro-mock meat, try their vegetarian version of Honey Barbecue Pork (from RM17), which not only resembles real meat, but also manages to replicate a similar shiny lard-like sheen. As you work through the menu, it becomes apparent that the stalwart kitchen has mastered making vegetarian meats to look, feel and taste just like the real thing. The Basil Fried Egg (from RM15) is a perfect example — the mock egg dish is made from soybean sheets and then, scrambled beautifully with basil leaves for fragrant and fluffy results. In a league of its own is the Marmite Fish (from RM16). Be sure to try this tender brinjal creation, shaped like a fish and finished in a luscious Marmite and mushroom gravy.
Avg price per person: RM30
Photo by Burppler Amayzing

Set within a supermarket that stocks Subang Jaya's most varied organic options, this humble spot also offers their ingredients cooked and ready to eat! The casual SS18 location grants it an environment suited for various groups, be it friends, family or colleagues. Favoured here is the Bak Kut Teh Soup (from RM17), a claypot of veggies, mushrooms, tofu and broth that isn't at all pretentious, but unique in its wholesome herbal stock flavours. Substituting flavour-packed seaweed for meat, the Seaweed Rice (RM10.50) packs plenty of umami flavour alongside mixed vegetables to boot. The use of unpolished brown rice also makes these dishes excellent for the health conscious, as well as diabetics. Since Organic Vegetarian is first and foremost a mart, ordering greens comes with a guarantee for freshness. Either have it rolled up with a touch of sauce in the Veggie Sushi (RM9.40) or choose from the elaborate tai chow menu. Each available type is listed with the option to have it stir-fried, kam heong-style, doused in sambal or tossed in the wok with black beans.
Avg price per person: RM20
Photo by Burppler Maria Chou

Chef-owner Fauzi's decision to go vegan also spurred his calling to create Sala, a Mexican-meets-Malaysian eatery in Sri Hartamas. The modest restaurant is fast becoming a favourite in our books, both for its easygoing vibes and excellent food. Expect Mexican staples with a vegetarian twist, like a controversial BB Jack Taco (RM7). The use of barbecued jackfruit works nicely with spicy jalapeno, sour cream and pico de gallo, resulting in a sweet, tangy and delightfully pungent flavour unlike any other. Also delicious is the Shrooms Taco (RM7), which relies on the mainstay of mushrooms and black beans to hit the spot. For diners who prefer to build their own, the burrito bar allows customisation for RM18 a pop — the cilantro lime brown rice will guarantee the burrito a surefire win. Served with a side of plaintain chips, the warming Vegan Chilli (RM7) speaks for itself through a satisfying meld of vegan cheese, toasty beans and lentils. Apart from Mexican fare, vegan versions of quintessentially Malaysian Nasi Lemak (from RM7) and Curry Laksa (from RM7) also make tempting choices for their rich coconut milk fragrance.
Avg price per person: RM30
Photo by Burppler Foodgazer

Burpplers working in Brickfields will want to bookmark this gem for an Indian vegetarian breakfast and lunch. Ensconced in a backalley behind Lorong Scott, Lawanya Food Corner has been dishing out home-style delights for over 30 years. Breakfast begins early at 7am, with made-to-order Roti Canai, Tosai and Chapati (RM1 each) up for grabs. There is also Nasi Lemak and Mee Goreng (from RM1.50) to go with a spot-on sambal. Noon is when these streetside bench seats are quickly snapped up by diners in the know, all here for a round of Indian-style Mixed Rice (approx. RM6 a plate). The diverse spread covers the bases for both vegetarian and non-vegetarian patrons. The former will want to focus on their well-loved greens, from stir-fried banana stem to deep-fried okras. Unlike the often overly soft vegetables found in Indian cooking, the ones here are cooked to an ideal texture straddling tenderness and crunch. Their unique spinach dhal is not to be missed, a finishing touch to every plate that comes through the counter. For non-vegetarians, the fish curry can be quite the experience — it's a flavourful gravy cooked with zesty mango seeds and piquant shark meat!
Avg price per person: RM10

