Do Kelantan restaurant menus lean heavily towards a Southern Thai influence? Maybe the question on peoples lips should be; Where would Southern Thai cuisine be without the influence of the culinary art of the Kelantanese?
Sumptuous breakfasting continues unabated as dishes such as Puteri Mandi, Laksam, Kangkung and Belud are prepared to tempt the hungry Kelantanese.
So what would one expect to find on the menu in typical Kelantan restaurants?
Without wishing to pit chef against chef and in the best interests of culinary diplomacy, it may be better to cast gastronomic history to one side and just appreciate the mouth-watering delicacies of this entire area.
As with most areas of Malaysia sweet tasting food is very popular in Kelantan restaurants with an emphasis on coconut milk and sugar in many favoured dishes.
Yati Ayam Percik
One of my favourite Kelantanese meals is a state signature dish called Ayam Percik which is chicken grilled over a wood fire and served with a coconut sauce mixed with local seasoning and it is usually accompanied with local herbs and greens.
Yati Ayam Percik does not just rely on its signature dish for its good reputation as the leading Kelantan culinary eaterie as the various grilled chicken and fish accompanied by the many and varied sweet delicacies ensure that this Kota Bharu restaurant is full seven nights a week.
The best way to stereotype Kelantan cuisine is to describe it as a mix of sweet, sour, salty, spicy and creamy, but most of all it is a pinnacle of gastronomic splendour on the culinary map of Malaysia.
A Kelantanese favourite snack is Keropok Gote that are fish sausages cut into bite sized pieces and deep fried to a savoury perfection that is adored by all. Jala Mas, Taik Itek and Akok Kelantan are other sweet tasting snacks popular in market stalls throughout the state.
Laksa is a Malaysian favourite that is prepared by different methods in every state, Laksa Kelantan is a sought after dish with a full bodied flavour adding local herbs to the fish and noodles served in a rich creamy sauce.
The intricacies of tasting Kelantan style Tom Yam would not be lost north of the border as the soup tastes sweeter, spicier, hotter and creamier when compared to other Malaysian states.
The Kelantan style Somtam moves away from the sweet taste in favour of a more spicier and sour flavoured Papaya salad that is a favourite dish in the northern town of Tumpat.
Yati Ayam Percik on Jalan Long Yunus is a Kota Bharu restaurant specialising in this dish although there are many market stalls that serve this mouth watering culinary delight throughout Kelantan.
Whereas in Kelantan the rice breakfast menu is a bit more extensive with nasi berlauk, nasi kerabu, nasi dagang, nasi tumpang and nasi kapit all cooked to perfection and ready to delight your morning tastebuds.
Kelantan Restaurants And Cuisine
If you start with breakfast then most Malaysian restaurants are limited to serving one rice dish, Nasi Lemak (nasi is Malay for rice).