Spicy food in Kuala Lumpur


spicy food kl cover pic
Image adapted from: Ayam Gepuk Malaysia

Malaysian cuisine is known to be spicy, but sometimes it’s not nearly enough for those who like it extra pedas. These spicy dishes often leave us sweating buckets and our tongues numb, but they’re just so darn good that we keep heading back for more.

These restaurants who’ve made it to our list don’t just serve a side of cili padi and call it a day. From a beef burger seasoned with the world’s hottest chilli to a sambal that’s made with 400 cili padi, spice kakis will have a field day as they go down the list. 


1. IndoBowl – red and green sambal for an Indomie upgrade


IndoBowl food
Indomie Seafood (RM10), Nasi Ayam Balado (RM10), and Sate Madura (RM8).
Image credit: @indobowl_ss15

Malaysians love their instant noodles – we’d always have at least a pack in our kitchens and we’d order it at the mamak too. Now there’s a whole eatery called IndoBowl, that’s dedicated to an all-time favourite instant noodle brand Indomie. 

IndoBowl pairs your classic Indomie with various meat options. There’s Indomie Ayam Madura (RM12), a chicken option, and Indomie Rib Eye Stik Australian (RM19), which is beef. 

braised beef short ribs
Indomie Iga comes with braised beef short ribs (RM18)
Image credit: @indobowl_ss15

Its variety of meats are impressive enough, but it’s the sambal that is kickass. 

There are 3 types to choose from. Sambal Matah is an Indonesian favourite and has a fresh, spicy bite from the raw shallots and chillies. There’s a nice tang that complements most meat dishes. Sambal hijau is milder in taste compared to the sambal matah, but you still get a good amount of heat with each forkful. 

The spiciest thing on its menu is the red sambal. If you have a low threshold for spicy food, you’d have to scoop out the sambal or order it on the side. But spiceheads would find it easy-peasy to finish their bowl and maybe even ask to tambah sambal

Indomie Mumbo Jumbo
Indomie Mumbo Jumbo is a platter that comes with a mix of meats and all 3 types of sambal (RM59)
Image credit: @zaiman_zainal

IndoBowl @ Taman Melawati
The Taman Melawati outlet is furnished with blue chairs and sports a wallpaper that’s a nod to Indonesian culture
Image credit: IndoBowl

IndoBowl Kafe SS15
Address: 66, Jalan SS 15/4C, SS 15, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor
Opening hours: Daily, 11AM-10PM
Telephone: 012-580 0362

IndoBowl IOI City Mall
Address: Lot LG-36, Lower Ground Floor, IOI City Mall, Lebuh IRC, 62502 Putrajaya, Selangor
Opening hours: Daily, 10AM-10PM
Telephone: 012-580 0362

IndoBowl Kafe Taman Melawati
Address: 9165, Jalan Negara, Taman Melawati, 53100 Kuala Lumpur, Selangor
Opening hours: Daily, 11AM-11PM
Telephone: 012-580 0362
Website


2. De Hunan – chilli-topped everything


Spicy chicken w/ dried chillies
Deep Fried Spicy Chicken with Dried Chilli (RM28-RM48)
Image credit: issey ooi

First-timers to Hunan food are always in for a surprise because of how spicy every dish looks. Eyes will widen at De Hunan’s menu because most of the dishes are bright red from the chillies piled on top of the food. 

You don’t have to worry about singeing off your taste buds at first bite though, because while they look intimidating, the dishes taste of a tantalising blend of garlic, onions, cumin, and peppercorns instead of being just flat-out spicy. 

spicy fish head
Hot Spicy Steamed Fish Head in Hunan Specialty (RM40-RM60)
Image credit: @cheeweeteoh

Take this steamed fish head, for example. It’s drowning in chillies but the heat level is actually quite mild. And true to the saying that the fish head is the best part of the fish to eat, you’ll find lots of tender and fatty meat tucked under the collar and cheeks. 

De Hunan food
Some of De Hunan’s other dishes include sizzling tofu, deep fried spicy chicken with dried chilli, cabbage and lamb skewers
Image credit: vikoying08

The restaurant also has all sorts of meat on its menu, from lamb to frog and even deer meat. It’s a good spot for family dinners as its dishes are very appetising. They have outlets in Selangor as well: Puchong, Cheras and Shah Alam. 