Relatively new to the scene, Kind Kones comes to the aid of vegan converts with sweet subsistence: ice cream! The snazzy spot is an effort by the same people behind Raisin' The Roof (also vegan), who have taken to handcrafting all-natural vegan ice cream to encourage healthy eating. Going for RM9.90 a scoop (RM11.80 for premium flavours), the ice cream made from a base of almond, cashew or coconut milk is worth every penny you're paying for the sheer quality. Top flavours tried and tested by the Burpple community include the Salted Chocolate Chip, Mocha Almond Chocolate Chip and the French Vanilla Bean, all of which rock smooth textures and a pleasantly nutty aftertaste. Burppler Jesuis Enamourez tips her hat off to the Cinnamon Toast, citing it "light, not cloyingly sweet and keeps you wanting more." The dessert joint is also quick to introduce new, spunky flavours like Jackfruit and Durian though only when the fruit is in season. In case ice cream isn't your thing — we won't judge! —, the chiller showcases a myriad of delicious raw cakes and pastries. Chocolate Donuts (RM14.90), anyone?
Avg price per person: RM15
Photo by Burppler Carmen Foo

This cafe-cum-grocer holds the "we are what we eat" adage dearly and aims to change the game with ethically sourced, quality meat-free eats. The lofty location it's housed in provides plenty space for group gatherings, especially if your party appreciates honest-to-goodness fare! Start by sharing their signature Steamed Dumplings (RM19 for 8 pieces), thin, toothsome parcels encasing mushrooms, beancurd, beans, carrots and turnip. These handmade morsels are produced in limited amounts, so be sure to snag an order if they're available. You can never go wrong with the Organic Mushroom Aglio Olio (RM22), redolent of garlic, onion and mushrooms. Those with a sweet tooth should look to their Original Banana Pancakes (RM23), topped with bananas, berries and agave. The team is immensely proud of this three-ingredient treat, which also happens to wheat and gluten-free!
Avg price per person: RM30
Photo by Burppler Foodroll_

Hawker centre San Sann draws the crowd for its array of vegetarian dishes available from lunch to dinner. It is, however, the hawker stalls for noodle dishes and roti canai, that we find irresistible. This Mega Mendung branch is a convenient location, whether it's for an early breakfast on the way to work or leisurely lunches. There are ample seats in the shoplot, plus an air-conditioned annexe for hotter days. Aside from a wonderful rendition of Wanton Noodles (RM5.50), slicked in a dark soy sauce with faux char siew slices and mock meat soup wantons, the noodle stall features weekly specials to look out for. The Curry Mee (RM5.50) is a perennial favourite for its runny but spicy broth while the Sarawak Noodles (RM6) seem to fare well with curious diners. If you're feeling peckish but not ravenous, go for a light Roti Canai (from RM1.20) served with dhal. Otherwise, consider getting zhap fan with handsome choices for beancurd, mock meat and greens.
Avg price per person: RM10

The combination of an ambiguous name and the low-key exterior sets LN Fortunate Coffee to be an quite an unassuming place. But given the chance, this cafe for plant-based eats can impress even the least of veggie lovers. The quiet space grants it the perfect setting to catch up with a friend over coffee or to catch up on work over a solo meal — power outlets are easily available. The menu consists of simple recipes, all meant to soothe the tummy or have uplifting effects on the body. For rainy day comforts, try the Noodle Soup (RM21) made of soba in awase miso soup topped off with edamame, tofu, mushrooms and corn. The broth boasts a bright miso aroma, tasty without the deluge of MSG flavours. The Nature's Green Fortune (from RM10) sounds deceptively dry, but it certainly won us over with a moist, crunchy medley of edamame, snap peas, chickpeas, beans and barley. There is also an option to have it with pasta (additional RM15) for a more substantial meal. Drinks-wise, the cafe specialises in pour overs and a distinctive drink called 3 In The Afternoon (RM18). It's a special blend of coffee ice cubes with soy milk, enjoyed at different temperatures for varying flavour profiles.
Avg price per person: RM35
Photo by Burppler Rueann Dass

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