Looking for a bite to eat in Batu Ferringhi? Try the night food stalls of I Love You Cafe Batu Ferringhi! The Batu Ferringhi city centre is just a good 5 minutes by bus away from where we are staying at Miami Beach. Easy one to grab some dinner there.
How To Get To I Love You Cafe Batu Ferringhi
Hop on the bus (#101 or #102) direction Batu Ferringhi and get off once you see a gas station and the MacDonald’s sign on your left. On your right is the Long Beach gawker centre. There’s another one a little further down the road and we liked this one better: the I Love You Cafe Batu Ferringhi.
Dinner at I Love You Cafe Batu Ferringhi
We stayed in Penang for 5 weeks so I reckon we’ve been here like 10 times at least? Guess we tried most of the food here, except for the Western food stalls. Impossible to talk about all of the dishes. So just stick to our favorites here.
But before we take off, here’s how you have to order food at I Love You Cafe Batu Ferringhi. Just order whatever food you like at whatever food stall you want. Just point to the direction you are going to sit down. As soon as the food is ready, the people of that stall will bring it to your table and that’s when to pay them. Cash only of course.
Several waiters and waitresses are cleaning and clearing tables. They will come up to you the minute you sit down and ask you what you want to drink: soft drinks, beer (Tiger, Carlsberg, Asahi), water… One little remark before you go here: bring a box of kleenex or some kitchen paper with you. No napkins are handed out. There are decent toilets though where you can wash your hands after dinner.
I Love You Cafe Batu Ferringhi
Waterworld Seafood Restaurant
Probably my favorite of all the stalls at I Love You Cafe Batu Ferringhi! This food stall on your right in the corner is the only one with live seafood on display in huge water tanks. Looking for fresh lobster, crab, prawns and clams? You’ll get it here. Expect Western prices for the lobster, crab and prawns though. Expensive for Malaysian standards.
We tried all 3 versions of the clams. They come in small (RM10), medium (RM15) and big (RM25) portions. First one we tried: the garlic and dried chili clams. They are stir fried in a tacky sweet and spicy sauce together with big pieces of dried chili. Spicy yes, but not extremely. Just ask for a little less chili if you’re not sure.
The steamed garlic and chili clams are the least ‘Asian-flavored’ of the 3 clam dishes. This is probably a better option if your taste buds still need some more time to adapt to Penang street food. Perfectly steamed clams covered in garlic and sliced fresh chili. Almost tastes mediterranean! Nice.
Last plate of clams is my absolute favorite: spicy Penang-style clams. If you adore belacan shrimp paste, go for this one. If you don’t, leave it. The clams are again stir fried in and coated by a gorgeous amount of shrimp paste and chili. What a great smell!
Adorable. For the record: I celebrated my 30st birthday here in Penang and chose a huge plate of these shrimp paste clams for my birthday dinner… Can’t get enough of it. I even bought belacan and brought it back home: I prepared chicken with with belacan!
Ikan Bakar – Grilled Fish
Stingray & Chicken fish
Visit thisI Love You Cafe Batu Ferringhi food stall (the very first one on your right when entering this gawker center) if you’re craving for some beautifully fresh fish! Ikan bakar means ‘grilled fish’ in Malay anyway, so… Pomfret, octopus and stingray are mainly on the menu here. You might find other species too depending on what the friendly old man could find. The prawns are pricy: RM60 per lb. They are delicious though!
Stingray was the first dish we tried here. There’s several pieces of ray, ranging somewhere between RM20 and RM35. Just point out one, the man weighs them on a scale and tells you the price. It is then brushed with a flavorful spice paste, put on a banana leaf and grilled on a hot plate. A RM25 piece of ray is more than enough for 2! It is served with a surprising orange, shallot and shrimp paste dipping sauce. Heavenly.
Ever heard of chicken fish? It’s the funny bugger on the picture below with that constant smirk on its face (RM30). Story is that it’s called chicken fish because its meat tastes like chicken. I can’t deny that, its meaty texture and soft flavor is pretty different from the usual white fish like cod or bass. It’s got boney toothless jaws and a strange nut-shaped bone between its eyes.