De Hunan Kuchai Maju
Address: 2, Jalan Kuchai Maju 6, Kuchai Entrepreneurs Park, 58200 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: Daily, 11AM-10.30PM
Telephone: 03-7987 9318

De Hunan Kepong
Address: 142A & 146, Jalan Rimbunan Raya, Laman Rimbunan, 52100 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: Wed-Mon, 10AM-10:30PM (Closed on Tuesdays)
Telephone: 012-205 2740
Website


3. Little Rara Thai Noodle House for spicy & sour boat noodles


Little Rara Thai Noodle House is a hidden gem under a fuss-free makeshift tent that’s usually blocked by Bukit Bintang’s skyscrapers. Look for a telltale bright pink sign along Jalan Kia Peng to be treated to some of the best affordable boat noodles in KL.

maggi tom yum
Maggi Tom Yam (RM18)
Image credit: @azmi_mt

The restaurant serves unpretentious Thai cuisine that doubles as comfort food for spice lovers. 

Its Maggi Tom Yam (RM18) is teeming with fresh prawns and mussels that make the broth rich and flavourful. Complemented with the acidity from the lemongrass and kaffir lime and you’ll start salivating once the dish is placed in front of you. It’s also topped with 3 egg yolks that cling to your noodles for a creamier taste when you slurp them up.

Order a glass of Thai Ice Tea (RM3) – a milky, sweet beverage infused with aromatics such as star anise and cloves to set it apart from normal milk teas – to cool yourself down when the heat gets to you.

Little Rara food
Clockwise, from top left: Pad Kraw Paw (from RM8), Tom Yam Noodle Soup (RM11), Speed Boat Noodle Soup (from RM6), BBQ Beef (RM12), and Speed Boat Noodle Dry (from RM6)
Image credit: @eaterykl

Other authentic Thai fare we recommend are Pad Kraw Paw (from RM8), an aromatic stir-fried meat dish with basil leaves and BBQ Beef (RM12), which is grilled for you on the spot. 

Little Rara @ Sepang
Little Rara’s kiosk at the Sepang circuit is Little Rara Thai’s second outlet in KL
Image credit: Little Rara Thai Noodle House

Little Rara Thai Noodle House Jalan Kia Peng
Address: No 1, Jalan Kia Peng, 50450 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: Mon-Sat, 5PM-12:15AM (Closed on Sundays)
Telephone: 016-305 5388

Little Rara Thai Noodle House Chow Kit
Address: 331, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Chow Kit, 50100 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: Mon-Sat, 4:30PM-11:30PM (Closed on Sundays)
Telephone: 016-305 5388
Website


4. NeNe’s Korean fried chicken in freaking hot flavour to extra oomph 


NeNe fried chicken
Image credit: @sarahluvsfood

Korean fried chicken chains such as NeNe Chicken have been giving KFC a run for its money – the crunchy deep-fried chicken skin and saucy glazes that come in a variety of flavours such as garlic and soy just pair so well together. 

NeNe’s Freaking Hot Chicken (from RM14.90) stands out from other fried chicken joints because its spicy sauce will set you sniffling. The sauce is almost as dark as the one you get in your Samyang instant noodles, but with a slight sweetness which makes it all the more addictive. 

Nene chicken w/ rice
Image credit: @izzatiaminn

To better cope with the heat, opt for a rice set to counter the spice. You’ll still sweat, but it’ll help you power through so you can enjoy the addictive sauce and juicy, tender flesh. 

NeNe Chicken
See all locations here.
Website


5. Nasi Dulang Daun Pisang’s fiery sotong with a hit of petai 


nasi oceng cumi mercon
Nasi Oceng Cumi Mercon (up to about RM20)
Image adapted from: omaralattas

Nasi Dulang is a rare find in the city, so the 30-minute drive from KL city centre to Nasi Dulang Daun Pisang in Kajang is worth the meal. The resident spicy dish on the menu is the Nasi Oceng Cumi Mercon (up to about RM20). 

The restaurant gets its seafood fresh every day and its sotong is a popular must-try dish. It’s cooked with tons of petai, so you’ll get a whiff of the petai’s strong smell when it’s still cooking in the wok. The juices from the grilled squid add extra oomph to the spicy sambal that’s made with 10 chilli padis per serving – definitely a taste that’s worth going through the heat for. 

ayam ganja
Nasi Ganja Ayam (RM7.50)
Image credit: Eng Khor

For your friends who don’t want to teman you in your spicy food journey, Nasi Ganja Ayam (RM7.50) and Set Dulang Talapia Merah (from RM10) both come with fluffy rice drenched with a flavourful Malay-style curry and a side of vegetables.  

