If I covered the warungs, the beach cafes and the odd restoran or two in my last post, this time I’m going to tell you about the fine dining we had while on Pantai Tengah and Pantai Kok. I am not much of a fusion food fan (yes, I am Malaysian at heart, give me some rice please) and too much of Western food can get tiresome after a bit but once in a while, you need some wine, some good food and great company.
Sun Sutra is part of the stylish chain of cafes and restaurants owned by Jeffrey Leong under his Sun Group Langkawi.
The interior of Sun Sutra, looking out.
Jeffrey is a hands-on owner and is among many of the non-Kedahans we met. Apparently, he had arrived on the island some 13 years ago and decided that Langkawi needed some elegant eateries. One of them is definitely Sun Sutra.
Another view of the restaurant.
Sun Sutra is gorgeous, especially for a leisurely dinner. It would fit just right in at Bangsar! It is on the same row as SunBa Retro Bar and SunKarma Chillout Lounge (yes, also owned by the same affable guy who does not mince his words).
The Sun Group also runs Sun Cafe, Sunset Beach Resort, Matahari Malay restaurant, Sunvillage Seafood restaurant and Sunflower Handicrafts Shop-Sunmall. A friend who had stayed at Sunset Beach Resort a few weeks earlier was raving about the detailing of the Balinese-inspired boutique resort. It is evident that Jeffrey has put the same amount of love and care into Sun Sutra.
Added to that, the staff at Sun Sutra made our dinner go exceptionally well. They are some of the most enthusiastic and helpful ones I’ve come across. None of that surliness, no sirree. The staff happily bounce around for you and no request is too inane for them.
The decor is tastefully simple in black and white with exotic Sanskrit characters carved in wood as you enter the open concept restaurant. Diners who take a table in the middle of the restaurant can look up and see the stars in the night sky!
Nic’s order of lamb shank… good for large eaters!
Foodwise, try the lamb shank (RM36) because the lamb practically melts in your mouth. My grilled king prawns (RM38) were all right though a bit on the salty side. And desserts! Their bestseller is the blueberry cheesecake (RM14) and the banoffee cake (RM14). I would have enjoyed the dessert if I had not eaten so much of the appetisers – Bokchoy Salad (RM15) and Thai Salad which is the Papaya Salad (RM15). OK, I was hungry that night. Or maybe I glugged too much of the Malibu Pineapple (RM15). Yes, one must not forget that liquor is affordable on this duty-free island and we must, simply must take some even if I am not much of a drinker.
The piece de resistance was not the food, however. It was the “best restroom in Asia” (hey, that’s on his website, ok). You must sneak a peek at the loo. No men or women signs on the door. Heck, there isn’t even a door! You walk right in, and you see a restroom that you can really rest in! (If you want better pictures of the loo, go to the Sun Group’s website.)
Yes, this is the loo!
All the cubicles are lined with mirrors so you can see all your unsightly wobbly bits as you do your business (that’s if you’re not worrying if anyone can see you because the mirrors do confuse!). You can take in the lovely little fountain too as you contemplate this restroom experience. You get fresh towels to delicately wipe your hands. No ugly toilet paper in this place. And fresh frangipanis all over the place. I heard that the open restroom concept is also evident at Sun Cafe, its sister cafe down the road. I did not manage to get to Sun Cafe but that’s probably next on my list of must-visit places in Langkawi!
Jalan Teluk Baru, Pantai Tengah, 07000 Langkawi. Website: www.sungrouplangkawi.com Tel: 04 9531 800.
Tulsi Garden is among the handful of Indian restaurants in Langkawi. The wonderful thing about dining in Langkawi is that the owners come by and talk to you. At Tulsi Garden, Palani the owner did just that – he came by to ask if the food was too spicy. We had asked the chef to tone down the spiciness of the dishes that we ordered. We didn’t want to burn our tongues! Each of us picked a dish to order, and shared with each other, either eating it with naan or plain rice.
The cosy interior of Tulsi Garden.
As I am more of a cheese person, I enjoyed the Palak Paneer as it really is comfort food, all creamy and soothing. The Chicken Varuval is worthy of mention too but the best dish was the Dry Mutton Curry (the name escapes me now). Surprisingly, their Chettinad Fish arrived whole, head to tail intact, with a lovely gravy that complimented the freshness of the fish. Yes, fresh seafood is aplenty here on Langkawi.
We also tried the yet-unnamed ice cream with liquor (yes,one cannot run away from it here) courtesy of Palani who wanted us to give him our opinion of self-concocted dessert. We didn’t mind being guinea pigs because the ice-cream was really rich and indulgent. The ice cream will be a new addition to the menu, if only he could find a suitable name for it! Definitely not for children!
It’s best to sit al-fresco outside rather than in the restaurant as it tends to be warm in the restaurant. And yes, Palani is from Penang.
No. 6, Lot 2863, Jalan Teluk Baru, Pantai Tengah, 07100 Langkawi. Tel: 04 955 3011
(Next to Tulsi Garden)
Ample parking space at L’Osteria.
The owner of L’Osteria is the very hunkerlicious Lorenzo who looks more like an Italian model than a restaurateur. When we met him, he had just flown back from KL where he had a good time celebrating Italy’s win in the World Cup!
Like all Italian fine dining, his restaurant is tastefully done without being overwhelming. I was first attracted to the contemporary art prints (see picture below) which stared back nonchalantly at you. But we weren’t there for the art. Of course not!
The food especially the seafood linguine which I ordered was light, tart and just right, though I was having a massive headache at that time. James’ ravioli looked pleasingly delicious, swimming in some cheesy sauce which I cannot recall right now.
If you take ribeye or tenderloin, be prepared for a huge chunk of meat. Whatever it is you order, leave some space in your stomach for the Tiramisu. I was too full for any but James insisted we try it. When I tasted it, I wished I hadn’t adamantly insisted on not having any! Even if you are not here for dinner, just order the Tiramisu. It’s one Italian dessert you don’t want to miss.
We heard about Tapaz from our friend, Hamzah who runs the horse stables near Telaga Tujuh. He swears by the place so we decided to check it out.
Tapaz is located at Telaga Harbour which feels so Mediterranean and un-Malaysian! It’s that same spiffy place Dr M has his bakery. When we were there, the bakery wasn’t even launched yet.
You can dine outside at Tapaz, al-fresco while gazing at the gorgeous, shiny yachts in the evening sunset or you can dine inside the restaurant which is cooler. We even saw Azahar Mansor (ok, Datuk Azahar Mansor) having a meal with his friends there that night.
Hamzah’s recommendation was for the 300 gm Ribeye Steak (RM48) which Nic enjoyed thoroughly, bloody though it was. As you can see I am not a meat person. I lean towards fish. That’s why I ordered the Grilled Tuna Steak (RM25) which came with fries (how odd!) and a light salad. I believed a potato salad would have been a better accompaniment!
We ordered a whole jug of Sangria (RM20) – yes, I know, Sangria seems to be the kind of drink I like most! Well, it makes me happy to drink this fruity alcoholic punch. The waitress told us it was Happy Hour (12 noon to 8pm) and we were feeling that we needed some nice ending to our beautiful day so Sangria it was. We each had about two and a half glasses of Sangria and that perhaps made us slightly inebriated (so no photos were taken as you can see…) and light-headed. I was eyeing the Tapas Set (RM50) which looked like something I’d like to try but that would definitely be for another trip. I guess that’s why the place is called Tapaz.