Tasty Malaysia: Breakfast to Dinner in Kota Bharu

A day-long food tour


Today, Lyf&Spice brings a twist in its posting style and takes you around Kota Bharu to eat all that you can in a single day. This capital city of Kelantan, is a food haven that is completely different from the rest of Malaysia. Let’s highlight this underrated and lesser known food destination of Asia.


The Food tour:

Take a flight from Kuala Lumpur or drive down from nearby destinations like Terengganu or Ipoh to explore this city like a local. Park your bags at a hotel of your choice and head out for a food-packed day.

Buffet at Nasi Serati Ayam Kampung

1. Breakfast:

Bread and eggs: Treat yourself to Roti Bakar – toasted bread served with butter or kaya (sweet coconut spread), usually charcoal-grilled, the old-fashioned way. That is what imparts the distinct flavour and crisp to it. Take a portion of boiled eggs with soy sauce and order a cup of hot milo.

Rice: The locals out here love to start their day with rice. Try Nasi Dagang or trader’s rice made with coconut milk and served with fish curry, coconut gratings and pickled vegetables.

Where: Kedai Kopi Khuan Heong Yan, opposite Crystal Lodge.

Roti Bakar in progress… 

2. Lunch:

Rice with curry: Indulge in a buffet spread consisting of steamed rice and curry of your choice. The buffet offers clams, fish, chicken, lamb, duck and other curries, along with herbs, cucumbers and other greens as salad. It is made in traditional kampung (village) style and served in banana leaves.

Where: Nasi Serati Ayam Kampung, opposite Herbaline.

Pork: If you eat pork, there is just the place for you. Delicious pork ribs served dry and as a broth are available as Bak Kut Teh. They are best had with rice or youtiao (fried bread stick).

Where: Restoran Yau Kee, Taman Tengku Ahmad Panglima

Duck curry with rice 

3. Tea:

Teh Tarik: This is a must-try. You have to order a glass of pulled tea with condensed milk. If you want it ‘less sweet’, simply say ‘kurang manis’ while placing the order.

Snacks: Tea-time is meant for road-side snacks. You will find a number of stalls serving banana fritters and tempura. Besides that, you can stop by a stall frying battered vegetables, fish or prawn balls.

Banana fritters

4. Dinner:

Indo-Malay: Roti canai or tosai (dosa) can be had at one of the mamak stalls across the city.

Chinese: While there are a lot of restaurants serving delicious Chicken Rice, you must try the chicken rice and fried rice with seafood at East Ocean restaurant.

Roti Tempayan: Try roti tempayan with your choice of curry at Ali Baba Tempayan by the river-side.

Roti Tempayan with beef curry at Ali Baba Tempayan


Relish the experience:

A day is just not enough to explore the food scene of Kota Bharu. If you get a chance, extend your stay by another day and try everything on the list. There is a lot more to explore, but that calls for another post. Stay tuned!


Check out our Travel and Food stories on Instagram.

Read – Eat – Drool 






113 thoughts on “Tasty Malaysia: Breakfast to Dinner in Kota Bharu

  1. Please visit and enjoy great local food at Nasi Ulam Cikgu. You will be delightfully surprised with the tasty food served there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What incredible dining experiences! I’d love to try each and every one of the exotic dishes you enjoyed. Fingers crossed that one day I’ll be lucky enough to travel to Southeast Asia. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Although I have been to many parts of Malaysia, Kelantan is still very much unexplored for me. Thank you for your insights on Kelantanese food. This will surely come in handy when I do get to visit Kelantan for longer.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love food posts! I struggle to find vegetarian dishes in Southeast Asia. I’m always up for banana fritters though 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for the acknowledgement. There isn’t too much about Kota Bharu on the internet, but those who live here know its true flavours. It’s an attempt to bring it in front of the world.


  6. It’s just black tea in boiling water, and condensed milk. The tea is then pulled (with arms stretched out) from one glass to another, to mix it. 🙂


  7. KB food is looking very tempting !
    Roti & banana fritter I would like to have.
    It is nice you have included unknown facts of a lesser known place!

    Keep it up.

    Liked by 1 person

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