What You'll Get in Banting

When I got my Flavours magazine early this month, I was thrilled to read that Banting was one of those towns featured in their foodie booklet. When I scoured the booklet, I read that Banting is a one-street town and the only worthwhile food there is the Beggar’s Chicken at Jugra (which you need to order in advance).
OK, this would rile me and Hoyoyi. While I am not fond of Banting immensely, I did grow up in that “one-street town” and like all impatient girls, I did spend a good part of those times thinking, “There must be more to life than this provincial town”.

It’s also home to the badminton brothers, the Sideks. When they won the Thomas Cup in ’92, they came back to Banting with that cup! I kid you not. The whole town turned up to cheer them on. Did I not say it’s provincial?
Of course, I hot-trotted off to USM once I got my STPM results and I have been in Penang since. BUT, a biggie but, Banting has grown so much that each time I go home to visit my parents, it never ceases to amaze me.
Yes, it’s still Banting. It’s still rather slow and people there tend to be a bit, hmmm, communal. Nothing escapes them. Everyone knows you. And that’s both good and bad!
Banting is growing because of KLIA. It’s just 20 minutes away.
It’s funny how I disliked Banting; now I get pretty defensive when outsiders say there’s nothing much in that town except Beggar’s Chicken! Who says there’s ONLY Beggar’s Chicken in Banting?
Each time I go home, there are 3 things I must eat. Otherwise my trip home isn’t complete.
1) Nasi lemak with sambal sotong
I’ve been eating this nasi lemak since I was in primary school. They’re still a family business but they still do a roaring business every day. The nasi lemak is sold out if you go around 10 plus in the morning and seats are limited. Their sambal sotong is sweetish and makes the nasi lemak great. This nasi lemak stall is in Banting town and locals throng this place every morning – it’s very muhibbah with Chinese and Malays all sitting down to a good rice meal. I usually ask for an extra – bulls’ eye fried egg slathered with sotong sambal. Yum! One tip: If you want more nasi lemak, make sure you tar-pau. If you eat in, one plate is never enough! You will find 2 nasi lemak stalls side by side but go for the one in the middle.
2) Bak kut teh (BKT)
Oh, all the bak kut teh in Penang cannot compare to this robust, dark bak kut teh done the old style way in Banting town (the shop is diagonally opposite the Hokkien Association building). I love Penang food but bak kut teh in Penang generally lets me down.
When I need some old, southern style (think Klang) BKT, this is the place I go to. It’s run by my dad’s ex-student and the guy is often generous with his pork bones, offal, quail eggs, fried beancurd, yu char kueh and lettuce. Yes, all this comes in one huge claypot to your table.
The simmering soup gives off a delicious herbal aroma. Put lots of sliced cili padi and chopped raw garlic on top on the BKT meat and you will know why this place often runs out of BKT by 9-ish in the morning! Whenever I come here, I see many familiar faces, from ex-teachers (colleagues of my dad’s) to friends I haven’t seen in years. Ah damn. Now I am hungry for some Banting BKT. My family knows I have to eat my BKT at least once when I am in Banting. I can also slurp all the soup if no one’s looking!
3) Seafood at Kang Guan, Carey Island
I have been coming to Kang Guan ever since I was a little kid. I love the abundant and cheap seafood here. Carey Island is 15-minutes’ drive from Banting but it is worth the drive! Also another muhibbah place – it’s pork-free so lots of factory people from NEC, Toshiba, etc (from the Teluk Panglima Garang Industrial Zone) come here for dinners and celebrations. They’re such regulars that these MNCs have special “reserved” plastic tags with their company name. Actually the seafood restaurant is not on Carey Island. It’s just near the bridge before Carey Island.
There are 2 seafood restaurants here – Kang Guan is my fave while my sis likes the one opposite. We usually fight over which one to go to! I like Kang Guan best despite no aircond. I am a purist. I like to dig into my marmite crabs with gusto, while dripping sweat! I like to look at the river as I eat, though it’s a murky river that’s more brown than green. I like the feel of the planks under my feet too. Everything is good here – they do very good crabs (all ways of cooking), hae kor, prawns, mussels, lala, anything that swims or crawls on the seabed. Prices are lipsmacking good too – usually a table of 7 persons cost about RM150, inclusive of tea and rice.
Of course the Beggar’s Chicken at Jugra is great too but you cannot be eating that alone. You get lotus leaf rice, and other assortment of dishes too. But my point is, there’s lots of stuff to be found in Banting. Have you heard of the cendol in Banting? Good stuff. Sold by an Indian man for the longest time. And Banting has Kampung Sg Lang which sells some of the best kerepek ubi you’ll ever eat. The kerepek is a cottage industry in the Malay kampung but one that’s often overlooked by visitors passing by the town.
And then I hear that there’s much food to be found in Tanjung Sepat too – seafood, fresh steaming pau’s, red dragon fruits etc.
But I think Hoyoyi can add on to my list of Banting foods. ๐Ÿ˜‰ She’s even more of a Banting person than I am!

