First Look: Lauk Pauk, The Back Ground at REX KL

Lauk Pauk pride itself in celebrating Malaysia’s diverse flavours

City Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Address Lauk Pauk, GF-10, The Back Ground, REXKL, 80 Jalan Sultan,Kuala Lumpur

Launched in 2019, Lauk Pauk is an urban warung (casual eatery) that serves contemporary Malay-fusion cuisine, showcasing the variety of traditional Malay food inspired by modern taste. In June 2021, the management team of Lauk Pauk decided to remove all animal products from the menu and it’s all for the better. Whether you are a veg-lover or curious about plant-based Malay cuisine, you have come to the right place. Your cravings for traditional Malay food such as Nasi Lemak, Nasi Kerabu will still be satisfied when your bowl is loaded with flavours. 

“It is a known fact that when it comes to Malay food, plant-based is unheard of. Moving to a plant-based menu is definitely challenging. However, the challenge is definitely worth it. Malay cuisine has so much to offer and we are pushing our limits to achieve them without contributing to climate change and deforestation.”

The Concept 

Lauk Pauk is a Malay term translated as “a variety of dishes” and pride itself in celebrating Malaysia’s diverse flavours, serving up wholesome food with kao kao local flavours!

*Note: kao kao is a local Malaysian slang, which is loosely translated as “maximum” in the English language 

On the Menu

The menu wasn’t completely overhauled – some of Lauk Pauk’s regular favourites such as Nenas Panggang Pajeri and Cauliflower Nasi Goreng are maintained. 

“The R&D research was an endless exploration journey. It took us countless attempts to match the umami flavours derived from shrimp, fish and meat. The menu is all-vegan and there is an option of having eggs on the side. Some dishes are quite straightforward, such as “Chow Mien” Goreng. However, we take great lengths to create more than what it’s originally presented, such as Kerabu Cauliflower Rice.” Nasi Lemak Rice Bowl RM18

Every spoonful is a beautiful medley of contrasting flavour. 

Fluffy white rice mixed nutty brown grains, spicy-sweet crunchy roasted peanut, tempeh and deep-fried tofu, lightly smoked eggplants and the surprising kick of the sambal heat, followed by pickled cucumbers that not only resets your palate but cool that spice in your mouth.  

“It’s so smartly paired that all elements roll in your mouth like a washing machine on gentle mode.”

Nenas Panggang Pajeri RM13 

A crowd favourite consists of char smoked tender pineapple, which brings sweetness to the dish. Pajeri is a combination of local herbs and spices gravy. Good things come in three and the three elements of smoke, sweetness and spice give a wholesome playful touch! 

Dry Ramen Laksa RM18

Every spoonful is bursting with flavours – the vegan ramen noodles coated with rich mushroom curry laksa gravy, crunch from deep-fried tempeh and tofu, perfectly marinated Ajitama egg with oozing egg yolk gives the dish a creamy texture. Finished with a sprinkling of local herbs and bunga kantan , a squeeze of lime and the sweet spiciness of the sambal. 

Table Talk with Lauk Pauk team 

What triggered the change in switching to a plant-based menu? 

There were a few factors in play. 

Our customers We realized there is a lack of representation for contemporary Malay-fusion cuisine after speaking to our Malay friends.  

Environmental and health factors We want our menu to be well balanced in every possible way. Our menu is wholesome and we are pushing our boundaries without contributing to industrial farming, deforestation, emission, methane, heat produce in the air. Win-win. 

Business sentiments We want to make sure that The Back Ground has something for everyone and plant-based Malay will complement well with other offerings in the food market. 

How long did it take from ideation to execution of the new menu? 

The idea was always in mind. However, it took us some time to find the Head chef who believes in the idea and speaks the same language in terms of work ethics. 

Due to MCO (Movement Control Order), our focus was on takeaways catered to a quick-eating crowd. The pre-launch menu took about three weeks. The first week was dedicated to tasting dishes from other restaurants and research. The second week was resetting the kitchen and R&D. By the third week, it was during the start of FMCO (Full Movement Control Order), we kick-started the pre-launch menu. 

In this new setting, we have to change our game plan when it comes to menu launches. Gone are the days where we would R&D for months and do the whole big shebangs of launches.

There aren’t many activities to do nowadays except eating either through cooking or ordering. It’s quite easy for a customer to get bored with your menu. 

Lauk Pauk means a variety of dishes. By relaunching this brand by sections (i.e. takeaway menu, more new dishes, dine-in, etc.) makes sense. It builds up the excitement. Having to do our R&D and launching the takeaway meals at the same time is the smart way to go. Our R&D on the menu is still in progress, so stay tuned for more! 



New dishes take 3 to 5 attempts and at least 2 attempts for revamping existing dishes to plant-based.  

Cost to turn around the concept

RM2,500 on Marketing & Social Media (Full Menu) 

RM1,000 on Kitchen Equipment (Wear & Tear, New) 

Operating Hours 

Tue – Sun | 11AM – 7PM (FMCO)

Tue – Sun | 10AM – 10AM (CMCO)

Tue – Sun | 10AM – 2AM (Pre-Pandemic) 

Takeaway are availble on the below platforms 

@Laukpaukrexkl  Linktree | GrabFood | FoodPanda | Beep | Ala Carte | Zesty Clickz

Image credit: Lauk Pauk 


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