Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Category / East Coast Malaysia

This is the last food post from the Redang trip last month. After stopping by for keropok lekor, our last item on schedule before heading back to KL was naturally, lunch.

Ed again served as the guide and this time he brought us to Restaurant Golden Dragon in Chinatown

restaurant golden dragon at kuala terengganu
a very straight to the point “non halal” sign

I knew that it had to be at least a pretty decent place soon as we arrived. The restaurant was absolutely packed even on a Monday, and we had to wait for a table. There was a big group of middle aged ladies with “I love Redang” t-shirts, which doesn’t bear any significance to anything but I just felt like mentioning.

brinjal, long bean, salted fish, roast pork and bbq pork
long beans, eggplant, salted fish, roast pork and BBQ pork

Ed ordered a large portion of roast pork and BBQ pork, and I made orders of several other pre-prepared dishes to go with steamed rice. We had long beans, eggplant, omelet, bitter gourd, and some soup too.

Though the BBQ pork (char siu) was ordinary, the roast pork (siu yoke) was actually rather good. We actually ordered a second serving of roast pork to make up for going 3 days porkless on the island.

bitter gourd, omelet, soup, rice
bitter gourd, omelet, soup, rice

While the other dishes were commendable, my favorite had to go to the salted fish fillets. The aroma and taste was just so “right” I used it to replace soya sauce. Omelet  with salted fish, roast pork with salted fish, bitter gourd with salted fish, egg plant with salted fish, they were all awesome!

the group from Redang trip
Terence, Kim, FA, Ed, Horng, KY & Joe, Kerol & Haze

Including drinks, we only had to pay RM 8 per person for the meal. It was really cheap considering the amount of items we ordered. I’ve read that they serve pretty good “tai chau” during dinner time too.

map of Kuala Terengganu Chinatown

198 Jalan Kampung Cina
Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu

GPS: 5.333684, 103.132921
Tel: 09-622 3034

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

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

GPS: 5.457598,103.034248
Tel: 09-669 4762

As the previous Redang island post mentioned, we arrived at Kuala Terengganu 2 hours too early for our boat ride to the island. To kill time and satisfy our stomach, we head to Chinatown, a road aptly called Jalan Kampung Cina at KT for some breakfast.

roast duck noodle at kuala terengganu
duck noodle at coffee shop just next to the Chinatown gate

Even at this primarily Muslim dominated state, Chinese food is actually pretty easy to get, and there’s a  local taste to it too. Most Chinese in Terengganu speaks either Hokkien with a very Penang like accent, or Mandarin. Cantonese is spoken here too but quite a lot less prevalent.

All these basically means that you shouldn’t have any problem ordering food. Unlike the hawker scene in KL that’s dominated by foreigners whom you just don’t know what language to start with when trying to converse with them.

KY and Kim
KY and Kim enjoying some roast duck noodle as breakfast

The duck noodle stall offers wantan noodle, roast pork, char siu, and of course, roast duck. Kim and I both ordered the roast duck with wantan noodle (RM 4-6). The meat was very fragrant, tender, and juicy, and I love the abundance of lighter sauce on the noodle with the thicker roast duck sauce on the meat. There’s a bowl of pork wantan soup accompanying the dish.

I wouldn’t mind stopping here for breakfast again if I find myself at KT. Yums!

kuala terengganu chinatown map

By the way, check out Kim’s account on Redang too.

Jalan Kampung Cina,
Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu

GPS: 5.331986, 103.132667

If you’re traveling on the road north of Kuantan and past Kemaman, you’ll eventually pass Kijal before reaching Kerteh/Dungun/Kuala Terengganu on your way to some island holidays or oil and gas work.

Now Kijal is a pretty uninteresting town with probably the only interesting place being Awana golf resort, a hotel that I’ve stayed a couple times on business travel.

Lemang stalls at Kijal, Terengganu
the stretch of lemang stalls at Kijal

What Kijal has though, is this whole stretch of lemang stalls by the road side between Kg. Baharu Batu Anak Dara and Kg. Meraga on trunk road 145. And yes, I got the information from google map.

