Food in Semenyih
Bring up Semenyih in any conversation and you’re likely to get a very confused “Har? Where’s that?” as a response. In case you’re thinking just that, Semenyih is only an hour’s drive from KL. Chances are, unless you’re a Nottingham University student, regularly drive to Seremban or often hike up Broga Hill, you wouldn’t be as familiar with this small town.
Just because it’s a little harder to spot on the map doesn’t mean you should skip out on visiting. Where a bowl of pan mee in KL can cost you almost RM10, over here you can get it for a mere RM6. If you’re looking for your next foodie adventure, Semenyih will be worth the drive down.
For more ideas on what you can eat in Klang Valley, check out our articles:
- Cafes with old school vibes
- Restaurants with weird food combos
- Cheap dim sum buffets
- Affordable bubble tea joints
- Korean food in KL
- Authentic Malay food
- Spicy food in Klang Valley
1. Tien Tien Lai – Sabah-style pork noodles in assam broth (RM6.50)
The assam broth has a nice tang from the tamarind pieces while the chunks of pineapple gives it a hint of sweetness
Ask any Sabahan on what good eats they recommend and they’ll answer sang nyuk mee. It’s almost like your regular bowl of hawker centre pork noodles, but these Sabah-style ones use thinly-sliced fresh pork. Just like how sang nyuk mee is Sabah’s most popular breakfast food, the ones Tien Tien Lai serve are also a favourite among Semenyih locals.
The thin pork slices are incredibly tender
A small bowl of Pork Noodles costs RM6.50, and like every other restaurant in town, they’re known for their generous portions. So much so that anyone who is able to finish a large serving of this will earn full bragging rights.
Address: 79, Jalan Semenyih Sentral 5, Taman Semenyih Sentral, 43500 Semenyih, Selangor
Opening hours: Wed-Mon 7AM-2.30PM (Closed Tuesdays)
2. BCC Pisang Cheese – banana fritters topped with melty cheese and chocolate (RM6)
You can’t go wrong with pisang goreng as a snack, but a relatively modern fad has started to take over: pisang goreng cheese. If you’re interested to give it a try, you can get yourself a serving of BCC’s Pisang Cheese (RM6).
They fry their fritters in small batches, so they’ll always be crispy when you get a packet of these.
They drizzle on some chocolate sauce before grating on the cheese. After blowtorching the top of the fritters, the cheese becomes melty enough for a satisfying cheese pull. The combination does wonders – salty cheese on top of sweet chocolate sauce, crispy batter, and soft bananas.
Address: Opposite Tesco Semenyih, 1, Jalan Tps, 1, Taman, Taman Pelangi Semenyih, 43500 Semenyih, Selangor
Opening hours: 1PM-7PM, Daily
3. Kelate – famous nasi lemak from Kuantan (RM2)
You’ll definitely pass by Kelate when you drive into Semenyih. The huge signboard outside their shop which places extra emphasis on the RM2 price tag is hard to miss. After all, very few places sell Nasi Lemak for RM2 now, especially if it’s at a dine-in establishment.
For an extra RM3, you can get a side of fried chicken to go with your rice. Aside from their affordable prices, it’s their sambal that makes them everyone’s go-to for nasi lemak. It hits just the right balance between sweet and spicy, and kids shouldn’t have a problem with the spice level.
Kelate is right across the huge field that’s just beside SJK(C) Sin Ming
Address: Gerai No. 6 PLB Semenyih, 43500 Semenyih, Selangor
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 5PM-1AM (Closed Mondays)
Telephone: 017-859 7693
4. Bomboloni – fresh jam-filled doughnuts (from RM1)
Bomboloni’s humble stall at the local pasar near Tesco Semenyih may be a far cry from common doughnut chains. But their doughnuts (RM1-RM2) are just as good and you can get them for a fraction of the price.
Finding this stall isn’t difficult – the smell of doughnuts fresh from the wok wafts through the air, so all you have to do is follow your noses and join the crowd that usually forms at the front of the stall.
Those with a sweet tooth will love the Red Velvet. It’s filled generously with a huge dollop of cream cheese, which pairs really well with the crispy fried shell of the doughnut.
The Blueberry doughnut is worth a try too. It has a small glob of jam in the middle that adds a fruity tang to the generous dusting of powdered sugar on top of the doughnut. The Nestum one on the other hand, is covered with Nestum flakes and thick icing.
Their bright pink tent and banners help them stand out from other vendors
Address: Opposite Tesco Semenyih, 1, Jalan Tps, 1, Taman, Taman Pelangi Semenyih, 43500 Semenyih, Selangor
Opening hours: 2.30PM-6PM, Daily
5. Lai Fook – minced pork and mushroom noodle (RM7)
3 out of 5 stalls in Broga sell pan mee, so you can’t leave the town without trying a bowl of this local signature. Lai Fook is one of the many noodle shacks in the area, and their specialty happens to be a variation of pan mee, their Minced Pork and Mushroom Noodle (from RM7).
Each bowl is prepared with homemade thin noodles
It’s much like your regular bowl of dried pan mee, except the one they whip up comes with a handful of stir fried mushrooms which are an absolute flavour bomb.
Toss it all up and be sure to get a piece of mushroom in each bite for maximum flavour
There’s a hint of smokiness from the wok that you can taste in every bite, which goes perfectly with the chunks of minced pork and fried garlic.
