With dazzling views over Langkawi’s azure Andaman waters, tranquil harbours, lush tropical jungle and stunning sunsets, these restaurants are a feast for the eyes, and the tastebuds.
1. The Cliff Restaurant and Bar
One of the most sumptuous dining experiences on the island, the Cliff straddles a rocky headland to take in immense views over the sweeping stretch of white sand, turquoise water and off-shore islets of Cenang Beach. The restaurant is highly regarded for its chic interior design, excellent service and an exotic Mediterranean and Pan-Asian menu with a modern twist.
A Langkawi institution, the beloved Mangoes is hidden away behind landscaped gardens in Kuala Teriang, a small fishing village on the edge of a coastal mangrove forest. Overlooking the water, Mangoes has a rustic, charming and intimate ambience, decorated with glass fishing floats and tropical flowers. Mangoes Australian proprietor is known for her wicked homemade desserts (such as Bailey’s cheesecake). Spare ribs, schnitzel and other hearty, homestyle western dishes make Mangoes an expat favourite.
3. Yellow Café
Right on the beach at Pantai Cenang, Yellow is justly famous for its sunset views – but this laidback café is a treat at any time of day. If you’re just dropping in for a pitstop, there are hammocks and beanbags set up on the beach itself, perfect for chilling out with a cooling cocktail or a banana milkshake. For something more substantial, try their excellent steaks and pizzas.
4. The Pavilion
In a lush tropical jungle setting just back from Datai Beach, the Pavilion at The Datai in Kedah boasts some of Langkawi’s best Thai cuisine. The atmosphere here is nothing short of sublime, perched above the rainforest canopy in a classic high-roofed wooden pavilion on 30m high stilts. Headed up by a Thai chef, the restaurant honours authentic Thai cooking using freshly harvested herbs and local produce from the surrounding area.
5. Kayu Puti
A journey into the realm of high class dining, Kayu Puti at the posh St Regis resort is pure luxury, perched over the sparkling waters of a natural lagoon. The interiors are plush and elegant, but the real star of the show is the mesmerising view over the Andaman Sea. The Asian fusion inspired menu by renowned Indonesian chef Beno Wickasana makes Kayu Puti a truly world class fine dining experience. If you wish to really indulge, try the tasting menu, which might include Andaman tiger prawn ceviche and charcoal grilled wagyu beef.
Ever had a delicious meal in the middle of a rice paddy? A little off the beaten track, Pia’s overlooks a vivid green rice field, giving you a closer connection to where the local food in Langkawi comes from. Feast in the open air or in the warmly furnished dining room, with rays of sunlight filtering through its floor-to-ceiling windows. The menu highlights are skilfully cooked versions of traditional Malaysian dishes – regular diners rave about the curries, which include beef rendang and sambal fish.
7. Cba Restaurant and Bar
A please-all menu and great beverages have made Cba a firm favourite in Cenang Beach. Just a stone’s throw from the water’s edge, it’s a fabulous sunset-watching spot, made even better by the 4 to 7pm cocktail hour. Sit outside by the palm-tree fringed sands and tuck into Spanish-style tapas, steaks and pastas. Breakfast is served buffet style and includes a glass of bubbly.
8. Charlie’s Bar and Grill
Attached to the exclusive Royal Langkawi Yacht Club in Kuah town, Charlie’s strikes a perfect balance between luxurious and laidback. Dine alfresco on the 36m long harbourfront deck for views over the sparkling waters and bobbing boats in the marina. The fine chefs at Charlie’s serve up a mix of Malaysian favourites (think mee goreng mamak and chicken curry with pickles) and international dishes (the braised lamb shanks are a highlight). A favourite hang-out for yachties, the bar is a buzzy place from afternoons onwards.