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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / terengganu

Another diving trip for the year. This time at Tenggol island for a short 4 dive 2 days 1 night excursion.

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Tenggol island always have a special place in my heart, it is where I got my PADI open water certification many years ago, and also the first vacation that Haze and I shared over 2 years ago.

It’s going to be first time diving for Haze here and only her 3rd diving trip. Boat is leaving in less than half an hour, hopefully we see something awesome!

Have a great weekends, and to all Muslim friends, selamat berpuasa

Hai Peng kopitiam is no stranger to the beach goers and divers alike who frequent the beautiful islands at the East Coast of Malaysia – Redang, Tenggol, Lang Tengah, and Perhentian alike.

The kopitiam is strategically located at Cukai, at the Southern tip of Terengganu; which means it is about the end of trunk roads before heading to Karak Highway. The perfect place for a rest stop after a nice weekend dive trip before continuing the journey back to Klang Valley.

Hai Peng Kopitiam at Kemaman
Hai Peng Kopitiam at Kemaman

On my recent dive trip to Lang Tengah island, that was precisely what we did.

The kopitiam was established 3 generations ago (1940), and the old owner can still be seen hanging around while the younger generations run things.

Hai Peng serves quite a good variety of different foods, and they are the truly 1Malaysia restaurant before 1Malaysia was hip. You can find nasi lemak, nasi dagang, toast, meehun goreng, tapai, half boiled eggs, and a host of other things suitable for any race or religion to consume.

curry puff, tapai, prawn crackers, toast with banana and peanut butter
curry puff, tapai, prawn crackers, toast with banana and peanut butter

To start, we had some of their curry puff, prawn crackers (very light and flavorful), and tapai. The tapai comes wrapped in some leaves and were really good, I wished there were some cendol to with.

Their packet nasi lemak came soon after and we grabbed a few packets too, it was oily, spicy, and an absolute must try to those who love things wholesome and not in a diet.

half boiled egg, nasi lemak, special curry toast, garlic bread
half boiled egg, nasi lemak, special curry toast, garlic bread

The half boiled egg at Hai Peng is a little tricky, they serve the eggs in a jar of boiling water, and it’s up to you to know when the eggs are ready. As a rule of thumb, 5 mins is about half boiled, and 7-8 mins 3/4 boiled, and so forth. The one in the photo was about 7 minutes.

Horng ordered this curious toast that had banana and peanut butter in them. While the description might be a bit gross, it actually tasted very good and the dude ended up ordering a second portion.

For those who love things spicy, the special curry toast is a must order. The set comes with a sunny side top, a big piece of toast, and curry chicken with potato that is very, very spicy. Not for the faint hearted.

special coffee breeze, pina colada, kopi ice
special coffee breeze, pina colada, kopi ice

Then of course, there’s the coffees. I love their iced coffee (tho not enjoying the plastic cup), and probably should have ordered the hot coffee instead.

The special coffee breeze was sort of a local version of those Starbucks ice blended on steroid, a bit too much flavor going on I thought. The pina colada, on the other hand, was a disappointment, overly sweet and of course, no alcohol.

map to Hai Peng Kopitiam

Food at Hai Peng had more hits than misses, and definitely a decent stopover place on return trips. They are opening up branches here in KL soon, but it remains to be seen if the quality suffers.

Address:
Hai Peng Kopitiam
K-3753, Jalan Sulaimani,Chukai,Kemaman
Terengganu, 24000, Malaysia
GPS: 4.2351, 103.4225
Tel: 09-859 7810

Pulau Lang Tengah is an island sandwiched between the more popular Redang and Perhentian islands, approximately 20+ km from Merang Jetty, which itself is roughly half an hour’s drive from Kuala Terengganu.

Our trip was organized and led by DM/Instructor/UW Photographer extraordinaire Edvin Eng, who was also the first DM Terence and I dived with back in 2004, a whopping 7 years ago.

Lang Tengah with a bunch of jokers
and Derek is now a certified diver, by Edvin the man

Edvin is always one of my favorite dive leaders, the dude  is a joker on ground, but serious and attentive underwater. He also has an eye in spotting weird and wonderful creatures underwater, which is good. However, the very same guy also always poison us in underwater photography equipments, which might or might not be a good thing.

the resort at Lang Tengah
the resort at Lang Tengah, with Derek and Terence camwhoring

The main purpose of the trip was actually to get Derek certified as a PADI Open Water diver, for those of you who are interested to get into this hobby, Edvin is as good as any instructor you can get, you can find him at oceanxplorer.com.my

disco colored anemone
disco colored anemone, true story

We left at around 1 am from KL on Thursday night and arrived at Kuala Terengganu in the morning just in time for a breakfast of roast duck noodle before hopping on the transfer boat at Merang jetty.

