The most common recommendation we received, over and over, was to have a seafood hotpot. Given the cold evenings, it is easy to see the appeal of a bowl of steam and food, but these are best enjoyed with friends. For the solo traveller, especially those on a budget, other fare also works well.
We started each of our day with roti canai and a coffee, and on this front there are a few to choose from. First, for a simple cheap hit try the roti canai stall which sets up roughly opposite the Planter Hotel. For something more comfortable, in the food centre on Jl Mentigi, try Man Cameron.
Cafes (even Starbucks) dish up breakfasts along the strip, but often don’t open till 8am. So, if you’re working on an early start, we say all the way with roti canai.
For lunch and dinner there are a few restaurants along the strip that the regular crowd pleasers. Most do everything from banana leaf combos to chicken rice and mutton curries. While the prices are not unreasonable, servings can be very large, so consider sharing! Restoran Sri Brinchang and Restoran Kumar are both stalwarts and just about side by side. Convenient.
For late night grazing, Highlanders Restaurant is open 24 hours. It is at the rear of the large Camellia block which dominates Tanah Rata. The food is ok, but the competition is slim in the middle of the night. This is a popular spot to stop by after the nearby Traveller’s Pub closes for the evening.
Out of left field, Jasmine Coffee House does a couple of pretty amazing grilled duck dishes. Price wise perhaps a splurge, but if you are in need of comfort food, this is the place. There’s also a full bar and plenty of other fare. This a good option for families with picky eaters turning their nose up at dishes elsewhere.
For a cold beer at the end of the day, Travellers Bistro And Pub is a proper pub and sports bar. There is a full bar and plenty of tap beers and the happy hour takes a bit of the sting out of their prices. Popular and very pleasant on a Sunday late afternoon.
Stuart McDonald co-founded Travelfish.org with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.