Nasi Dagang Pak Malau: Fish Curry and a Stunning View

By Mark Wiens 14 Comments
Nasi Dagang Pak Malau
Nasi Dagang Pak Malau in Langkawi

Sometimes it’s not only about the food, but about the entire experience.

At Nasi Dagang Pak Malau, a small neighborhood countryside restaurant in Langkawi, the food was spectacular.

But the friendly owner, and the view overlooking the rice fields with the highest mountain on the island in the background, is what made it even better.

In this blog post, I’ll cover one of the best meals I ate when I was in Langkawi.

Langkawi
A beautiful setting from the beginning

The first thing you’ll notice as soon as you arrive to Nasi Dagang Pak Malau is the picture perfect setting.

There are two different areas you can sit, right underneath the thatch roof of the restaurant (which is open air), or you can grab one of the yellow tables set up right on the edge of the rice field.

things to do in Langkawi
View of the rice fields and Gunung Raya in the distance

If it’s early enough in the day, or if there’s shade, a table on the edge of the rice field with a view of Gunung Raya (the tallest mountain in Langkawi) is definitely supreme.

Malaysian curry
The curries looked incredible

The curries all sit at the front of the restaurant, but rather than being served in big metal square containers as is usually the case at rice and curry restaurants throughout this region, each curry was neatly displayed in a glass bowl.

Just from the color of the curries, the oil content, and the aroma of the curries, I could immediately tell a difference in the quality of their cooking.

Once you go to the front of the restaurant, you can pick and choose the curry, or variety of curries, you’d like, and they will be served on your plate, and then you can find a seat.

best restaurant in Langkawi
Delicious food at Nasi Dagang Pak Malau in Langkawi

What is nasi dagang?

Nasi dagang is a Malaysian dish of rice and fish curry that originates from the eastern Malaysian states of Terengganu (where the owner is from) and Kelantan (where his wife is from).

“Traditionally nasi dagang is only rice and fish curry, but since we have many variably tastes here in Langkawi, we also choose to serve a few different extra curries as well,” said the owner.

nasi dagang
Nasi dagang is traditionally served with just rice and fish curry

At Nasi Dagang Pak Malau, you’ll not only find the traditionally fish curry, but there was also chicken curry, beef rendang, mutton korma, and a few others to choose from – I’m definitely not complaining about that!

mutton curry
I couldn’t resist a piece of mutton korma either

I knew I needed to try the traditional nasi dagang plate of fish curry and rice, topped with a scoop of pickled cucumbers and carrots, but also, not for the first time in my life, I just could not resist getting a piece of mutton korma on the side.

The rice was fragrantly cooked with onions, ginger, and something called halba, which I didn’t know until looking it up afterwards, is fenugreek seeds. The rice had a nice aroma to it.

The fish curry was among the finest versions of fish curry I had eaten in a long time.

The curry was rich with spices, creamy from coconut milk, yet not overly rich, and the fish, which was a type of tuna, was meaty and dense.

mutton
Both the fish and mutton were excellent

The mutton korma was also delicious.

The meat was tender and juicy, and the sauce was a rich and buttery tasting – not nearly as spicious (that’s one of my favorite words) as the fish curry, but more rich and creamy.

Both the fish curry and mutton korma went extremely well together.

nasi dagang
I never wanted my plate of nasi dagang to end…

The pickled cucumbers, carrots, and onions, had a wonderful crispness to them, and they were just slightly sour and sweet.

Another additional ingredient that enhanced the nasi dagang even further was a bowl of green chilies sitting on the side.

While eating this incredible meal of nasi dagang, the owner handed me an extra bowl of fish curry sauce, which I proceeded to drown my rice in, and loved every single bite.

beef rendang
Beef rendang

Ying, my wife, decided to get a portion of chicken curry and a piece of beef rendang, which I had the pleasure of tasting.

Both dishes she ordered were equally delicious, it was some of the best beef rendang I had ever had – a nice fragrance of dried chillies and that toasted coconut (kerisik).

meat
Look at that meat!

Sometimes rendang curry can be a little on the sweet side for me, but this time it was perfect.

