Planning a trip to Kuala Lumpur and wondering how you’ll cope as a vegan? Don’t worry, I’m here to help and I’m also pleased to let you know that being vegan in KL was actually fairly straightforward.
Things to know about being vegan in Kuala Lumpur:
- In KL the word “vegan” doesn’t seem to be very well-know. Unless you’re at a vegetarian or vegan friendly restaurant then finding vegetarian (let alone vegan food) can sometimes be challenging. The word “vegan” might be met with some confusion.
- I found it best then, when not in a vegetarian or vegan place, to ask about specific ingredients, rather than ask if the meal was vegan.
- There are great options if you know where to go and are willing to travel around the city. Being vegan in Kuala Lumpur can take a little planning.
- Location in KL is quite important (KL is not the easiest city to get around) consider which vegan spots you want to visit and plan your trips/accomodation to be near them.
With all that said, I’ll run you through everything I ate whilst in KL. I was fortunate enough to be staying near some incredible vege/vegan spots and have to say that one of my highlights in KL was the food.
Day 1: Dinner: Cameleon Vegetarian Bean Curd
We arrived around 6pm in KL after a fairly long day of travelling. We were both exhausted and hungry. George searched for a nearby restaurant that happened to be the best ranked in the area and was also listed as vegetarian. When we arrived, however, I got quite a shock as the whole menu was very meat heavy and even had things like “shark fin soup”. Shit.
George suggested we switch restaurants, but because I was so exhausted I decided I’d just order some rice and perhaps Chinese broccoli if I could get it without the fish sauce. We checked with the waitstaff if there were any other vegetarian options on the menu, when the waiter informed us that the entire menu was vegetarian and that all the meats were made from tofu! “We serve no animal products at all” he informed us. “So you’re vegan?” “Yes,” he told us proudly. Fantastic news.
It was incredible to be able to order any Chinese dish I liked – I opted for the sweet and sour ‘pork’ with brown rice and George ordered a tom yum soup. The food tasted absolutely incredible. We both absolutely loved it. I cannot recommend this restaurant enough. If you were to take a vegan skeptic here, they would never know that the food didn’t contain any actual meat.
Also, they even have an accompanying Mini Mart store next door with plenty of plant-based foods to buy.
Find them on HappyCow: Cameleon Vegetarian Bean Curd.
Day 2: Lunch: Sandwich joint
Because we were still getting our bearings, lunch on day 2 could definitely have been better. We went to visit the Petronas Towers and I forgot to do some research on places to eat. We ended up eating in the KLCC mall at a sandwich joint. There were no vegan options, so I ended up having to get a veggie sandwich and I had to pick out the cheese. It was OK, but not a place to be recommended.
Fortunately, though, we redeemed ourselves when we found the supermarket Cold Storage which was filled with tropical fruit – so we bought ourselves and big haul and brought it home for breakfasts.
Day 2: Dinner: Cameleon
Cameleon Vegetarian Bean Curd was so good we went back for part two. We were just so lucky to have accomodation within a 7 minute walk of this incredible restaurant.
Day 3: Breakfast: Tropical fruit
Tropical fruit salad made by George – he filled our bowls with chopped local mango (the most amazing mango we’ve ever tasted), dragonfruit, oranges and banana. This kept us very full for a visit to the Batu Caves.
Day 3: Lunch: Din Tai Fung
George had a dumplings craving, so we headed to the Pavillion to eat at the well-know Din Tai Fung. I was slightly concerned as to whether I’d find a vegan option, and to be honest there weren’t many on the menu, however, the one’s the were… amazing! I double-checked to make sure the options, which were listed as “vegetarian” were in fact vegan. The waitstaff were initially confused, but when I listed off dairy, eggs and fish sauce they confirmed that what I had chosen did not have these things. Phew.
Day 3: Dinner: Simple Life Vegetarian
While searching for a dinner place on day 3, we found a number of restaurants that had no, or very few vegetarian, let alone, vegan options. Fortunately though, one place recommended we check out Simple Life. Wow, were we so pleased we did. The place is completely vegetarian, with many vegan meals (and it seemed as though they were happy to make just about anything vegan).
We ordered tofu soups with rice and plenty of healthy sides. The flavours were great and we felt nice and light after our meals – always a great sign.
Day 4: Breakfast: Tropical fruit
Another round of incredible tropical fruit salad was the perfect way to start day 3 in KL.
Day 4: Lunch: Din Tai Fung
After all our working, exploring and travelling we were in major need of a rest day. We went to watch Toy Story 4 at the Pavillion and, since Din Tai Fung had been such a winner the day before, we visited for part two there too.
Something I love about vegetarian dumplings: they don’t weigh me down like the meat-based ones used too. I feel light even when I eat heaps – that lack of saturated fat really makes all the difference.
Day 4: Dinner: Simple Life Vegetarian
We had to come back to this place too. We noticed that others were eating hotpot meals the night before, so we specifically came back to try one. There were a few different options for the filling and four options for the soups. I chose mine with a miso soup base and George with the tom yum base.
The whole experience of cooking the meals ourselves was worth the visit alone, but even better, the taste was incredible.
It made the perfect final meal in Kuala Lumpur.
There are definitely many more vegan options that we didn’t get a chance to try while in KL (mainly due to location). Are you vegan in Kuala Lumpur, or have you tried other vegan restaurants in KL? Let us know in the comments.