Marking The Blog’s Anniversary : Our Pick Of 2016 Top 30 Great Food & Dessert in Malaysia (Part 1:Rank 30-16)

Written by @Lan
Photos by curiostraveller.com team members & credited sources

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Thought of the day-“Food is a great way of communicating.”-Jan Karon

Part 1 0f 2 (Rank #30-#16)

There are just too many restaurants and even stalls in Malaysia that offers amazing food & dessert. Some restaurants are being independent while some are in groups/chains, not to mention restaurants that being in hotels/resorts. Food stalls on the other hand are owned by independent owners and in many sizes. There is actually no exact standard to universally and precisely rank these food outlets in terms of the overall quality in food & dessert. Food hunters normally will have to depend on some experiences and recommendations by food writers/bloggers. This is a guide, our recommendation for all of you to find some great and food & desserts in Malaysia.

Through our (which includes our contacts/partners) dining experiences,we have compiled the Top 30 food/dessert in Malaysia, that you must try (if you happen to be in the said place). There were 5 criteria that we used when we finalized the list.

#1 The food/dessert originates from Halal restaurant/stall or at least run by Muslim owners or serving entirely Halal dishes (strictly no pork served)
#2, The price; affordable.
#3, we’ve tasted it OR at least a friend validated the said amazing taste, scored 9.0 or above in Happiness Score (Affordable, Clean, Tasty)
#4, the outlet is listed in any big plus valid websites such as TripAdvisor.
#5 offering value for the customers such as buy 1 free 1, free add-on or just anything that will make customers happy.

The process: For the past 2 weeks, we compiled about 1425 images of food and desert that we had throughout the year of 2016;shortlisted it to 100 images and later to 30 images. We then ranked each image by giving a scale from 00 to 10, based on 3 factors; Affordable, Clean, Tasty. The higher the rank means we remembered that food/dessert more, mostly for its uniqueness. Our intention is to share with readers the best food/dessert that we had in 2016.

Regardless of whether the food/dessert came from high end dining outlet or food stall, here are our pick for the Top 30 food/dessert in Malaysia. Note that we have yet to venture the amazing food in the states of Perak, Perlis & Sarawak. That said, we do hope to list some of Perak, Perlis & Sarawak’s food in the 2017 list, to be published early 2018.  Some images are of low quality as at times we did not bring along our equipment. 

#30 Sotong Kangkung @ Padang Kota Lama, Penang

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Location: Stalls @ Food Court Esplanade,  Padang Kota Lama, Penang
Availability: Best to have it early evening (Daily)
Happiness Score: 9.04/10

Never judge a book by its cover, the image might not be the prettiest but the taste, absolutely amazing. In English, it’s Cuttlefish Salad with Water Convulvulus which means the dish contains blanched cuttlefish and water convolvulus, tossed with prawn paste, chili, sweet sauce which is similar to rojak sauce but less pungent. Sotong Kangkung is normally sprinkle on the top with sesame seeds and ground peanuts. While Sotong Kangkung is widely being sold nationwide, the best one is obviously of the stalls at Padang Kota Lama.

#29 Penang Char Kway Teow-The Wet Version @ Padang Kota Lama, Penang

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Location: Stalls @ Food Court Esplanade,  Padang Kota Lama, Penang
Availability: Best to have it early evening (Daily) 
Happiness Score: 9.09/10

A different version of that normal Char Kway Teow, this amazing dish is easy to find anywhere in Malaysia but somehow we love the Char Kway Teow in Penang, especially in Padang Kota Lama. We love that gravy so much, generous portion, big prawns, simply put, one great dish.

#28 Kuih Keria @ Pekan Rabu, Alor Setar

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Location: Pekan Rabu, Alor Setar, Kedah 
Availability: During Complex Operation Hours (Daily)
Happiness Score: 9.10/10

Kuih Keria is said to be a vegan donut that requires no baking. These sweet potatoes donuts are one of the many delicious ‘kuih‘ found in Malaysia. One can have it anytime of the day, be it as a snack or as a light treat at tea time. The best Kuih Keria that we had so far was at Pekan Rabu in Alor Setar, Kedah and well known among the locals and tourists from outside Kedah. It is a business complex and trading place for Malay entrepreneurs.

#27 Cendol @ Cendol_Abe_Li, Pasir Mas Kelantan

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Location: Cendol_Abe_Li, Bazar Aminah, Jalan Padang Majlis Daerah Pasir Mas, Kelantan
Availability: 11 am-5.30pm daily
Happiness Score: 9.12/10

The Cendol is worth trying, according to our contact in the state of Kelantan, Mr.Amri. He scored this particular dessert, 9.12 and for that we now have the urge to fly over to Kelantan just to indulge ourselves in Abe Li’s cendol! It’s definitely one colorful Cendol as shown in the picture above (Abe Li’s Official Instagram).

#26 Chicken Chop @ mrsteakhouse Melaka

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Location: 32 Jalan Lagenda 8, Taman 1 Lagenda, Melaka
Availability: 12pm-12AM
Happiness Score: 9.16/10

For its size (portion) and price (RM10.90), it’s worth mentioning this dish (Chicken Chop). Said to be the best outlet serving the best western dishes in the state of Malacca 0r Melaka, we have no hesitation in recommending this place to everyone.