While the sotong dishes vary in price depending on the size of the squid, its other nasi dulang and nasi ganja meals start from RM7

restaurant environment
Image credit: Ummar Mohd Ali

Nasi Dulang Daun Pisang
Address: Pt 75024, Jalan Besar Sungai Ramal Dalam, 43000 Kajang, Selangor
Opening hours: Daily, 10.30AM-4PM
Telephone: 012-323 0220


6. Lao Si Chuan Steamboat’s mala hot pot will warm you up on rainy days


hotpot 1
Image credit: @shinz86

When you’re talking about spicy food, you can’t miss out mala. It’s best when it comes in hotpot form, as the flavours from the hot oil can better seep into the thin, marbled meat. So hit up Lao Si Chuan, where you’ll catch a strong whiff of the mala soup base once you walk through the front doors – it’s a definite telltale sign of a spicy meal up ahead. 

9 grid hotpot
They have a unique 9-grid hotpot for you to separately cook your ingredients at varying temperatures
Image credit: @jhthuang

Be prepared for a constant clash of pain and pleasure here – the intolerable heat from the spices comes and goes in phases while your tongue goes numb after the first mouthful of mala. Still, the tongue-tingling sensation won’t stop you from eating your way through their extensive menu of hotpot ingredients. 

lao si chuan food
Besides mala steamboat, Lao Si Chuan serves stir-fried vegetables, mapo tofu and a host of other chilli-topped dishes too.
Image credit: @yoboikevhhh

Purists looking to have a true Chinese hotpot experience will be pleased that Lao Si Chuan offers ingredients such as pig’s brain and pig’s blood (from RM6 to RM22/ingredient), as well as a 9-grid hotpot for you to separately cook your ingredients at varying temperatures – something that the Mainland Chinese hotpot-ers do frequently.

lao si chuan exterior
Image credit: @dannytan1221

Lao Si Chuan Steamboat Kuchai Maju
Address: 47, Jalan Kuchai Maju 6, Kuchai Entrepreneurs Park, 58200 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: Daily, 11:30AM-2AM
Telephone: 03-7971 9109
Website


7. Sukdduck’s Crazy Spicy Topokki Challenge – eat fast to win more food 


tteokbokki and twigim
Image credit: Sukdduck Malaysia

Sukdduck has a spicy tteokbokki challenge for Samyang noodles lovers called the Crazy Spicy Topokki Challenge. If you can finish the tons of rice cakes and fish cake slices that are swimming in a pan of bubbling, devilish red gravy in 10 minutes, you’ll get an RM100 voucher that you can use to order your way through the rest of the menu right after completing the challenge.

tteokbokki and dumplings
Image credit: Sukdduck Malaysia

While rice cake dishes are mainstays in Korea, Sukdduck ups the game with unexpected variations of the dish, such as Quatro-Cheese Bomb Topokki (RM32) and Roast Beef Topokki (RM27)

Sukdduck is also one of the rare places where you can get a platter of Sundae (RM22), a Korean blood sausage that’s stuffed with barley and noodles. It’s just as common a street food as rice cakes in Korea, even though not many Korean restaurants in Malaysia offer it.

crunchy tempura set
Order a Crunchy Tempura Set (RM22) to dip into your tteokbokki sauce
Image credit: @explorefoodwithjas

sukdduck interior
Image credit: Sukdduck Malaysia

Sukdduck
Address: 3, Ground Floor, Mont Kiara, Jalan Solaris 2, Solaris Mont Kiara, 50480 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: Mon-Thurs, 11AM-11PM | Fri-Sun, 11AM-12AM
Telephone: 017-553 0970
Website


8. K Street’s Spicy Ramyun Challenge where only a rare few emerge as winners


ramyun
Image credit: @zi_youuu

K Street’s hall of fame is probably one of the hardest to get into, and no, you don’t need to have star power for this. You just need an iron tongue and stomach to slurp up the ramyun’s red-hot noodles and spicy soup in 10 minutes to get your name into the record books. 

The ramyun costs RM30, but you won’t have to pay a cent if you can wolf down everything in the stipulated time. Fair warning, though. It’s not just insane spiciness you’re battling, but also a sheer amount of noodles in the jumbo-sized ramyun bowl. 