26 thoughts on “What You'll Get in Banting”

  1. I have succeeded if my description of BKT made you hungry! I got hungry too just thinking of the BKT, now that it’s raining. What better way to keep warm than to have a nice, warm bowl of BKT with lots of chopped garlic (enough to keep a village of vampires away at least!). Sigh…… go to Banting Kenny. Or try the one in Jenjarom, about 10 minutes before you reach Banting. The BKT there is full of meat and it starts at 6am.

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  2. haha…i just check here la…
    but in maya’s list, the only one that i introduce to all my frineds are nasi lemak… ei, maya i still go there weekly, u still owe me a nasi lemak treat… from last year i wait for your return till now… aiyooo….~ btw, something that maya forgot, what?!!! cannot be, rite? the nasi lemak sotong also serve very good TEMPEH!!! is slim, it’s salty, and is crunchy!!! everyweek i will ask the boss reserved to me, but when i go after 9.30am on every sunday, left nothing… last month, we even finished those on their staff table…! hahaha… a small tiny bowl with left over weird shape TEMPEH, and those little crunchy one… yum yum…~
    the bakuteh wise, i am too picky, not a good one to me, as i love real OILY RICE bakuteh, which banting dun have OILY RICE, they only ask u to mix the fried onion on top, which really drop my appetite…~ so, bakuteh still abck to klang!!! but the one that maya intro, is okay to me…~ at least the soup, “liao” is good enough…~
    what else i will introduce my friend to eat when they come banting?
    few stall from the nasi lemak stall, the first hainanese kopitiam on ur right, maya, u eaten there before? they served very good toasted bread. those 1 satu biji satu biji one, or either steam also good, u must tell them u want butter and kaya, the butter is frozen and they sliced it, just like “ah weng” in imbi pasar. you will love it, and i must say though half boil egg is just little thing, but the boss here, they will open up the egg for u, and all eggs served on your table is in real half boil…~ i dunno bout their hainanese tea, but, their teh o ice limao and kopi- O are always my most favorite.
    what else to eat in banting? near the nasi lemak stall, i mean the housing area opposite telekom, there is a house selling something really good, we call it “sab ba” sab ba means u put the pork meat to the hot water till it cook, so, they boil the pork meat, pork mince, add in bitter gourd, add in some vege,the soup is clear and sweet, and the bitter gourd is in fresh green color, not bitter when u cook in this way, IS REALLY TASTY!!!

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  3. haha…i just check here la…
    1. but in maya’s list, the only one that i introduce to all my friends are nasi lemak… ei, maya i still go there weekly, u still owe me a nasi lemak treat… from last year i wait for your return till now… aiyooo….~ btw, something that maya forgot, what?!!! cannot be, rite? the nasi lemak sotong also serve very good TEMPEH!!! is slim, it’s salty, and is crunchy!!! everyweek i will ask the boss reserved to me, but when i go after 9.30am on every sunday, left nothing… last month, we even finished those on their staff table…! hahaha… a small tiny bowl with left over weird shape TEMPEH, and those little crunchy one… yum yum…~
    the bakuteh wise, i am too picky, not a good one to me, as i love real OILY RICE bakuteh, which banting dun have OILY RICE, they only ask u to mix the fried onion on top, which really drop my appetite…~ so, bakuteh still abck to klang!!! but the one that maya intro, is okay to me…~ at least the soup, “liao” is good enough…~
    what else i will introduce my friend to eat when they come banting?
    2. few stall from the nasi lemak stall, the first hainanese kopitiam on ur right, maya, u eaten there before? they served very good toasted bread. those 1 satu biji satu biji one, or either steam also good, u must tell them u want butter and kaya, the butter is frozen and they sliced it, just like “ah weng” in imbi pasar. you will love it, and i must say though half boil egg is just little thing, but the boss here, they will open up the egg for u, and all eggs served on your table is in real half boil…~ i dunno bout their hainanese tea, but, their teh o ice limao and kopi- O are always my most favorite.
    3. what else to eat in banting? near the nasi lemak stall, i mean the housing area opposite telekom, there is a house selling something really good, we call it “sab ba” sab ba means u put the pork meat to the hot water till it cook, so, they boil the pork meat, pork mince, add in bitter gourd, add in some vege,the soup is clear and sweet, and the bitter gourd is in fresh green color, not bitter when u cook in this way, IS REALLY TASTY!!! they soup base also use pork bones to boil… is kinda like bakuteh, but of course, with no herbs and spices, i dunno you ever try this before, maya. Btw, u only can find this from banting, not even from kl ^ – ~ ( kinda hao lian now…hahah)
    4. what else in banting? i think the most famous lee tian kee’s restaurant, they are award winners though not as famous as long seng in nilai (now in nilai) but is good too, u know what, i always have wedding dinner course from kl, and i must tell you, our lee tian kee is much better than them, the “kao ba” ba = meat, kao ba with man tou (bread) yummy… their roasted pork, their OH PUT is also good…~
    5. ada apa lagi?!!! hmmm… our fried kuey tiao is also famous, dun expect kuey tiao like penang, as banting type is dried and stong smell with “wok” of course, there is one stall always use banana leaves, and that is already a credit to them, of course with see ham, i hate those fried kuey tiao stall with no see ham…
    6. TODI…!!! the indian alchohol, though i never tried, aiks, i cannot simply follwo those guys to oil palm orchard to drink liquor like that in banting, ppl might thought u are naughty… :p though i m too…~ but they now also serve good dinner those big fried, seafood…
    let me think what else we have…btw, i have never eat in carrey seafood restaurant… :p

