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Kuala Terengganu is an old historical town rich in the history and tradition of early Muslim settlers in the region. I travelled to Kuala Terengganu in late 2019. I explored most of Kuala Terengganu in a period of a week and enjoyed a wide variety of local cuisine. Here is my take on some interesting foodie encounters in this amazing part of Malaysia. 

About Kuala Terengganu - Best Malay Food

Escape from the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur to enjoy the laid-back and relaxed feel of East Coast Malaysia. Kuala Terengganu is an old historical town rich in the history and tradition of early Muslim settlers in the region. Along with this comes an interesting culinary mix and flavours brought by Arab traders, flavours of southern Thailand, and Asian cooking styles brought by Chinese settlers. 

food of kuala terengganu

Street Food in Kuala Terengganu

Amazing Malaysian Food in Kuala Terengganu  - Best Malaysian Food

I rented a car to drive to the hotel located on the outskirts of the city right next to the Floating Zahra Mosque. The winding road takes through lazy roads with little traffic and a couple of roadside cafes. I stopped to enjoy a quick lunch on basic everyday food served in the cafes. You can find several seafood dishes, fried prawns, chicken curries, some dark-coloured sauces, and super sweet local drinks.

A basic serving of rice with a couple of curries costs below $10. I sat on the open sitting area alongside the road to enjoy my chicken curry with rice and fish in spicy sauce, while going through a list of activities in my Lonely Planet edition of Malaysia. 

At night time we tried to explore some local restaurants on the outskirts of the city and found Amira Nasi Kukus Seafood restaurants. The quality of seafood in KT, in general, is great. The menu had several seafood dishes cooked in local sauces.

Kuala terengganu food
deep fried fish kuala terengganu
food of kuala terengganu

Talapia in mango-flavoured sauce topped with cheese was a great choice. Prawns are served lightly battered and topped with shredded. A side dish of stir-fried greens makes a perfect meal. Must say, the quality of seafood in KT is really good and most restaurants have fresh seafood delivered daily. 

Chinatown in Kuala Terengganu has an interesting mix of Asian restaurants. The food is cooked in Thai and Malay/Chinese style, which is apparently borrowed from Southern Thailand which is very close to KT city. 

Restoran Keong Kee is located in the heart of Chinatown specializing in seafood dishes. Fish fillets in tamarind sauce served with eggplant and green bean has a unique taste. Dry chilli crabs have adds a spicy kick to the menu which needs to be balanced with battered pumpkin topped with creamy sauce. The average meal for two costs is RM 90. 

lunch in chinatown in Kuala Terengganu
Kuala Terengganu Seafood
Eating out in Kuala Terengganu
Food of Kuala Terengganu
Food of Kuala Terengganu

An interesting area to explore for seafood is to drive across the river from Chinatown, called Seberang Takir. This area has some seafood cafes and attracts large crowds over the weekends. The food, in general, is inexpensive, therefore, eating out is popular amongst residents. You can try local varieties of fish, prawns and squid served deep friend as well as cooked in a variety of sauces.  

I stayed at the Regency Waterfront hotel located at the southern tip of the city. There are many popular local eat-outs in the vicinity. I tried Nasi Dagang (Stewed fish with glutinous rice) at Mak Ngah Nasi Dagang. This location is very popular with the local crowd for breakfast. 

Food of Kuala Terengganu
Bars in Kuala Terengganu

Bar 45 Degrees in Chintantown Kuala Terengganu

Popular Asian foods in Kuala Terengganu includes

  • Nasi Minyak John - ghee rice to be eaten with curries and eggs
  • Kampung dishes include Ayam kampung (fried chicken), grilled fish/ squid
  • Nasi Kerabu - blue-tinted rice eaten with salted fish