Hawker Food… Langkawi
I was out alone walking around Antalya (Turkey) and was feeling peckish… I did not want to sit and have a full meal, just something I can nibble and fill my stomach. But nothing seemed too enticing for my palate, perhaps I was ill or maybe because everything seemed to be familiar, as most food around here are just like we get in Athens.
I did crave for Gözleme but could not find any by the old town and the pushy people around just killed any appetite.
I found a small mosque by the fluted minaret and under a shade sat down and read a book… my mind drifted to Langkawi, to a food stall near the hotel where we stayed.
There were few days I was left alone as Stephen had to work, he was not on holiday after all, just lucky to have a long weekend, so I spent my time walking around Kuah. I did feel so safe with my cameras and the locals were so friendly anyway, even with limited English they still managed to have conversation with me.. hope they did not pity me, as it is not in the Asian culture to travel alone, let alone a woman traveling on her own.
On my first day there, he showed me short cuts from the main streets to the hotel or how to find the marina or even where Starbucks was, just in case I could not deal with the local teas anymore.
One afternoon I found this small restaurant and the Chinese owner started talking to me both in Malay and Chinese and I found myself explaining to them that I could not speak neither.
I only wanted a soup anyway so I settled for koay teow soup… it’s made with chicken broth with flat noodles, chicken, and some fish balls… the spring onions and cilantro were just rejuvenating. After 6 weeks of traveling I was already exhausted… this soup was just what I needed… and for less than 2 euros, it was a real bargain for a such big tasty bowl of soup.
There was nothing fancy about the place. just like most hawker’s places there, but the lady was so lovely , talking with me, making sure I was alright and wanting to know what I was doing in Langkawi.
Surely my appetite opened that I even asked her to make me an omelette with lots of chillies.
On my way back to the hotel, I could not deal with the blistering heat anymore, I decided to take a different way as Stephen told me… and it lead me to something else.
On the road was a shack and I could just smell from the distance something delectable that I crossed the street. There a family selling bun and other food I had never seen before….
First the bun has an unusual filling.. peanuts. Like most buns in Asia I just love them.. but there were more on their stall, the mother was shaping more stuff, the daughter was frying… the old man was giving me different kind of food to taste and they spoke no English…
Luckily the son-in-law came and with very basic English he explained to me what I was stuffing my mouth with. Obviously one was a bao… one I guessed was pisang goreng, deep fried bananas…
Then there was this yellowish one and upon tasting it I guessed immediately sweet potatoes which they call kuih keria.
After tasting most of the stuff I asked how much I owed… they refused to let me pay.
But I wanted to bring some for Stephen.. . so I asked them to bag me assorted of those snacks, enough for me to let them pay. And in exchange for their kindness I gave their little boy what ever chocolates I had in my bag…
Few days later I passed by their stall again and got different kinds one was with chillies and one shrimps and they gave me more than what I had paid.
Scrumptious snacks, cheap, kind people make the trip priceless…
And if I given a chance to visit Antalya, as my choice as my holiday destination, with coffee as expensive as in Paris and with pushy waiters around … I’d rather go back to Asia.
But I did go out again with my crew mates last night to have some Turkish dinner, for shish kabobs and kofte and came back found Stephen online , told him about our dinner and the price… he simply said…
that’s not quite like Langkawi!