In case you haven’t heard, Bentong is the hidden food gem to look out for in Malaysia. While this small town in Pahang is famous for its locally produced ginger and tofu puff, it has so much more to offer for wandering foodies.
Don’t believe us? Here are 9 local delicacies to put on your list the next time you eat your way around Bentong.
1. Wan Tan Mee
Wan Tan Mee first became popular in Bentong as an economy dish during a 1950s economic crisis. Today, the springy noodles with BBQ pork and wantan is beloved by locals and sought after by visitors.
If you plan to go food-hopping here, you might want to start off with a bowl of Wan Tan Mee. The portion isn’t too big and you’ll need the stomach space.
2. Tofu Puff and Bean Curd Products
Bentong produces the largest and fleshiest Tofu Puffs you will ever see, and they taste amazing! In fact, a trip to Bentong would not be complete without a visit to a century-old tofu factory.
After learning about how bean curd products are made, you get to tuck into the district’s famous Tofu Puffs, fresh from the factory. They also produce Soya Bean Milk and Tau Fu Fa, which you can tapau (take away) to have on the go or bring home.
3. Guang Xi “3 Signature Dishes”
Largely populated by the GuangXi Chinese community, this influence shows in the local food. The Steamed Ginger Chicken, Meat Stuffed Tofu and Meat Stuffed Pork with Yam form the holy trinity of GuangXi cuisine —light, not too spicy and simmered in a tasty gravy. You can find these three signature dishes at most Chinese restaurants in Bentong.
4. Honey Products
The Valley Agro Park Stingless Bee Farm is home to a stingless bee species from the tropical rainforest. After seeing how the honey is harvested, you can taste pure honey straight from the farm. Packed with nutrients, it has a slightly tangy flavour and long aftertaste. Try the honey ice cream if you can’t get enough of it!
5. Nangka Madu
The state of Pahang is the largest producer of Nangka Madu in Malaysia. One of the five districts that cultivates this fragrant fruit is Bentong. Nangka Madu can easily be found at the fruit stalls along the roads.
6. Lemang Rice with Rendang
Lemang rice is typically made during Ramadan but good ones are hard to come by. Lemang To’Ki is a Malay restaurant well known amongst locals for its delicious lemang rice, which are grilled in bamboos throughout the day. It makes a delicious meal when paired with rendang.
7. Percik Chicken
Another specialty in Lemang To’Ki is the percik chicken. The marinated meat is grilled over a fire until it is golden brown and fragrant. Great to have with the lemang rice! Be there early though, as they tend to run out.
8. Homemade Ice-Cream
How can you come to Bentong and not have its legendary homemade ice-cream? Kow Po Coffee Shop is a family-run ice-cream parlour of over 40 years, which has gotten much attention from the local media. They make their own old-school flavours such as chocolate, banana, peanut, strawberry, vanilla, pandan and durian.
Rather than just have the ice-cream on its own, tap into your Malaysian side and get it served with traditional ice kacang toppings. The best thing about it is that they are all much cheaper than what you find in the city.
9. Bentong Durian
If you are lucky enough to be at Bentong during the durian season, definitely have a hearty durian buffet. Some of the species grown here include the Musang King, D24 and D101. Durian lovers, you know what you’re in for.
Eating to your heart’s content is fun but how about picking your own durians too? To enter the durian orchard, you will need to ride a 4 wheel drive to designated spots where you can pick fruits that have fallen and crack them open for a bite. You will, however, need a local guide to bring you in. The durian season starts from June to August.
This article is written by Rachael Lum from Lokalocal, a startup that allows travelers to enjoy uniquely local experiences. Rachael is a writer, blogger, TV addict and bookworm suffering from insatiable wanderlust. She believes there is a story everywhere, if you look hard enough. The article is republished on Discover KL with permission.