Photo: Kuantan's central mosque.

Eat and meet

Typical of most Malaysian destinations, Kuantan is no exception when it comes to neighbouring eateries with alternating hours of operations. This usually ensures something is open at most hours of the day and ready to serve either the early morning crowd or the afternoon/ evening crowd.

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Early risers will be happy to find some steady breakfast selections just off of Jalan Mahkota on the same street as Seasons View Hotel. Nasi Dagang Ganu offers typical Malaysian fare, while next door, Restoran Akob Patin House specialises in Roti dishes.

Across the street from the morning breakfast spot, Ikan Bakar Hawkers is a popular local corner location that has a few stalls opening mid-day Malaysian-hours-style and staying open rather late or until sold out. The bare hanging light bulbs give it a slightly seedy appearance especially in contrast to the glistening neon lit hotels nearby. You may also find no seats available with or without food available after 21:00.

If you prefer a river view, along the river walk across from the Kuantan sign is a half a dozen open-air hawker stall with waterfront seating. The popular Cahaya Kasih Café, located on the southern end, has the most consistent hours and foot traffic as their Masakan Panas and Nasi Lemak apparently have a big fan club. It is also a great spot for watching locals fish near the drainage pipe outlet.

As Jalan Besar chaotically merges into Jalan Teluk Sisek, long time Barbeque favourite Lila Wadi has relocated further down the road and they have reopened Lila Wadi Kulu Kakes at their original Jalan Besar location. Now serving pastries and cheesecakes, they are sure to hit the spot for those with a sweet tooth.

Looking for more than teh or kopi? Beyond a scattering of Karaoke hot spots and the Mega View Hotel, Kong Lam Restoran, on the same shop block as Classic Hotel serves not only delicious claypot pork (bak kut tee) and cold beer.

Directly across from the Classic Hotel and the busy Jalan Besar, Tjantek Art Bistro is the most unique venue standout as a late night café and an art gallery as well. Set in a restored shopfront (it was originally two shopfronts, containing a barber to one side and a seamstress to the other), today it is the eclectic undertaking of Norizan and her architect/teacher husband who have pulled off a delightful reinvention of the space. They open after 19:00 and stay open until as late as 01:00.

Travellers looking for a solid western fix can head to The Ritz Grill, next door to the Season’s View, which offers a breakfast buffet from 07:00 until 10:30 and reopens later for lunch and dinner from 11:00 until 22:30. They don’t skimp on ingredients or meal size including salads and meat dishes.

For Indian cuisine look no farther than Restoran Khalsa Chapati House on Jalan Besar near the corner of Jalan Taman. The aroma of curry hits the streets as soon as they open around 16:00. In addition to their signature chapatti, they do an excellent tandoori chicken served on a fresh banana leaf.

Cahaya Kasih Café: River walk
Ikan Bakar Hawkers: Lorong Haji Abdul Rahman
Kong Lam Restoran: Jalan Besar
Lila Wadi: A 637 Jalan Teluk Sisek T: (012) 664 4054
Lila Wadi Kulu Kakes: A 236 Jalan Besar T: (017) 653 2611
Nasi Dagang Ganu: Lorong Haji Abdul Rahman
Restoran Akob Patin House: Lorong Haji Abdul Rahman
Restoran Khalsa Chapati House: No.93 Jalan Besar T: (09) 515 9068
The Ritz Grill: A20, Lorong Haji Abdul Rahman T: (09) 513 1133
Tjantek Art Bistro: 46 Jalan Besar T: (09) 917 2021

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Kuantan? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Malaysia.

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