Whether you’re an organic convert, a vegetarian or someone just looking for a light meal, here are nine places where you can find healthier food options in KL and beyond.
Since its establishment two years ago, Awesome Canteen has quickly become known for championing the paleo diet, which cuts down on carbohydrates. The retro-looking restaurant/cafe is popular among fitness enthusiasts who are very particular about eating clean. If carbs and dairy-free is not your thing, the canteen also offers non-paleo options that are partially Japanese cuisine infused. Try the Paleo Burger, and 240 Paleo Chicken or Beef Patty.
Serving up food free from MSG and other preservatives, Ashley’s by LivingFood offers a menu that specialises in raw foods, as well as a range of other options from pasta to burgers, laksa and even wagyu ribs. Everything down to the bread and sauces is home made. With a slightly pricey menu, we suggest that this is the destination for a special occasion with friends who like to eat clean.
Standing out from the typical café, RAW is housed in a converted bungalow and has a menu of wholesome good food. Family and vegan friendly, the spacious restaurant and café includes a play area for kids. Apart from its choices of sandwiches, rice, pasta, cakes, coffee, and fresh juices, customers can also shop food products and cold pressed juices to take home.
Wearing many hats, Breadfruits is a bakery, fruit-seller and restaurant. Their bestselling and most unique dish would have to be their brunch pasta with 7 minute egg (medium-boiled egg which adds a delicate savoury flavour to the light carbonara sauce). Aside from fruits and cakes, they also sell bottles of Malaysian wild honey which contain pure, unprocessed nectar, which they also use in their juices and coffees in place of sugar.
Run by an old couple, this lei cha stall at Millennium 86 Food Court is very popular. Lei cha is a Hakka dish that can be prepared as vegetarian, though it sometimes includes dried shrimp. A serving of lei cha is exceptionally high in fibre, as it includes mixed vegetables, peanuts and sesame seeds, on top of rice (choose from white or brown rice). To enjoy, add the fragrant green soup blended from pounded herbs into the rice and mix well.
A small café and yoga studio in one, Organica Lifestyle offers a range of homemade vegetarian and organic dishes that are chock full of whole grains and seeds. As well as hearty lunch food dishes such as curries and vegetable fritters, you can try a range of their cold pressed juice blends. The café also includes an organic shop stocked with ingredients, soaps and more.
More than just a fresh juice kiosk, Upbeat Health Bar is your one stop health and wellness eatery. Fast and convenient, the extensive menu covers everything from smoothies and juices to light meal such as tortilla wraps. Living up to its name, all of the items are free of refined sugar and excessive oil, making it ideal for a light and well-balanced lunch. Try the Mango Matcha Smoothie, and Gourmet Chicken Tortilla Wrap.
Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, this leafy café offers light but flavourful meals. The extensive menu includes sandwiches, salads, waffles, fruit juices, desserts and coffee. The café is usually crowded on weekends, so come earlier to reserve a spot. Try the Spinach and Cheese Sandwich, and Red Velvet Waffle.
Konscious Cafe’s menu reads like a healthy dream with ingredients like pink beetroot hummus and kefir probiotic fermented milk. Though they serve organic and vegan fare, they also have several meat options for those less inclined in having a vegetarian meal. True to their philosophy, the food is free-range and does not contain any refined flour, sugar, dairy or wheat products. Try the Raw Hummus Wraps, and Organic Vegan Burger.
The cafe is temporarily closed and will be shifting over to their new location on a permaculture farm in about two months.
Text and photos by Tyler Lim, Awesome Canteen, Ashley’s by LivingFood, Organica Lifestyle, Kathryn Rao, Dhabitah Zainal, Ling Low, Lyn Ong.