Mek T – Terengganu’s best delicacies

cindy

Mek T is a restaurant specializing in Terengganu cuisine opened by Cindy‘s parents. She was kind enough to invite me over for some food so I went with Lainey and Fresh. The place is located in Puchong and you can’t miss the signage.

mekt

I like how the colors in Mek T are bright and colorful. Did you know that Cindy came out with most of the copy for the menu descriptions on the walls too? ;)

mek t interior

Mek T is based on a quick service restaurant concept – you order reasonably priced a la carte or set dishes at the counter and you wait for the food to come.

mek t

This is Cindy’s mom, who kindly prepared the dishes for us that night. She’s from Terengganu so you can bet that all the dishes are authentic. :D

blue rice
Nasi Ulam Mek
This is an explosion of colors and flavors. It’s my favorite dish at Mek T, which is surprising when you find out what’s inside it. It’s a traditional rice dish that’s blue – the coloring comes from a flower called bunga telang. There’s a bunch of raw vegetables and a tiny mountain of brown shredded coconut that you’re supposed to mix into the rice.

nasi ulam

The explosive texture from the raw vegetables, followed by the spiciness of the sambal, with the coconut tickling your palate…it’s a veritable gastronomic orchestra! I like the fried chicken drumstick that goes with it too – gotta have some meat with such a vegetable heavy dish. I’m not a huge fan of veggies so this dish really surprised me – it was so good I finished it all! There’s a lot of raw bird eye chilli inside too. I love it!

keropok lekor
Keropok Lekor
Naturally, keropok lekor has to be in the menu for a proper Terengganu restaurant. In fact, keropok lekor is in most of the dishes – people in Terengganu eat it with everything, or so it seems. ;) It’s best described as soft fish sausages made from grounded fish paste and sago. I love Mek T’s version, it’s very fresh.

kar pek hu sah
Kar Pek Hu Sah
Now this is something you don’t see very often outside of Terengganu. Kar Pek Hu Sah is the cousin of keropok lekor. It’s made with 90% fresh fish! Amazing. I’ve never seen the likes of it before going to Mek T. They use the freshest cuts of ikan tengirri and parang and mold it into steamed fish sausages. It’s divine when eaten with the spicy chilli padi dip. It’s like eating steamed fish. :)

nasi dagang
Nasi Dagang Mek
This is described as the most popular meal in Terengganu. The rice is a mix of long grain and glutenous rice cooked in santan (coconut milk) and it’s served with gulai ikan aiya (curry tuna) and pickled vegetables (acar). It’s a simple but delicious meal.

sedap sokmo
Nasi Sedappp Sokmo
This is Mek T’s signature dish. It’s made with basmati rice and served with gulai ayam and an egg. I love the sweet notes in the gulai ayam, I ended up eating most of the drumstick and some of the gravy-infused egg too. There’s also a side of pineapple that goes very well with the basmati rice. It’s traditionally served during special occasions. Great stuff!

laksa
Laksa
Mek T also does a mean version of laksa too – it tastes really good, with thick noodles. What makes this laksa special is the ulam (raw vegetables) they put into it. It’s a healthy twist and the laksa tastes different from other variants of laksa too.

laksam
Laksam
However, my palate votes for the laksam. I’ve craved for laksam for a long time and I just can’t seem to find this elusive dish anywhere. The laksam in Mek T is handmade – rolls of tender wheat and rice flour cut into bite sized pieces and topped with a rich gravy of pureed fish meat. I wouldn’t call it gravy actually, it’s more like fish pieces on top of the laksam. Perfect.

lompat tikam
Lompat Tikam
This is a traditional Terengganu kueh served with pure gula melaka syrup. The kueh itself is not sweetened – you get to adjust the level of sugar you want by pouring in the gula melaka. I like mine practically swimming it it. Heh. Cindy also gave us some of these to bring back and I wolfed it down right after that heavy dinner – it was that good.

binka ubi
Binka Ubi
This kueh is made of grated tapioca cooked in gula melaka and topped with coconut cream. You have to eat them together. The tapioca with palm sugar is saccharine sweet, with the coconut cream to balance the flavors. I also finished the ones I brought back home – it’s just so soft and easy to eat!

fried pau
Mek Pau Goreng
This is one of the undiscovered culinary delights in Mek T. The premise sounds simple – it’s just a fried pau, but the execution is done so well that it has reportedly left people in tears. I wouldn’t be surprised, it’s crispy on the outside and warm and fluffy on the inside – a hot bun that comes in coconut or red bean filling. I personally prefer the red bean but either way, you’ve got to try this when you’re in Mek T. It’s amazing how such a simple dish can taste so good. Think of the best fried bread you’ve ever had…except better!

foursquare

Mek T also has WiFi and you can checkin to their official Foursquare entry to get specials!

us

Surf over to Mek T’s website for the address, GPS coordinates and Google Maps directions. Thanks for all the food Cindy! We spent several hours there just eating and talking until the place was about to close. Good food, great company. :)

Keropok lekor and cendol pulut in Kuantan

kuantan-keropok-lekor

Now what says East Coast better than keropok lekor and cendol pulut, the mainstays of traditional food when you think about Kuantan? :)

fish-sausage

I just came back from a weekend there and tasted some of the best keropok lekor I’ve had. Kuantan faces the sea and there is seafood in abundance. This makes fish and the likes very cheap.

keropok-lekor-stall

Keropok lekor is made with fish and sago before being stuffed into a casing – it’s like a fish sausage of sorts. The keropok lekor is then sliced and deep fried. There are two version that we had but the definitive Kuantan keropok lekor seems to be the chewy type as opposed to the crispier Terengganu keropok lekor.

keropok-lekor

This cup of keropok lekor sliced into bite sized pieces just cost us RM 1.

keropok-lekor-kuantan

It’s eaten with a type of chilli sauce that’s black in color and sweet in taste. The chilli sauce is homemade – that’s the trick that makes it taste so good. The stalls in Kuantan all have their different recipes for the chilli sauce. This particular keropok lekor is chewy and tastes like a sausage made with fish.

keropok lekor

There’s also another version of keropok lekor which goes for RM 1 for 8 pieces.

keropok lekor authentic

This is the crunchy type and is the more traditional version. It’s also really good and you can really taste the fish in these crackers – it’s almost made entirely out of fish!

cendol-pulut

However, the best thing that I’ve had the pleasure of introducing to my taste buds in Kuantan is cendol pulut. We have cendol pulut over here, but most of them consists of a meager piece of pulut placed into cendol. The one we had in Kuantan has HALF of the cup filled with pulut.

pulut

It’s very filling and it tastes awesome – the gula melaka (palm sugar) used in the cendol basically seeps though the pulut (a type of glutenous rice) and the sheer quantity of it makes it an authentic Kuantan style cendol pulut. I think people eat it to get full – it’s like a meal in itself. -_-

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