The list of Restaurants is loading up . . .
by Mathijs Nanne, July 2010
Lunch time was approaching fast and I was very hungry, who wouldn’t be. Together with my 2nd half and our daughter, I was driving along the Langkawi highway, you know the one, double lane, two way, from Kuah town to the airport. I just past the Langkawi hospital towards Padang Matsirat, then a set of traffic lights and at the next traffic lights I did a left turn. I knew what I was after. My wife didn’t and panicky enquired ‘Where are we going?’
On jalan Mata Air, just before the 'Tok Senik Resort', is the Restoran Siti Fatimah. I read and heard about it occasionally but never really knew where it was until some time ago. I must have driven past it at least 3 times before I recognized it. I quickly learned that it is popular by locals and tour operators, as there were plenty of cars and one big bus parked there. I still managed to park though, as with a little bit of creativity you can pretty much park anywhere here.
I noticed many local herbs, shrubs and other greens planted all around the restaurant. It gave it a very cozy and local feel. On the grounds there is the odd house or two and a very odd shop, t‐shirts anyone??
Inside it had a nice buzz; there were quite a few people. Luckily the food was still plenty and the choice unbelievable, I counted at least 50 dishes. There were at least 7 types of ‘Ikan Goreng’ (BBQ fish), including catfish, plenty of curries and vegetables, a great selection of Ulam (herbs and other leaves) and 3 types of fiery hot condiments ‘Air Asam’, ‘Sambal Belacan’ and ‘Sambal Belacan Keresik’.
So we proceeded to get our rice and started helping ourselves to the many dishes. ‘Minum?’(Drinks?), was the question by a friendly service staff and we ordered our ice tea (‘Teh O Ais’), which was rather boring, considering they can do a great variety of drinks, even a mean ‘Ais Kacang’. But then, are it not the simple things that are the nicest?
I took ‘Ayam Goreng’ (fried chicken) and I pinched some of the sauce from the ‘Ayam Berempah’ (chicken cooked in spice paste), a fried egg, ‘Tuageh Kerabu’, a couple of potatoes cooked in curry Kurma, some mixed vegetables and something called ‘Pucuk Ubi’ which is a type of green leaf cooked in coconut milk.
My wife, on the other hand, went for ‘Ikan Goreng’ (fried fish), a lot of the same mixed vegetables and a considerable amount of Sambal Belacan, it would have blown my head off.
The food was great, all very fresh and well prepared. I loved the kerabu as I’m a big fan of ‘keresik’ (fried grated coconut). The fried chicken had plenty of crispy parts but the flesh was still very moist, for me the benchmark, when fried chicken is concerned. My wife, who claims to be in favour of anything salty and spicy, was very happy with the sambal. It’s slightly different with the addition of the same ‘keresik’ and the fried fish was done well since you could eat the small bones . . .
We took our time eating, not that this restaurant is particularly pretty, it is rather basic actually. But that’s not why you would be coming for. It’s the food and the ridiculous low price. When I paid (rm 15 for the 2 of us and our child, who pinched some of our food) it left me wondering how they do it, it would cost us more when we would try to cook this at home.
We left by 13.00 and more people were coming, I’m not surprised. It’s worth the detour and a great insight in local Malay food.
Restoran Siti Fatimah
Batu 5, KG. Mata Air
Jalan Makam Mahsuri
Ph. 012 4737430
Added by Kevin:
Correction on Mathijs' directions:
It should be right after the traffic lights. The restaurant is located on the right after the new housing estate and before the Snake Sanctuary.