In partnership with The Marini’s Group
Kuala Lumpur is a city of contrasts. One minute you could be devouring dry-aged steak at a rooftop restaurant, and the next you could be eating nasi lemak beneath a ramshackle stall in a nearby Malay village. It’s this variety that makes the city one of the most vibrant and characterful in the region. Here are some ways you can spend 48 hours in Kuala Lumpur.
8am – Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve
Kick off your morning with some fresh air at Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve (aka KL Forest Eco Park), the last-standing patch of rainforest in the city centre. Walk along a 20m suspension bridge, learn about native Malaysian plant species and spot silvered leaf monkeys swinging across tree branches.
10am – Dang Wangi
After a long morning of walking, load up on coffee, toast and noodles at Kuala Lumpur’s oldest kopitiam (coffee shop), Yut Kee. This pre-independence Hainanese institution is known for its kaya toast and thick, inky black coffee. You won’t go far wrong with a slab of marble cake on the side. Then, take a short stroll to Jalan Doraisamy and browse locally made handicrafts and batik at Batik Boutique and Shades.
1pm – M Marini Grand Caffè & Terrazza
Treat yourself to a cheeky daytime glass of champagne at M Marini Grand Caffè & Terrazza, where local flavours exist in tandem with modern Italian food. Choose from a range of salads, pasta, pizza and meaty main courses that come with mango, avocado and prawn salad; aglio olio in lobster bisque; and Wagyu beef cheek with truffled mash and jus. Or pick from local favourites like kampung fried rice and curry laksa. Whatever you do, make sure to start your meal with the restaurant’s premium selection of beluga and oscietra caviar – you’re on holiday, after all.
7pm – Marble8
Head to Marble8 – arguably the best steak restaurant in Kuala Lumpur – for a romantic dinner paired with a panoramic view of the city. The Michelin-recommended restaurant treats its meat a cut above the rest by dry-ageing it for a minimum of 21 days in a temperature-controlled cellar containing slabs of pink Himalayan rock salt. The result is some of the best steaks you’ll eat across a range of cuts including ribeye, sirloin, tenderloin or tomahawk if you’re dining with a crowd.
10pm – MARISTAR
To up the luxe, end your night at Maristar, a fashion-forward lounge where cocktails and caviar abound. Whether you’re sipping on an aged single malt or a colourful signature cocktail, this is certainly the place to be if you want to rub shoulders with the city’s most affluent.
8am – Kampung Baru
Start your day afresh with what is largely considered to be Malaysia’s national breakfast – nasi lemak. And there’s no better place for it than Nasi Lemak Wanjo, where each rice grain is impeccably steamed and fragranced with fresh coconut milk. As a bonus, explore the surrounding Kampung Baru area which houses the city’s only remaining village flanked by wooden stilt houses and banana palm trees. Juxtaposed against the Petronas Twin Towers gleaming in the not-so-far distance, Kampung Baru is an excellent respite from the bustle of the city.
11am – Islamic Arts Museum
The Islamic Arts Museum is a treasure trove of artefacts from the Islamic world dating back as far as 1,400 years ago. The 12 permanent galleries housed in the building cover such areas as architecture, textiles, manuscripts, armour and ceramics.
Once you’ve soaked up knowledge of ancient Islamic art, take a short drive to The Zhongshan Building for a different kind of art scene – one that is more emblematic of the young, creative talent in Kuala Lumpur. While you’re at it, explore the myriad speciality stores in the building including Ana Tomy, an artisanal stationery and gift shop.
3pm – Rest and retreat
Since it’s your final full day in the city, it’s only fitting that you wind down with a luxury massage at Lax. Retreat, a modern self-care parlour offering body, nail and facial services to melt your worries away. Whether you opt for the traditional lulur (“coat one’s skin”) massage or the Nusantara- (Indonesia) inspired treatment, you’ll be sure to leave feeling revitalised.
7pm – Unbeatable views at Marini’s on 57
End your trip with a bang at Marini’s on 57, the best place in town for an unadulterated view of the Petronas Twin Towers. But it’s not just the view you’ll be savouring; the rooftop Italian restaurant serves an array of tantalising items such as home-made tagliatelle with truffle sauce, cotoletta alla milanese (veal) and gratin of live Boston lobster.
Wash it all down with an artisanal gin at MariGin, a gin parlour housing 57-plus varieties of gin from around the world: a classy way to end a classy trip.
Discover incredible dining experiences in KL with The Marini’s Group. Visit their website to find out more.