Breakfast at Hotel Maya & lunch at Elegant Inn, Kuala Lumpur


Deluxe suite, Hotel Maya Kuala Lumpur

Deluxe suite, Hotel Maya Kuala Lumpur

On my recent business trip to Kuala Lumpur, I stayed at Hotel Maya which is located on Jalan Ampang in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. I found it to be a convenient location because it is merely a 10-minute walk to KLCC. One of the best features of the hotel is the deluxe suite being suprisingly large with study desk, wifi connection and view of the iconic Petronas twin towers.

Bathroom and ensuite of Deluxe room

Bathroom and ensuite of Deluxe suite

The ensuite and wardrobes are fairly large and it makes this suite feel more like a good size apartment.

Bathroom and ensuite of Deluxe room

Dressing room and ensuite of Deluxe suite

A good thing is the hotel also has a fully equipped gymnasium to help me work off all the good food that I am about to subject myself to whenever I’m in KL.

Infinity pool, Hotel Maya

Infinity pool, Hotel Maya

Photographs are not allowed to be taken of the gym but today, I enjoy an early morning swim in the heated hydrotherapy pool.

Hydrotheraphy pool, Hotel Maya

Hydrotheraphy pool, Hotel Maya

Powerful water jets are designed to sooth and relief a stiff neck, shoulders, arms, thighs and back.

Hydrotheraphy pool, Hotel Maya

Hydrotheraphy pool, Hotel Maya

I soak for a good hour in the pool, enjoying the serene view of an infinity water feature with lush tropical greenery in the backdrop.

Hydrotheraphy pool on level 3, Hotel Maya

Hydrotheraphy pool on level 3, Hotel Maya

The pool is located on the third floor of the hotel which has an enormous loft in the centre of the building.

But important things first – when in Kuala Lumpur, I always try to seek out my favourite street food in the morning. Nasi lemak is the national breakfast of Malaysia.

A smile comes to my face whenever I come across these stalls on the streets of KL and I am lucky to find a stall just outside Hotel Maya every morning.

Nasi lemak stall at front of Hotel Maya, Jalan Ampang

Nasi lemak stall at front of Hotel Maya, Jalan Ampang

Although a beautiful breakfast spread comes with the room (more about this below), I couldn’t resist venturing out to the stall on the first morning to get my nasi lemak fix.

Nasi lemak with sambal, hard-boiled egg, cucumber, squid sambal

Nasi lemak with sambal, hard-boiled egg, cucumber, squid sambal RM2.40 (approx A$0.80)

Is there anything more beautiful than a simple nasi lemak with some of its most basic ingredients?

Nasi lemak with sambal, hard-boiled egg, cucumber, squid sambal

Nasi lemak with sambal, hard-boiled egg, cucumber, squid sambal

The best thing about these packet nasi lemak is they are extremely portable and also meant to be eaten at room temperature. Therefore, reheating is definitely unnecessary let alone a carnal offence. Nasi lemak wrapped in a banana leaf and brown paper with a plastic spoon adds to the delight of this simple yet tasty meal.

Nasi lemak with sambal, hard-boiled egg, cucumber, squid sambal

Nasi lemak with sambal, hard-boiled egg, cucumber, squid sambal

As I savour each delightful spoonful of rice with its fragrant coconut aroma in the comfort of my hotel room, I knew I should have bought a second pack but I was good enough to pace myself as I knew I had a few more days of feasting on the food of this wonderful city.

Lunch at Elegant Inn, Kuala Lumpur

Elegant Inn, Menara Hap Seng, Jalan P Ramlee

Elegant Inn, Menara Hap Seng, Jalan P Ramlee

After my meetings in the morning, a friend of mine whom I affectionately refer to as the “Maestro” (because he is such an accomplished pianist) invites me to Elegant Inn, a Hong Kong style cuisine restaurant located in Menara Hap Seng.

Jasmine tea, Elegant Inn

Jasmine tea, Elegant Inn

Being a regular to this restaurant, Maestro is familiar with the menu and I suggest he orders for us.

Stir-fry kai lan with garlic

Stir-fry kai lan with garlic RM9.00 (approx A$2.90)

A stir fry kai lan with garlic arrives in a silky vibrant green, incredibly crunchy and punctuated with hints of shao xing wine and charred wok flavours. I love the freshness and punch of the whole garlic cloves on my palate.

Shark's fin dumpling in superior broth

Shark's fin dumplings in superior broth RM23.00 (approx A$7.40)

Maestro orders the signature shark’s fin dumplings in superior broth. This Cantonese delicacy are dumplings in clear chicken broth that are made of succulent scallops, prawns, crab meat, shark’s fin, chinese mushroom and water chestnuts wrapped in the most delicate of wanton skins.

