Terengganu modern food invasion! | Image: Instagram @iamnisamk (bottom middle), others credited below
Kuala Lumpur has experienced a gentrification that has almost single-handedly been at the hands of Australian-influenced thirdwave coffee chains. It seems like Terengganu hasn’t been spared and if you’re from the east coast, or thinking about going to the east coast, this list is for you. We’ve painstakingly wrangled eight cafés/restaurants you should check out in Terengganu and have revealed everything we could find about these locations from what little there is on the internet (read: not very much).
1. Qawa Coffee
Image: Instagram @nis.abu, @eezraaqillah, @awesome_naqib, @yaasaaraa
Address: 1482, Jalan Budiman, 20400 Kuala Terengganu
Opening hours: 12pm – 12.30am Thursday to Saturday, 5pm – 2am Friday, Closed during solat hours (7pm – 8pm)
The kontena concept has really taken off in the past five years as a sustainable (read: quirky) way for business owners to spice up the look of their establishment. This movement was not lost in Terengganu it seems as is shown here in Qawa Coffee. They sell coffee, cakes and sandwiches, and offer indoor and outdoor seating.
Instagram @ qawa.coffee
2. Diff café
Image: Instagram @diffcafe
Address: Uptown Kontena, Pantai Tok Jembal, Kuala Nerus
Opening hours: 5pm – 2am
Call them: 019 954 0227 or 013 980 7227
Here’s another café build into a kontena, but this time, it’s on the beach and they sell takoyaki balls. They don’t appear to sell anything else, but there’s at least the amazing view of the beach and outdoor sitting on one side. The café is part of the Dapo Pata or Uptown Kontena initiative in Terengganu where small business owners can open up shop for a reasonable fee on the beach. If you’re in the area, be sure the check out all the other food stalls the location has to offer.
Instagram @ diffcafe
3. The Pallet Café
Image: Instagram @thepalletcafe, Twitter @ohmytranung
Address: 31041 Ground Floor, Taman Sri Permata, Jalan Tok Jembal,
Opening hours: 6pm – 1am
Call them: 012 900 5263
Conforming to the regular cafés you might find in KL, The Pallet Café employs a generous use of wooden pallets as makeshift furniture and its walls are covered in chalk markings left by its patrons. The menu is a mishmash of local and western delights with most reviews touting their Vietnamese coffee. They've recently started serving drinks in light bulb containers and have added monstrous milkshakes to the menu. Yum!
Instagram @ thepalletcafe
4. Rahsia Kitchen
Image: Instagram @rahsia_kitchen
Address: Jalan Budiman, 20400 Kuala Terengganu
Opening hours: 5pm – 11.30pm, Closed Thursday and Friday
Call them: 011 1188 0801
The ‘secret’ kitchen is frequented by locals for its western food but they also specialise in mee bandung, steaks, pasta, and sushi. The décor is a mix of black and white furniture with dim, exposed orange light bulbs hanging around the restaurant giving that warm feeling only fairy lights can give in open plains.
Instagram @ rahsia_kitchen
5. Mek Awang Café
Image: Facebook @Mek Awang, @Positive Pixel, OpenSnap @111oneoneone
Address: 139, Jalan Kampung Cina, Kuala Terengganu
Opening hours: 10am – 10pm
Call them: 09 622 0104
Offering a smorgasbord of local Chinese and Malay delights like keropok lekor, nasi hailam, Peranakan Kay Hong, ayam percik, laksam, nasi lemak ayam rempah, and laksa Terengganu, the newly opened café in Chinatown is poised to grow even more popular in the next few months. If you’re hankering for Peranakan food while you’re in Kuala Terengganu, this is the restaurant for you.
Facebook: Mek Awang
6. On The Way Kopitiam
Image: Instagram @bengteik86, @shazlinaalin, @yumenio, @hermosahana
Address: 147, Jalan Bandar, Kuala Terengganu
Opening hours: 11am – 12am, closed Wednesdays and Saturdays
Call them: 012 938 4933
Jalan-jalan Cari Makan has covered them; Neelofa visited them; Saji magazine dropped by; needless to say, they’ve had it good for themselves recently. As with the other restaurants, they serve a mixture of local and western delights but the thing that keeps popping up on their Instagram feed is the shaved ice fruit-based desserts. Maybe it’s really hot there 100% of the time and locals need the ice to cool down.
Facebook: On The Way
7. Star Anise Café
Image: Instagram @anniesohsoh, @y.i, @khalisaadila, Deviantart @justyean
Address: 82, Jalan Kampung Cina
Opening hours: 10am – 12.30am
Call them: 017 664 2368
Espresso coffee lovers rejoice! Star Anise in Chinatown is one of the few espresso brewers in Kuala Terengganu. And lending from the art-fuelled gentrification of Penang, Star Anise Café sports vibrant doodles outside of its store as well. It was reportedly illustrated by the café’s own creative director. Inside you’ll find a strong mix of Peranakan and modern influences in its design which is echoed by the sale of local souvenirs and snacks on the racks of its walls.
Instagram @ star_anisekt
8. The Syrup Vs Soda
Image: Instagram @thesyrupvssoda, @hafizshazelan
Address: Lot 3373, Jalan Batas Baru, Kuala Terengganu
Opening hours: 12pm – 5pm, 6.30pm – 12am, Closed on Friday
Call them: 09 622 7669
What this place lacks in terms of its design, it makes up for in the scrumptious-looking food. On the menu you’ll find mostly western fare with a side of those sinfully decadent milkshakes you find at Garage 51. With playful names like Milo Raksasa, Rocky Rock Latte, and Tea Dangdut Goyang, The Syrup Vs Soda has the attitude to go with its varied menu.
Instagram @ thesyrupvssoda
To see what else you can do in Terengganu, click on this link for our picks of the best islands on the east coast during May - July. Hint: it's Pulau Tenggol.