On the way from Dungun going south, there’s a little sign board that says “Lemang in 500 meters”. We drove past that on previous trip, but this time around, I made sure we stopped by and grab some lemang for the road.

lemang with serunding
2x lemang at RM 2.50 each, 2x serunding at RM 5 each

We stopped by the stalls and bought ourselves 2 lemang with 2 container of serunding (meat floss, we bought chicken and beef) to go with it.

The aroma of glutinous rice with coconut milk came gushing as soon as the lady split open the bamboo that was holding all that goodness in.

haze and KY enjoying lemang
snooze inducing food, guaranteed

We dug in as soon as we got into the car. The rice was soft and so fragrant, and I didn’t imagine that glutinous rice with coconut milk could taste so good! The meat floss gave it a bit of extra flavor but I seriously could eat the piping hot lemang all by itself. If only we had some rendang too…

map to lemang stalls at kijal, terengganu

So if you’re traveling on that road, don’t miss out the lemang. A word of caution though, lemang is also probably the best traditionally sleeping medicine in Malaysia. Haze certainly pengsan about an hour after the lemang, and I almost snoozed off while driving too.

Kijal Lemang Stalls
Kijal, Terengganu
GPS: 4.3306878, 103.4508196

Over the weekends I went to Kuantan for a short trip with Sheryl. We didn’t have any concrete plan, and it was basically just an opportunity to spend some time and catch up after she’d come back from her post graduate studies in Europe. After all, it was some 7 years since we were last living together in the States.

Pak Su seafood restaurant, with the best al fresco dining experience

After spending better part of the afternoon chilling at Cherating beach sipping coconut juice, we decided to check out Pak Su seafood restaurant by the beach. It was partly due to convenience as Pak Su is located rather close to where we were staying.

While this is a Chinese restaurant, it is also halal, and there were quite a number of Muslim patrons and workers alike at the premise.

We took a table at the al fresco dining area by the beach. The scenery was incredible, full moon, strong waves, and the rather powerful sea breeze makes up for one of the best seafood dinner ambiance I’ve experienced.

fresh oyster, butter prawn
fresh Canadian oysters, vegetable, butter prawn

For the two of us, we ordered a pair of fresh Canadian oysters (RM 8 each) to start. They were huge, juicy and absolutely delicious, the other other place with comparable oyster would be Kensington at Seremban.

Butter prawn (RM 20) was another commendable dish, it was cooked in the “wet” style (there’s also the other butter prawn preparation you might have had from Chinese wedding dinners, this is not the same method). The prawns were huge, fresh, and rather delicious.

To fulfill the illusion of having a complete meal, we ordered a plate of vegetable (豆苗 RM7) too. It was however, a bit too old and not something I’d recommend.

stuffed crab at east-coast, Malaysia
stuffed crab and steamed siakap

The one famous seafood dish everyone must try when at East-Coast is the stuffed crab. Pretty much every seafood restaurants from Kuantan to Kemaman will have this particular dish on the menu.

We ordered two stuffed crab from Pak Su (RM 6 each). It was basically a crab shell stuffed with plenty of crab meat and god knows what else, but it was quite tasty! I would order more than one next time, it was like having the best of crabs without having to deal with the whole peeling off crab shell nonsense.

The steamed siakap (RM 18) we had was forgettable. The fish steak as per recommended by our server was way too tough it felt like we were chewing on cardboard. There are quite a lot of other live fish to choose from though, so perhaps other choices would be better than what we ordered.

KY, Sheryl, and the great view
KY, the awesome view, and Sheryl

The service at Pak Su follows the life style of east-coast Malaysia quite a bit too much, it was horrendously slow. While it didn’t take too long for us to get our food after ordering, getting the attention of servers to start the prepare our table/ordering/paying/getting change took way too long.

Our dinner was RM 84 in total, including 5% government tax, pretty reasonable price that is comparable to KL standard.

As for the food, there were dishes that was rather good (oyster, stuffed crab, butter prawn), and some were pretty lousy (vegetable, fish). However, I do feel that this place is worth visiting even if just for the ambiance. You really have to be there to appreciate it.

Pak Su Seafood Restaurant
No.4/1417, Batu 6, Lot 922, Kg.Bahagia Beserah,
26100 Kuantan , Pahang Darul Makmur.

GPS: 3.87582, 103.36636
Tel: 09-544 8025