Aliyaa KL Sri Lankan Restaurant Bukit Damansara - Complimentary Welcome Rasan in a Small Elephant Cup

Aliyaa KL – Sri Lankan Restaurant

Aliyaa KL – Sri Lankan Restaurant

Words: Alexandra Prabaharan
Photos: Rich Callahan

Aliyaa KL is a sleek and stylish restaurant in Bukit Damansara that celebrates Sri Lankan food at its finest. Aliyaa, meaning elephant in Sinhalese, is decked out in white and black furnishing, with the elephant prominently featured throughout the establishment. We came on a Sunday afternoon, and the restaurant was fully booked, which is a great indication of the experience ahead.

Aliyaa KL Main Dining Room with White-clothed Tables
Aliyaa KL Main Dining Room
Dining Room with vibrant prints on the walls
Dining Room
Upstairs Dining Area places for a family meal in Kuala Lumpur
Upstairs Dining Area

Aliyaa KL – Sri Lankan Restaurant Kuala Lumpur

Aliyaa KL Menu & Prices
Aliyaa KL Menu & Prices

Drinks Menu & Prices

We whet our appetite with several drinks. The Mango Lassi (RM18) was creamy and sweet, made with fresh mango, milk, yoghurt and vanilla ice cream. While the ice cream was a departure from the traditional lassi, it gave the drink a richness that made us crave more. 

Mango Lassi Garnished with Fresh Mint Leaves
Mango Lassi

With the recent hot spell, we were grateful for the following few drinks, which were highly refreshing. The Kantan Mal Ale (RM15) with ginger syrup, fresh ginger, fresh torch ginger and soda water was a delightful dive into the world of the bunga kantan (Mon’s fave Malaysian ingredient). Although my colleagues thought it far too sweet, the Lychee Asam Boi (RM15) was my personal pick. A blend of lychee, asam boi, lychee syrup, and soda water gave me the sour, sweet, and cooling notes I thoroughly enjoy. The Fresh Coconut (RM15) was also a welcome delight on a hot, stuffy, humid day.

Kantan Mal Ale & Lychee Asam Boi Chilled Refreshing Drinks in Tall Glasses
Kantan Mal AleKantan Mal Ale & Lychee Asam Boi
Fresh Coconut
Fresh Coconut

Aliyaa KL Food Menu & Prices


Parched mouths satisfied, the starters rolled out. Aliyaa’s menu prepares you to fully indulge by slowly tickling your tastebuds with a drumroll of flavour that builds up to the finale. The Cashew Badun (RM16), a fry of cashews with curry leaf, onion and spices, is a worthy bar snack that slowly awakens your senses. Next, we enjoyed the Vegetarian Cutlets (RM19), which had just enough heat to keep us coming back for another bite. The Chicken Roti Roll (RM23) was like a crisp yet chewy spring roll with a spicy, sour, sweet sauce, one of my favourite bites.

Cashew Badun
Cashew Badun
Vegetarian Cutlets
Vegetarian Cutlets
Chicken Roti Roll Aliyaa KL Sri Lankan Restaurant Bukit Damansara
Chicken Roti Roll

Bread & Rice

It’s wise to carb up at Aliyaa KL in preparation for soaking up the last drops of the delicious curries and sauces to come. We complied with the thick flatbread, Pol Roti (RM 12), with a tasty coconut sambol. We also ordered the Kulaiyal Vegetables (RM 28), which could very well be a meal all on its own. The mix of vegetables, rice, and traditional spices is baked in a banana leaf, retaining moisture and ensuring that all the flavours reach the centre of every rice grain.

Pol Roti with Coconut Sambol at Aliyaa KL Sri Lankan Restaurant Bukit Damansara
Pol Roti with Coconut Sambol
Kulaiyal Vegetables
Kulaiyal Vegetables

Sri Lankan Mains

All guests are served a petite cup of rasam as a welcome. It is rich in tomatoey flavour and has a slight sweetness. Alternatively, you can order the traditional Rasam (RM12) as a larger portion, which is earthy and peppery with a lovely tamarind punch.

