4 Places for Vegan Nasi Lemak in KL
Nasi lemak — Malaysia's national dish and a national treasure. Directly translating to 'fatty rice', nasi lemak is arguably Malaysia's most loved dish, and for good reason. Traditionally made up with coconut rice, rendang, sambal, ikan bilis, peanuts and cucumber, nasi lemak is the perfect combination of flavours, fragrances and textures brought together in one dish.
So to celebrate all things national this Merdeka and Malaysia Day, I've rounded up 4 of my favourite places in KL to get my vegan nasi lemak fix! There's no reason to miss out on nasi lemak just because you're vegan, especially with these 4 amazing vegan versions you can find in KL. The best thing about them is that they all differ greatly so you'll never get bored with the same dish.
Nasi lemak with lion's mane mushroom rendang (plated or in a burrito).
Though popular for its burritos and other Latin-influenced dishes, Sala also does some mouth-watering renditions of local Malaysian favourites — vegan style. Their classic nasi lemak is a plate of light and fragrant coconut rice and spicy tempeh, complete with mushroom 'ikan bilis' and sambal. But it doesn't just stop there, order it off their specials menu with lion's mane mushroom rendang for a surprisingly 'meaty' side and if you're feeling a little something extra, the nasi lemak burrito (which is exactly what it sounds like!)
Making weekly appearances at the Thursday markets at Plaza Mont Kiara, they also have their takeaway style, nasi lemak bungkus on offer for only RM3.50! They even have a nasi lemak with the sotong made from tapioca that had me going back to order seconds (true story).
A-03A-G Galeria Hartamas, No 21 Jalan 26A/70A Desa Sri Hartamas
RGB & The Bean Hive
Nasi lemak kukus with tempeh rendang, achar, steamed coconut brown rice & sambal.
Tucked away in the streets of Jalan Damai, RGB & The Bean Hive serves a hearty vegetarian nasi lemak kukus (make sure you order it without the egg). Served with brown rice, their nasi lemak definitely feels more wholesome and filling. Expect a variety of flavours and textures on this plate — the tempeh rendang packed with spices, the sweet sambal, the fresh achar that has a bite to it and the crunchy peanuts all come together harmoniously in this dish.
BMS Signature nasi lemak with rendang, achar, sambal, pea sprouts, cucumber & poppadum.
With several branches across Malaysia, BMS Organics is one of the few chain restaurants I look forward to eating at, purely because I love their nasi lemak (and curry mee) so much. The perfect plate, their nasi lemak leaves you feeling fulfilled without being too heavy. BMS also has a really good deal on Monday's where you can get 2 dishes for the price of 1 on selected dishes and their nasi lemak is one of them!
Multigrain rice nasi lemak with pumpkin rendang, tempeh, achar & green beans.
Another chain, Simple Life is a restaurant I used to eat at often when it first opened opposite my house. Since then that branch has closed down but others have expanded across KL like wildfire and its menu has grown and developed. I was pleasantly surprised with the variety of components in their nasi lemak (ordered without the egg). The portion is huge and the multigrain rice is hearty, so make sure you're hungry!