Nasi Kerabu
See & Do

Drool-worthy dishes you won’t have enough of when you visit Kelantan and Terengganu

The coastal states of Kelantan and Terengganu are famous for their unspoilt white sand beaches and serene ocean views, but even more so for the fresh seafood and unique dishes.

Nowadays you can probably find some decent renditions of East Coast cuisine in Kuala Lumpur, but to truly appreciate it at its most authentic, you’ve got to travel to the source, where their local culture and dialects add to the experience. In this list, we’ll tell you what’s good and the best (read: cheap!) places to find them:

Nasi Ulam

Nasi Ulam

Made from steamed rice that’s been cooled, Nasi Ulam is an aromatic mix of various shredded herbs like daun kaduk (wild pepper leaf), pucuk gajus (cashew leaf shoots), kerisik (fried coconut paste), onions and spices. It’s often served with other main dishes on the side, such as deep fried fish or chicken. Sometimes shredded fried fish is mixed in as well.

 

Where To Get It
Restoran Nasi Ulam Cikgu Kg. Kraftangan
Kampung Kraftangan, Jalan Hilir Kota, Bandar Kota Bharu, 15300 Kota Bharu, Kelantan.
Open Saturday – Thursday | 10.30am – 5pm | Closed on Friday

 

Laksam

Laksam

We Malaysians love our laksa, and those on the East Coast are no different – their delicious take on the dish involves thick rolls of rice flour noodles covered in rich, creamy gravy made from puréed fish and coconut milk. Topped with freshly chopped herbs, chili paste and bean sprouts, you might be tempted to order more than just one bowl! Laksam Special By-T serves theirs with quail eggs and serunding (spicy beef floss).

 

Where To Get It
Laksam Special By-T
Jalan Raja Perempuan Zainab II, Kampung Belukar Lanjut Kumumin, 16100 Kota Bharu, Kelantan.
Open Sunday – Friday | 3pm – 10.30pm | Closed on Saturday

 

Nasi Kerabu

Nasi Kerabu

Nasi Kerabu is basically a special type of Nasi Ulam, known for the distinctive blue tint of its rice that’s derived from the butterfly-pea flower. Accompanied with a variety of fresh herbs and raw vegetables, Nasi Kerabu is usually eaten with ayam percik (an East Coast specialty of grilled chicken marinated in flavorful spices and coated with a coconut milk-based gravy), fish crackers and solok lada (mackerel-stuffed chili pepper). Add on a splash of budu (fermented fish sauce) for a spicy and tangy kick.

 

Where To Get It
Yati Ayam Percik
Jalan Long Yunus, 15200 Kota Bharu, Kelantan.
Open daily | 10.30am – 7.30pm

 

Nasi Tumpang

Nasi Tumpang

This conical dish is a work of art and makes for a great Instagram photo, as layers of rice, curry, fish floss, sambal, omelette and cucumber are densely packed into a tall cone made from banana leaf. The portable dish originated from the innovative wives of local fishermen and farmers, who wanted to make it easier to pack food for their husbands.

 

Where To Get It
Kedai Kopi White House
1329-L, Jalan Sultanah Zainab, 15050, Kota Bharu, Kelantan.
Open daily | 8am – 1pm; 9pm – 1am

 

Roti Titab

Roti Titab

Similar to the typical kaya toast breakfast set you’d find in any kopitiam, what sets Roti Titab apart is a slice of soft, fluffy bread that’s slathered in butter and pan-fried until it’s crisp on the outside, which is then topped with dollops of kaya and a perfectly poached egg. This strange-yet-delicious salty/sweet combo is essentially the Malaysian equivalent of French toast drenched in maple syrup. You can only find it at Kopitiam Kita, which patented this special dish.

 

Where To Get It
Kopitiam Kita
Jalan Sri Cemerlang, Taman Desa Jasa, 15400 Kota Bharu, Kelantan.
Open daily | 6am – 2pm; 7pm – 12am

 

Keropok Lekor

Keropok Lekor

I know, I know – you can find keropok lekor (fish sausage) pretty much anywhere these days, but unless you’ve tried the real deal in Terengganu, you have not truly tasted keropok lekor. Made from fish and sago flour, the ones you find in Terengganu don’t skimp on the fish, and that makes a world of difference. You can have it either boiled or deep-fried, but I always prefer mine fried to a crisp on the outside, yet still soft on the inside. It’s even better when dipped in the locally-made chili sauce.

 

Where To Get It
Kak Yah Keropok Lekor
140, Kampung Losong Haji Su, 21000, Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu.
Open daily | 8am – 7pm

 

Nasi Dagang

Nasi Dagang

Nasi Dagang is as synonymous with Terengganu as Nasi Lemak is with Malaysia. A combination of white jasmine rice and glutinous rice is cooked in coconut milk, which is served with mackerel tuna curry, hard-boiled egg and some pickled vegetables. Most Nasi Dagang eateries in Kuala Terengganu are only open in the morning and close up (or run out of food) by noon, so better set your alarm for an early start if you want to get your hands on some!

 

Where To Get It
Nasi Dagang Kak Jah
1139, Jalan Pasir Panjang, Kampung Pasir Panjang, 21080 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu.
Open daily | 7am – 11am

 

Satar

Satar

Easily found at roadside stalls in Terengganu, this tempting snack may be small, but it packs a punch – I can never stop at just one of these spicy-sweet fish cakes. Fish meat is blended with shredded coconut, chillies, chopped onion and spices before it’s stuffed into a banana leaf cone. Several cones are usually placed on a skewer and grilled, giving it a smoky taste.

 

Where To Get It
Warung Aziz Satar (near Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Geliga)
860-2, Jalan Kuala Kemaman, 24000 Kemaman, Terengganu.
Open daily | 9am – 7pm


Have we got your tastebuds tingling for a taste? East Coast foodie trip, here we come! Book your flights and hotel(s) on Traveloka.

A storyteller with an insatiable sense of curiosity. Travel junkie. Card-carrying member of many fandoms. Heavily dependent on caffeine. Loyal cat servant. Former journalist at the New Straits Times and Hybrid News.

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