Monday, January 14, 2013

a little pangkor island rant

If you have noticed, this blog has been left relatively abandoned for a few days now. Not that I have decided to give up blogging because of the staleness of my blogging life lately, but because I've just returned from a 3 days 2 night trip to the is land of Pangkor, Malaysia.

Truth to be told, if you compare Pangkor to the the other more popular islands in Malaysia like Pulau Redang, Pulau Tioman, Pulau Perhentian or even Pulau Besar, it pales in comparison to the beautiful beaches and clear seawater that those islands have to offer. However, for an island to be located in the Straits of Malacca, one of the busiest straits in the world, Pangkor has already one of the best beaches among the west coast islands. Also, it is one of the cheapest too and an ideal destination for those living in the west coast of Malaysia who cannot afford to travel to the east coast for the other alternatives.


we actually explored the whole island on motorbikes


Anyway, one of the biggest problem we had when we were visiting Pangkor was finding a good place to eat,  since there were many stalls around and we're afraid to risk our meal time for some untested food. However, the internet was not much of a help though, with bits and pieces of information scattered here and there so in order to contribute more to humanity, I decided to write about the places we ate in Pangkor and its reviews. Hopefully if you're there and have no idea what to eat, this post can prove useful nonetheless.


1. Ye Lin Restaurant 

<a href="/Restaurant_Review-g303994-d1742492-Reviews-Yee_Lin_Restaurant-Pulau_Pangkor_Manjung_District_Perak.html">Yee Lin Restaurant</a>: Pictures
This photo of Ye Lin Restaurant is courtesy of TripAdvisor

When travelling, there's this saying that states that only the locals know where's the best place to eat. And that was what I am exactly thinking when I decided to ask the Malay auntie who was selling fried banana at the roadside where's the best place on Pangkor to eat. Ye Lin Restaurant was the first answer that she gave without hesitation. Our hotel receptionist and taxi driver also seemed to think the same.

Located near Hwa Lian School at Pasir Bogak, Ye Lin Restaurant looks like an abandoned warehouse from far. But nestled underneath it are red tables and chairs that are synonymous with any Chinese restaurants. Our group, consisting of 16 people, ordered the set menu that comprises of crab, fish, mantis prawn and fried squid and truth to be told, I was quite disappointed with the result.

The fried stuff was okay at best, with the mantis prawn being the best dish out of all and the fried squid coming in at second. The curry flower crab was good too but because it was a flower crab with less meat, I didn't like it very much, but it's still enjoyable. The rest is average at best, disappointingly so because we had so high expectations of it. The laksa asam fish for example, was not very fresh at all with hard to chew on meat.

Verdict: Do not eat if you have better choices around for food. The price is not worth it.


2. Daddy's Cafe

with our group having a dinner there

Daddy's Cafe is perhaps by far the best eating place that we've been to the entire trip. Located by the seaside at Coral Bay, just a few minutes away by foot from Teluk Nipah, it offers a variety of Western and local cuisine in its menu. It is also one of the very few places which offers a variety of alcoholic drinks other than beer (cocktails mostly) on Pangkor, which is good if you're looking for a drink.

While the food serving speed might be a bit slow, I find that the awesome scenery, friendliness of the staff and the quality of the food themselves are more than enough to compensate for it. It has an almost movie like setting with the sound of waves and the sigh of the beautiful islands that accompany you as you eat. The choices and quality of food are good too, from the tasty chicken chop to the spicy green curry, there's just something in store for everyone. It's the perfect place to just relax, enjoy your meal/drinks with your friends and let the waves carry your worries away.

For those who are running on a budget, the price can be a bit pricey though, with prices ranging from RM 22 to RM 58 per dish but I guess it's normal for a higher end cafe like this. It's still cheap though considering that the majority of patrons I saw at that place were foreigners.

Verdict: A must try place if you're living near the Coral Bay or Teluk Nipah area.


3. Warung Manshor

eating with dear orange there

I can't even begin to say how much I missed authentic Malay nasi lemak since coming to Singapore 4 years ago. Located at the main road at Teluk Nipah, I ate breakfast at this place for two days straight because I enjoyed the nasi lemak very much. 

Verdict: Aside from the flies buzzing around which can get quite annoying at times, the food is awesome if you're looking for an authentic Malay kampung-like food. The sambal can be a little hard on the stomach though.


Of course, 3 restaurants out of the countless eating places on the island is far from perfect, but it's a start if you're desperate and have no idea of what to eat. Food hunting on the island can be a little though though, considering how the tourist spots are separated into different beaches with a fair share of walking distance between them. I would suggest renting your own transport for your ease of travel, for example a car or a motorbike, like what I did. The taxis cost RM 20 per trip so if you're travelling a lot, it can eat up quite a bit of your expenses.

Just take the motorbikes. They're fun.


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