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  4. Hi Hoyoyi
    Ha, you see, you know Banting better than me! I must try the other food you mentioned. I don’t like the kueh teow though, too oily and too little ingredients. Oh yes, Lee Tian Kee is always famous for ‘chu char’ and wedding dinners. Must try the rest when I go home. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Yes, this time I will call you up. I usually go home on weekdays and I know you are only there on weekends.

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  5. Hi d: Banting is about 22km away from KLIA in Sepang. It is near a famous beach called Morib. It is a rather small town but at least it is more than a one-street town (tsk, tsk, Flavours mag can be too critical sometimes).

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  6. well..it’s very helpfull.Thanks alot !!
    I not really know about Banting even i am from the town,haha..and thanks for describe it with lovely words,i love Banting too ๐Ÿ™‚

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  7. Hi Iris: As you know, Hoyoyi and I are technically ‘from’ Banting. Share with us your favourite makan places too. Did I mention Banting has one of the best kerepek ubi around? And cheap too.

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  8. Hi Jan
    The nasi lemak is in a row of food shops in the heart of the town, near the Banting bus station/ old market. I don’t know how to describe but if you go to Banting, and stop anyone and ask them to give you directions to the famous Banting nasi lemak with sambal sotong, you can get there easily. Just remember, go early…. before 10am. There are 2 nasi lemak shops side by side – try Pak Musa’s shop (. It’s been operating for more than 20 years!

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  9. Thanks for the info.
    By the way you are a pretty girl but your name doesn’t seem to fit your looks. You look more chinese than anything else.
    Hv a nice day.

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  10. I have tried the BKT and the nasi lemak stall.
    Nasi lemak is too sweet to my liking but the rice is nice. However I won’t go all the way there for it.
    The BKT is pretty average by Klang’s standard. The guy cutting the meat is very unhygienic. I caught him dropping a quail egg and then picking it up and putting it back in the bowl. When he saw me looking at him he got this sheepish smile. I wouldn’t go there again even if it was free.
    Sorry Maya, one man’s meat is another man’s poison.

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  11. Hi Valium: Yes, Banting has its own drive thru McDonalds. How globalised this little town has turned out. I know it’s silly and strange but to judge a town’s status based on fastfood is to judge its inhabitants. We are now worthy of McDonalds and KFC and Pizza Hut. When I was growing up, no fastfood place at all!
    Hi Jan: Well, as they say, one man’s meat…… food is like that. Either it gels with you or it does not. Maybe this time it’s not to your taste. But never mind. At least you got a taste of Banting food. Dirty? Haha, have you taken a look at Penang’s hawker stalls? Dirty is an understatement here.
    Hi Ricky: Thanks. Banting has food that’s very homemade (with prices that are kinder to the pocket). It’s not glamorous food and you are looking at large portions at pretty decent prices which is very good for the current economic situation. Zhu zhar kopitiam in Banting are plentiful and cheaper than most Klang or KL shops. Have fun!

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  12. Hi Krista,
    I run a blog specifically on Banting, and the surrounding places. I am reviewing food (halal & non-halal), places of interest and recreation. There will be a page specially for Bak Kut Teh, although that may need some time since there are many Bak Kut Teh shops in Banting to review now.
    Thanks to Google Maps, I have integrated directions to Banting (from KESAS and from Klang) as well as how to precisely get to the places I have posted.
    Be sure to drop by once in a while.
    http://banting.wordpress.com/
    BTW, love reading your posts.

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    • Hi Julian: Great to meet another Bantingite! I do miss a lot of Banting food. Went over to your blog and man, have I tried most of the shops you blogged about. Ah yes, BKT. You must try the one in Jenjarom – it starts at 7am and lots of people come for the BKT. Thanks for your indepth posts too about the drinks, food and yes, useful to have, the GoogleMaps! I look forward to your posts since I’m always on the lookout for good Banting food with my parents (they keep going to the same old same old places!)

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  13. Ah yes, we do have a lot of those in Banting, which is why it’s taking me such a long time, since I don’t eat those stuff everyday. One such shop selling good “bitter gourd pork soup” is at Jalan Telok Bunut. In fact, there’s another shop nearby, “Seong Lai” which I think has the best soup. The photos are in my desktop, just need to compile and add soon =)

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