Tupai Tupai – Malaysia’s Best Kept Secret

Come here for its charming rustic setting, extensive variety of hearty kampung-style lauk and nightly steamboat

Homely charm smack in the middle of KL city

Sited in a spacious clearing of an old, secluded bungalow behind the landmark Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka building, this Malay restaurant is possibly one of KL’s best kept secrets.
tupai-tupai-2Built like a tall, imposing wooden pavilion, Tupai Tupai high ceiling is adorned with several crystal chandeliers and swathes of satiny material that lend a touch of sophistication to its rustic surroundings.
tupai-tupai-3The deep-fried kampung chicken here sells like hot cakes; the pieces disappear faster than the cooks can fry them. Marinated with turmeric and local spices, the quartered lean, free-range poultry are crisp yet moist to the bite. Word has it that the owner has his own kampung chicken farm so the supply is as fresh as it gets.
Other popular crowd-pleasers to sample here include asam pedas fish, spiced ikan bakar (grilled fish), stir-fried beef in dark soy sauce, mutton curry, squid sambal and pergedil (fried potato patties). All these hearty kampung-style lauk-pauk (complementing dishes) are laid out in stainless steel food warmers, similar to a self-service nasi campur buffet.
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A myriad of wonderful dishes that will tantalise your tastebuds to high heaven
According to the service staff, the restaurant prepares about 50 types of lauk daily for lunch from 11.00am to 3.00pm. After that, diners can still satisfy their hunger pangs by ordering from the outlet’s a la carte menu.
For dinner, the main highlight at Tupai Tupai is its steamboat buffet. Available nightly from 6.00pm to 10.45pm, diners can select one or two types of soup base for their steamboat from three options available: chicken, regular tomyam or tomyam with coconut juice.
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Halal steamboat for all!
The mildly spicy and tangy tomyam with coconut juice is recommended as the broth’s subtle, lingering sweet aftertaste becomes more discernible after assorted ingredients are dunked into it. Most diners have a hard time deciding what to pick – hardly surprising when the extensive array includes 48 varieties of fish balls, seafood, meat, and stuffed beancurd, four types of mushroom, six different vegetables and five kinds of noodles. Lending an extra “kick” to the meal is four tantalising dips: sambal, blended red chilli with garlic and ginger, sweet bean paste or black soy sauce mixed with chopped bird’s eye chilli.

Priced at RM29 per adult and RM15 per child (4 to 11-years-old), the steamboat buffet also includes supplementary dishes such as fried rice and noodles, soup and porridge as well as bubur manis (sweet broth), ice cream and freshly sliced fruits for dessert. To prevent unnecessary food wastage, a charge of RM10 will be imposed for every 100g of unfinished food.

Outside of KL, you’ll also find Restoran Tupai Tupai in their Kajang and Shah Alam locations.

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