You can also find this one in Kuala Lumpur. The old man though assured us this one was ‘locally caught’ whereas the ones in KL are imported from Thailand. Nice fish, grilled perfectly with that flavorful spice paste brushed on it.
We also tried the grilled pomfret (RM15-RM20 a piece). Delicious.
North Indian Food
I love a good Indian dinner. The only Indian food stall here is on the right side next to the steps that lead up to the bar. Notice the clay oven next to it. This is where fresh naan is baked in. You can choose from a variety of popular Indian food: briyani, masala, tandoori, rice, vegetable curry, various naan breads, samosa… Chicken, lamb, fish, prawns, beef… Guess we ordered most of our food here when I look back at my pictures now!
Our first order here was the tandoori chicken (RM9). This is a good test to see if they know what they’re doing. And it checks out.
Tandoori Chicken & Naan Bread
A beautifully meaty chicken breast and wing appeared on our plate. Very juicy chicken meat, smokey flavor, tasty tandoori rub on the outside. Next to it some raw shallots, sliced lime and a minty lime dipping sauce. Great start.
I love naan, especially when it is freshly baked. Here you can order several versions of naan with butter, garlic, onion and cheese (RM3-RM5). I mostly go for the plain naan (R2 a piece). It is cut into quarters and served warm. The naan has a wonderful doughy flavor, is soft and nicely puffed up in the middle and the blisters on top give it a yummy smoky touch. Delicious.
Gosh, it’s difficult to choose from this Indian food stall. Let’s try the vegetable curma (RM7) now.
We get a generous bowl of creamy and mild curry stuffed with a collection of various crunchy vegetables: peas, carrots, baby corn, potatoes, eggplant… There’s a nice amount of crunch and texture in this korma. We dip bits of naan in the creamy sauce and enjoy it.
Another bowl of deliciousness we ordered one night was the chicken vindaloo (RM9), a silky chicken (and potato) curry made of tomatoes, onion, chili and loads of other spices. Again a nice Indian dish of great quality. Mop up the sauce with yet another portion on naan…
That naan is truly delicious. One of the best we’ve ever tasted!
Samosas & Papadums
The vegetable samosas (RM4) come with a spicy coriander dipping sauce.
And another of our favorites: the freshly fried papadams!
Yes indeed, this whole stack for only RM2…
There’s no food court or gawker centre in Asia without a satay stall! And the I Love You Cafe Batu Ferringhi is no exception. For RM8 you get 10 chicken or beef satay here with peanut sauce and some raw cucumber and shallot.
The chicken satay is just delicious here: juicy fresh cubes of chicken in a sugary marinade and grilled over a charcoal fire to give it that beautiful sear and smokiness.
Excellent. Our favorite appetizer to start our dinner with.
A Malaysian specialty: rojak! This is a sweet and savory fruit and vegetable salad that is a popular snack as well. When you travel around in Penang you will see lots of street stalls sell rojak.
The rojak buah (RM4) we tasted here was the best we had. In it were chunks of green apple, pineapple, cucumber, unripe mango and guava, covered by a mildly sweet sauce made of shrimp paste, tamarind paste, palm sugar, oyster sauce and crushed peanuts.
Very interesting and highly refreshing salad! Is it a side or dessert? Not sure, but it is a great example of Malay cuisine.
Stir Fried Vegetables
If we order grilled fish we like to combine it with a portion of vegetables.
The Thai stall near the stairs to the bar sells fish, cockles, soups and noodles but we are fond of the mixed vegetables. Ask for vegetables in oyster sauce and garlic (RM8).
The man behind the stall does a wonderful job. Mixed vegetables or just one, stir fried in oyster sauce. Perfect with grilled fish.
I Love You Cafe Batu Ferringhi
I Love You Cafe Batu Ferringhi
72, Jalan Batu Ferringhi
11100 Ayer Itam