Best Places For Rice Bowls In Kuala Lumpur

Best Places For Rice Bowls In Kuala Lumpur

We teamed up with our friends at Foodgazer.com to bring you this guide to KL's trendiest meal of yet: rice bowls! Take it from the food-gazing guys: The rice bowl is having its time in the KL limelight, and for good reason: It’s cheap, it’s a self-contained meal and it has the trappings of a working class meal. At the base of it is rice, that long-established staple of Asian diets and the building block for so many diverse cultures. The humble rice bowl is being brought to new, heady heights though. Whether through creative amalgamations of East meets West or great execution of some Asian classics, here are some of the best bowls KL has to offer.
Burpple Guides
Burpple Guides

One of our favourite eateries, this place delivers excellent fare at pleasing prices. Take for instance the perfectly executed House Rice Bowl with chicken thigh (RM17.90), the house-made Spam Bowl (RM19.90), or their excellent Sourdough with Sous Vide Kaya (RM6.90). Our recommendation for first time visitors, though, is to try their “Go All Out” bowl. For RM25.90, you get the delicious chicken thigh, a jiggly egg, fantastic Sriracha mayo and some additional pork belly for that final touch of porcine perfection. We don’t often pick favourites at Foodgazer, but it’s hard not to give this a very strong nod above the rest of the competition.
Avg price per bowl: RM20

March Azalea takes second spot on our list with perhaps the most “Malaysian” rice bowl yet. The Sambal Petai Egg Rice Bowl (RM 13.80) is a must-try. It features three different childhood meals (soft-boiled egg, pork floss and sambal petai) layered together into a distinctive, balanced and very impressive bowl that ultimately tastes of very, very potent nostalgia. The sambal is the real star here though. It has a mild heat, a savoury body and a deeply pleasing fragrance to it despite the pungency of the (fresh) petai. We’re already plotting our return trip here.
Avg price per bowl: RM15

Formerly known as Hikari-ya, this Japanese restaurant smack in busy Desa Sri Hartamas prides itself on serving live Japanese eel, freshly prepared by a Japanese chef from an unagi izakaya back in the land of the rising sun. Seek out the Unagi Hitsumaboshi, of which you have a choice of regular Taiwanese eel (RM50) or the premium Japanese version (RM112). The experience offers plenty of interaction as the dish is to be eaten three ways: plain rice and eel, mixed with the condiments (sansho pepper, wasabi and spring onion) and with that mixture given a soulful bent thanks to the addition of a clear broth. If eel isn’t your thing, they also serve the best Ten Don (tempura rice bowl, RM we’ve had the pleasure of eating in Malaysia. Not to be missed.
Avg price per bowl: RM80

4 Likes

A cafe with a very modern feel, Five-HT’s selection of interesting coffee concoctions (bulletproof and avocado) make great pairings with the rice bowls on offer. Their Gyutan Don (RM32) is a savoury delight — slivers of beef tongue tossed with mirin rest atop a pillow of rice. Not to be outdone, their Tamago Mentai Don (RM30) is an addictive dish from the first bite. Creamy fish roe meets creamy egg in a battle of flavour supremacy but the only true winner is the palate. Those of us with bigger pockets might want to upgrade to their Gyu Tamago Don (RM90) which comes with premium wagyu beef.
Avg price per bowl: RM30

We’d typically recommend the pasta (and/or the polenta!) if you visit Littlepeople, but if you need a quick penny-pinching rice bowl to get you through the day, go for the Ducky Rice Bowl (RM12). Hearty, smoked duck cooked to perfection, sesame oil, and a soft-boiled egg — what more could you want? Good news, they have sterling coffee here too. Grab a filter or go all in with the Duo Set (RM22), which has some fascinating juxtapositions of beans at times. You deserve it after saving money with the Ducky Rice anyway.
Avg price per bowl: RM15

4 Likes

At this city centre cafe, the Chicken Katsu Bowl (RM18) is pretty good. The meat inside is a touch too tough but the breaded skin is satisfyingly crunchy, the rice is perfectly cooked without being mushy, and it’s generally well balanced in totality. We'd love if it came with a bit more sauce though. The Yum Yum Bowl (RM20) is a good deal better, featuring probably the most value-for-money sirloin portion in town. The beef is well-seasoned, although ours came a bit closer to medium-well than medium-rare. They’ve also been struggling recently with pace of service, given the growing influx of customers. Teething issues aside: good rice, good egg, good bowl. RM20 is a steal.
Avg price per bowl: RM20

Not quite an izakaya yet not just a purveyor of fresh fish, Uokatsu in Plaza Damas offers a relatively frills-free experience replete with air-flown Japanese seafood. Whether it’s the delicious grilled squid with its own guts as a dipping sauce or off-cuts like braised tuna tail, there’s always something left-field to catch the eye. On our visit, we had the Salmon Ikura Don (RM35), fresh and vibrant with the salmon roe popping on the tongue. Not to be outdone, the Maguro Don (RM30) came with ruby red slices of tuna, marinated so as to draw out the depth of their oceanic flavour and garnished with spring onions for that vegetale bite. We hear great things about their Tai Meshi Don (seabream, RM30) and their Mentai Rice (RM18) so we’re due for a return trip very soon.
Avg price per bowl: RM30

Is cauliflower 'rice' considered cheating? Perhaps. But this fluffy, genuinely delicious cauliflower 'rice' tastes like the perfect midpoint between couscous and regular rice. And in our opinion, this is the tastiest poke bowl in Klang Valley, so it fully deserves a place on this list. The salmon is a notch above those at most poke parlours (pick your marinade, they’re all pretty great), the vegetables are as vibrant in the mouth as they are on the eyes, and we left feeling a good deal healthier than when we came in. Well worth the RM25.
Avg price per bowl: RM25

This cozy little neighbourhood joint serves some killer filter coffee, fantastic sandwiches (we’re told) and a very decent minced pork rice bowl. There’s a beautifully swirled egg on top of the juicy, fatty minced pork, and everything’s seasoned well. It’s a hearty, hefty bowl but the Foodgazer’s distended stomachs are up to the task. We did, however, begin yearning for more contrasting textures and flavours halfway through — perhaps something spicy or citrusy to give the dish that extra lift towards the end. That said, it's still a formidable bowl, and it's hard to nitpick when it costs just RM12!
Avg price per bowl: RM15

4 Likes

Surprise! The venerable purveyors of, well, great beer, have a new kitchen manned by N.O.T. Kushiyaki and we’re thoroughly impressed with the food. The menu has been expanding rapidly, with everything going through multiple iterations of improvement. Amidst the skewers galore, you'll find this delicious Lamb Rice Bowl (RM25). Not just any lamb, mind you. This right here is lamb belly, slow-cooked for 21 hours, and grilled for a delicious brown sear. Quite possibly the softest lamb we’ve had in Malaysia, it sits on a bed of fried egg (yolk perfectly runny), spicy mayo, seaweed and, of course, rice. RM25, not including the cost of the beers you’ll inevitably be guzzling.
Avg price per bowl: RM25

4 Likes

The top picks, popular finds and newly opened places in Singapore, Malaysia and Philippines, curated by Burpple editors!

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