Langkawi's multi-racial population of Malay, Chinese, Indian and other races have each passed on their own favourite recipes, ensuring an interesting and wide range of cuisines to for the discerning diner to choose from.
In Kuah town, you will find food stalls in front of the City Bayview Hotel. The streets behind the Sime Langkawi Duty Free Complex nearby houses inexpensive Chinese coffee shops, serving local dishes such as Chicken Rice and Char Koay Teow (fried noodle dish). For "international" food, hop over to the new Langkawi Fair shopping complex near the jetty where the familiar sight of McDonald's will greet you. There are also a number of inexpensive Malay restaurants and food stalls in the vicinity of Kuah's seaside promenade.
If there's a speciality in Kuah for dinner, it must be the seafood. One cannot miss the seafood restaurants in the evenings as they are usually brightly lit and loud in character. Most of them will carry their own live fishes/crustaceans in aquariums for customers to view and select their " dinner victim". Among the noteworthy seafood restaurants there are the Sari Seafood and the Chinese-style Restoran Langkawi.
Pantai Cenang, the island's liveliest beach, has some colourful dining outlets serving all kinds of food. A popular place for good Chinese and western food at reasonable cost is the Hot Wok Cafe. For Malay and western fare, try the Restoran Pantai at the northern end, a more pricey establishment but with fine ambience. In between, there are The Backofen, a German restaurant, and The Champor-Champor, a garden restaurant serving western and Asian cuisine. Some of the hotels and resorts here also have in-house restaurants which offer good food, especially the buffet meals.
At the adjacent Pantai Tengah, some decently priced eateries can be found. A sample list include the restaurant at Charlie Motel (Thai/Malaysian food), Hoyas Cafe (pastries and good breakfast meals) and White Sand Seafood Restaurant (Chinese style).
The Berjaya Langkawi Beach Resort at Burau Bay houses a unique restaurant on stilts 200metres at sea where diners' only access is to take a short boatride from the resort's pier. Called Restoran Kelong Seri Melayu Langkawi, this upmarket restaurant serves seafood/Malay cooking for those willing to splurge.
But the venue for an unforgettable dining experience has to be the Barn Thai restaurant, 10km from Kuah town on the island's east coast. Built deep in the middle of a mangrove forest, it is accessible only via an interesting 450-metre-long wooden walkway a journey to experience even if you don't eat there. Open for lunch and dinner, the restaurant serves upmarket Thai food which is excellent.
Barn Thai Langkawi restaurant in the mangrove swamp
Barn Thai, a jazzy, back-to-nature themed Thai restaurant is built right in the heart of a mangrove swamp. It's accessible via an interesting 450 meter wooden walkway through the mangrove forest reserve. There are wooden gazebos along the walkway for you to rest or indulge in spot of bird-watching.
A marriage between East and West, Barn Thai Langkawi boasts spicy Thai cuisine and soothing blue jazz music.
Barn Thai Langkawi
Kampung Belanga Pecah
Kedah Darul Aman
Tel: 60-4-966 6699
Fax: 60-4-966 5348