Arabian Food KL

Arabian Nights @ KL

September 4, 2012 by Siti Zahrah

Where to find the best places for Middle Eastern cuisine in the Klang Valley.

It’s easy to generalise Middle Eastern cuisine, but you’d be missing out on a suprising diversity of flavours that differ between countries and regions in the Middle East. The multitude of spices used, different types of bread, and combination of fresh and preserved ingredients make for a stunning variety of dishes – many of which can be found within a stone’s throw from Berjaya Times Square.

Arabian Food KL

Although thousands of miles away from the Middle East, the Klang Valley is a hub of Middle Eastern restaurants thanks to the city’s popularity as a holiday destination. Let’s take a look at some of the best Middle Eastern restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, and beyond.


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Naab is an Iranian restaurant that’s prominently placed on Jalan Bukit Bintang.

Many of the staples of Persian cuisine are served here, and among the standout dishes include Lamb Shank, Ghorme Sabzi Stew (beef stewed with herbs and fenugreek leaves), a variety of kebabs, Baba Ghanoush, and Mirza Ghasemi (an appetiser of smoked eggplant, tomato and egg seasoned with garlic).

Sahara Tent

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This Arabic restaurant has been around KL for years, and has been a hit with many Middle Easterners. It’s said that almost 70 percent of its clientele comprises of tourists from the region – a sure sign that the food’s authenticity is up to par.

Among the stand out dishes from the Sahara Tent include the Meze Platter (which includes Hummus, Mutabel, the chef’s vegetarian specialty, Tabulah and bread); Kabsa Lamb (Lamb on a bed of tomato, cinnamon and saffron infused rice served with a rich tomato gravy); and strong Turkish coffee to finish the meal.


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Outside the city centre in Taman Tun Dr Ismail lies Mukha, a Yemeni-inspired cafe that’s proven to be a popular hangout among the younger crowd, who enjoy a good cup of Ghawar (coffee) while smoking their shisha pipes.

The food here is geared towards more casual diners, with biryani rice among the more popular dishes, while the adjacent Souka bake shop provides for a variety of delicious cakes and desserts.

Tips on ordering Arabian food
  • Going vegetarian with Arabian cuisine is not a problem at all – in fact, many of their tastiest dishes are vegetarian!
  • Shisha is available in many places other than Arabic restaurants – popular hangouts in the Klang Valley include Rasta in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Mamak Andersen in Solaris Dutamas, and in the Sri Hartamas neighbourhood.
  • Be warned if you’re caffeine-sensitive and having Gahwa or Turkish coffee – it’s strong stuff!