Malaysian (Street) Food – Cameron Highlands, Ipoh, Belum & the Perhentians

Part 2 of our Malaysian foodie adventure! Enjoy!

1. CAMERON HIGHLANDS – Honey and squid

One of our stops in the Cameron Highlands was the Ee Feng Gu Bee Farm. In itself, this place is not a huge deal, but seeing as we had a honeybee-themed wedding, we owed these little guys a visit.

There are no less than three shops on the premises, all of which sell (surprise) honey, amongst other things. The honey sticks (RM1 each) were yummy and we ended up buying a small jar of tasty lime honey.

I also discovered these two beauties:

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If I ever come across this sotong merah (red squid) in Belgium, I’m stocking up. I kid you not. Strips of chewy sugary, spicy squid. My wife said it smelled horrible and forced me to brush my teeth afterwards, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying this. Mmmmmm.

Alongside this sotong merah, impossible not to see due to its size alone, was this:

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BBQ squid. As you can tell from the sparkle in my eyes, I was really excited about this one, but gravely disappointed in the end. It was very, very chewy and sticky and, alas, the bbq flavour — for me at least — just didn’t work.

2. CAMERON HIGHLANDS – Anchovy bun

Next up was a visit to Boh Tea’s Sungei Palas, where we sampled the ever busy cafeteria’s delights. Their ice tea is highly recommended, and so is this:

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This, my friend, is an anchovy bun. Savoury spicy goodness wrapped up in a soft and sweet white bread roll. YUM.

3. IPOH – M Boutique Hotel’s breakfast

Over to Ipoh, a city etched into our memories forevermore thanks to the enormous komodo dragon (or other type of large monitor) being chased by two dogs as we were driving into the city centre, its street art and the M Boutique Hotel.

This is definitely one of the coolest hotels we’ve ever stayed in:

Plus they had a lovely breakfast menu.

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I went for the fried mushroom rolls and veggie buns. Mmmmm.

4. IPOH – Lou Wong’s Taugé Ayam

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A visit to Ipoh wouldn’t be complete without sampling its classic dish of chicken & beansprouts or taugé ayam. To be honest, I had my reservations about this dish, fearing it might be a bit bland for my taste. I was proven wrong by Lou Wong (49, Jalan Yau Tet Shin, Ipoh). Yummy. PS: I love noodles with everything, taugé ayam being no exception.

5. BELUM RAINFOREST RESORT

I’ll be brief about the resort itself. I wouldn’t bother. The location’s OK, the staff are friendly but don’t seem to know what they’re doing and the excursions are mediocre at best. As for the food, we had dinner, breakfast and lunch at the resort’s Hornbill restaurant, which is overpriced for the amount of food you get.

On our first night, we went à la carte. The chef’s salad was OK but nothing too exciting. As my main course, I had one of the house specialties, oxtail asam pedas (spicy oxtail curry), which had about four tiny pieces of oxtail in it. Complete rip-off. To make matters worse, I went with the sago gula melaka (sago pearl pudding with coconut milk and palm sugar) for dessert:

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Looks yummy, doesn’t it? It wasn’t. The sago pearls are an acquired taste/texture, I suppose, but the dish had a very salty hint to it, which I don’t think it’s supposed to have given the amount of palm sugar in there. Not my cup of tea.

For next day’s lunch, I had Cantonese style char hor fun (rice noodles with prawns, squid, veggies and egg). Redemption!

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6. PERHENTIAN BESAR – Nia Cafe

On our first day on Perhentian Besar, I had the Nia Cafe’s special, a chicken rice dish with carrots, cabbage, a fried egg and loads of peppers (if you want them, that is). The food is pretty good; owner Mama Nia is an absolute joy to watch and talk to.

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7. PERHENTIAN BESAR – NEW COCOHUT CHALET

The best food on our strip of P. Besar, though, could be found, without a doubt, at our hotel, New Cocohut Chalet.

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This dish in particular will remain a Perhentian favourite for all time: beef sambal tumis. Minced beef, crunchy on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside. That sweet and spicy sambal sauce was EXQUISITE. Can’t wait to try this one myself at home.

Another favourite of mine was Cocohut’s creamy chilli and cashew prawns:

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SOOOOO tasty! Bonus marks: by European standards you get a huge amount of prawns.

8. PERHENTIAN BESAR – Abdul’s Chalets

On our final night on the Perhentians, we decided to go for some bbq. Abdul’s Chalets featured grilled barracuda on its sign, so it didn’t take us long to decide on where to go. I had grilled barracuda on Gili Air, Indonesia last year and absolutely adored it. Unfortunately, the barracuda at Abdul’s was a big let-down. You got a rather small piece for starters and the taste was nothing to write home about. As for their accompaniments: meh. A simple photographic comparison should tell you enough. Gili Air barracuda on the left, Abdul’s on the right.

‘nough said.

9. PERHENTIAN BESAR – Cocohut Shakes!

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Special mention to New Cocohut Chalet again for their humongous shakes! I had a pineapple shake, the wife had a Snickers one. Mmmmmmm!

10. KOTA BHARU AIRPORT – Snack Time!

Sweetness on the left, savouriness on the right! To top it all off, one of the strangest drinks I’ve ever had:

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It’s very difficult to explain what this tastes like. It smells like medicine and the aftertaste is not unlike the smell, unfortunately. When you’re drinking it, however, it tastes like… nothing. Weird.

One more Malaysian foodie post to come: Penang! ❤

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