Friday, August 12, 2022

[Year 2022] Food Hunting- of Must-Eats @ Langkawi (兰卡威), Kedah (吉打).

Langkawi is always the go-to place when Malaysians need a short, domestic get-away but the tourist destination has gone through a lot when the pandemic hits; many places are closed but of course, some managed to stay competitive and survived. There's also a spate of new eateries have entered the market... offering more choices to visitors. But generally, the economic activities at Langkawi are quite slow and the tourism activities are still in the midst of catching up to pre-pandemic. Nevertheless, there are still a lot to do and a lot of eat at Langkawi.

1) Scarborough Fish N Chips Restaurant
Service Charge: Yes 10%
Government Tax: No
Address: Lot 1388, Jalan Tanjung Rhu, Mukim Air Hangat, 07100, Langkawi, Kedah.
Business Hours: 10 am to 10 pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: 04- 959 4667

Fish and Chips (Rm 38)

Said to be the best Fish and Chips in Langkawi, we just had to check the place out to see if it was worthy. Scarborough Fish and Chips can be found at Tanjung Rhu, approximately 20-30 min drive away from Pantai Cenang. Scarborough Fish and Chips has been around for more than a decade and especially popular amongst tourists. The wait was quite long but certainly bearable as we were welcomed by a breath-taking sea view right behind the restaurant. It did take a while for our order to reach our table and yes, it was legit. The Fish and Chips were delicious; the Fish was beautifully cooked with the right crispy batter while the meat was firm and fresh. The Fries were lovely too; a pity that they did not offer Vinegar to us. For Rm 38, we thought the price tag was rather steep as the serving portion was not that big. We washed down with a glass of Heineken at Rm 7 per glass. 

2) San Restaurant 杉海鲜茶餐室
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: 83, Jalan Padang Matsirat, Kuah, 07000, Langkawi, Kedah. 
Business Hours: 7:30 am to 8 pm. Opens Daily.

Wan Ton Mee (Rm 7)

Chicken Noodles (Rm 7)

Herbal Duck Soup (Rm 11)

Kuih (Rm 1.20 per piece)

If you need a short respite from restaurant food and crave for local Chinese hawker fare, go to San Restaurant at Kuah Town. The place is especially busy and packed with locals in the mornings. San seems to offer quite a lot of options- from Wan Ton Mee to Koay Teow Th'ng and Herbal Soup until smaller snacks like Kuih, stir fried Vermicelli Noodles and Nasi Lemak. This place is one of the few Chinese places that offers affordable local options. The Wan Ton Mee and Chicken Noodles are very popular. We had both and thought they were great, the latter dish did remind us of the Sibu Kampua, it does resemble that flavor-combination of Lard and Soy sauce. None of the dishes disappoint and definitely a good place for breakfast.

3) Kolma Langkawi
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: 230, Jalan Pantai Tengah, 07000, Langkawi, Kedah.
Business Hours: 10 am to 5 pm. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Contact Number: 011- 3584 7051

Energy Bowl (Rm 20)

Tofu Teriyaki Toast (Rm 22)

Cinnamon Roll (Rm 8) and Lemonade (Rm 10)

Mango Lime Cheese Cake (Rm 18)

It's not easy to find a vegetarian shop or plant-based cafe in Langkawi; Kolma is probably the first plant-based cafe in Langkawi. Based on their Facebook page description, they serve dishes using natural ingredients only... sans preservatives and all are made from scratch. It's hard to notice this place as it does not have an obvious signage and basically housed in a Kampung house indifferent compared to the rest so it does take a while to find the place. The place is not air-conditioned so it can be quite warm in the afternoon. While the cafe serves main and desserts, the menu is smaller than expected... only offering some specials of the day.

For something filling, go for their Toast. We had the Tofu Teriyaki Toast and surprisingly, it was good. The flavor-combo worked though the texture was pretty much... Tofu. But the caramelized Onions, crunchy Cucumber and refreshing Coriander did pull it off. Energy Bowl on the other hand, was less-impressive. The base was Chia Seed Pudding, served with warm Oat Milk, fresh fruits and home-made Granola, drizzled over Agave Syrup. The whole concoction was a little bland but of course, a healthy choice. For dessert, we enjoyed their Mango Lime Cheese Cake, the texture was creamy-soft while the crust was nutty. The flavor was mild with a tropical touch, my better half did not seem to like the texture though. 

4) The Kelapa Cafe By TRV Langkawi
Service Charge: Yes 5%
Government Tax: No
Address: 61, Tanjung Rhu Village Villas and Cottages, Jalan Tanjung Rhu, 07000, Langkawi, Kedah. 
Business Hours: 8 am to 6 pm on every Friday to Monday, Wednesday. 8 am to 10 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: 011- 7256 5842

All Day Breakfast/ TKC Big Brekkie (Rm 25)

The Sweets/ Croissant Toast (Rm 25)

Soursop Yogurt Milk Shake (Rm 15)

A cafe run by the Tanjung Rhu Village Villa and Cottages- the Kelapa Cafe is beautifully snugged in a village house; while the place is mostly visited by Villa guests, the cafe is open to the public as well. The menu is pretty much a standard cafe menu (Western), offering dishes like All Day Breakfast, Pasta, Tapas and of course, some sweet treats as well. Nothing much extraordinary on the menu but the dining atmosphere at The Kelapa Cafe is second to none. Take the spot on upper floor and it offers the best experience to recharge and wind-down in a countryside setting- with natural sea breeze and birds chirping, probably the best spot to read a book over a cup of Joe. 

5) Pai Kin CFood Thai Cuisine
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: 716, Jalan Pantai Cenang, 07000, Langkawi, Kedah.
Business Hours: 4 pm to 12 am. Closed on Mondays.
Contact Number: 010- 291 8554

Tom Yam Seafood (Rm 20/ small)

Steamed Siakap Kheng Som (Rm 26/ by weight)

Som Tam (Rm 7)

Stir Fried Mix Vegetables (Rm 14/ small)

Bihun Goreng (Rm 8/ small)

Watermelon Juice (Rm 15/ jar)

If you feel like having Thai food to spice up your days at Langkawi, look further than Pai Kin CFood Thai Cuisine... right smack in the heart of Pantai Cenang. Managed by a friendly Malay family, the Thai restaurant has quite a big menu that seeks to please all age range of diners. One will find many familiar Thai delights on their menu, starting with the Thai appetizers, Tom Yam and other Thai-inspired dishes; there are of course, some local stir fry dishes as well. Price points are very reasonable considering their generous serving portion. 

On our visit, we had some of their signature dishes and that included Tom Yam Seafood and Kheng Som as well as Som Tam. None of them disappoint, we particularly enjoyed the well-concocted Som Tam and dangerously addictive Tom Yam. While we enjoy the freshness of the Siakap, we thought the Kheng Som was somewhat watered down (not that we are complaining for that price). Definitely a good place to satiate your cravings for Thai food. 

6) QSF Cenang Kopitiam
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: No. 56, Jalan Pantai Cenang, Kampung Lubok Buaya, 07000, Langkawi, Kedah.
Business Hours: 8am to 4:30 pm. Closed on Mondays.
Contact Number: 011- 1323 8888

Roasted Chicken (Rm 18/ quarter)

Handmade Noodle Soup (Rm 10.90)

Fish Ball Noodle Soup (Rm 9.90)

For those who are staying at Pantai Cenang, Qiang Shi Fu is probably one of the few Chinese restaurants that you can visit... without putting a dent on the wallet. Not to be confused with Qiang Shi Fu Seafood Restaurant, QSF Cenang Kopitiam is believed to be another subsidiary of theirs to offer slightly affordable options during day time. The place is often packed during lunch hours to cater for the locals or folks working in the neighborhood. 

QSF Cenang Kopitiam is known to serve affordable Chicken Rice, with some noodle options like Pan Mee and Koay Teow Th'ng. We had Pan Mee and Fish Ball Noodle Soup and thought they were nothing out of the ordinary. In fact, the latter was a little overly bland to my liking. The Chicken was alright, though slightly a little more expensive than average hawker but I guess that can't be helped since its at the centre of tourist area. 

