In Malaysia if your holiday is all about eating then you go to Georgetown (I did and it was great). But when you want a bit of quality beach time and a little bit of island living the place to go is Langkawi. Luckily this doesn’t mean you are stuck eating at the same hotel restaurant every night. If you have a car in Langkawi then there are plenty of eating options. From the fabulous night markets to simple local restaurants and high end restaurants aimed squarely at the tourist market. Proof that you can almost have it all in Malaysia.
For a taste of what the locals actually eat on Langkawi Siti Fatimah is the place to go. This no frills, open air restaurant isn’t much to look at but serves up a buffet of Malaysian dishes like fish head curries and spicy slow cooked chicken. I’m not sure entirely what I ate but it was tasty and ridiculously cheap coming in at RM7 a head. My tip would be to get there early. Although the restaurant is open until 5pm when we got there at 2pm only the remnants of the buffet were left.
Details: Jin Kampung Tok Senik road (near Kuah), Langkawi, Malaysia.
Open Tues-Thurs 8am-5pm.
Damage: Such a bargain my mother would approve. RM7 per person.
Pavilion at The Datai
One of the best meals we ate in Langkawi was not actually Malaysian food at all but instead a brilliant Thai restaurant at the luxury Datai hotel. Although MTV and I were not staying at the Datai a friend recommended we book into the restaurant anyway and so we walked along the beach to the resort. The setting for the restaurant is jaw dropping, perched up on high timber poles the Pavilion juts out into the rainforest like a sort of grown up tree house. Service was faultless with cool towels when we arrived and good advice on what to order. Highlights included prawns deep fried with betel leaves and served with a spicy heat seeking sauce and a green chicken curry (RM72) which was wonderfully pungent and throbbing with aromatics.
Details: The Pavilion at The Datai, Jalan Datai Teluk Datai,Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia (Ph +60 4-959 2500)
Damage: Budget breaking
Overlooking the mega yachts moored in the Pantai Lok harbour Privilege offers a version of Malaysian dining aimed squarely at tourists but the flavours were actually pretty good. The tables are set with linen and each meal comes artfully constructed in pyramid shapes but I couldn’t complain about the layers of heat in the Malay fish curry (48) packed with snapper and lady fingers. The ayam percik had an addictive sweetness to it although the grilled chicken thigh was a bit gristly (32). A good option if you are looking for a more upmarket on local food outside of the big hotels.
Details: Privilege, Telaga Harbour Park, Pantai Kok, Langkawi, Malaysia.
Open Mon -Sat 12-11pm
Gourmet Travel Tips
- We flew to Langkawi from Singapore with Air Asia. Flights were the equivalent of $50 and the flights took an hour and a half.
- Langkawi is really easy to drive around and hire cars are very cheap. If you are visiting at a non-peak time it’s cheaper to wait until you get to the airport to hire a car rather than getting one in advance. The hire car we had worked out to the equivalent of $15 a day.
- We stayed at the beautiful Temple Tree resort and The Andaman.