7 Middle Eastern Restaurants In KL’s City Centre For Legit Kebabs & Shawarmas

9 minutes reading time

Middle Eastern restaurants in KL


Middle Eastern cuisine is quickly becoming a popular dining choice for locals. After all, it is packed with flavours and spices Malaysians are accustomed to in our own local dishes. 

For those who are working within the golden triangle, you might just be within walking distance of some hearty fattet hummus or kebabs. The next time you’re thinking of where to go for a group meal that’ll suit all dietary preferences, check out these Middle Eastern restaurants in KL. After all, sitting down for a good meal accompanied by entertainment such as belly-dancing sure beats joining the long crawl home after work.

Note: Due to various CMCO and RMCO guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic, operating hours for businesses listed may vary. Also, do be sure to wear a mask, and observe safe-distancing rules and other SOPs when out and about too. 


1. Al-Halabi Gourmet Restaurant – get a multi-course dinner


Middle Eastern Restaurants KL - Al-Halabi Gourmet Restaurant interior
Image credit: @sukaimim

As you enter Al-Halabi Gourmet at Pavilion KL, it’s not hard to miss their unique al fresco dining area that’s decorated with dreamy colourful lanterns and vines. The restaurant’s interior even mimics the traditional houses in old Damascus, Syria. 

Middle Eastern Restaurants KL - Al-Halabi Gourmet Restaurant food
You can easily have a multi-course meal here, with plenty of appetizers, mains, grills and rice dishes to choose from, among others.
Image credit: @michellenxyi

Their most requested dish is the Fattah Hommus (RM18) – buttery soft hummus mixed with tahini and crispy bread. This dish is a hit with vegetarians and easily shareable by 3 as a starter. 

If you’re looking for a hearty main dish, try their Shakria Lamb (RM32), a slow roasted leg of lamb that’s coated with yogurt and served with basmati rice. 

Middle Eastern Restaurants KL - Al-Halabi Gourmet Restaurant
Image adapted from: @ladyd.official

Top off your meal with a pot of tea, with flavours such as Moroccan or Maramiyeh (sage) at RM15 each, and a pastry dish, including Cheese Fatayer (RM10) and Saj Lamb (RM20), minced lamb served with thin bread.

Address: Jalan Pavilion Kuala Lumpur. Level 7.01, 168, Bukit Bintang Street, Bukit Bintang
Opening hours: 10AM-1AM, Daily
Telephone: 03-2113 0061
Website


2. Tarbush Restaurant – shareable mixed grill platters for groups


Middle Eastern Restaurants KL - Tarbush Restaurant
Image credit: @tarbush_official

Tarbush Restaurant is a cosy Syrian restaurant best known for their sharable Mixed Grill (RM45) – a mixed platter of Shish Tawook, Shish Kebab, Lamb Cubes and Grilled Arayes. You have the option of upgrading this to the Mixed Grill with Rice (RM50).

Middle Eastern Restaurants KL - Tarbush Restaurant
Image credit: @tarbush_official 

If you prefer individual dishes, the Lamb Shawarma (RM18) is recommended. They also serve a variety of healthy dishes such as Arabic Salad (RM19), greens with lemon juice, olive oil and sumac, a red powder made from a flower and a prominent flavouring in Middle Eastern cuisine, and cater to those with dietary restrictions.

Middle Eastern Restaurants KL - Tarbush Restaurant food
Salmon Tandoori (RM63.60) and Spicy Chicken Tikka (RM42.40) are some of the familiar main dishes you will spot here.
Image adapted from: @tarbush.restaurant.malaysia and @tarbush.restaurant.malaysia

Fun fact: They’ve been operating for 22 years, making it one of the longest running Middle Eastern restaurant chains in KL. They started off humbly in 1998 as a small sandwich bar in Ampang Point serving shawarma and Arabic sweets to shoppers and passerbys, and now have 2 outlets in KL, in Bukit Bintang and JW Marriott.

They’ve also opened up a new outlet in Genting Highlands, so for all you highlanders looking for Middle Eastern comfort food, you’re in luck.

