Food & Restaurants in Langkawi
Practically all resorts have their own restaurants and many tourists choose to eat in, but there are lots of other options as well. Be adventurous and strike out on your own to savour the numerous foods at the stalls and restaurants all over Langkawi.
Generally, restaurants are expensive and the portions are smaller there than at stalls, so you may want to order more than just a main dish at a restaurant. Also, if you don't like spicy food, watch out: Langkawi people like their food hot, and even if they tone things down at your request, you may still find your food challenging to eat. Try one of the many seafood restaurants, but beware of certain restaurants advertised in the brochures targeting tourists. An example of such restaurant is the 'Coco Beach Restaurant', close to the airport.
If you choose to order seafood or fish, take note if the price is by weight or by a set price for the dish. The unwary can be hit with a much larger bill than expected. Also, beware of restaurants telling you that they only have the bigger size lobsters available, as that is what they tell everyone (a common practice at Coco Beach Restaurant and Palm View Restaurant, at Pantai Cenang). When your lobster or crab is served, you will discover that you will definitely be paying for 900g of shell instead of meat! To counter this, order fish, squid and prawns, to be safe.
For a taste of simple Malay-style breakfast, just walk up to a small stall opposite the Underwater World in the mornings and feast on the famous freshly-prepared banana leaf-wrapped nasi lemak (steamed rice in coconut milk). The price is most affordable at less than RM 2 for a pack. Go local and enjoy this with a glass of hot teh tarik or really good local coffee. This very unassuming stall is just simple and great (clean too!) The nasi lemak comes with curried beef, squid in chili, friend salted fish or chicken.
- AddaMaya Café (Pantai Cenang (near Haji Ramli's; or opposite Nadia's Comfort Inn)). Small, cosy place for meals and coffee. The chef can whip up great meals - from local dishes to western fast food easily (and in that little cabin of his). Problem is, it can get a bit dusty as it is located fronting the main road. Locals like to come here for good food at reasonable prices.
- Rafi's Place (sandwiched between Restoran Aliah's and Tomato Nasi Kandar on Pantai Cenang). Rustic shack. No visible signboard either but ask around and you will find Rafi's. Rafi is a Penangite but has been on the island since 1988 so he considers himself very much local. Ask him for recommendations and he'll happily tell you. Ample parking space in front of his 'shack'. Good ambiance especially early mornings. nasi lemak (RM3), local tea and coffee (RM1).
- Tomato Nasi Kandar (Opposite Langkawi Boutique Hotel). Typical budget Indian food establishment with patrons all day (and night!) long. Very crowded even in the wee hours of the morning. They serve an enormous variety of dishes, from the flavoured roti varieties to naan, briyani and kebabs. The standard is quite high - to an extent where the meal is extremely value-for-money. The only problem is that their waiters are exceedingly bad at taking orders. RM1-3 for roti, RM 4-10 for main dishes.
- Restoran Fatimah (near the Kampung Tok Senik Resort on the road to Ulu Melaka). Try this for really authentic Malay food. Their lunch spread is amazing - so amazing that they attract bus loads of Malaysian visitors. Just enjoy the food and leave your cultural baggage and complaints behind as you will be in a totally different ambiance but friendly, nevertheless.
- Restoran Almaz, northern end of Pantai Cenang (Next door to the 'Laman Padi Rice Garden' and across the road from 'Casa Del Mar'). A really nice little restaurant with Roti and Indian food that is very tasty and cheap. We were incredibly impressed with the food and were over the moon with the price. 0.80-12RM.
- Artisans Pizza Cafe (Pantai Cenang). Offers freshly cooked pizzas with both traditional and Malaysian toppings. The satay pizza and sambal pizza are particularly good. You can dine in or takeaway and they also deliver to guesthouses and the beach. Their house specialties: Hungarian Goulash and Madam's Fishbake are particularly recommended. Tomato soup is also great. RM 15 for main courses. RM 30-38 for 11 inch pizzas.
- Babylon Mat Lounge & BBQ (Right on Pantai Cenang). Mats are laid out on the sand for guests to sit on and there is a low table with a candle. They also have a live band or playlist that is passed off as a DJ. In contrast to the atmosphere, the staff are quite rude compared to other places.