Spice fiends will not miss the jar of chilli by the table. It’s made from a mix of fried shallots, garlic, chilli, and dried shrimp. It doesn’t look as spicy since it’s not a fiery shade of red, but it’ll definitely get you sweating buckets so proceed with caution.
Lai Fook’s signage is tough to spot, so look out for their yellow banner at the corner lot.
Address: Jalan Broga, Semenyih, Selangor (Look for the row of noodle stalls)
Opening hours: 6.30AM-2PM, Daily
6. Boyfriend – refreshing coconut milkshake (RM5)
Bubble tea stores are a recent addition to the Semenyih landscape, so for years before that, locals relied on the refreshing Coconut Milkshake (RM5) from Boyfriend. They use pandan coconuts that are naturally sweet. Plus, you can add on a scoop of ice-cream for an extra RM1 if you’re feeling especially hot.
There’s an indoor seating area with plenty of shade for you to enjoy your drink in
They leave in little chunks of coconut in the milkshake, unlike the ones you usually find elsewhere. The drink is a local favourite, so you’ll always see people stopping by for a quick fix.
This little shack in the middle of the street whips up some of the best coconut milkshakes that can rival the ones in Melaka
Address: 12, N34, Broga, 71750 Mantin, Negeri Sembilan
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 11AM-5.30PM | Sat-Sun 10AM-6PM
7. I Love Broga – dried shrimp hakka mee (RM6)
There’s a small Hakka community residing in Semenyih as well, so you can expect to find a bunch of Hakkanese eats. Out of those, Hakka Mee is probably the most widely available here, and I Love Broga happens to serve one of the best ones.
You can’t go wrong with springy noodles and pieces of BBQ pork
The portions here are huge enough to leave patrons stuffed after just a small bowl of Dried Chilli Hakke Mee (RM6). If you’re wondering if there’s a catch to this surprisingly cheap noodle place, you’ll be surprised to know that the stall is one of the most recommended eateries by locals.
I Love Broga is the first shoplot you’ll see when you make the turning into Broga town
Each bowl has just the right amount of sauce to perfectly coat each strand of noodle after just a few tosses. The addition of dried shrimp chilli adds a kick of spice to the dish.
Address: 12, N34, Jln Kampung Tarun Broga, Broga, 71750 Mantin, Negeri Sembilan
Opening hours: 7AM-3PM, Daily
8. Owl Canteen – traditional kuih-muih (from RM2)
Owl Canteen is tucked inside a residential area away from the main town. You’ll find hawker centres, a traditional tea shop, and Chinese specialty stores along the same row. Before you go off exploring this part of town, stop by this shack for some traditional kuih-muih.
Their egg tarts here come in 2 flavours – pandan and original.
Owl Canteen’s egg tarts are worth a try and they go for RM2 a pop, and they’re worth every penny. The custard is silky smooth and soft, while the crust just crumbles immediately at first bite.
Ondeh-ondeh is a must-have at any kuih stall. A packet of 5 ondeh-ondeh here will cost you RM2, a cheap and efficient fix for your cravings.
The ondeh-ondeh here are so soft, they’re almost fluffy.
Mochi fans will not want to miss out on getting the Luo Mai Ji (RM2.50). It’s basically a giant, floppy mochi that has a peanut filling.
The filling is similar to what you would expect to find in a peanut-flavoured tang yuan.
It may not look as tempting as the other colourful nyonya kuih on display, especially since it looks like a glob that has been rolled around in flour. But take a leap of faith and you might just be surprised at how yummy it is. It’s basically a giant version of tang yuan, so it’s hard not to love.
Address: 233c, Jalan Besar Kampung Baru, Kampung Baru Semenyih, 43500 Semenyih, Selangor
Opening hours: 12PM-9PM, Daily
9. Ah Sao Zai Restaurant – wantan mee with fried pork (RM5.50)
Non-locals will have a hard time finding out about Ah Sao Zai Restaurant unless you have a local guiding you. It’s one of those hole-in-the-wall places that has no proper signage outside, but ironically, sports multiple promotional banners that are not at all related to the restaurant itself.
The Wantan Mee (from RM5.50) is a little different from the ones you get at your regular hawker stall back in KL. Over here, the noodles are topped off with fried pork slices instead of char siew.
The crispy edges of the pork gives a nice contrast to the saucy noodles.
For every batch of order, the noodles are cooked perfectly al dente. They’re delightfully springy and have a firm bite to them.
Address: Jalan Besar, Pekan Semenyih, 43500 Semenyih, Selangor (Look for the row of shops beside SJK(C) Sin Ming)
Opening hours: 6AM-1PM, Daily
Cheap and good Semenyih food
Cheap and good food are rare finds in the city, but our food crawl in Semenyih has proven that these gems are at every corner you look. The town doesn’t have any of those modern cafes that you’d see in KL, but the simple and hearty food they serve reflects best on the local community’s laidback lifestyle.
Just spend a day in town and you’ll be reluctant to head back. In fact, “frozen in time” is just the phrase many would use when visiting for the first time. The next time you’re itching for a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, make the quick drive over to Semenyih for these gems.
If you’re keen on having more day trips, here’s some inspiration on where you can go:
- BookXcess in Setia Alam
- Things to do at Pulau Jerejak
- Gorgeous waterfalls in Malaysia
- Beach getaways for group trips
- Things to do in Kuantan
- Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark
Photography by Amber Lee.