Thanks to wmw at http://ugwug.blogspot.com, we have been doing some good food hunting in Kota Bharu this time.
Restoran 69 - Jalan Dato Pati, right in town center (Close Friday)
One of my biggest found in our trip to Kota Bharu is this Restaurant 69 (Jalan Dato Pati, right in town center). We came a day earlier on Friday only to discover it is closed. Came the next day, only to be welcomed warmly by this Chinese middle aged owner (shame on us for never even find out his name).
Although Nasi Padang (or Nasi Sumatera) is an Indonesian cuisine, it is actually very very common in Kota Bharu.
We sat down, and all the dishes came at once. I tend to think it is a set meal thing. Every table gets the same dishes: There were curry beef chunk, stirr fry beef strips, Curried Mutton knuckle (My favorite!), deep fried chicken tight, some veg, and top it up with a very savory tasting spiced beef bone stock soup. YUM!
The owner is very very proud of the good food served from his restaurant, so much so he kept insisting us to try variety of his dishes, and offered the lightly toasted bread so we can even dip the sauce and eat it all clean!
We love the environment here too, as workers of different ethnic and age work as a team helping to serve the best food to their customers.
Yati's Ayam Percik - Jalan Long Yunus (Daily 12pm - 11.30pm, Fri 3pm - 11.30pm)
No one leaves Kota Bharu without trying the best ayam percik in town. It is a specially marinated chicken being roast on charcoal flame. When done, a coconut milk based creamy sauce is poured lavishly all over.
At Yati's you order one serving of ayam percik, and then eat with the Nasi Kerabu. Nasi Kerabu eassentially is a white steamed rice, mixed with sort of local garden salad, comprising diced long bean, bean sprout, dry fried grated coconut, and some spice.
Apart from that, you can order the daging bakar too which I strongly recommended as well. Daging Bakar is made out of beef. You can call it a BBQ beef as well, and it usually taste a little salty, with a five spice sort of after taste.
Try come later around 9pm instead, because at dinner and normal weekday lunch time this place is packed! Nonetheless the staffs always seemed patience enough. So it is good.
Kebun Sultan Hawker Center - Jalan Kebun Sultan
If you are like us, hanging around KB on a Friday afternoon, you will find yourself hungry after rounding for food around the whole town. THIS IS TRUE! 90% of the shops in KB is closed on Friday, perhaps for prayer or so. Even the Chinese restaurant close too.
The only way to get something decent to eat, for us at least, was this Kebun Sultan Hawker Center. Lucky can find food here, otherwise must've died famine. Heh...
Loads of people eat the dim sum in the afternoon, looks a bit like a steamed sushi stuffed with fish meat. It taste alright. They have the indian food stalls here too, nothing too special. Other stalls include Cantonese fried noodles, Fish Ball Noodles, mixed rice, chee cheong fun. Take your pick
Pantai Cahaya Bulan Eateries - Where else? But the PCB Beach
There is no night club here, no disco as well, mamak (common local open tea kiosk) is mostly unknown here too. Women are rarely seen wandering around after 10pm, so their version of tea place -- Warung, is mostly frequent by men.
But fortunately Pantai Cahaya Bulan beach front is still the one place that still offer a decent hang around at late night. The last time we came, they still serve stir fried stuffs e.g. fried rice, maggie noodle soup in the mid of 2am in the morning!
Road Side Galore
Road side stalls is a major attraction around here. It is very common with the locals people to simply set up a make shift stand and everyone just sell the same thing along the same stretch of road. Things available along the road to PCB Beach includes this Keropok Losong thingy.
Product includes most famous boiled fish cake made with ground fish meat and tapioca flour. You buy them in newspaper wrapped packet, consisting of 23 small sticks (like churos), around RM5 per packet. Usually I see tourist buy them in 10 packets or so in a go.
When bring home, you can store them into the freezer for later consumption, or deep fried and eat as a snack, together with sweet chili sauce if you please. Highly addictive I warn you.
Apart from that, you can to buy all kinds of dried fish crackers around. Make sure you heat them lightly under sun before begin deep frying them. Otherwise they won't expand and will definitely taste rock hard.
There are thousand and one thing on sale at the road side - Boiled Corn, Nira Kelapa (fermented coconut juice), Nira Nipah (Fermented Nipah Juice), Dry seafood (squid, salted fish), Durian, Mangosteen ... so much so I have a feeling if I buy from everyone of them, I would be very full by the time I reach home!
When we drove home, we happened to pass by Terengganu. While most stalls sell the Keropok Lekor, Losong, you can chance upon few that sell this delicacy known as "SATA"
Essentially it is minced fish meat mixed with grated coconut and be wrapped with banana leave. Then they are left BBQed on the charcoal stove will perfection. It taste a little like the otak-otak (Amok in Cambodia; Hor Mok in Thai), but mostly it is more chewy like a fingerfood. Yum!
WMW trip can be read at: