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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Restaurant Orange, Crab burger and Crab Maggie at Wakaf Che Yeh

After the walkabout of Wakaf Che Yeh in Kota Bharu, my cousin, my friends from Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia (the participants of Jom Jelajah Koperasi Kelantan in June 2014) and I were attracted to the banner “Jom pakat try Maggie Ketam, sekali try teringat sokmo” (Let’s all try Crab Maggie, once you try you will always remember). That was how I was introduced to Restaurant Orange, Crab burger and also Crab Maggie.

Restaurant Orange is situated along the main road of Jalan Kuala Krai, Wakaf Che Yeh, not far from Old Town White Coffee Kopitiam and Holiday Villa Hotel and Suites Kota Bharu. The restaurant is an open air restaurant that can accommodate about 100 diners. The walls and pillars are painted orange in conjunction with the name Orange.

Besides the normal menu of rice dishes, noodles, fishes, meats and vegetables, there are also stalls that sell specialty foods such as Keropok Lekor, Fish Crackers (Keropok Kering) Mee Celup, Mee Combo special, Honey Chicken Rice (Nasi Ayam Madu), Eel Soup (Sup Belut), Mee Basah and varieties of burgers.  What attracted Awang, my Brunei friend, and I are the Crab kiosk that offers Crab Maggie (Maggie Ketam), 3 flavored Crab (Ketam 3 Rasa), Pepper Crab (Paprika Ketam), Chili Crab (Ketam Masak Merah), Ketam Singgang and Black-peppered Crab. He decided to try the Maggie Ketam. My choice was just Yellow noodle soup, nothing worth bragging. I am sticking to my diet that no heavy meal after 10.00pm. So far, so good!!

In the meantime, he ordered the Soft Shelled Crab Burger which arrived 10 minutes later. It looked very appetizing with a generous amount of mayonnaise, chili sauce and BBQ sauce on the burger and on top of the roasted sesame bun. For a balanced meal, a few shredded of lettuces were placed inside the bun and a few leaves as side items. After watching Awang gobbled the Crab burger within 5 minutes and two thumbs up sign from him, I knew that I must go on a quest for a Crab Burger in the Klang Valley, closer to home. 

Ten minutes later, the star dish Crab Maggie was ready. In the bowl, there were three prawns and 1 ½ huge crabs complete with its shells and claws. The price RM 30.00 is worth it. For light eaters, two or three people can share this bowl of Crab Maggie. 

My cousin gave a tip to eat the Crab Maggie – eat the noodle first before it thickens. Crab claw cracker is also available to extract the cooked crab meat inside the claw.

This time I tasted the noodles and its soup. The Maggie noodles were springy as it should be. It was perfect timing between cooking in the Curry broth and serving the Crab Maggie. Well done, Chef!! I really liked the well-balanced taste of its broth with its spicy crushed Bird’s eye chili (Cili padi) and coarsely chopped red chili (Cili hidup), fragrant yellow Bombay onions, aromatic coriander leaf (daun ketumbar), sauteed mustard leaf (sawi hijau) and a sprinkle of thinly sliced spring onion (daun bawang).

She told us that there are some other restaurants that sell Crab Maggie
  1. Alemy Maggie Ketam at Bangunan MDPP, Jalan Pasir Putih, Cherang Ruku, Pasir Putih. Tel: 019-958 4657, 012-952 4657 Open daily 5.00pm – 2.00am
  2. D’SyaZ Café Maggi Ketam at Jalan Pantai Cahaya Bulan, Kota Bharu Tel: 013-943 5050 (Kak Zah), 019-962 5390 (Abe Di), Open daily 4.00pm – 3.00am
  3. D’Lah Maggi Ketam at Hadapan Kem Kijang, Jalan Pauh Sembilan, Bachok Tel: 017-909 6421
  4. Nick Café Maggi Ketam at Jalan Tok Hakim, Kota Bharu
  5. Relas Café Maggi Ketam at Kg Kutan, Pasir Pekan
  6. Indra Tomyam at Kampung Pasir Pekan. Abang Ju 017-887 4702 Open daily 1.30pm – 1.30am

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Kota Bharu the Islamic City with Dates trees and Wakaf Che Yeh

During the Jom Jejalah Koperasi Kelantan program in June 2014, the nights are free to discover the night life of Kelantan. My friends and I were taken by my cousin to see the Dates trees and to shop and eat at Wakaf Che Yeh.

