Despite the appearance of some of the more ramshackle eateries, the food choices are surprisingly good in Cherating Beach. With some tasty local recipes including culinary touches of neighbouring Terengganu and Kelantan states.
Daily breakfast options are cheap and good with Warung Ambak Cherating, just north of Tanjung Inn, leading the pack as a local favourite. They serve up rib-sticking roti canai and roti bum with all the fixings, starting around 08:30. Their Nasi Ayam isn’t too bad either.
Pak Sahat, next to Pelangi Guest House, is open 07:00 until 17:00 offering typical Malay fare and roadside people-watching seating. They will also be your cold, iced beverage connection come high noon. No frills and simplicity at its best.
Waterfront and linger worthy, Kam’s Surf Shack is the place to go for an espresso or cold beer fix. Serving light western eats throughout the day, depending on the surf or number of customers, they offer a quiet relaxed atmosphere and easy conversation. Owner Kam is an avid surfer and kiteboarder and more than willing to share his local water sports knowledge.
Looking for more of a beach bar scene, head south of Kam’s to aptly named Cherating Beach Bar where opening hours are often indicated by the volume of music reverberating past their beachfront. The view is excellent and cold beer plentiful. If you are staying at Tanjung Inn you are easily within stumbling distance.
On the north end of the beach Don’t Tell Mama-Eco Bar marks their new beachfront turf with an eclectic mish-mash of plastic chairs, wooden pallets and used living room furniture, thus perhaps the new ‘eco’ part. Popular with local and western tourists seeking simple western fare and cold beer, but if you are looking for a evening dive bar type scene this is the place.
Come the dinner hour, Intan Seafood Restaurant, next to the Cherating Beach Resort, has grilled seafood Malaysian and Thai style. Open-air beachfront ambiance and loads of dishes to choose from makes it the best of the local fresh seafood options in Cherating Beach.
Street side Nabil Café also serves up you-pick-em seafood along with beef or chicken noodle and rice dishes starting at less that five ringgit. The service is quick and friendly and the perfect wrap up after an evening of firefly watching or a late night visit to the turtle hatchery. A few vegetarian dishes are available and they also serve cold beer.
Back up the street, across from the Internet café, the nearly signless and barely lit Bintang Beach Café opens late and stays open even later to 04:00. Their Beef Pattaya is especially delicious, with fresh ingredients and no skimping on portions. Worth a late night kopi just to have a friendly chat with the work crew.
For live music and a dose of karaoke, Little Bali, on the river road out of town, plays host to local musicians and wanna be guest entertainers by providing a microphone, alcoholic beverages and a forgiving audience. All the ingredients for a Cherating Beach night on the town and then some.
Ambak Cherating: (street side next to Nabil Café)
Bintang Beach Café: (street side across from internet café)
Cherating Beach Bar: (beachfront north of Tanjung Inn)
Don’t Tell Mama-Eco Bar: (beachfront north of Ranting Beach Resort) T: (019) 996 1723
Intan Seafood Restaurant: (beachfront) T: (017) 926 6545; (017) 921 4954
Kam’s Surf Shack: (beachfront) T: (018) 974 7187
Little Bali: T: (013) 208 4536
Nabil Café: T: 019 985 3302
Pak Sahat: (next to Pelangi Guest House)