K street food
Image credit: K Street

Even if you’re not interested in the challenge, K Street is still a good spot to hit up when you’re craving Korean food because of classic dishes such as Bibimbap (RM21) and Kimchi Jjigae (from RM24.50) on its menu. 

k street interior
Potted plants and lamps lining the eatery gives off Korean drama vibes
Image credit: Berjaya Times Square

K Street Berjaya Times Square
Address: Level 3, Berjaya Times Square, No1, Jalan Imbi, Imbi, 55100 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: Daily, 10AM-10PM

K Street SS15
Address: 28, Jalan SS 15/8, Ss 15, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor
Opening hours: Daily, 11AM-11PM
Telephone: 03-5632 9822

K Street Sunway Pyramid
Address: F1.AV.197, Sunway Pyramid, Bandar Sunway, 47500 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Opening hours: Daily, 10AM-10PM
Telephone: 012-368 7703
Website


9. Kotak’s level 10 spicy ayam geprek for those burning for a challenge


ayam geprek 1Ayam
Geprek (RM13.80)
Image credit: @alixfl_

Kotak at SS15 is the new kid on the block, sprucing up the foodie neighbourhood with its Indonesian fare. When word got out that its ayam geprek (RM13.80) uses ghost chilli peppers – one of the spiciest peppers in the world – customers started streaming in from when doors open right till the shop’s closing time. 

Ayam Geprek 2
Image credit: @ryansubahan_

Kotak grinds the chillies in a pestle and mortar for its sambal. Chunks of fried chicken are then tossed in the sambal to ensure the fiery concoction covers every piece of meat. While the first few bites are enjoyable enough – especially when you get the bits of crispy skin – the spice hits you before you know it and your tongue starts burning from the hundreds of chilli seeds in the dish.

Choose from 10 levels of spiciness, but be warned that the highest level uses 100 ghost peppers. To give you a better idea of what you might be signing up for, eating 1 ghost pepper is like eating 15 chilli padi at once. 

kotak mural
The Indonesian joint has a cultural-themed mural on its walls that resonates well with Malaysians too
Image credit: @kasturistudio

The restaurant serves refillable soda and free soup, if that helps with the challenge. There’s also a sizable menu with 2 other signature dishes, Cheesy Ayam Geprek (RM15.80) and Salted Egg Chicken (RM13.80), that you can go for if spicy food is not up your lane. 

Kotak
Address: 7, Jalan SS 15/8b, SS 15, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor
Opening hours: Mon-Sat, 12PM-12AM | Sun, 12PM-10PM
Telephone: 1-800-22-0777
Website


10. Shi Fu Wantan Mee is the world’s spiciest pan mee that comes with a warning sign on every table


chilli pan meeWorld’s Spiciest Pan Mee (about RM20)
Image credit: GoCheras

Shi Fu Wantan Mee is a famed noodle house in Cheras district in KL with a loyal customer following. 

Its World’s Spicest Pan Mee (about RM20) may look deceptively simple at first glance, but the secret recipe comprises 10 different spices and sauces for a one-of-a-kind spiciness. You won’t get that same amount of heat even if you were to dump in the whole jar of chilli at any regular noodle joint.

The restaurant’s even goes as far as to put up a liability waiver and disclaimer on every table telling customers that they may experience anything from tearing to loss of consciousness after eating the noodles.  

wantan mee
Wantan Mee (from RM6.50)
Image credit: GoCheras

If you’d rather swipe left on this challenge, go for its Wantan Mee (from RM6.50). The noodles are delightfully springy. And the fried pork lard amps up the porky goodness of the roasted meats. 

Shi Fu interior
Image credit: GoCheras

Shi Fu Wantan Mee
Address: 18, Jalan Manis 4, Taman Segar, 56100 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: Daily, 9AM-12AM
Telephone: 03-9131 4362
Website


11. Rocket Kitchen’s Mee Panas Pungung is even spicier than Samyang’s 2x Spicy noodles


mee panas pungung
Mee Panas Punggung (RM6.50)
Image credit: @sergerange

Rocket Kitchen’s Mee Panas Punggung (RM6.50) lets you adjust the level of spiciness, from 10% to 100%. At maximum spice level, it takes just 2 bites for your whole mouth to start burning. 