#25 Putu & Lato @ Semporna Market, Sabah

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Location: Semporna General Market, Semporna, Sabah
Availability: Daily
Happiness Score: 9.21/10

Putu & Lato are traditional food of The Bajau Laut (Pelao’-Pelaut or Sea Gypsies). The green white thing (LATO) is the seaweed that have been mixed with mango, fish, shallots, lime juice etc and served kind of salad. The wrapped item (PUTU) is Cassava boiled to perfection. Best eaten with grilled fish. It’s incredibly cheap and normally for take away but if you insist you can have it on the spot! 

#24 Kuih Durian @  CSS Stall, Johor Bahru

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Location: CSS Stall (Nyonya Baba), Foot way of Tai Soon Kopitiam, Taman Sri Tebrau, Johor Bahru.
Availability: Daily (Durian Season), though we are not sure if it is still operating as we were here in late 2015.
Happiness Score: 9.26/10

The operator, an uncle, together with his wife, they produce the best Kuih Durian or Durian Fritter that we have ever consumed! Durian Fritter can be found anywhere in Malaysia (During Durian Season) but here it’s definitely the best in Malaysia. We hope this stall is there as we intend to visit it again mid 2017.

#23 Seafood @ Seri 3 Rasa, Kota Kinabalu

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Location: Segama Waterfont/Todak Waterfront, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Availability: Every Evening
Happiness Score: 9.31/10

Seafood is cheap in Sabah but at Seri 3 Rasa, it’s cheaper for cooked seafood. The selections are fresh and in many types. Staffs are amazing, friendly and will help you to choose the best as well as suggesting the way to cook it. Seri 3 Rasa is actually a stall, operating during evening time, but it’s clean and super efficient in delivering the best for its customers.

#22 Laksa Penang @ Padang Kota Lama, Penang

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Location: Stalls @ Food Court Esplanade,  Padang Kota Lama, Penang
Availability: Best to have it early evening (Daily)
Happiness Score: 9.35/10

Laksa Penang is one of the must have food when visiting Penang. While Laksa Penang is generally available throughout eateries in Malaysia, it’s best to have it in Penang as Penangites knows how to make great Laksa penang. There are many eateries in Penang that sells Laksa Penang but so far the best one that we had was in Padang Kota Lama, Food Court Esplanade to be exact.

#21 Pasembor/ Indian Rojak @ Padang Kota Lama, Penang

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Location: Stalls @ Food Court Esplanade,  Padang Kota Lama, Penang
Availability: Best to have it early evening (Daily)
Happiness Score: 9.38/10

Pasembor is about mixture of sliced-up dough and cucuk udang (prawn fritters), bean curd, boiled potatoes and hard-boiled egg served atop a bed of roughly-julienned vegetables, primarily cucumber and bangkwang (yam bean). It is served with a dressing that is totally unique to the east – a large, loving ladleful of thick, rich, sweet, reddish-brown spicy sauce made with Ubi Keledek (sweet potato) and chillis.

#20 Turkish Pide Pizza @ Mashawi Grill, Kota Kinabalu

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Location: Mashawi Grill, Jalan Manggatal-Indah Permai, Kota Kinabalu
Availability: Daily
Happiness Score: 9.41/10

It’s the best Turkish Pizza served in one Malaysian Restaurant (of Middle East Theme), located in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Recommended for its taste, presentation, uniqueness and affordability.

#19 Malay Ulam-Ulaman @ Dorsett Grand Labuan, Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan

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Location: Dorsett Grand Labuan, Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan
Availability: During its daily buffet (Contact the Hotel to check availability)
Happiness Score: 9.57/10

Sous Chef, Reynold Hermes Ronald presented to us a fine presentation of Malaysian Traditional and Healthy food with Ulam-Ulaman/Greens as the main. The ulam-ulaman were made of fresh Pegaga, Ulam Raja, Eggplant, Cucumber, Tomato and Okra/Kacang Bendi. We had it during Buka Puasa Buffet in  2016 (LINK) at the Hotel and we’re still truly amazed with the Chef’s ability to prepare such a detailed presentation.

#18 Stir Fried/ Malay Food @ Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur

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Location: Jalan Padang Belia, Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur
Availability: Evening (Daily)
Happiness Score: 9.61/10

Happy go lucky and super friendly owner, a Kelantanese woman with her amazing team, preparing truly delicious street food for their customers. Prices are amazingly cheap and taste, beyond our expectation when we first had our dinner there. Their best dish is Ayam Goreng Kunyit or Fried Turmeric Chicken.

#17 Curry Laksa @ Al Fresco, The Magellan Sutera Harbour, Kota Kinabalu

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Location:Al Fresco, Magellan Sutera Harbour, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Availability: Daily, from the ala-carte menu. 
Happiness Score: 9.68/10

Though being  served in a restaurant located in a 5-star Resort, the price factor truly amazed both of us, it’s definitely affordable for everyone. The taste? One of the best that we had so far in 2016. Portion? Big, way big that you can actually share with a friend.

#16 Ubi Kayu Rasa Utara @ Rasa Utara, MidValley Megamall, Kuala Lumpur

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Location: Rasa Utara, MidValley Megamall, Kuala Lumpur
Availability: Daily, from the ala-carte menu
Happiness Score: 9.69/10

We had this Ubi Kayu/Cassava recently and we were amazed with its taste, simplicity, presentation and idea. It is also served in another 2 Rasa Utara’s outlet at Berjaya Times Square and IOI City Mall, Putrajaya. To read more about our culinary adventure in those 3 outlets, click HERE, HERE and HERE.

-To be continued (Part 2)-

 

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2 thoughts on “Marking The Blog’s Anniversary : Our Pick Of 2016 Top 30 Great Food & Dessert in Malaysia (Part 1:Rank 30-16)

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