Plant-based diets have caught on in a big way over the last few years, with an increasing number of people drawn to vegetarianism for a variety of reasons – be it ethical, environmental or health-related. There’s a vast amount of research alone correlating diets and diseases, not to mention the unsustainability of the meat industry and the cruelty of factory farming. Reasons alone that could push anyone to go veg.
The days of searching high and low for vegetarian or vegan restaurants are gone, with plenty of eateries on the market offering high-quality, hearty and sumptuous dishes devoid of meat. Malaysia’s capital has a lot to offer on this front and we’ve rounded up a three of our favourite where you can satisfy your cravings for all things herbivorous.
The Hungry Tapir
This cosy eatery oozes character and has a warmth with an inviting interior flush with greenery. Located in Chinatown, The Hungry Tapir is the brainchild of mother-daughter team Cynthia and Makissa Rodrigo – the former with a background in interior design and the latter specialising in branding and marketing.
The duo have turned what used to be an unwanted shop lot into a beautiful restaurant featuring exposed brickwork and wooden beams, rattan chairs and colourful pops. Both the restaurant design and the menu have a whole lot of heart.
Fans of a hearty breakfast will love the Plant Power Big Brekkie which does away with the heavy, fried fare usually associated with the dish and features cleaner elements like scrambled tofu, smoked tempeh, hummus, spinach and sourdough bread.
High on the bestseller list is Tapir’s Roti Canai, a vegan version of the perennial favourite made with almond milk and coconut oil, and served with an irresistible vegetable dahl and tempeh sambal.
Redefending the burger is the Pink Bombshell, a herbivore’s delight with beetroot patty, vegan herb cheese, caramelised onions, lettuce and tomato. Paired with chilly cheese sweet potato fries and salad, this goes down a treat. Wash it down with any of the vibrant juices, crafty rice wine cocktails and other fruity concoctions, and each meal here is a memorable one.
The Hungry Tapir
Where 135, First Floor, Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur
When 12pm-10pm (Wed-Sun), 11am-10pm (Sat-Sun)
Tel 03 2022 2137
Spreading the gospel of nutritious, plant-based fare across the Klang Valley since 2015 is this health-food company that produces all its food without additives or preservatives. What you get here is clean, unadulterated vegetarian food packed with vitamins and minerals.
The signature organic Chia puddings are one of the staples here, packed with proteins and just as tasty as any sugary dessert. There are no less than 27 varieties on offer, from pineapple coconut to latte Nutella (this one on the more decadent side!).
Head to the Bangsar outlet and you’ll find a range of wholesome bowls under the spotlight, including ulam quinoa, Vegetarian Brown Rice Quinoa Lemak, Korean bibimpab and the Buddha Bowl Brown Rice Quinoa.
Naturally there’s a colourful range of cold-pressed juices and smoothies that will give you an instant boost after consuming. Also, if you’re looking for some ideas on vegetarian recipes, head to the website which contains a ton of videos that will take you through each dish step by step.
Also currently underway is the #PayItForwardWithRawsome campaign that is asking for donations of only RM12 to feed the homeless. Please do your part if you can and help the good folks at Rawsome provide nourishment to those who need it most.
Where Check out website for list of locations
Tel 012 683 4943
It’s 100% vegan food to the fore in this eatery that’s planted in the Chinatown area, tucked away on the first floor of a shophouse. Sporting a minimalist design with clean lines and simple furnishings, Namul has been drawing a steady stream of diners with its down-to-earth food since opening in March 2019.
The menu reflects the restaurant’s clean and simple design with a range of brown rice and noodle dishes, breads and ice cream. There’s a vegan version of Malaysia’s national dish, nasi lemak, which uses soybean milk to make the accompanying potato curry, and comes with mushrooms, tempeh, tofu and homemade sambal.
There’s also a choice of vegan-styled Korean dishes that are equally as tasty as any of their meaty counterparts. A must-try here is the Kombucha, a fermented beverage made with ‘SCOBY’ or ‘symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast’. Chilled and slightly sweetened, it’s a complex flavour that will leave you feeling refreshed and energised.
Coffee lovers will also want to sample the organic hand-dripped coffee that makes for the perfect way to finish off a meal.
Where 1st Floor, No. 54, Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur
When 11am-6pm (Wed-Mon)
Tel 012 265 4472