The spices and coconut were caked up on the sides of the meat, and it was just embedded with flavor. The beef also had an excellent natural flavor to it, not too tender, and not tough either.

Malaysian menu
The menu

Here’s the extent of the menu… I think.

You really actually don’t need a menu to eat at Nasi Dagang Pak Malau, you just show up, choose your dishes, and you will be taken care of.

restaurants in Langkawi
The sign at the front of the restaurant

The view, the food, the friendliness of the owners and the entire environment, makes Nasi Dagang Pak Malau in Langkawi a legendary restaurant.

If you have a few minutes, be sure to watch the video above, for the full meal experience and the atmosphere.

(If you can’t see the video, watch it on YouTube here)

Nasi Dagang Pak Malau
The outside of Nasi Dagang Pak Malau

Conclusion

When I was in Langkawi, one morning for breakfast we went to a restaurant called Nasi Dagang Pak Malau to eat a Malaysian dish of rice and fish curry known as nasi dagang.

Along with feasting at a Malaysian wedding, sitting on the edge of the rice field eating one of the finest fish curries I’d eaten in a long time, paired with the natural beauty and the exceptionally kind and gracious owners of the restaurant, made it one of the top meals I had during my time in Langkawi.

If you visit Langkawi and love delicious food, make it a point to get to Nasi Dagang Pak Malau.

Nasi Dagang Pak Malau

Address: Jalan Makam Mahsuri, Mukim Ulu Melaka, Kuah, Kedah, Langkawi, Malaysia
Open hours: I think they are open from Tuesday – Thursday and Saturday and Sunday (closed on Friday and Monday), and they are open from about 8 am – 2 pm or until they sell out, best to go for breakfast
Prices: A plate of food with just one curry will cost about 6 MYR and with two curries like I got it cost 7.50 MYR
How to get there: The restaurant is located just off Jalan Makam Mahsuri (where the museum is located). As for what I know, you need to either have your own transportation, or arrange transportation (like a taxi) to get there.

14 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • Azman

    4 years ago

    Very expensive for breakfast nasi dagang hire,

  • Abdul Rahmat Omar

    4 years ago

    I’ve already made plans to come back here. Bought the tickets, booked the room. All I have to do now is to drive to Nasi Dagang Pak Malau

  • Rohana

    5 years ago

    Sedap sungguh masakan Mak Malau and great service from pak Malau….terbaekkk…..puas hati sangat sangat makan kat sini…lovely malaysian tradisional maker of nasi dagang…awsome!!!

  • Henrik Müller

    5 years ago

    Hi, Mark – I discovered the two of you (on YouTube) two months ago, and many hours have gone by watching your food adventures in one of my favorite parts of the world. It doesn’t get any better than that! So, it’s about time I hooked on to your web site as well.

    Personally, I have since long come to the point where I can happily eat south-east Asian curries for breakfast, lunch and dinner ((not exactly “normal” for a Scandinavian), so I get endless inspiration from watching your stuff, to the degree where I may make a mental note watching something in the afternoon, and in the evening preparing it.

    /Henrik

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Hey Henrik, great to hear from you, thank you very much for your support, really appreciate it. Glad you love Asian food so much as well, haha, curry for three meals a day is a great idea!

  • Theresa Oakwood

    5 years ago

    Hi Mark, thanks for the great tip. I had the opportunity to have breakfast at Pak Malau. Wonderful experience!
    By the way, do you have the recipes or do you know where to get them?
    Thanks for a short note
    Theresa

  • Sherry Osinga

    5 years ago

    When watching your videos it’s good to have a curry standing by, I get so hungry! It’s kind of ridiculous…. For this one I happened to have a tuna and clam curry in the fridge. How funny.

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Haha, good to hear that Sherry thank you for watching!

  • Michael Banta

    6 years ago

    Malaysia and Thai food are the same taste and different texture?

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Hi Michael, there are some similarities to northern Malaysian food and southern Thai food, but there are many different dishes as well.

  • Izy Berry

    6 years ago

    Great post mark!! the place looks very awsome!! and the food looks delicious definitely is something i want try.