Tarbush Restaurant @ Bukit Bintang
Address: 138, Bukit Bintang Street, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 9AM-2AM, Daily
Telephone: 03-2142 8558
Website

See their list of outlets here.


3. Al-Amar Restaurant – catch belly-dancing performances


Get off the escalator on the 6th floor of Pavilion Kuala Lumpur and you will be greeted by the sight of Al-Amar Lebanese Restaurant. They’re also known as one of the most highly rated Lebanese restaurants in KL where you can host private events such as weddings. 

Middle Eastern Restaurants KL - Al-Amar Restaurant belly dancers
A belly dancer will jiggle her way through the restaurant as you dine
Image credit: Al-Amar Lebanese Restaurant

Head over on Friday and Saturday evenings and there’ll be live entertainment while you dine, including singing performances, and belly-dancing to set the mood. 

When dining in, order their Hummus Beiruti (RM19) to start – it’s a Lebanese version of hummus filled with flavour thanks to it’s copious amounts of garlic and spices. Their Spicy Half Grilled Chicken (RM29) is also must for sharing. The chicken is marinated in their house chili rub and then grilled and served with potato cubes and garlic sauce. 

Middle Eastern Restaurants KL - Al-Amar Restaurant
If you’re not into spicy food, go for their The Traditional Hommos (RM18) instead.
Image credit: @alamarlebanesecuisine

For vegetarians, try their Batata Harra (RM16) a simple but yummy potato dish infused with red peppers, coriander, chili, and garlic.

Middle Eastern Restaurants KL - Al-Amar Restaurant exterior
Image credit: @alamarlebanesecuisine

Address: Level 6.10, 168, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Bukit Bintang Street, Bukit Bintang
Opening hours: 10AM-12AM, Daily
Telephone: 03-2110 0855
Website


4. Halab Restaurant – modern bistro vibes


Middle Eastern Restaurants KL - Halab Restaurant interior
Image credit: Halab KL

Unlike other Middle Eastern restaurants in town, Halab KL has taken a very different approach to its interiors. Fitted with more modern decorations, the restaurant has a bistro-like atmosphere with Instagrammable aesthetics at their 2 outlets in Bukit Bintang. 

Middle Eastern Restaurants KL - Halab Restaurant food
Image credit: @vivienlaw_1010

Try the restaurant’s signature dishes, such as the Oven Chicken Potato (RM30) that’s easily shareable between 2 small eaters. Or go for the Halab Mix Grills (RM69), which comprises mutton, cooked in several ways, as well as prawn and chicken, that is sufficient to serve 4 or more. 

Their food and service have received rave reviews on TripAdvisor, so while the prices are slightly steeper, it’s definitely a good option to hit up for a special date or gathering. 

Middle Eastern Restaurants KL - Halab Restaurant exterior
Image credit: Reghu Kuttikkat

Halab KL @ Jalan Berangan
Address: 35, Jalan Berangan, Bukit Bintang, 50200 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 10AM-12AM, Daily
Telephone: 03-2110 4146

Halab KL @ Beremi
Address: 7, Jalan Beremi, Bukit Bintang, 50200 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 10AM-12AM, Daily
Telephone: 03-2110 1458
Website


5. Al-Rawsha Restaurant – huge portions for sharing


Middle Eastern Restaurants KL - Al-Rawsha Restaurant interior
Image credit: @faezahalim

Al-Rawsha is known for huge portions of food such as the Lamb and Chicken Kabsa (RM70) that feeds 4 pax, which made it popular with big groups before COVID-19 hit our shores. Local families also used to head to this Arabic joint during Ramadan for their Ramadan Buffet spread (RM79/pax). 

While big gatherings are not recommended during this time, the ala carte menu prices for individual dishes are affordable, with the Hummus, the ubiquitous dish in Middle Eastern restaurants, going for RM10. Kebabs start at RM18 for chicken, while sandwiches that look like wraps start from RM8.