In 2007, 37 Dates trees were planted at Bulatan Medan Tuan Padang, popularly known as the Big Clock Roundabout (Bulatan Jem Besar) as ornamental plants in line of its new identity as an Islamic city. Since 2011, surprisingly 10 trees started fruiting, attracting the attention of many. Ever since then, the biggest roundabout in Kota Bharu has become a tourist attraction and a favorite hangout amongst the locals especially during the weekends and at night. 

Bulatan Medan Tuan Padang / Bulatan Jem Besar
The Big Clock at this famous roundabout
I am just a visitor !!
Currently this famed site is unprotected with high walls or security guards, the local authorities welcome everyone to see the trees and dates and to eat the fallen fresh ripe dates. They forbid the visitors to thrust any sharp objects to the fruits and to climb the trees.

The Dates trees at Bulatan Medan Tuan Padang / Bulatan Jem Besar
Wakaf Che Yeh is an open air night market located about 4 kilometers from Kota Bharu city. Actually this place is a wholesale market in the early morning, a wet market in the late morning and a night market after the sunset. Due to its popularity, this small town has progressed well for the past ten years that local authority has upgraded the market area. Nowadays there are hotels, business buildings, eateries, McDonald restaurant and petrol kiosk in its quarter acre vicinity.

The businesses at Wakaf Che Yeh market are open all year round. The peak hours are weekends and school holidays when many of the stalls stay open until 2 to 3am. During the Eid Mubarak eve, they closed at sunrise for the benefits of the huge crowds who await the massive discounts on all merchandises. 
Perfumes & Clothes
Head Scraves

There are stretches of stalls selling clothes for gentlemen as well as ladies, head scarves, football jerseys, home accessories, car accessories, perfume, bundled shoes, CD, DVD, watches, handbags, towels, comforters etc. Don’t be deceive as all the goods are imitation especially watches and perfumes.
Traditional snacks
Fruits stalls

Here are a few tips from by my cousin

  1. If the traffic jam is very bad, park outside the Wakaf Che Yeh archway. Make sure you also use steering lock because there are lot car thefts in these areas. If you find parking space within the vicinity, there is a fee of RM 2.00 per entry during the peak hours.
  2. If you have ample time, it is best to shop at the Free Trade Zones of Rantau Panjang or Pengkalan Kubor where things are cheaper. Rantau Panjang is located about 40 kilometers from Kota Bharu city at the Kelantan-Thailand border. The shops are open from 8.00am to 6.00pm. Whereas the fenced shopping areas with only one main entrance at Pengkalan Kubor is opened from 8.30am to 5.00pm. It is situated in Tumpat district. Parking is limited and the customs are stricter. It is said the wares at the Rantau Panjang are of wider choice and cheaper than Pengkalan Kubor.
  3. If you intend to buy original tudung bawal and fabrics, it is best to buy at the shop lots at Wakaf Che Yeh. Otherwise you can shop in comfort at Bazar Tok Guru, Jalan Bayam, Kota Bharu or Pasar Besar Siti Khadijah, Jalan Ping Pong, Kota Bharu.

Soft Shelled Crab Burger
We had late dinner at Restaurant Orange, Wakaf Che Yeh. I wrote the food and restaurant review in the next entry. There are more food, restaurant and recipe in my other blog – http://www,

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Jom Jelajah Koperasi, Kelantan, 28 June 2014

Day 3, 28 June 2014

On the last day of the Let’s Explore Cooperative Kelantan program (Jom Jelajah Koperasi Kelantan), I was taken to the legendary Pasar Siti Khadijah where the Koperasi Peniaga Peniaga Pasar Siti Khadijah Kota Bahru Berhad operates at No 323 - 324, 2nd Floor, Pasar Siti Khadijah, 15000, Kota Bharu, Kelantan. Its main objective is to amalgamate the business entities at the Pasar Besar Siti Khadijah.

