Hai Peng Restaurant, Chukai. During a work trip to the Tanjung Jara Resort, I stopped by Chukai, the popular bustling town of Terengganu – I couldn’t help but think… “Then and Now”.
A quick web search mentions the town as a former taxing center, during the colonial days, for floating vessels using the Kemaman River and hence, its name derivative, Chukai. I haven’t stopped by this bustling small town for at least 5 years. It has gotten busier… many new buildings have sprung up with vibrant wall colors and patriotic banners and lighting. You know a small town has caught up with modern times when two way lanes become a single lane traffic to ease congestion and you have to pay for parking!!!
It was morning and I had spare time to catch a little breakfast…hmmm, why not at the overly hyped up Hai Peng coffee shop, since I didn’t have time to wander around on foot to uncover new joints. I was also considering that Hainanese Chicken Rice place but didn’t think they were open just yet. (the story continues below , see “The Returning”).
The parking system was new to me. Just opposite Hai Peng building, the parking meter serving the area requires the driver to punch the number found on the parking spot before dropping in coins. Needless to say, this big city chimp didn’t know how to work the Terengganu ‘thing’ and started doing the KL ‘thing’ by punching the number plates then putting in coins…. I think I must have donated to half a dozen parking meters before realising the correct way to do things. (chimps don’t read the instructions listed!).
I’m not a big coffee drinker nor a small coffee drinker since caffeine (especially of the gourmet variety) keeps me up till the wee hours of the morning. Oh, what the heck! Since I’ve got to post something on the famous Hai Peng coffee, I called for a cup of ‘Kopi-Ping’ (iced coffee with condensed milk) and selected a pre-packed nasi dagang from a platter of snacks and breakfast food in the center of the shop.
The nasi dagang was very tasty with 2 slices of fish (mackerel variety??) topped with fish curry. The glutinous rice was well formed, chewy but not mushy.
This place was jumping! (to lend a chimp term) All walks of life filled the seating area. Malays, Chinese, Indians dan ‘lain-lain’ were soaking up the atmosphere at 10am (don’t they work…?).
Why so expensive? The rich folk tagged to the petroleum rich state? There wasn’t any air-conditioning, portions were small and the family probably owns the entire 3-story building (they probably collect good rental too).
Price: high side
Nostalgia: 6/10 – (a bit too modern/commercialized a setting. The cashier area had stacks of food stuff glaring at you to purchase)
*This Roadtrip was experienced and written by CUMI… the masculine half of Cumi&Ciki. Please also see www.whoa-adventures.com for more information on tourism in Malaysia.