Middle Eastern Restaurants KL - Al-Rawsha Restaurant food
Image credit: @alrawsha.restaurant

Address: 8, Jalan Kampung Pandan, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur 55100
Opening hours: 10AM-10PM, Daily
Telephone: 03-920 06600
Website


6. Wadi Hadramawt – dishes with Arabic and Yemeni influences


Middle Eastern Restaurants KL - Wadi Hadramawt
Image credit: Wadi Hadramawt Restaurant KL

At Wadi Hadramawt, you will get to enjoy both Arabian and Yemeni influences in their food and decor. This fairly new Middle Eastern restaurant located at the edge of the city is fast becoming a go-to joint for many hungry folks who work in the Golden Triangle. 

Middle Eastern Restaurants KL - Wadi Hadramawt food
Image credit: @izsecretkitchen

Their Lamb Fahsa (RM20) comes highly recommended. It comprises shredded lamb, green peppers and gravy cooked in a claypot and sprinkled with habla powder. Another must-try is the Shish Tawooq (RM18) which is boneless chicken that’s marinated and grilled, and served with the restaurant’s special sauce. 

Middle Eastern Restaurants KL - Wadi Hadramawt exterior
Image credit: Wadi Hadramawt Restaurant KL

The restaurant also takes special orders for aqeeqah ceremonies, which usually calls for a whole Roasted Lamb With Rice (RM1,400). This dish serves 40 pax.

Address: 226, Jalan Ampang, Kampung Datuk Keramat, 50450 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 11AM-11.30PM, Daily
Telephone: 03-920 06600
Website 


7. Damascus Restoran – affordable shawarmas under a Monorail station


Middle Eastern Restaurants KL - Damascus Restoran food
Image credit: @aileenkingang

Bukit Bintang has no shortage of kebab shops but one in particular has been a favourite among shoppers in the area. Located outside Sungei Wang shopping mall, directly under the Monorail station is where you can find Damascus Restoran.

Middle Eastern Restaurants KL - Damascus Restoran
Piping hot, freshly grilled meat is cut and prepared before you.
Image credit: @artsy_stain

Originating from Damascus, Syria, this humble kebab shop sells many other Middle Eastern dishes but they are well known for their flavour-packed affordable Kebabs (RM7). You can choose from Chicken, Beef or Lamb or get a combination of all. 

Vegan and vegetarian-friendly options are available upon request, so feel free to speak to the staff there if you have any dietary restrictions. 

Address: Sungei Wang Plaza Jalan Sultan Ismail, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 10AM-3AM, Daily
Telephone: 018-277 4890
Website


Bonus: Al-Diafah Express – Middle Eastern dessert in the suburbs


Middle Eastern Restaurants KL - Al-Diafah Express
Image credit: @foodmissive

Al-Diafah Express restaurant is not exactly in the heart of the city, but it deserves a shout-out as it is on par with its city counterparts. This Persian restaurant can be found in the quiet suburbs of Sri Petaling and Kajang, and is known for their desserts such as the Banana Honey and Yogurt (RM10). 

Middle Eastern Restaurants KL - Al-Diafah Express
Image credit: @aldiafahexpress

This restaurant has an extensive menu as well, serving both Western and Middle Eastern dishes. Casual dining with an intimate setting makes this place a family favourite dinner spot. 

Address: 45, Jalan Radin Anum, Sri Petaling, 57000 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 11AM-11PM, Daily
Telephone: 03-9059 6239
Website


Middle Eastern restaurants in KL for shawarmas & kebabs 


While mamaks, as well as Japanese cuisine and Korean food, are where KL-ites are likely to hit up for a meal, these Middle Eastern restaurants in KL are good alternatives if you ever want to step out of your foodie comfort zone, whether for a date night or a special gathering with your friends. 

Note: Due to various CMCO and RMCO guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic, operating hours for these listed restaurants may vary. Also, do be sure to wear a mask, and observe safe-distancing rules and other SOPs when out and about too. 

For more places to eat in the city:


Additional reporting: Carmen Cheok
Cover image adapted from: @tarbush_official, @alamarlebanesecuisine, @alrawsha.restaurant and
Halab KL

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