My recent weekend trip to Cherating was to catch my cousin perform with his ska-punk band at this place called Little Bali. Since the last time I set foot in Cherating was about two years ago the roads leading there seemed a bit confusing this time with the highways and new roads.
The seafood is very fresh
Kampung Cherating Baru
Tel: Azhar (017-928 9759)
Fresh seafood at reasonable prices
The food can be just a tad oily
Although my uncle was driving and yours truly was happily sprawled in the back seat enjoying the movie playing on DVD I couldn’t help notice this road trip was taking awfully long. Rumbling tummies and a blurred sense of direction was not a good combination. Finally, we made it after soldiering through the horrendous rain. Tea-time meal options were limited around Pantai Cherating so we decided to have a hearty dinner to compensate for our insatiable craving for something spicy.
Ikan bakar was agreed upon unanimously as the preferred dinner option. We stayed at Holiday Villa Cherating and the place we chose - Restoran Zaryam Sri Rampai, was actually next door to the hotel. There are a number of family-run restaurants dotting the road in Kampung Cherating Baru that dishes up ikan bakar. We chose this one as it didn’t have many people and therefore our theory was that we would get our meals faster!
The seafood is very fresh at Zaryam Sri Rampai. If you are having ikan bakar, you can have a choice of fish kept in the ice-filled box ranging from siakap (seabass), pari (stingray), bawal (pomfret), kerapu (grouper) as well as squid and prawns. “We guarantee the seafood is always fresh as they are from the day’s catch,” says Azhar Yam, the proprieter of Zaryam Sri Rampai.
You can choose to have your seafood steamed, tiga rasa (sweet, sour and spicy), sweet and sour, spicy or chilli based. We chose the siakap cooked tiga rasa style. The prices of fish here are charged per kilogramme. It does help that they also have buckets full of freshly fried fish and prawn crackers (the good quality ones, as we were told) for us to munch on as appetisers.
There are about 30 items on the menu here ranging from mains to side dishes such as tom yam, fried rice, vegetable dishes as well as beef and poultry. We also ordered the mixed tom yam and the kai lan ikan masin as well as a plate of steamed rice each. The fish was cooked to perfection and the tiga rasa symphony of spices was a treat to the palatte. The tomyam was tasty and the kai lan was simple and wholesome.
Granted we were ravenous so each dish was polished off quite nicely. The family next to us had the sweet and sour pomfret and was nonetheless chomping on every bite. We were too full for any dessert but if you decide to come to Zaryam Sri Rampai, one can indulge in sweet pleasures such as local desserts. Strategically located nearby a few hotels in Kampung Cherating Baru, most patrons of Zaryam Sri Rampai are the hotel guests themselves who prefer to indulge in local, fresh food.