Sunday, February 10, 2008

Back from Sitiawan: A Where To Eat Guide

And I'm back! Holidays have always been a blast, especially in Sitiawan, where everything is cheaper, the traffic slower, and the streets are way cleaner than Klang. I need to emphasize on cheap: 2 roti telur, 1 roti sardin, 1 tosai telur, 2 apams, 1 putu mayam, 2 teh tarik, 1 teh ais: RM 11.90. Breakfast of champions for 3.

Having lived in Sitiawan for half my life, it's nice to see it on the fast track of development, while retaining its old town charm. Lumut town is a sight to behold, a bit congested but certain much developed and tourist-friendly.

So where and what did I eat?
  • Restoran Briyani: Located at Sri Manjung and it's one of the oldest ones there. Great and cheap breakfast fare (see first paragraph).

  • Restoran Mei Hock: From Kampung Koh, take the road to Ayer Tawar. Drive along that stretch until you see a row of shop houses, mostly empty with a restaurant on the corner. Order the chicken in ginseng soup dish, it's a bit expensive but very nice. Very Fresh seafood.

  • Ikan Bakar place: Take the road from Sitiawan towards Lumut, right after the cross junction (the one with the sea shells, and if you turn left, you'll head towards Teluk Batik), there's a ikan bakar restaurant on the right. Very fresh seafood, and the chef cooks them to perfection. The restaurant on the left hand side of the road serves red wine chicken and mee suah.

  • Amu Coconut: This is one of the older restaurants in Kampung Cina, a little bit down trodden but look out for the restaurant with the most fanciful, albeit also downtrodden, entrance. Fresh and cheap seafood is a recurring theme here in Sitiawan, and this restaurant doesn't disappoint. Order salted crabs, o-chien (oyster omelette) but give the razor clams a skip, they tend to be skinny.

  • Jook's: Located at the corner lot of one of the row of shophouses in Lumut, it's not very hard to miss from the Maybank junction (just look left). Parking is a bitch during peak season so be prepared to walk a little for your dinner.

    Don't let the tourist trap look fool you as this place serves great food. It serves up a really mean t-bone steak, bigger than anything I've seen so far in KL. Another thing to try out: fish and chips served in a paper bag. Just skip the cocktails, as they lack the alcoholic punch, and go for the beers instead.

  • James' Cendol: The original Cendol man with a bow tie and a chef's outfit complete with the hat thingy. He's been around for as long as I can remember, and now even his son and daughter are getting into the business. Peak seasons tend to invite a big crowd, sadly with their mostly horrible attitude from (just look at their car plates), Selangor, Penang, KL, Johor and Singapore. Sorry guys, you suck when you are on holiday. James, on the other hand, you rock!

    Location: Take the Sitiawan-Lumut road, drive towards Lumut, pass The Store supermarket (formerly known as Fajar). The stall is in front of the Hindu temple, before Marrybrown on your right. Opposite applies when you are driving from Manjung.

  • Blue and Yellow Hawker Center (or is it the Yellow and Blue). Just located a short drive or walk down from the Marrybrown restaurant, it is probably one of the cleaner hawker centers in Sitiawan, with cheap and good fare. While there, order the porridge, pari bakar, chicken wings, and satay.
There's plenty more to eat, and see in Sitiawan and Lumut. With the list above, I doubt anyone would go hungry, but do go exploring. If you are craving for a bite of the city life, there's the new 24 hours McDonalds drive-thru outlet located on the Sitiawan-Lumut stretch. It's hard to miss.

On a side note, I was reading the Food Blog section on yesterday's Sunday Metro. There's an entry on a restaurant in Sri Manjung. The original post is here, but I don't know how The Star got the address of the kopitiam wrong, where instead of Sri Manjung, they put it up on print as Sri Menanjung. Oi Editor!