Each mouthful is a delicate balance of sweet seafood with the water chestnuts providing crunchy textural contrast.

Old fashioned prawn toast RM7.80

Old fashioned prawn toast RM7.80 (approx A$2.50)

The old fashioned prawn toast immediately transports me back to my childhood in Malaysia where this simple snack is a favourite with every Malaysian kid. The toast is a crispy contrast with the soft and sweet prawn paste, truly comfort child food that has gained universal respect among adults too.

Crispy vegetarian rice roll RM9.80

Crispy vegetarian rice roll RM9.80 (approx A$3.20)

The char leong or crispy vegetarian rice roll is soft outside and crispy inside balanced by a savoury sweet soy sauce.

Home made fishball, crispy vegetarian rice roll and old fashioned prawn toast

Home made fishball, crispy vegetarian rice roll and old fashioned prawn toast

The home made fishballs might seem ordinary but these delectable morsels are firm to the bite with a distinct sweet aroma of fish enhanced by a subtle chilli sauce.

I am not a big fan of dessert but Maestro recommends that we try the malai ko literally translated to mean Malay cake or the home made custard cake.

Home made custard cake RM6.00 (approx A$1.90)

Home made custard cake RM6.00 (approx A$1.90)

It is truly the best version of this cake that I have tasted. The Maestro’s recommendation is to take a whole cross-section bite of each square to experience the contrast of the soft sweet cream with a spongy bread texture.

Dining room, Elegant Inn, Menara Hap Seng, Kuala Lumpur

Dining room, Elegant Inn, Menara Hap Seng, Kuala Lumpur

Through the years that I have known the Maestro, we have shared our passion and love for piano music, especially Chopin’s music and now we share our passion for food. He has indeed given me a lot of insights into the works of great composers and I value our friendship dearly. My only regret is he refuses to let me settle the bill on this beautiful lunch today.

I attend to a few business meetings after lunch and then I head to my favourite part of Hotel Maya for a special hour.

Sky Lounge, Hotel Maya, Kuala Lumpur

Sky Lounge, Hotel Maya, Kuala Lumpur

Happy hour at the Sky Lounge is indeed happy and cosy where an opulent wine and cigar lounge and library have commanding views of the iconic Petronas Twin Towers.

Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur

Petronas Twin Towers, from the Sky Lounge of Hotel Maya, Kuala Lumpur

It is unfortunate for the seven days I am in Kuala Lumpur, a blanket of haze lingers on the horizon which does little justice to the simmering skyline.

Spiral staircase, Hotel Maya, Kuala Lumpur

Spiral staircase, Hotel Maya, Kuala Lumpur

The next morning I head down to the Maya Brasserie to sample the breakfast spread of the hotel.

I love breakfast spreads in Malaysian hotels because you always get a choice of western style breakfast such as yoghurt, an endless choice of cereal and muesli, fresh fruits, fresh eggs cooked to your liking.

Breakfast at Hotel Maya, Kuala Lumpur 

Breakfast at Hotel Maya, Kuala Lumpur

Breakfast at Hotel Maya, Kuala Lumpur

In addition to American or continental breakfast, Malaysian hotels also offer a fantastic selection of local favourites such as nasi lemak, congee with all the local condiments and accompanying favourites such as fried black dace in black beans, century egg and fu yee or fermented beancurd.

Breakfast at Hotel Maya, Kuala Lumpur

Breakfast at Hotel Maya, Kuala Lumpur

Because of local Muslim laws, food outlets and restaurants in Malaysian hotels are required to serve halal or kosher food and beverage to patrons and guests.

Breakfast cereal, cornflakes and muesli

Breakfast cereal, cornflakes and muesli

This ruling means that western style breakfast eggs are served with beef as opposed to pork bacon and I always skip past the western breakfast because I know I can have these hearty breakfasts back home in Australia with my favourite pork bacon and sausages.

Congee condiments clockwise from top: Pickled cabbage, fried dace, fermented beancurd, century egg, shallots & deep-fried onion (centre)

Congee condiments clockwise from top: Pickled cabbage, fried dace, fermented beancurd, century egg, shallots & deep-fried onion (centre)

I always opt for the local breakfast favourites such as nasi lemak, curry laksa, chee cheong fun or kon low noodles whenever I’m in KL.

Salad and fresh yoghurt

Salad and fresh yoghurt

Nevertheless, I would also eat a good serving of local fruits every morning because they are so sweet and juicy.

