Langkawi, Penang and KL with kids
Heading to Malaysia next week with 2 kids (4 & 8). Looking for any info on "family friendly" type places. Really most places will do, but would like to limit more to street food on up to Western casual, as the kids don't really appreciate haute atmosphere I would rather avoid the upper end type places.
We will be there for a couple weeks, so all cusines are fair game, but we live in China, so Chinese cusine isn't a must, but definitely not off limits, and decent Western food would be welcome. We love Thai and Indian flavors, but would also need to have some less spicy options for the kids. Though we're not yet too familiar with Malaysian flavors, are looking to give that a go, but internet research seems to show a drought of true Malaysian places in the touristy areas of Langkawi (where we will spend a majority of the time). Got a decent idea on some Penang hawker areas and restaurants, and also seem to be spoiled for choice in KL, but Langkawi has been a bit more difficult to nail down. Anyone been there recently and know where a decent area to hunt down some street food, or decent restaurants without horrendous mark ups? Also general suggestions are appreciated as we are sort of winging it and have yet to nail down specific areas and iteneraries.
When in Kuala Lumpur, do make a trip to the local night market (Pasar Malam) whereby you will find lots of local ingredients and street food being sold. I enjoy going to the Sunday night market in an area called Bangsar (about 15 minutes drive from KL city -non peak hour) and its located next to a shoppin gmall called Bangsar Village. It typically starts about 6pm till about 9.30pm. Make sure you go with an empty stomach and fill it as you walk along the street. I love munching along and having the fresh sugar cane juice to wash down my food. If the street food there does not appeal to you, there are plenty of restaurants, both reasonable and that have massive mark-ups, in the area.
Had posted this in another reply recently and thought it may be useful to you:
If you love good chinese food, make sure you visit Overseas Restaurant in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. Address: 84 – 88 , Jalan Imbi. Kuala Lumpur. Tel No: +603-21449911. Their famous roast pork is amazing (crisp outside and tender inside), the double boiled chicken soup (ordered one day in advance) and beef brisket (ordered one day in advance) are just yummy. Am already drooling as I type!
For Indian food, take a trip to Kanna Curry House. Address: No. 29 Jalan 17/45
46400 Petaling Jaya Selangor (Non-peak hour: about 20-30 minutes drive from heart of Kuala Lumpur). Tel No: 603-79584814. Serves amazing banana leave rice with assorted vegetables and papadams. Then you can choose to have fried spicy fish, its tasty fried chicken, love their masala lamb and lots more.
For Malay food, I have to sheepishly admit that I normally crash at my friends'place for great home-cooked meals.
Nanjinged, if I'm you, I'll get my fill of M'sian food in Penang before heading for Langkawi! The latter is a beach resort only known for its beach hotels. Penang, on the other hand, is the food capital of Malaysia!
Which hotel are you staying in Penang? Penang is a very "Chinese" island (i.e. 65% of population on the island are Chinese, with the rest mainly Indian-Muslims, Malays & other races). Hence, food on Penang is largely Chinese-Hokkien, Nyonya (a very rich Straits-Chinese hybrid cuisine), with strong Indian-Muslim representation (pasembor, mee goreng, mee rebus, and nasi kandar). You'll see many posts previously on Penang by klyeoh and myself.
Langkawi, on the other hand, is almost 100% Malay-Muslim, so you'll only find mostly Malay food. The best-known independent restaurant on Langkawi is Restoran Siti Fatimah (Tel: 04-955 2754). It serves a wide array of Malay food, self-service - i.e. you pick what you want & pay at the cashier. Most Malay foods are fairly spicy, but there are also grilled fish & meats, some with sweet-soy dressing. Note that it only opens for breakfast & lunch.
Or go to Padang Matsirat, where there are numerous stalls selling Malay dishes and cakes (kuihs). Best place to try Langkawi street food. Most of them operate at lunch-time only.