NEW Ana Ikan Bakar Petai Pantai Selera, Jalan Tanjung Lumpur, Kuantan (019 987 8155/013 998 9175).
Alongside Mail Ikan Bakar, this area is practically a Malay-style seafood haven. Facing the sea, there’s ample parking space and Ana’s grilled stingrays are fresh, spicy, and all round addictive. Reasonable pricing. Child friendly. Disabled friendly. Free parking. Daily, 5.30pm–12midnight. $
NEW Cendol Air Putih B260E, Jalan Berserah, Air Putih, Kuantan (012 950 8626).
Closed on Mondays, Cendol Air Putih has upgraded from a humble old roadside stall to a bright yellow restaurant of its own. We’ll risk overuse of the word and say that this is the best cendol in Kuantan. The secret to this icy dessert is the balanced flavours combined with the textures of home-cooked red beans and pieces of jelly. This is the perfect antidote for sweltering afternoons, and a neverending stream of locals stop by for a bowl under the shade of trees. Child friendly. Free parking. Tue–Sun, 12noon–5.30pm. $
NEW New Capitol Chicken Rice
59 Jalan Bukit Ubi, Kuantan.
If you’re the type that doesn’t like waiting for your food, New Capitol Chicken Rice is for you. It’s famous for orders arriving within 30 seconds (unless you order something really weird), and the business at New Capital is so good that the chef just chops up the chicken as the orders stream in. The warm, fragrant ginger rice has earned it the title of best chicken rice in Kuantan.
Free parking. Daily, 8am–4pm. $
Restoran Timur Nasi Kandar B2 Lorong Tun Ismail 11, Sri Dagangan 2, Kuantan (019 952 2097).
This is definitely a fantastic dining spot, located at the edge of Teluk Cempedak’s lovely beach. You will be congratulating yourself for coming here as you feast on the freshly cooked local delicacies. With its beach front, tantalising food, great music and live entertainment, it is the place to hang out with friends. Make sure you get here just as the sun is setting and you’ll be guaranteed excellent views. Mon–Fri, 12noon–11pm; Sat–Sun, 4pm–2am. $
NEW Sungai Lembing Station A249, Ground Floor, Jalan Air Putih, Kuantan (012 951 9533).
Once a tin mining town, Sungai Lembing is a 45 minute drive from Kuantan. The cool and clean mountain springs have resulted in superbly smooth local noodles and tofu. For locals who find the 45-minute drive a bother, Sungai Lembing Station brings in delicious noodles and tofu every morning, which promptly sells out before noon. None of that usual alkaline taste in noodles, and just order the Sungai Lembing noodles in clear soup, curry, or soy sauce. The noodles are so good, it won’t matter what you pair it with.
Child friendly. Daily, 7am–2pm. $
NEW Terminal Satay Zul A2600, Jalan Alor Akar, Kuantan (09 568 7859/www.satayzulkuantan. blogspot.com).
Open since 1974, Terminal Satay Zul is one of the mainstays of the Kuantan food scene. Malay tunes add a nice atmosphere to the place. The meat skewers are nicely done, without any of the annoying dry bits that stick between your teeth, and the peanut sauce is pleasing, if forgettable. Compared to the Kajang satays we’ve tried so far, Satay Zul takes the cake. Child friendly. Free parking. Daily, 6pm onwards. $
NEW Warung D’Nie Kampung Seberang Sungai Ular, 26080, Kuantan (017 935 9169).
If you’re one of those adventurous types who has decided to take an East Coast road trip, stop by Warung D’Nie in Kuantan for lunch. The Gulai Kawah, a sweet rendang-like curry broth cooked in kawah (giant tin pots) and nasi kukus are pretty well known in the area. Also notable is Sup Ekor, a widely available Malay beef soup that these folks do pretty well–a hearty mix of slow cooked beef and peppery goodness. In the course of our lunch, hornbills were spotted flying by.
NEW Warung Paksu & Maksu Jalan Tanjung Lumpur, Balok, Kuantan.
Next to Peramu police station, this roadside stall serves a huge range of options. From lunch to evening, Paksu & Maksu is a good place to start off your foray into the world of Malay kuih muih, keropok, nasi dagang, and noodles. A notable item to try is Sata, which is Kuantan-style otak-otak, which is fish wrapped in banana leaves with some spices and coconut, and then grilled over a charcoal fire. This version is slightly lighter and sweeter than otak-otak; absolutely delicious.
Free parking. $
Ferm Nyonya 78A-D Persiaran Camelia 4, Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands (05 491 5891/www.rfn.cameronhighlands.com).
One cannot visit the Cameron Highlands without enjoying steamboat in the chilly weather. Stop by Ferm Nyonya for the flavourful broth that uses less MSG than the others, as far as we can tell since we weren’t thirsty after the meal. Apart from the steamboat, the Nyonya dishes are quite popular too. Halal. Child friendly. Free parking. Daily, 11am–11pm. $$