Mintel city food guide: What to eat in Kuala Lumpur

July 26, 2019
3 min read

You regularly enjoy our analysts’ food adventures and you keenly read our insights about the food and drink industry. This summer, we’re bringing you the ultimate city food guides to accompany your travels around the world. From Chicago to Kuala Lumpur, London and Shanghai, get ready to discover the latest foodservice trends in these buzzing metropolises, crossroads of cultures, spices and flavours. Because who’s better than a local, food-obsessed, restaurant-hopping analyst to spot up and coming cuisines?

Let’s hear about Kuala Lumpur’s foodscene from Heng Hong Tan, APAC Food & Drink Analyst.

More than food: experiential dining

A new form of dining experience has emerged in Kuala Lumpur. It is an extension of the Mintel Food & Drink Trend ‘Eat With Your Eyes’, which stresses the importance of creating food that is boldly coloured, artfully constructed and sometimes just cool! In this evolution of the trend, the focus is on the dining environment to enhance the ambiance. Malaysia’s first aircraft dining experience known as Plane In The City was officially launched on 25 April 2018. The food on the Boeing 737 aircraft is served exclusively by Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur, a five-star hotel. Diners are served three or four courses depending on their package – Economy, Business or First class. To make the experience memorable and even more social media friendly, they can even take selfies inside the pilot’s cockpit or walk on the wings of the plane.

Projection dining is another new concept in Malaysia. TwoSpicy Entertainment, which is the company behind Plane In The City, has introduced Whimsy – the first-of-its-kind multi-sensory, fine dining experience in Malaysia.

It offers an epicurean journey using state of the art 360 projection with food curated by Chef Jeffrey Ramsey, the youngest Michelin-starred chef in Japan. Imagination comes to life during the course of the evening, with a set meal accompanied by projections on the four walls and on the table. Dishes are introduced by changing immersive scenes, from the far-off space to the deep sea, with soundtracks curated to further enhance the visual.

Bubble tea inspired food

Milk tea or bubble tea is seeing a resurgence in popularity in Malaysia and throughout Asia, with consumers lining up for the latest milk tea chains that have just opened in town. Also enjoying a rise in popularity is bubble tea food: chewy tapioca boba pearls are added to all sorts of dishes, introducing a new texture element. In Kuala Lumpur, My Pizza Lab sells Boba Milk Pizza – a sweet and savoury concoction made with tapioca pearls, condensed milk, mozzarella, cream cheese, cheddar and garlic oil. A selection of boba boozy drinks is also available, including boba beer cocktails.

Credit: MyPizzaLab

Dessert chain Sweeto has introduced four different flavours of boba cakes – strawberry, matcha, milk tea and Hershey’s chocolate. The pearls are hidden within the ‘lava cakes’, ready to pour out when cut, or scattered on top. Meanwhile, TeaCottage’s signature dish is the Winter Milk Tea Waffle – comprising mocha ice cream, osmanthus flowers and tapioca pearls.

Credit: Sweeto
Credit: TeaCottage


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