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. Food and tour. Both are my favorite words! And when you put them together, that’s the happiest place I can ever be in 🙂
    I’ve never been to Malay but these dishes are definitely mouth watering!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such a cool post! I love seeing the different types of food eaten around the world. How do you think a vegan would fare trying to eat there lol?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love that I am not the only one eating my way around the world !! I plan on being in Malaysia next year so I will have to give these places a try!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve been to Malaysia and I agree, their food will make you drool! I missed their food when I read your post. Still, thank you for sharing 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Look at the roti bakar on the red burning charcoal. The crunchy brown outer part with the melted butter and kaya…a cup of hot kopi. Classic breakfast for Malaysian.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love learning about food from around the world so thank you for sharing. It all looks totally delicious, you’ve made me so hungry! I like the idea of trying Roti Bakar!

    Liked by 1 person

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