Assortment of local fruits

Assortment of local fruits

I am sure you can tell by now that I am a die-hard nasi lemak fan and the one in Hotel Maya lived up to my expectations on all accounts.

Nasi lemak with squid sambal and chicken curry

Nasi lemak with cuttlefish sambal and chicken curry

The rice is fragrant with its delightful coconut aromas, the sambal sharp and spicy and the deep fried ikan bilis crispy while the cuttlefish and chicken curry added a little decadence with its rich and tasty curry sauce.

Egg noodles and ingredients for curry mee

Egg noodles and ingredients for curry mee

I could not resist tucking into a bowl of curry mee after my nasi lemak.

Curry mee with chicken and fishcakes

Curry mee with chicken and fishcakes

The fried tofu puffs soak up the spicy tangy curry broth while the egg noodles and fishcakes makes every mouthful so tasty.

Assortment of local fruits

Assortment of local fruits

I would definitely stay in Hotel Maya again because the size of the rooms are generous, service is prompt and efficient, the breakfast spread has good variety and best of all, its location in the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s CBD is difficult to beat.

Infinity pool, Hotel Maya

Infinity pool, Hotel Maya

The serene view of the lush greenery from the hydrotherapy pool leaves me a vivid image of the Hotel Maya.

So dear readers, have you been to Kuala Lumpur and did you have a favourite local food there?

Hotel Maya
138 Jalan Ampang
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 2711 8866

Check availability and rates with instant confirmation.

Elegant Inn
2nd Floor, Podium Block
Menara Hap Seng
Jalan P Ramlee,
50250 Kuala Lumpur
Tel +6o3 2070 9399

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16 Responses to Breakfast at Hotel Maya & lunch at Elegant Inn, Kuala Lumpur

  1. heidi says:

    The food pictures are making my mouth water!
    I would love to go to one of those carts and eat and eat!
    Thanks for taking us along via photos and blog- I’ve enjoyed every vicarious bite and view!

  2. I am really impressed by the pictures you captured inside Hotel Maya, especially the spiral staircase and infinity pool, really nice man! Then, you got me so tempted with the nasi lemak that we all Malaysian loved, especially the one with banana leaf.

  3. Loving the look of your street stall breakfast, just looks so inviting. I could do with some right now.

  4. The hotel looks really good-the Sky Lounge in particular is very eyecatching! And I always wish I ate more at breakfast as hotels have such great breakfasts!

  5. That is one gorgeous hotel! Fantastic photos!

  6. JasmyneTea says:

    80c for breakfast, I can’t believe my eyes! I’ve been dying to go to Malaysia, you’re just fuelling the fire, lol. And the hotel! Such extravagance! Glad you had a lovely time :)

  7. I never get disappointed by coming to your blog. Always interesting or yummy pictures are on your site. Today was both – I love the modern Asian hotel! Looks very clean and nice~~~. Hotel in Japan is so small. I’ve seen Nasi Lemark several times since I started blogging and this is one of the food that I MUST eat when I visit Singapore. Looks so delicious!

  8. I loveee the look of that hotel, especially that pool, seems so serene and pretty (I like pools even though I don’t know how to swim..ahem). I’ve actually never been to Malaysia before but it’s definitely a place high on my to go list. Most of my good friends are Malaysian and I have friends there :) The food you had all looked really good too! Making me hungry now..

  9. I love the local version of breakfast too! Who could pick cornfalkes over that?

  10. What a nice place to stay, I love the look of the infinity pool! I haven’t been to KL (or anywhere in Malaysia) but it’s definitely somewhere I’ve love to go to. Just to eat my way around the streets :D

  11. Carolyn Jung says:

    A big “wow” on that amazing looking pool! And an even bigger “wow” on that breakfast buffet spread. ;)

  12. I haven’t been to Kuala Lumpur – I haven’t been to Asia at all! 8O And I love Asia! :( I’ll definitely go there when I earn some money and can afford to travel, and then I wish to stay at such a wonderful hotel and swim in an infinity pool or just float on my back in that heated pool for an hour … :)

    Squid, cucumber slices, etc for breakfast … I’d totally love that. :D

  13. The hotel looks absolutely stunning! Never been to KL but it’s definitely on my wishlist now, especially with the super cheap food prices *mind explodes*

  14. Beautiful hotel and some terrific eats there! I would especially love to try the shark’s fin dumplings.

  15. tigerfish says:

    The packet of Nasi Lemak sends me straight to nostalgia :)

  16. Special K says:

    Just found your blog and now believe I will visit it more often. First, that swimming pool looks so inviting. And I am not a swimmer (jogger at hear)…but I might be if I could eat one of those breakfasts….
    My goodness! Your camera action is wonderful!

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