We did a shore dive right after lunch, at the same time Derek was getting his exams. The shore dive at Lang Tengah wasn’t anything to shout about, visibility was close to 10 meter, there were corals, giant clams, and the various fishes, including clown fish, of course.

anemone at lang tengah
some sort of anemone?

giant clam
giant clam, good for 100 plates of char kueh teow

We went on a boat dive after tea time, and there were much more to see here. Plenty of coral banded shrimps, red shrimps, moray eel, scorpion fish, and more.

banded coral shrimp
banded coral shrimp

red shrimp among the corals
red shrimp among the corals

moray eel
a pretty small and shy moral eel hiding in its hole

scorpion fish at lang tengah
can you spot the fish?

We were dead tired from previous night’s driving and the 2 dives, and everyone headed to bed and pretty much passed out before 10 pm.

For the last three dives on second day, I had the luxury of using the combination of INON UWL 100 and the DOME unit with my S90 (in Ikelite housing and lit by Sea & Sea YS-01).

Since there are already quite a few photos in this post, I’ll delay the second batch on the next post. By the way, Selamat Hari Raya to all my Muslim friends, and to everyone else, Happy Merdeka!

Stuffed crab is one of those dishes that is so good you wonder why they only have it in the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. My best guess is that we don’t have enough very kind and toothless aunties here in KL to separate crab meat from the seafood, that or there was an agreement for that during the formation of Malaya to protect the eastern states’ interests..

After all, aren’t our government known for setting up special agreements and policies to protect interests of certain groups all the time?

Tong Juan restaurant, Kemaman
restaurant Tong Juan at Chukai, Kemaman

The first time I had stuffed crab was only earlier this year at a pretty busy Pak Su seafood restaurant near Kuantan. The experience was rather good and I have been thinking of a repeat for this dish since.

So when the opportunity to have it again arises while on the way back from our previous trip to Redang last weekend, we naturally took it. This time we went to Tong Juan at Kemaman, located at the ideal spot that is just about half way point between KL and Kuala Terengganu.

stuffed crab, this is what we're here for
stuffed crab, this is what we’re here for

14 of us went in and Terence did the ordering, and for the first (and probably the last) time, the dude did not over order.

We had stuffed crab for everyone, grilled tiger prawns, spicy squid, vegetable, fish ball soup, and fried rice. This was for lunch on a Sunday (a working day in Kemaman, feed your parking machine)

grilled prawns, spicy squid
grilled prawns, spicy squid

While those super health conscious might complain that the stuffed crab at Tong Juan is a little too oily, I had no problem with it.  The crabs were good! With plenty of crab meat plus finely chopped onion and who knows what else in it. This is definitely a must-order.

The huge grilled tiger prawns were another awesome dish. They were easily the size of my palm and grilled with a bit of stuffed garlic at the back, a nice variation, delicious.

stuffed crab, fish ball soup, vegetable, fried rice
stuffed crab, fish ball soup, vegetable, fried rice

Fried rice was pretty good as well, but I didn’t think the fish ball worth a repeat, they were pretty life less and uninspiring, if not a tad too salty too. Vegetable’s just to satisfy vitamin C quota and for color matching, nothing to report.

The bill came to about RM 27 or 28 per person including drinks, while not cheap, I think it is still reasonable and definitely worth going there again on my next east-coast trip.

location map to Tong Juan restaurant, Kemaman

Address:
Tong Juan restaurant
K-117 Jalan Sulaiman,
24000 Kemaman, Terengganu
GPS: 4.231314, 103.428383
Tel: 09-859 1346‎

A trip to the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia is never complete without having keropok lekor, and when it comes to this particular wholesome snack, Terengganu is usually regarded as the best place to have them.

Keropok Lekor Zahela Embong
Keropok Lekor Zahela Embong, as recommended by Ed

Traditional keropok lekor is made of fish meat, sago, and a bit of salt, there are some that uses flour in addition or instead of sago too. The concoction is then made into unsightly phallic shape that is then boiled and optionally fried.

The keropok is usually served with chili sauce. Here in Klang Valley, you usually get some mass produced chili sauce like Kimball, but in Terengganu, it’s often some home made goodness instead.

keropok lekor with sauce
Keropok Lekor with chili sauce, yum max!

The keropok lekor stall of Zaleha Embong is conveniently located in between the town of Kuala Terengganu and Merang, the jetty for departing to Redang Island.

Our dive guide Ed, who’s been to Redang more often than just about anyone I know, swears on this stall, and I do agree that the keropok lekor here was really awesome. It was delicious, slightly salty and tasted like an offspring of fish cake and prawn fritters. Don’t miss this one if you find ourself heading to Merang Jetty.

Terence, FA, Horng, Kim, Kerol, Haze, KY
Terence, FA, Horng, Kim, Kerol, Haze, and KY

The same stall sells other local products like dried cuttle fish with sugar, salted fish (wet and dried version), and various other prepacked keropok too. I spent RM20 on those other nonsense in making my colleagues in KL happy, they loved it too!

Kerepok Lekor at Kuala  Terengganu map

Address:
Keropok Lekor Zaleha Embong
near Kg. Merabang Likar
21020 Kuala Terengganu

GPS: 5.457598,103.034248
Tel: 09-669 4762