And because the mystery sauce covers every inch of the plate and clings to the noodles, there’s no way to avoid the heat. We recommend going for the 10% or 50% spice depending on your tolerance, to test water. But be warned that the portion is also huge, so you might want to jio your friends along to help you finish this up.

nasi kukus
Nasi Kukus (from RM6.50)
Image adapted from: @rocketkitchen1

Aside from the crowd that comes in to challenge the Mee Panas Punggung, there are also regulars who drop by for its Nasi Kukus (from RM6.50) fix. Rocket Kitchen has more than just ayam goreng berempah. Other meat options such as ayam masak merah, ikan tonggkol, and daging kawah are also available

rocket kitchen mural
Image credit: @aqil.zndn

Rocket Kitchen
Address: Jln Serai Wangi G 16/G, Alam Avenue, 40200 Shah Alam, Selangor
Opening hours: Daily, 9:30AM-7PM
Telephone: 016-350 5763
Website


12. Ayam Gepuk Pak Gembus’ sambal is made out of 400 chillies


ayam gepuk pak gembus
Image credit: Ayam Gepuk Malaysia

When a shop’s slogan is “anda pedas, kami puas, you know that its stuff is hardcore. Ayam Gepuk Pak Gembus is a franchise from Indonesia and since making its way over here in 2017, it’s garnered a massive following of over 80,000 fans on Instagram

Its spice levels are based on how many chillies are used in the sambal. The highest level you can go for in Malaysia is currently set at 400, which means your serving of sambal will be made from 400 chillies. 

pounding the sambal
The burning hot sambal is made from pounding the chillies in a pestle and mortar
Image credit: Ayam Gepuk Malaysia

The sambal sits on top of a piece of fried chicken and is served with sides such as tofu, tempeh, keropok, and cucumber. The mak cik running one of the stalls in KL has said that only a few people have dared to order a level 100 sambal, so we definitely recommend proceeding with caution if you’re looking to challenge level 400. 

Ayam Gepuk Pak Gembus
See all locations here
Website


13. Fatt Kee’s seafood hotpot encourages you to start from a spiciness level of 0.5


seafood platter
Jumbo Seafood Platter (RM788)
Image credit: Meshionne Emily

Popular seafood restaurant Fatt Kee is known for its hotpot, which has a wide variety of crustaceans and shellfish. The boiling soup is brimming with seafood, so you can imagine what a flavour bomb the broth becomes after it’s been simmering for a while. To give it an extra kick, you can choose from 8 levels of spice to go with the umami. 

Most regulars go no further than level 1, with some even settling for level 0.5. If you’re a fresh face, the waiter will encouraged to slowly start from the bottom instead of ordering the highest level from the get-go just to orient you with the taste. 

lobster platter
Lobster Seafood Platter
Image credit: @fattkeeroastfish

The platters start from RM88, recommended for a group of 2-4 people, and can go as high as RM788, where you’ll see ingredients such as flower crabs, slipper lobsters and tiger prawns. Just like any other hotpot, you can add on extra ingredients such as udon and vegetables for a more filling meal. 

Fatt Kee Roast Fish
Address: Off Jalan Pasar, 25, Lorong Yap Hin, Pudu, 55100 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: Daily, 12PM-2AM
Telephone: 03-2856 8624
Website


14. Salt & Pepper’s spiciest burger in Malaysia for the daredevils 


explosive inner core burger
Explosive Innner Core Burger (RM16.90)
Image credit: @ashril_29

Salt & Pepper’s Explosive Inner Core Burger (RM16.90) looks intimidating, with crisp vege, a thick meat patty, melted cheese and a generous serving of red sauce sandwiched between perfectly browned buns. But its taste is what you’ll have to watch out for. Bite into the burger and the lava-like sauce immediately burns your mouth and tongue.

Malaysians freaked out when word got out that the restaurant uses the world’s spiciest pepper, the Carolina Reaper. But that wasn’t enough for Salt & Pepper, which threw a couple of ghost peppers and habaneros into the mix to ramp up the spiciness level, leaving us truly shooketh

There’s a range of massive burgers on its menu – with buns that can barely fit in your hands and a #thicc patty that’s overflowing with juices. It even has its own version of a Crabby Patty (RM19.90), where the crab is battered and deep fried to the perfect level of crispiness. 

burger
Image credit: @saltpepperrestaurant

Salt & Pepper
Address: No. 46A, Jalan 3/70, Seksyen 3 Bandar Baru Bangi, 43650 Bandar Baru Bangi, Selangor
Opening hours:Tues-Fri, 3PM-11:30PM | Sat-Sun, 3PM-11PM (Closed on Mondays)
Telephone: 03-8920 8432
Website


KL’s spiciest food


Spiceheads have it tough when they’re trying to find new places to get their chilli fix as some foods aren’t as spicy as they claim to be. If it’s been a while since you’ve put your tolerance to the test, visit these places to score more wins and earn bragging rights as an approved spicehead. 

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