Being at the junction of Malay, Chinese and Indian culture, it is not surprising that the country’s major cuisines derive from the ‘big three’. Another popular culinary style within the country is Peranakan, which is a mixture of Chinese and Malay derived from the British-governed settlements of the Malacca Strait. Beer is a common beverage for non-Muslim citizens and travelers to Malaysia, but due to the Islamic faith of the country, alcohol of any form tends to be more expensive than in other parts of Asia. Visitors also need to remember that provinces like Kelantan and Terengganu do not permit consumption by anyone.
Bars and Pubbing in Malaysia
The night scene in Malaysia is dominated by Kuala Lumpur. However, Georgetown in Penang, and Malacca are two other decent entertainment destinations. The capital has several electric districts pumping most nights of the week. Bukit Bintang, Heritage Row and Bangsar are among the best spots in the city for a drink and/or dancing. Luna Bar (Menara PanGlobal Floor 34, Jalan Punchak, Kuala Lumpur) is one of the funkiest and most dynamic night venues and The Loft (Jalan Doraisamy, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) is home to several lounges and clubbing areas, including the famous Odyssey Room. If you don’t mind paying a high price for a memorable night out, try the Sky Bar (Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur City Center, Malaysia), which sits atop the Traders Hotel around the pool.
Malacca is not as high energy as Kuala Lumpur, but still provides an interesting night for dancers and social drinkers in Malaysia. Much of the nightlife is centered around Melaka Raya. Clubs tend to close between 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. and Arena Club (Melaka Raya, Malacca, Malaysia) is an exciting rhythm and blues spot found in the area called ‘the Jetty’. Along Jonkers Walk, travelers can chill out at the famous Exodus Lounge (4 Jalan Hang Lekir, 75200, Malacca) to experience a great array of music at this chic club.
If you have a couple of days in Georgetown, head to Penang Road. The Meeting Point (Lebuh Chulia, Penang, Malaysia) is a great place for a social gathering after the sun goes down. It doesn’t close until 4:00 a.m., so visitors can party well into the evening. Pools, games, imported beer and Western food make their mark at Soho Freehouse (50 Penang Road, Georgetown) and the salsa club, Slippery Senoritas (Upper Penang Road, Georgetown), remains busy nightlt.
Dining and Cuisine in Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur leads the charge when it comes to fine dining options in Malaysia. The Golden Triangle district is the best place to enjoy a quality meal, but prices are usually higher than in other areas of the capital. Seri Angkasa (2 Jalan Punchak, Kuala Lumpur) sits atop the KL Tower, revolving through the night and offering splendid cuisine. Bijan (3 Jalan Ceylon, Kuala Lumpur) is another great restaurant. Even though the prices are high, the regional specialties are outstanding. For great Western food, the Hakka Republic Wine Bar and Restaurant (Menara Hap Seng, 1-3 Jalan P Ramlee, Kuala Lumpur) shouldn’t be overlooked.
Malacca contains a range of dining options, from Western delights to the fusion fun of Peranakan style cooking. The latter is a unique blend of Chinese and Malay, so visitors should certainly give it a try for a unique Malaysian dish. The Seafarer Restaurant (1516, Batang Tiga, Tanjung Kling, Malacca) is the perfect option for both Peranakan and Western options. The Coconut House Studio (128 Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Malacca) also offers an excellent array of Western dishes. Another popular Chinese-turned-Western restaurant is Wok and Pan: East Meets West (22G PM4, Plaza Makhota, Malacca).
Georgetown is the largest city in Penang, so visitors will find plenty of amazing choices here. A variety of international cuisine is available, not to mention local Malaysian delicacies. Tourists needing a taste of home should dine at No Eyed Deer (Tanjung Tokong, Georgetown). Sri Lankan – Top Secret (98 Jalan Mutri, Georgetown) is a must try for anyone who hasn’t sampled the delightful tastes of Southern Indian cuisine. The Oriental Seafood Restaurant (McAllister Road, Georgetown) offers fresh seafood, and is especially famous for its abundance of crab dishes.