- Breakfast Station (A couple of min walk from Restoran Haji Ramli). Lunch starts/breakfast ends at 12PM. Great Balinese decor, rustic with cozy ambiance. Fantastic and fantastic Nasi Lemak. The Western spread is a pleasant surprise. Best omelette in town. Lavazza Coffee from RM5.
- Cenang Boat Quay, Pantai Cenang. Offers a variety of pizza, German sausages, pasta, local dishes and fusion food. Opening in April 2009 is a grill fish hawker. The concept here is by individual hawker selling the different styles of food. Sunset view at the Quay.
- Champor Champur, Pantai Cenang. Moderately wacky fusion food in a fusion setting courtesy of a Dutch-Malaysian couple with an affinity for Africa. Great ambiance - feels like eating in an outdoor garden.
- Difiqa (Pantai Cenang, close to Red Tomato). Great for tasting Roti Canai at breakfast with some very spicy dips as accompaniment, Less than RM5 for 2. Great tasting local coffee and fresh fish too.
- Fat Mum Restaurant, Pantai Tengah, . Just up the road from Awana Resort. Great authentic local Chinese seafood restaurant, good food for a reasonable price.
- Hole in the Wall Fishfarm & Restaurant, Kilim River, northeast part of the island (Call for free shuttle), 049675301. Floating on the river, part of the amazing scenery of the Kilim Mangrove Forest. They serve the freshest Malay style seafood you will be able to eat on Langkawi island. The traditional dishes of freshly caught fish, prawns, crab, lobster. are famous. Shuttle service from Kilim jetty to the fishfarm restaurant and return is free of charge for lunch and dinner guests (However, if your bill is less than RM50, you have to pay an absurd amount for the shuttle. The logical workaround here is to order the cheapest available item to make the bill RM50) If you book a Mangrove Tour, you will most definitely end up having your lunch here. However, you may want to give their package buffet a pass and try their dishes.
- Restoran Haji Ramli (Pantai Cenang). Open till 1AM. Your Nasi Campur haunt by day and run-of-the-mill Tom Yam shack by night. 'Ikan Bakar' - Grilled fish and other fresh seafood a'la carte after 3PM. Fresh terubuk (shad) which is unheard off in the mainland! Grab a couple of fist-sized prawns and cuttlefish (squid) cooked Tom Yam style for a gastronomical lesson in local seafood. Their seafood dishes average RM4-4.5 per 100 g, and they can be cooked in a myriad of different styles that will surely suit your tastes. Meat dishes vary from RM6-12. RM 10-20 for a complete meal.
- Mimi (A few min walk from Underwater World, on the opposite side of the road.).Greatest 'ikan bakar' or grilled fish with tantalizing self-made sauce. Also offers a variety of traditional Malay dishes like tomyam and 'ayam masak merah' (chicken cooked in non-spicy sauce). Snapper or grouper RM4/100 gram.
- Orkid Ria Seafood Restaurant, Lot 1225 Jl Pantai Cenang, .11AM-3PM. Dinner: 6PM-11PM. Some tables having water views. They have fresh seafood displayed out front. Choose from a wide range of cuisines, including dishes prepared in Malay, Thai, Chinese and Western styles.
- Rasa Restaurant (Pantai Cenang). Good Malaysian food with reasonable prices. Seating available outdoor in courtyard overlooking main road or inside.
- Red Tomato Restaurant and Lounge, 5 Casa Fina Ave (Pantai Cenang, in front of Underwaterworld tel), . Every day from 9AM-10:30PM.Red Tomato Garden Cafe used to be opposite AB Motel but moved 800 m down the road in May 2011. Now it has become Red Tomato Restaurant and Lounge and has still retained its charm and great dishes. Look out for the owner's red VW Beetle parked in front of the place. Has great western breakfast and lunch menus, and pasta and tasteless pizza for dinner. Home made bread, good choice of cheeses. Gluten free pasta is available. Air-con and terrace seating, Free WiFi and a red piano. Owned by a German lady.
