The Boat Restaurant

Good and predictable

What we say: 3.5 stars

When it comes to the theory that an aged business sign means staying power holds true when it comes to Boat Restaurant in Langkawi’s Pantai Tengah. The same weathered sign has been a landmark searched for by bargain seafood diners for five years and counting.

Plenty of room to pack em in.

Plenty of room to pack em in.

The Boat is a simple open-air restaurant set back just enough from busy Jalan Tengah to have a ‘view’ minus the taste of roadside exhaust. In addition to a couple of ancient shade trees, complete with occasional monkeys, the surrounding foliage lends the venue a bit of tropical flare.

There’s nothing especially unique in the Boat’s appearance these days, as cookie-cutter competitors continue to pop up and encroach on their original turf, but beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder and to those in-the-know insiders. The Boat serves up some of the best seafood in the neighbourhood and selections to suit all budgets — it’s a refreshing and affordable change from many of the Chinese seafood establishments that occupy the more touristy areas of Langkawi.

A stand out amongst local insiders.

Packed with local insiders later.

Aside from the prices luring in locals and tourists alike, the food is consistently delicious. The menu is primarily Chinese, but with Thai and Malay influences, and the varied selections come with portion size choices, from a single serving small through to family-style large. Soups, salads and rice dishes start from as low as five to 10 ringgit. We recommend the authentic house-made wonton soup, a dish found in only a few restaurants on the island.

Simple home-made Won Ton soup bliss.

Simple wonton soup bliss.

As with most Chinese restaurants in Langkawi, the Boat specialises in seafood dishes made from fresh local and imported fish, prawns and lobster, but they also have a wide selection of chicken dishes — Thai fried chicken, Guinness stout chicken and spicy black pepper chicken — starting at nine ringgit.

Spicy Thai salad to pack a punch or not.

Spicy Thai salad to pack a punch, or not.

Leafy green lovers will embrace the affordable selections of sambal kangkong (water spinach), stir-fried ong teh choy and siew park chow. A word of warning: the sambal is mild but leans towards the traditional Malay version with a healthy dose of shrimp paste, so it may be a bit too fishy for some palates.

A sign they've passed the test of time.

A sign they’ve passed the test of time.

In addition to an extensive selection of tofu dishes, the Boat also serves venison and roast duck. They keep an ample stock of ice-cold beer on hand as well as spirits and at five ringgit for a Sopporo or a six ringgit cocktail, you may linger a bit longer than expected.

Contact details
(Opposite Holiday Villa Beach Resort & Spa) Jalan Pantai Tengah, Langkawi
T: (012) 976 9813
Open: Open Daily 11:30-23:00
About the author
Vanessa eventually based herself in Langkawi and settled into the island lifestyle. The location offered a gateway to Southeast Asia, from where she continues her exploration of Malaysia, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia, Hong Kong and other destinations on her 'to-do' list.
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