Living in the Klang Valley, we are lucky to be able to find plenty of cheap eats around the city, whether from a pasar malam, mamak or food court. However, how many restaurant meals can you find that offer the same value of money? Not many, it turns out – but we managed to track down ten restaurants of cafés where you can eat a meal for less than RM10. Bon appetit.
If you are craving for authentic Nyonya cuisine at great value for money, this is definitely the place to go. Decked out with hints of nostalgia, it resembles a revamped Chinese-styled coffee shop. The prices of most main dishes are below RM10. Dishes include the popular Nyonya laksa (RM7), pong teh or chicken stew (RM7), mee siam (RM6, pictured) and otak-otak (RM7). Opened by the same team behind Baba Low’s, Straits Food Company shares the same menu as its sister shop.
Run by a family with passion for food, the quirkily-decorated café feels very homey and welcoming. Service is friendly and the price of the food is undeniably good value. The big breakfast comes with two slices of toast, scrambled egg, baked beans, a hashbrown, sausage, and beef bacon, accompanied with a cup of coffee or tea that is refillable. At just RM8.50, it’s as easy on your wallet as it is on your tastebuds. Daily lunch sets of homey cooking are also available for RM8.50.
This tiny restaurant in Taman Desa has a cult following thanks to its signature handmade udon. The house special is a simple bowl of udon, topped with an onsen egg and just a little bit of light, miso broth and scallions, costing just RM5 per bowl. Variations include curry udon and soup udon. Side dishes like vegetable fritters (RM3) and fried chicken (RM5) bulk up the meal, adding crisp texture to the silken udon.
Humble Chef is known as a food truck but also has a shoplot at Jalan Setia Bakti, Plaza Damansara. For cheap and cheerful pasta dishes, it’s hard to beat. Lamb Carbonara (pictured) and Spaghetti Pesto come to RM5 each. Though portions are fairly small, it’s still decent value for money since you can add a drink or side dish and still come up with a bill less than RM10.
Beef Noodles at Taiwan Noodle House
Situated in the bustling commercial hub of SS2, Taiwan Noodle House has been a constant fixture compared to the other dining establishments that come and go in the area. Visibly unchanged through time, the setup is simple and cutomers can order off a huge board hanging from the wall that lists the items on the menu. One of the popular items is the Pork Chop Beef Soup Noodles. This dish combines the best of both worlds; noodles swimming in a fragrant beef soup and a fried pork chop on the side. There is also a sprinkling of minced meat atop the noodles. RM8.50 per bowl of noodles.
20, Jalan SS 2/61, Damansara Jaya, 47300 Petaling Jaya.
A calm oasis on the corner of Lorong Kurau, Ganga Café has a lot of loyal regular customers, from local residents to nearby office workers. This is no surprise considering the wholesome, fresh Indian vegetarian food that’s dished up. An array of breads like chapatti, puri, thosai and more can be ordered with a thali set, consisting of dishes which change daily. A large thali with a chapatti costs RM8.50, while a regular thali (pictured) costs RM7.50.
19, Lorong Kurau, Taman Bukit Pantai, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur.
Sukiya is a popular Japanese chain restaurant famed for its beef rice bowls with the top number of branches in Japan. Most of Sukiya’s rice bowls come in three sizes with the basic Gyudon (Beef Rice) being the cheapest on the menu. The ribbons of beef were well seasoned and not stringy at all, the onions nicely cramelized. Ladled out onto slightly sticky Japanese rice, a medium sized bowl at RM7.90 will fill you up just nicely.
Nambawan has an unassuming vibe, located among car workshops and sundry shops. Most items are priced reasonably well and within an RM10 range. One of their signature dishes is 100% Home Made Pork Burger. At RM6.90, it’s a great deal especially since the burger also comes with fries. You can also add cheese to the burger for RM1 and bacon for RM2. While the bun was pretty ordinary, the patty is extremely well-seasoned throughout and the meat not coarse or dry.
10, Sri Manja Square One, Taman Sri Manja, Jalan Klang Lama, 46000 Petaling Jaya.
With outlets in both Jaya One and Publika, this noodle joint is regularly packed out. We can see why, given the wide variety of noodles at reasonable prices. The pan mee and pork balls are a speciality here. The pan mee in dark sauce adds up to RM9.50 and comes with a side of soup that tastes like it has come from real fish stock, a step above the MSG-laden soup you would expect from a food court.
Backofen looks like a cosy family diner which has withstood the test of time. One of the main reasons is probably their reasonable prices (main dishes from RM12 and up) and generous portions of food. Backofen serves Austrian dishes among the more common Western fare and you’ll be able to find items like goulash, chicken schnitzel and stroganoff on their menu. The goulash soup is a hearty concoction of beef chunks, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, bell peppers and various spices and comes with a wheat bun on the side, and it totals just RM6.
Note: prices exclude GST and service charge where applicable. Text and photos by Lyn Ong, Tyler Lim, Dhabitah Zainal, Ling Low and Syahir Ashri.
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