We arrive one late afternoon. Then we unpack and decide to study the Penang map and public transport system at our ease in a bar while sipping a few beers. So we walk down the steep hill towards Jalan Batu Ferringhi street.
Because we don’t have rental car and know nothing about other bars nearby yet, the nearest one with a sign that says Miami Cafe Batu Ferringhi will do.
Miami Cafe Batu Ferringhi
So we cross the road and walk down another flight of stone stairs down to the beach. We end up in a simple but cozy al fresco place with about 5 plastic tables. Two girls are watching Nickleodeon on the sofa in a little covered makeshift living room.
We pick a table near the rocks and sit down. One of the girls has stood up and brings us the menu. “Mary’s specialities” it says: nasi goreng, mee goreng, fried chicken, roti prata, chicken curry, lamb curry and chicken in black bean sauce.
There’s also fresh fish, prawns and crab but you have to order it the day before. Salads, burger, eggs, pancakes and ice cream are also available.The girl comes back to take our orders: chicken in black bean sauce (23RM – RM16 for a small portion) and lamb curry (RM13) with roti. And 2 large Tiger beers (RM16).
Rajah and Mary
“Who’s Mary?” we ask her. That’s her mom who is the chef here, she answers in English with a cute little Indian accent. Cool, can’t wait! The beers arrive and we sit back in our chairs, feet in the sand. The weather is great. Not even 10 minutes later our food arrives.
Lamb curry with roti bread is for the hubs. The lamb is very flavorful, the spiced Indian curry sauce is lovely and it also got potatoes in it. The 2 roti flatbreads are crunchy and delicious.My chicken in black bean sauce looks great too: nice chunks of chicken in a thick and rich black bean sauce. Salty sweet flavor. Excellent. We enjoy our food at Miami Cafe Batu Ferringhi, order 2 more beers and then a man with a large moustache shows up and comes to shake hands.
He’s Rajah, the owner of the place and the father of the 2 girls. He shows us some newspaper clippings about his café and starts talking about the miracle baby.
Thulaashi, the Miracle Baby
His Miami Cafe Batu Ferringhi bar was hit by the 2004 tsunami and totally destroyed. His infant daughter was sleeping on a mattrass that was sucked into the ocean by the current but the mattrass flooded back ashore and when she was found unharmed she was still sleeping.
That little baby was the girl who took our order, Thulaashi. Guess Rajah has told his story hundreds of times before but he still has that soft and thankful sparkle in his eyes. The rest of the family was unharmed but others on that beach were less fortunate.
We order another round of beers and when Rajah hears that we have just arrived, he gladly sits down at our table and starts pouring out information about his island, what to visit, how the public transport works, what it costs, other restaurants that are worth visiting…
Enough to keep us busy during our next 5 weeks here. Nice chap he is. I don’t need to tell you we spent quite some time there.
Lunch & Dinner @ Miami Cafe Batu Ferringhi
Miami Cafe Batu Ferringhi usually opens between 11 and 12am and closes around 10pm. We loved starting lunch with some iced tea or iced coffee (RM3).And sure Mary was always able to charm us with her tasty dishes. Nothing fancy, just great snacks to enjoy with a cold beer while watching the sunset sea view in front of you. We often ordered the spring rolls: crunchy crisp with some hot sauce. Or the fried prawns! These gave me inspiration to create my own version… I’m a noodles fan so I couldn’t say no to Mary’s fried mee goreng noodles with prawns and chicken (RM13). It had a lovely soy sauce flavor. Great and satisfying lunch! Or her nasi goreng with chicken and eggs (RM10), flavorful fried rice. We spent lots of hours there, also because this bar has wifi!
Just ask the password and you can create your own office with sea view and cold drinks! We sometimes stayed there from lunch until closing time, sipping iced coffee throughout the afternoon. If you are lucky you can spot otters hunting for fish… and see how they are watched closely by the eagles.
These smart buggers wait until the otters eat their catch laying on their backs in the sea, dive down and rip the fish with their powerful claws from the otter’s claws. Fascinating! Here’s another great dish from Mary’s: chicken curry with potatoes and star anise.Like I said before: you can order fresh fish or seafood a day in advance. A group of people even asked if Rajah could organise a fish barbecue on the beach one night and they said he did an amazing job.
Miami Cafe Batu Ferringhi
Jalan Batu Ferringhi