Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Langkawi makan-makan: Jom Ikan Bakar & Telaga Harbour Malay Food Restaurant

After two days of disappointing and expensive food at the hotel, hubby and I are more than ready to eat malay food with a friendly price tag. First, we tried to eat dinner at Cenang Beach, but after driving up and down looking for a promising seafood restaurant, we settled upon Telaga Seafood since it looked quite decent. Unfortunately, the crowd was huge and as we sat down a girl came up to the waiter and said loudly "Excuse me! I've been waiting for my salad for the one hour! It's just a salad! Not fried rice?" Ermm, while I was very much tempted to tell her that even fried rice should only take 15 minutes to prepare, I bit my tongue and smiled at my husband and we both decided to get out of the restaurant haha.. we cross the road over to a grey buiding that looked empty but has a huge sign that displays "Ikan Bakar" "Air Asam" which means "Grilled Fish" and "Tamarind Sauce", we went inside and apparently the grey building is a hotel and the restaurant is at the back with loud karaoke and noisy crowd plus the tables are not really comfortable for eating dinner. Next!

We crossed back the road and head to another non-descript seafood restaurant, by this time we were awfully hungry and desperate, we were just about to sit down when the kids screamed "cats!" Oh God! I think there is seriously something wrong with my kids! After trying a few times to pacify them, we gave up and went back to the hotel without eating dinner. Seriously, I think we spoil them too much but we were too tired to argue with the kids.

langkawi malay food
Malay food @ Telaga Harbour; Langkawi

makan-makan langkawi
Ayam Goreng Kunyit @ Telaga Harbour

The next day, we tried searching for Jom Ikan Bakar@ Padang Matsirat, but as we were driving down the Padang Matsirat road (we don't really have the address) we were from the Atma Alam road, then we reached a junction with signs like airport to the left and oriental village to the right, we unknowingly took the right turn and of course didn't find Jom Ikan Bakar. After driving for some time, hubby gave up and suggested going to Telaga Harbour instead and see which restaurants with no cats that we can eat there. Stumbled upon this "Harbour Malay Food Restaurant" at the back of the Telaga Harbour area not facing the harbour and since we came in late for lunch, the mixed rice selection was very poor and the man suggested ordering "goreng-goreng" instead. (That means fried rice, fried noodles etc) But, I wasn't in the mood for fried rice or fried noodle for lunch, so we asked if they have tom yum, fried chicken with tumeric and omelette and they said they can do that, so that was what we had.

makan-makan langkawi
Tom Yum Campur @ Telaga Harbour

makan-makan langkawi
Omelette @ Telaga Harbour

Food was mediocre but at least the place is clean and my kids were comfortable enough. Flies were also minimal (maybe only one) which is more than we can say since even eating at our hotel restaurants was like dining with flies. Total turn off. I asked hubby if he would like to eat seafood dinner here later and he said "we won't be missing much". Ok point noted.

fried noodles
Mee Goreng for no 1 kiddo @ Telaga Harbour

The day after, we tried again going to Padang Matsirat, this time around, turning left as we reach the junction and lo and behold the "Jom Ikan Bakar" is just a few stalls down. The place was crowded with people, tables and chairs were basic, food spillage on the floor, flies and the mixed rice selection while quite a variety is not served hot or even warm. So, I told hubby I will just settled for the grilled fish with sambal belacan and ulam which is basically chilli paste and green vegetables.

jom ikan bakar langkawi
Jom Ikan Bakar @ Padang Matsirat - After the lunch crowd was gone

My second son was starting to act up again, complaining about cats -what else- and flies (after 3 days of eating with flies, I have more or less accepted their existence around me while I eat) but once the rice and fish were served in front of him, all complaints ceased and he ate most of the fish! Even enjoying its slightly spicy but sweet sauce :) While I wouldn't say that Jom Ikan Bakar serves the best local grilled fish during lunchtime in Langkawi,I would say that they serve a pretty decent one except that the sambal belacan is very diluted. Now, if only all the other dishes are also piping hot.. Hubby, who is also a big eater, settled on just rice with squids in coconut gravy which is so unlike him as he always pile his plate with at least 3 side dish. We were quite happy with our simple lunch though the overall price with drinks at RM45 is a bit high. For those of you trying to be adventurous and eating like a local in Langkawi, you can try Jom Ikan Bakar, but stick to the grilled fish only :)

seafood langkawi
A close up of the fish @ Jom Ikan Bakar, Padang Matsirat - Langkawi

what to eat in langkawi
My Simple lunch @ Langkawi

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