Originally called Pasar Besar Buluh Kubu, the formerly Chief Minister Dato Nik Abdul Aziz Bin Nik Mat renamed it Pasar Besar Siti Khadijah in honor of Prophet Muhammad’s wife, Siti Khadijah, an eminent businesswoman herself. It is interesting to note that majority of the entrepreneurs are women and business will cease for 15 minutes for each prayer to enable the traders and Muslim visitors to pray. Opening hours is from 6.00am to 7.00pm daily except Eid Mubarak. Friday is not a good day to visit Pasar Besar Siti Khadijah as most of the shops are open after the Friday prayer.

The colours of Pasar Besar Siti Khadijah
This Central Market (Pasar Besar) is a two storey building. Certain part of the ground floor is specifically for wet items such as fish, vegetable, chicken etc. Another section of the ground floor is reserved for food items such as fruits, meat floss (serunding), fish cracker (keropok kering) and its traditional desserts such as tahi itik, akok, jala mas, buah tanjung, serabe, tepung pelita. There are also some stores that sell basic kitchen needs such as varieties of rice etc. A small section of the 1st floor is a food court that sells ayam percik, ikan percik, nasi kerabu, nasi berlauk, nasi dagang, laksam and somtam. The remaining area is for pots, pans, brass, souvenir etc. The 2nd floor is for clothing such as batik, silver-threaded fabric (songket), head scarf (tudung), fabrics (kain ela), sarong (kain sarung), man sarong (kain pelikat), prayer attire (kain telekung), blouse, tee-shirt, handicrafts, handbags, shoes, etc    

Ground floor at Pasar Besar Siti Khadijah
Ground floor at Pasar Besar Siti Khadijah
Food court on 1st floor at Pasar Besar Siti Khadijah
2nd floor at Pasar Besar Siti Khadijah
The Koperasi Peniaga Peniaga Pasar Siti Khadijah Kota Bharu Berhad also manages the Cocity Inn and Coop Market. Both properties are located at PT302, Jalan Darul Naim, Kota Bahru. Tel: 09-741 3100 / 3103. Azman 013-900 0232, Borhan 013-423 4173 

Cocity Inn & Coop Mart
Triple sharing room at Cocity Inn
Quad sharing at Cocity Inn
Room facilities at Cocity Inn
Throughout the Jom Jelajah Koperasi Kelantan, I stayed at MGU Firdaus Hotel managed by Koperasi Majlis Guru Guru Ugama Menengah Kelantan Berhad situated at Wisma MGU, Jalan Ping Pong, Kota Bahru, Kelantan. Tel: 09-748 8548. 09-743 1752, 013-968 3442 The location of this budget hotel is walking distance to the well-known Pasar Besat Siti Khadijah, Mydin Store, Pantai Timur Store, Maybank and CIMB.  

MGU Firdaus Hotel at Jalan Ping Pong
The three room categories and its school holiday room rate are Standard Double at RM 70.00, Standard Twin at RM 80.00, Deluxe Double at RM 95.00, Deluxe Twin at RM 105.00 and Family at RM 135.00. The room rates are inclusive for breakfast at Firdaus Café on the 3rd floor, Room facilities are air-conditioning, attached bathroom, cupboard and television. However there is only one ironing board for each floor. There are 2 dormitories that can accommodate 20 persons each are priced at RM 350.00. The dormitory is air-conditioned and has attached bathroom, television, drying area and ironing board.  

Besides the scheduled program, I really took advantage of the free time to explore Kota Bharu city with my relatives and friends. This Kelantan trip has been an eye opener. Thank you Gaya Travel Magazine!!! Thank you Malaysia Co-operative Societies Commission (SKM - Securiti Koperasi Malaysia)!!!