Cheap Eats in Langkawi

 

      Aside from travel photography, we also enjoy eating local foods in the places we visit.  We are happiest when we walk in an unpretentious eating place and leave the place with a BIG smile, a contented belly and healthy wallet!  Such is what we experienced in Langkawi.

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      Where else to eat the best street food but in Langkawi’s night market?  We were fortunate enough to book a good hotel in the center of Kuah Town (it is the main town in the biggest island of Langkawi) and a mere 10 minute walk, brought us to the famous night market.  Unfortunately, we were in Langkawi in the middle of a Muslim holiday so the whole night market was almost desserted! Sayang.

 

 

      Fortunately Allah must be smiling on us that night, for there was one stall open for business in the almost desserted parking lot … and the stall’s owner was a Muslim family (the father is the kitchen helper, the mother is the cook, the daughter takes the order/serves the food and the brother – he’s the all-around guy!)!  Even if we wanted to taste local (Malay) dishes, we ended up ordering our favorite Thai soup – Tom Yum Prawns and a local beef dish (stir-fried) whose name escapes me now. 

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      BURP!  The food was delicious, albeit very spicy (despite me telling the girl not to make it too spicy). And the whole meal (with two heaping cups of plain steamed rice) cost us only 10 Malaysian Ringgits, or roughly P145.00 for the both of us!  We would have returned here for another meal, but it rained hard the succeeding nights were were in Langkawi.  Sayang.

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      Round the corner of the block of our hotel was a local carinderia with a catchy name,  “Sunny Side Up Kitchen“.  It was clean, airy and well-lighted.  I don’t know if it was because it was a Muslim holiday that the eatery was manned by only two people (the rest of the crew was on holiday perhaps?) – the guy who took our order, also prepared our food and collected our payment and a woman who got our drinks and cleaned the tables.  Speaking of efficiency and multi-tasking!

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      Before we could place our orders, the man/waiter/cook/cashier told us that the only item available that day is CHICKEN – and little did we know that we stumbled upon the place that serves the best Hianese Chicken in the island of Langkawi!  So we were happy to get the only item available that day … Hianese Chicken plus two bowls of steaming clear vegetable soup, two cups of rice and a can of ice-cold Sprite.

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      BURP!  The chicken was REALLY, really good … and the total bill for this meal? 22 Malaysian Ringgit, or roughly P300 only. 

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      We tend to be wary when a tourist guide or a travel agent recommends a local restaurant to try out.  When we arrived in Langkawi and was dropped off at our hotel, the travel agent mentioned that the restuarant right next to our hotel, Restoran Wan Thai,  serves very good food.  Again, on our second day, when our tourist guide dropped us off at our hotel, he also mentioned that we should try the green curry dish served in Wan Thai.

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      From the outside, Wan Thai looks like a pretty expensive retaurant – nice full decor with tables covered with red table cloth.  But too tired to walk around and look for another place to have dinner, we decided to try Wan Thai.  And we were glad we did.  In fact, we were so happy with the food, we returned there the next day!

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      We ordered the Green Curry Beef and Kangkong sauteed in shrimp paste.  The curry was indeed delicious (and surprisingly, not spicy!) and the Kangkong was interesting, added with some dried fish that gave it extra flavor.  Our total bill for this delightful meal? It was a jaw-dropping (unbelievable) 24 Malaysian Ringgits only – or roughly P350.00 only!

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      We had other meals but unfortunately, I was not able to take any photos of them (was too hungry to think about food blogging!).  But suffice it to say that we enjoyed Langkawi’s sights, as well as the food.

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      We had a chance to discover the real reason why most of the food in Langkawi is Thai-inspired or infused.  We though that it was because of the proximity of Langkawi to Thailand.  Well, we were wrong.  It turns out that Thai cooks are cheaper to hire than Malaysian cooks (who charge more than double the salary of a Thai cook), so most of the restuarants in Langkawi have Thai cooks. That is why the food tastes Thai – and according to our guide, even the American steak and hamburgers taste Thai! BURP!

 

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1 response to Cheap Eats in Langkawi


  1. Patricia

    Thank you for this information. I am heading to Langkawi in 2 weeks, and I’ve been worried about the budget that I need to bring since I will be staying there for 11 days for a conference. Since not all the days are covered for food, I tried to search restaurants or good affordable places to eat. then I stumbled upon this blog. Thanks again!

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