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The best upscale Indian restaurants in Kuala Lumpur for authentic dining experiences

Still in the mood for Indian food and missing the array of deliciousness this past Deepavali? For an authentic Indian culinary experience, choose from some of the best upscale restaurants in KL.

If your knowledge of Indian food is simply between Northern and Southern cooking styles, you’ve barely scratched the surface of the diversity of this cuisine. Indian cuisine is steeped in culture and heritage passed down from one generation to another. What makes it amusing, though, is that there is a friendly rivalry between these two regions — who has better food?

Let’s not forget about Western India (with cities like Goa and Gujarat) and Eastern India (West Bengal and Chennai) — they all have their own distinct and rich cuisines, too. What you will find intriguing is that they all have similar food but cooked with different methods and ingredients. Some are even influenced by different cultures along the way especially during colonisation and spice trades. Of course, when this heritage cuisine travels out of India, the flavours and its authenticity change according to its geographical base.

Let’s break it down: Northern-style dishes centre around breads and curries, which include the usual suspects like naan breads, roti, samosa as well as curries like palak paneer (spinach and cheese), makhani (butter sauce) and aloo gobi (potato and cauliflower). Garam masala is a predominant spice and you finish off your meal with tea or chai.

Southern Indian cooking, however, is based around rice, lentils and stews. (Yes, you guess it right — banana leaf rice is Southern Indian) But you’d want to know what other dishes like thosai (lentil and rice crepe), idli (steam lentil rice cakes) sambar (spicy lentil and vegetable stew) and rasam (tomato, tamarind and lentil soup) are all from the South. At the heart of all Indian cuisine, it is a harmonious concoction of spices, textures, and tanginess that makes its dishes resonate with the Malaysian palate.

We don’t have to tell you where to have the best banana leaf rice in town — you have that figured out by now. We are asking you to up the ante with these eight progressive and modern Indian restaurants in KL  that specialises in authentic yet inspired Indian cooking.

Here are 7 upscale Indian restaurants in KL that are renowned for their culinary creativity and bold flavours:

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Passage Through India
Passage Through India

Entering the restaurant, you will find a buffet counter designed to represent old brick-and-concrete cooking stoves completed with old pots and pans sourced from India.

One of the most established upscale Indian restaurants located in the heat of KL, Passage Thru India offers both North and South Indian dishes, from biryani to tandoori chicken to their signature crab masala.

Image credit: Passage Thru India/ Instagram 

Address
4, Jalan Delima, Off, Jln Bukit Bintang, 50400 Kuala Lumpur
Website
Phone
+60179989427

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Qureshi
Qureshi

The Qureshis has a legacy of over two centuries as a family of chefs in the royal kitchens of Nawabs of Awadh for 10 generations. Over the years, they have developed, even researched manuscripts, and single-handedly brought alive once again age-old recipes like ‘tandoor’ and ‘dum’ — two internationally recognised cooking styles that define Indian heritage cuisine.

The menu features a range of curries, biryanis and an array of reinterpreted classics. These are packed with powerful spice blends and fresh ingredients. Recommended dishes include Hyderabadi Nehari (slow-cooked lamb shank with caramelised onions and spices) as well as Dal Oureshi (stewed black lentils with tomatoes, butter and cream).

Image credit: Qureshi/Instagram 

Address
Ground Floor, East Wing TPC, No 10, Jalan 1/70D, Off Jalan Bukit Kiara, 60000 Kuala Lumpur
Website
Phone
+603-2011 1007

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Nadodi
Nadodi

While the focus is on Indian restaurants in this article, we had to include Nadodi for their efforts in spotlighting Sri Lankan and South Indian cuisine. At Nadodi, you get a balance of both tradition and modernity. This Sri Lankan and South Indian restaurant incorporates a creative use of ingredients, and traditional recipes are reinterpreted using contemporary techniques — resulting in a surprising dining experience. Its cuisine takes you on a journey as you traverse through Tamil Nadu and Kerala, and all the way to Sri Lanka. Here, you’ll savour and experience unique Sri Lankan and Indian flavors and spices through special tasting menus for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians.

Image credit: Nadodi 

Address
Nadodi, Lot 183, 1st Floor, Jalan Mayang, Off Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, 50450 Kuala Lumpur
Phone
+603 2181 4334

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FLOUR
FLOUR

Helmed by Chef Yogi, FLOUR is a tribute to his’s father’s legacy, expressed the restaurant’s tagline – dip and eat, which may sound simple as it sounds but it represents the most fundamental way to savour Indian cuisine.

FLOUR is an expression of a new culinary landscape in Indian cuisine, with a heavy emphasis on French-Indian influences. So much more than your average Indian restaurant, the culinary team here is not afraid to push the envelope and offer unique dining experiences.

Image credit: FLOUR/Instagram 

Address
71, Jalan Medan Setia 1, Plaza Damansara, Bukit Damansara, 50490 Kuala Lumpur
Website
Phone
+6012-960 0053

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Frangipaani
Frangipaani

This elegant Indian restaurant by The Olive Tree Group offers authentic Indian dishes and desserts with a twist, from cheese naan pizza to homemade kulfi. With beautifully presented culinary creations and a warm ambiance to boot, Frangipaani is a great location for a special occasion and savouring delicate Indian flavours.

Image credit: Frangipaani/Facebook 

Address
The Republik, Lot No.M.03, Mezzanine Floor, Jalan Medan Setia 1, Bukit Damansara, 50490 Kuala Lumpur
Website
Phone
03-2011 0030

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Gin Rik Sha
Gin Rik Sha

This modern Indian restaurant puts a creative twist on classic Indian flavours and spices, with particularly creative cocktails. The relaxed yet upscale ambiance is a perfect setting for drinks and dining with your friends on a weekend.

From Roasted Pumpkin with Makhani Sauce and Hazelnut Crumble to the spicy Lamb Burger, there’s something for everyone here with a good selection of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options.

Image credit: Gin Rik Sha/Facebook

Address
37, Ground Floor, Plaza Damansara, Jalan Medan Setia 1, Bukit Damansara, 50490 Kuala Lumpur
Website
Phone
+6010-243 8266

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Kayra Authentic Kerala Cuisine
Kayra Authentic Kerala Cuisine

This modern and upscale Indian restaurant in Bangsar Village specialises in authentic Kerala cuisine, with decadent dishes served in large portions that are perfect for sharing with family and friends.

The menu is fused with new and bold flavours inspired by the owner’s Kerala travels while staying true to carefully curated family recipes passed down over generations. From Fish Molee Briyani to Prawn Mango Curry, everything here is perfectly flavourful and well-crafted to perfection.

Image credit: Kayra/Instagram 

Address
F-8, 1, Jalan Telawi 1, Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
Website
Phone
+603 2714 2932

Header image credit: Kabir Cheema/Unsplash

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