Aliyaa KL Sri Lankan Restaurant Bukit Damansara - Complimentary Welcome Rasam in a Small Elephant Cup
Aliyaa KL Sri Lankan Restaurant – Complimentary Welcome Rasam
Rasam Aliyaa KL Sri Lankan Restaurant Bukit Damansara

Aliyaa KL has a pleasing variety of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian recipes. Of the meat-free items, the Cashew Nut Curry (RM35) was a winner. Milder than the rest, it had a lovely bite and texture thanks to the nuts. The Beetroot Curry (RM17) was an interesting choice, dividing our table into those who appreciated the earthy and sweet flavours and those who simply did not.

Cashew Nut Curry
Cashew Nut Curry
Aliyaa KL Sri Lankan Restaurant Bukit Damansara
Beetroot Curry

The Chicken Curry (RM29), on the other hand, was an all-around crowd-pleaser. Rich, creamy, and tongue-tinglingly spicy, it was an excellent partner to some flatbread and coconut sambal. My top orders, though, were the Mutton Paal Poriyal (RM68), deep in flavour with a gamey richness loaded with spice, and the Whole Crab Amma (Market Price). 

This crab – if there’s only one dish to visit Aliyaa KL for, it’s this crab. The team provides you with gloves, bibs and utensils to crack the crab and dive in. While there are many preparations to enjoy crab here, we had it Amma-style, the chef’s mother’s recipe. The meat was sweet and tender, and it held up well with the intensely spicy curry – a beautiful symphony of sweet and savoury. It was the kind of dish you just sucked, slurped and gnawed on, feeling thoroughly satisfied afterwards.

Chicken Curry Aliyaa KL Sri Lankan Restaurant Bukit Damansara
Chicken Curry
Mutton Paal Poriyal - Aliyaa KL Sri Lankan Restaurant Bukit Damansara
Mutton Paal Poriyal
Whole Crab Amma-style Aliyaa KL Sri Lankan Restaurant Bukit Damansara
Whole Crab Amma-style

With the huge influx of spice, the Paal Appam (RM8) was a welcome respite. Crisp edges and a rich coconut cream centre helped calm the storm in my mouth, preparing me for dessert.

Paal Appam on white plate
Paal Appam


Faces flushed and tongues burning, we had a strong desire for some sweetness, and Aliyaa KL did not disappoint. First, we enjoyed the Payasam (RM19), a traditional dessert made with sago, semolina, cardamom and raisins. This was not too sweet and was beautifully fragrant without being overwhelming. Then, for the grand finale, we were graced with the Flaming Appam (RM18), a crisp appam doused with sweet brandy and flambéed tableside. They were certainly not shy with the brandy as it rose through my nose and gave me a lovely high, perfect to stumble home and nap after such a decadent meal.

Payasam in coconut shell Aliyaa KL Sri Lankan Restaurant Bukit Damansara
Payasam in Coconut Shell
Aliyaa KL Sri Lankan Restaurant Bukit Damansara
Flaming Appam

Aliyaa KL Review

This is a meal I’ll dream about – with the different play on spices, textures and flavours. I loved that there were many vegetarian options, making it a perfect place to bring a group of friends or family with different food preferences. With my takeaway boxes in hand I left, and enjoyed Aliyaa again for the next two days. It never got old – and it never will.

Reasons to visit Aliyaa KL: delicious Sri Lankan cuisine; several dining spaces, including downstairs, upstairs and a semi-covered patio; plentiful vegetarian items; warm, friendly and knowledgeable service; must order any of the crab dishes, the cashew nut curry, and the paal appam.

Aliyaa KL – Sri Lankan Restaurant
No 48 G&M, Jalan Medan Setia 2, Bukit Damansara
50490 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
+6017-883 3738
*indoor & covered outdoor seating
**vegetarian options

Aliyaa KL Opening Hours
Daily: 12 pm – 3 pm & 6 pm – 11 pm

Find more restaurants in Damansara here and stay up-to-date on the latest happenings in KL’s food and beverage scene here and here.

One Comment

  1. I like the art work in second photo.

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