7) Horizon @ The Ritz-Carlton Langkawi
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: 199, Jalan Pantai Kok, Teluk Nibong, 07000, Langkawi, Kedah.
Business Hours: Opens Daily.
Contact Number: 04- 952 4888

Mango Salad

Chao Tom (Squid and Prawn Mousse, Kefir Lime Leaf and Red Curry Paste)

Katsu Sando (breaded Angus Beef and Rendang spread)

Crab Curry Spring Rolls and Lobster Soft Bun

Freshly Baked Scones (served with homemade Pineapple Jam, Strawberry Compote, Lime Zest Mascarpone Espuma)

Teh Tarik Tiramisu/ Sweet Potato Mont Blanc Tart/ Pineapple Profiterole/ Lemon Madeleine and Chocolate-coated Layer Cake

South East Asian-inspired Afternoon Tea with a view (Rm 220 nett)

Mixologist Mocktails

Make your holiday trip more memorable and reward yourself with good food (and breath-taking sea view) by enjoying an Afternoon Tea session at Ritz-Carlton Langkawi. The luxury hotel managed by the Marriot group offers Afternoon Tea in great value. Not only that it is reasonably priced at Rm 220 nett per couple, the Afternoon Tea includes a good selection of South East Asian-inspired bites with an option to enjoy TWG Tea or their in-house Mixologist Mocktails. The couple seats at the restaurant- The Horizon are quite limited so it is better to reserve in advance. 

Our visit was quite impromptu and we had to call in at the very last minute to check if there's any seats left. Fortunately for us, they were able to accommodate but would require 1 hour wait which was fine for us as we got to unwind and chill while waiting. The view was stunning, we were welcomed by blue skies and gentle sea breeze, the whole package was a good value for money. The servers were very attentive and extremely helpful. Food-wise, we thought the savory items were delicious, particularly Mango Salad and Crab Curry Spring Rolls. We were afraid that they would tone down the flavors to accommodate the foreign visitors but thankfully, that did not happen. All items were carefully cooked and expertly seasoned. We also found ourselves liking the Scones a lot, especially the home-made Pineapple Jam with a tinge of sour. The sweets however, were slightly disappointing. Save for the Sweet Potato Mont Blanc Tart and Pineapple Profiteroles, the rest were less-exciting. It would be better if they can offer some Thai-inspired sweets to round things up. Disclaimer- this is a self-paid visit instead you are wondering. 

8) Kak Yan Nasi Campur 
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: Jalan Ulu Melaka, Kampung Padang Gaong, 07000, Langkawi, Kedah.
Business Hours: 8 am to 4 pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: 017- 408 4371

Nasi Campur with Ulam (Rm 32 total)

Langkawi has no shortage of good Malay food but if you wish to skip the rest and go straight to one of the best, then make your way to Kak Yan Nasi Campur at Jalan Ulu Melaka. The place is known to churn out some of the most delicious Malay dishes in Langkawi. Those who are in the know would visit the place before noon as that's the best time to scoop up some freshly cooked dishes with a big variety to choose from. Expect to find plenty of familiar dishes but Kak Yan is famous for its Ikan Bakar (grilled Fish) and home-made Sambal (spicy Chili sauce/paste). Price points are very reasonable and the place is clean with bright lighting. Be extra careful on the Sambal though as they may be lip-burning hot for some. 

9) Unkaizen Japanese Restaurant
Service Charge: Yes 10%
Government Tax: No
Address: Lot 395, Jalan Telok Baru, Pantai Tengah, 07000, Langkawi, Kedah.
Business Hours: 6 pm to 10:30 pm. Closed on Wednesdays.
Contact Number: 04- 955 4118

[Special Menu] Fresh Snapper Sashimi (Rm 91)

Snapper Shioyaki (extra Rm to cooking fee)

Teriyaki Chicken Set (Rm 46/ simple)

Bento Set (Rm 99/ full set)

Manned by Japanese, Unkaizen Japanese Restaurant is probably the most famous Japanese restaurant at Langkawi Island. The restaurant has been around for quite a while and has been receiving a lot of positive comments. But its not easy to secure a table at this restaurant, its so popular that it opens for reservations one week in advance and its always full. Do call to book in your slot as early as possible to secure the table. The menu is pretty much the standard Japanese menu with most Japanese highlights but do take note on the special menu which they will roll out a menu of the day with all the in-season dishes. We started with the special menu of Live Snapper, fresh and in-season, it was served in 2 ways- Sashimi and Shioyaki (with extra Rm10 cooking fee for serving 2 ways). We loved how fresh the Snapper was, with a slight chewy texture, the Sashimi was best to enjoy over Japanese Sake. Shioyaki was equally good and we got to enjoy the delightful smoky aroma (from the coal) and crispy edges of the fish. The Sets we had were beyond amazing, everything was made to perfection. The entire dining experience was great and the servers were attentive and friendly. 

Have Fun Exploring Langkawi! 

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