Predicting Malaysia’s Food Trends for 2024


As Malaysia strides into 2024, it’s common for F&B enthusiasts to speculate about the new trends that the year will bring. Reflecting on how 2023 unfolded, we believe that the food scene here is poised for a transformative year. Here are some of our insights into the prevailing food trends we can expect to see:

Entry of More International Food Brands:

Shake Shack will be opening it's doors in Malaysia in 2024
Shake Shack will be opening it’s doors in Malaysia in 2024

Following the recent arrivals of Jollibee, Shake Shack, and Five Guys in the local burger scene, we anticipate more international brands making their mark in Malaysia. The successful reception of Hey Tea (China), Cafe Kitsune (Japan), Arabica Coffee (Japan), Venchi (Italy), and Potato Corner (Philippines) indicates a growing Malaysian appetite for diverse global flavors. These brands offer a blend of novelty and familiarity, appealing to both adventurous foodies and those seeking excitement and something different from international brands.

Gentrification of Nasi Lemak and Hawker Food:

Guan's serves familiar dishes like Nasi Lemak in a beautiful cafe setting
Guan’s serves familiar dishes like Nasi Lemak in a beautiful cafe setting

The transformation of traditional dishes like Nasi Lemak into more upscale, café-like settings is on the rise. Establishments such as Guan’s and The Nasi Lemak Shop, which offer a modern dining experience while serving classic dishes, cater to consumers who value ambiance, comfort, and, of course, quality food and hygiene. This trend reflects a shift in consumer preferences towards more refined versions of traditional street food in slightly upscale settings.

Diversifying Street Food Offerings:

Lujayn's Coffee serves specialty coffee out of the boot of his SUV
Lujayn’s Coffee serves specialty coffee out of the boot of his SUV

The street food scene in Malaysia is becoming more sophisticated. Gourmet versions of classic street foods, such as wagyu burgers from GTR Burgers and upscale offerings from Bones TTDI and Local Area Burger TTDI, are setting new standards. Additionally, the emergence of car boot specialty coffee, gourmet pizzas, Birria tacos, and artisanal pastries signifies a shift towards diverse, lower costing and quality-driven street food experiences.

‘Invasion’ of Chinese (China) Muslim Eateries/Concepts:

Mon Chinese Beef Roti // Image Source : TheSmartLocal
Mon Chinese Beef Roti // Image Source : TheSmartLocal

The growing popularity of Chinese/Muslim cuisine in Malaysia, highlighted by the success of Mee Tarik and new entrants like MON Chinese Beef Roti and Tai Er Suan Chai Yu, points towards a broader trend. The expected arrival of more Chinese brands like the frozen yogurt cube brand 樂思喵 lesim, with a strong presence in China, further underscores Malaysia’s receptiveness to diverse culinary influences, particularly from China.

Showcasing Local Produce and Ingredients on a Fine Dining Level:

(Left) Dewakan // (Right) BETA KL
(Left) Dewakan // (Right) BETA KL

Malaysia’s culinary upper echelon, already a blend of Malay, Chinese, and Indian influences, will likely see an infusion of even more local and global flavors in 2024. As we have been witnessing the emergence of fine dining establishments born out of the crucible that was the pandemic, we can expect more of the likes of BETA KL and Dewakan, creating a truly global dining experience that still feels uniquely Malaysian. This is something Michelin aficionados should be excited about.

Increase in Demand for Halal Certified Restaurants:

In 2023, a few restaurants came under the spotlight and were called out for not practicing good Halal practices despite being perceived as Muslim-friendly establishments. There is also a growing concern among Muslim customers regarding the trustworthiness of such establishments. We can observe vocal callouts online for Jakim certification whenever social recommendation websites suggest new locations to try out. This heightened awareness and scrutiny reflect the importance of Halal certification in ensuring the authenticity and compliance of food establishments.

Furthermore, it’s encouraging to note that the government has been actively supporting SMEs in pursuing Halal certification. They have been pushing for more grants to facilitate the certification process. Additionally, there have been calls to expedite the certification process time from the current three months to just one month, a move that will undoubtedly boost the number of certified Halal establishments in Malaysia.

We are pleased to share that myBurgerLab has embarked on our Halal journey since late 2022. Our Central Kitchen received Halal certification in July, and our Hartamas and Mytown outlets were also certified just last week on December 23, 2023. We are in the process of applying for certification for the rest of our stores, demonstrating our commitment to providing Halal options for our valued customers. This step aligns with the growing demand for Halal-certified dining experiences and reflects our dedication to meeting the needs of all our patrons.

myBurgerLab’s Central Kitchen is now Halal
Full story on myBurgerLab’s Central Kitchen Halal Journey @ KiniHalal


The Malaysian food scene in 2024 is shaping up to be a dynamic blend of traditional and modern, local and global. These trends not only cater to a diverse range of palates but also signify Malaysia’s growing role as a culinary melting pot in the region. Now if only we can make the tourism board to do something about this.

What are your predictions for Malaysia’s food scene in 2024? Share your thoughts and join the conversation.

Ren Yi Chin, a mechanical engineering graduate, embarked on a journey into the world of F&B during his university days. Falling in love with all it had to offer, he harbored a dream of creating a place where people could come together, create memories and bond over good food and unforgettable experiences. From this dream, my Burger Lab was born in 2012. Over a decade later, Ren Yi continues to lead the my Burger Lab team, developing new recipes, experimenting with unique marketing techniques and creating happiness between fluffy bamboo charcoal buns.

2 thoughts on “Predicting Malaysia’s Food Trends for 2024”

  1. Hey handsome and masculine boss Renyi Chin.Hope you’re rocking the burger lab world! 🍔.I’ve fallen victim to an insatiable craving for a spicy Hawaiian burger. Any chance you could swoop in and be my HERO by treating me to one?Your culinary companionship in exploring this daring flavor frontier would be legendary😁..Your consideration and response are much appreciated…Sorry for Interrupting.


Leave a comment