#BuroDiningGuide: 7 Go-to places for a satisfying lunch fix
Mei might be distinctively different from its sister establishment (Fat Spoon in Uptown Damansara), serving Japanese-inspired food in a bright, cheery interior of white brick walls, but like Fat Spoon, it excels in delivering hearty comfort meals that will have you going back for more. The rice bowls here are firm lunch favourites—you can hardly go wrong with the torched salmon one (semi-torched salmon served with onsen egg, cucumber, and aromatic herbs with a chilli lime dressing on steamed rice) or a fried lemongrass chicken poppers rice bowl (crispy fried lemongrass bite-sized chicken served with cabbage slaw).
Address: 22G, Jalan 27/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 11am - 10pm (Tues - Sun)
Bakar stands comfortably nestled amongst the quaint eateries of Lorong Kurau. Dishing out a menu dotted with a diverse spectrum of influences, the invariable component is its "simple fare with dramatic flair." The restaurant specialises in food licked by smoky flames and cooked atop burning embers but freely explores the scope of international cuisine while maintaining a keen focus on modern barbecue.
A fresh addition to the lunch menu, four new rice bowls designed to satiate the hungry afternoon crowds in Bangsar are definitely worth checking out. Adopting the popular donburi concept, Bakar's hearty renditions feature three carnivorous choices—a Japanese-inspired grilled teriyaki chicken thigh with sous vide egg, a wonderfully aromatic Rajasthani duck leg, and slices of tender braised Dorper lamb shoulder—and a fish option—the lightly grilled salmon trout—all served on a bed of Japanese rice.
Address: 11B, Lorong Kurau, Taman Weng Lock, Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 12pm - 3pm and 6pm - 12am (Tues - Sun)
3. Agak Agak
Founded by Ili Sulaiman of Dish by Ili and Basira Yeusoff from Root Cellar KL, this fairly new eatery at APW Bangsar isn't just garnering attention for its worthy mission (it employs individuals from underprivileged communities to give them a holistic apprenticeship in the F&B industry), but is also raking in fast fans for its tasteful modern twist on old-school Malaysian recipes. Our recommendations will be the Ayam Masak Kicap (deep fried chicken doused in soy sauce mixture) and Duck Hoisin sandwich (shredded roast duck, hoisin sauce, mayonnaise, cucumber, and crispy wanton skin with sourdough bread).
Address: 29, Jalan Riong, Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 10am - 6pm (Tues - Sat)
Earlier this year we introduced you to Li, a friendly neighbourhood restaurant situated in the heart of Damansara Jaya. If you've been there and liked it (more likely than not if you've tried their scrumptious pork toast), you'll be glad to know that they've got a number of lunch specials—complimentary drink and dessert included—available on weekdays from noon to 2.30pm. Some of the lunch special dishes are not on the regular menu, so pop by in the afternoon for a little something different on top of their usual comfort food fare.
Address: 47, Jalan SS 22/23, SS 22, 47400 Petaling Jaya
Opening hours: 11.30am - 10pm (Tues - Fri), 10.30am - 10pm (Sat), 10.30am - 5pm (Sun)
A simple, no-fuss restaurant that is known to serve quality sashimi and Japanese seafood, Uokatsu occupies a small shop lot in Plaza Damas 3. It is almost always crowded, but don't let that deter you as service is fast and you'll get to that bowl of mentai rice (beautiful strips of roe-topped omelette on a bed of rice) soon enough.
Address: B-0-7, Plaza Damas 3, Jalan Sri Hartamas, Taman Sri Hartamas 1, 50480 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 11.20am - 2.30pm (Tues - Fri), 10.30am - 2.30pm (Sat - Sun), 6pm - 10pm (Thur - Sat)
6. My Elephant
My Elephant is a popular Thai restaurant chain that has come a long way since its humble beginnings in the original Section 17 establishment in Petaling Jaya, and it continues to please new and returning patrons with its signature dishes such as the duck curry with lychee and dragonfruit, as well as their creamy green chicken curry, which is also on the daily lunch set menu. Other highlights for lunch include a flavourful dish of pan-grilled lemongrass chicken served with rice, and phad Thai.
Address: Section 17, Sri Hartamas, Aman Suria, USJ 9, Ampang, Ipoh (look out for the exact locations on the website)
Opening hours: 11.30am - 2.30pm, 6pm - 10m (all branches are open daily, except for Ampang which is closed on Mondays)
When a place has earned its spot on Fay Khoo's "must eat" list each time she is back in KL, you know it's good. Kesom may have the façade of a modern café, but inside you'll find food that pays fine homage to the traditional kampong flavours of Kelantan. If you're on the hunt for a good plate of nasi dagang or nasi kerabu, you won't be disappointed here.
Address: F-46-G, Jalan PJU 1/45, Aman Suria, 47301 Petaling Jaya
Opening hours: 11am - 5pm (Sun - Tues), 11am - 9.45pm (Thurs - Sat)
Check out other good eats to try in our Buro Dining Guide here.