What to eat and do during KL's car-free day every weekend


The Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Raja Abdullah intersection in Kuala Lumpur’s city centre on KL car-free Sunday;

Every weekend, the bustling streets of Kuala Lumpur transform into a cyclist’s paradise. Thanks to KL City Hall’s initiative, which started in 2013, the city’s core has become a car-less playground for three hours.

And there’s plenty to see. The five-kilometre route, touching the city’s iconic roads, promises hidden gems.

The route covers many iconic roads around the city centre, taking you, among others, to some of the older neighbourhoods in Kuala Lumpur.

If traditional architecture is on your list of things to see, ride to Jalan Raja Abdullah.

Deviate slightly, and you’ll find yourself in Kuala Lumpur’s older neighbourhoods, teeming with history and having stood the test of time.

Restoran Rose in Jalan Raja Alang is listed by KL City Hall as one of its “Food Trail” destinations.Restoran Rose in Jalan Raja Alang is listed by KL City Hall as one of its “Food Trail” destinations.

Visiting Jalan Raja Abdullah offers a visual treat of traditional architecture, where old Malay wooden homes blend with modern skyscrapers in the background.

The journey will take you through Jalan Sultan Ismail, leading to the crossroads with Jalan Raja Abdullah, adjacent to Bandar Wawasan.

For foodies on wheels, there’s plenty of good Malay food to be found in this neighbourhood.

Restoran Rose is located at Jalan Raja Alang if you love authentic Sumatra fare. It serves lontong and Nasi Gurih Acheh for breakfast.

Nasi Gurih is fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk and spices. It’s similar to nasi lemak, with a unique blend of spices and flavours. This rice is typically served with various side dishes, ranging from meat curries to vegetables and fried crispy items. Nasi Padang is served here at lunchtime.

The KL City Hall also lists this eatery as a “Food Trail” destination.

Nasi Gurih Acheh is a “must-try” dish at Restoran Rose.Nasi Gurih Acheh is a “must-try” dish at Restoran Rose.

A stone’s throw away is the Pasar Raja Bot, a market known for its culinary history.

Hidden treasures like “nasi lemak legend” await, serving dishes that have delighted generations, including their non-halal Chinese nasi lemak featuring “char yuk”, a classic Hakka pork dish.

What makes the experience unique is the decent-tasting nasi lemak meal, which is inexpensive.

Safety for your bikes? No worries. There is ample parking space, and friendly business owners at the market ensure your two-wheeled companions are in good hands.

While there, catch the Tan brothers’ legendary curry mee, a noodle dish that’s been a staple for over five decades.

Taking a short detour for “makan-makan” along the car-free Sunday route adds excitement to the ride.

But keep an eye on the clock!

Cyclists enjoying their meals at a coffee shop in Jalan Raja Bot.Cyclists enjoying their meals at a coffee shop in Jalan Raja Bot.

The three-hour window will fly by, especially if you decide to detour to places like Madras Lane off Jalan Sultan for their renowned curry mee.

To get this taste of curry mee, be sure to get there early, as this place near Chinatown in Petaling Street is usually crowded on Sundays.

Oh yes, two stalls serve curry noodles there; both are equally good but have different tastes.

A typical Sunday ride and eating detour will take around three to four hours.

Once a month, an extended 7km route is organised, leading cyclists to the heart of Kuala Lumpur City Centre.

This route covers areas such as Pudu and Bukit Bintang, where even more makan places are highly rated. If you ride in the city, even when roads are closed to traffic on Sundays, wear a helmet for safety.

More information on KL City Hall’s Sunday Car Free Day can be accessed through their social media feed on Facebook.

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