- Rose Tea 2 (Pantai Cenang). Closed on Friday. Thai food. Great service.
- Sun Cafe (Pantai Tengah). A friendly and relaxing restaurant that offers a variety of Western food, Italian food, and Malaysian food. Hot and cold beverages, cappuccino to milkshake, fruit juice, mocktail. If you love fish, try their fillet of barracuda. They are also open for dinner too. Also famous for the very nice restrooms.
- Taj Mahal, Landcon Square (opposit Zon Shopping Mall). Huge open sided restaurant, also has an air-con room opposite for hot days. Specialises in Arabic and North Indian dishes all of which are very healthy, very tasty and very cheap. Very popular with locals and with Indian and Arabic holidaymakers. Great place to just sit around for a few hours occasionally ordering another batch of fresh flat breads and dips.
- T. Jay's Italian Bistro & Pizzeria (Pantai Cenang, 0pposite Underwater World), . 8AM-11PM. Though this place looks a little sleepy, they make some great wood-fired pizzas.
- Telaga Arabic Cafe and Restaurant (Pantai Cenang). The same kitchen serves an indoor dining area and a large outdoor area across the street. Good good with reasonable prices. Stay and enjoy some of the best hookah/shisha (tobacco water pipe) smoking anywhere. While good, the food is not as great as some Middle Eastern restaurants in Kuala Lumpur.
- Tulsi Garden, Pantai Tengah. Good Indian food (northern and southern). Quiet place to have dinner and chat with friends. You can ask the chef to tone down the chili or spiciness levels.
- USSR Restaurant (Telaga Harbour Park). Russian fare. Waterside restaurant with tables overlooking the harbor. Managed by Russian expats who serve up the real deal.
- Wonderland, Lot 179, 180, 181 Pusat Perniagaan Kelana Mas (Kuah), . 5:30PM – 11:30PM. Locals claim that Wonderland serves up the best seafood on Langkawi Island; offering local favourites of traditionally cooked seafood entrees, the chilli crab is especially flavorsome. Service is friendly and prompt and the atmosphere is lovely.
- Feast @ Sheraton. International buffet and ala carte menu. A varieties menu from unique local cuisine to western dishes. Choose to dine inside in air-conditioned environment or having your dine at terrace while enjoying the nature environment overlooking the Andaman Sea.
- La Sal at Casa del Mar (Pantai Cenang, on the beach). As expected on holiday, dining is a relaxed, quality experience at your Home by the Sea. Food offers the best in Modern Asian and Western Cuisine with a focus high quality fresh produce and is served by attentive and friendly staff. The bar offers a wide variety of wine from the old and new worlds. The cocktail list is exciting and innovative with themed cocktails around our sunset, pool side relaxation and post dinner period.
- The Light House (The edge of Pantai Tengah). Fantastic food on the beach wonderful views.
- The Loaf, Lot No. C9 Perdana Quay (Telaga Harbour Park), .8AM-11PM; closed Thursday. Japanese style bakery & bistro owned by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed, ex-Prime Minister of Malaysia. Quality breads and full meals. Amazing view of the harbour and the yachts especially if you have your breakfast al-fresco outside. Attentive staff. Try Tun's Favourite Breakfast set (2 softboiled eggs, a bowl of mutton curry and thick toasted bread) with coffee and orange juice. Good place to have a leisurely breakfast. Bread from RM4.
- Mare Blu (Perdana Quay, Telaga Harbour Park), . The only authentic Italian restaurant on Langkawi island. The restaurant offers typical Italian food, good wines and draft beer. The Mediterranean style surrounding is just beautiful and the tables are set up right on the waterfront.
- Papadam (Pantai Cenang (near Underwater World)). Indian restaurant that also serves Arabic food.
- Sunsutra, Jl Teluk Baru (Pantai Tengah). Fine dining restaurant that serves great Western food too. If you're a big fan of lamb, you must try their lamb shank. Tender and full of flavours. Its portion is huge too! Good for someone who wants a hearty meal.
- Unkaizan, Lot395 Jl Telok Baru Pantai (Near to Awana Porto Malai), . 6PM-11PM. Japanese restaurant, with excellent food and wonderful service.