The Gulai House at The Datai Langkawi offers guests the experience of dining in a wooden house amidst the lush green surrounding. This “kampung style” setting is further complemented by The Gulai’s unique blend of authentic Malay and Indian dishes, made from fresh ingredients and seafood.
I was greeted by my name, handwritten on a place card in a form of a leaf. Upon seated, the staff came over with a ceramic bowl of water for me to rinse my hands and once I had finished my amuse bouche, I was served my appetizer.
The appetizer platter comprised otak-otak (grilled fish and prawns in banana leaf), kerabu mangga (traditional style spiced mango salad) and pakoras (vegetable fritters, cucumber raita and tamarind chutney) – well infused with spices and very addictive. Especially the pakoras.
I was quite pleased with the Sup Ayam Mulligatawny (Indian Curried Chicken), served in a small claypot to ensure the soup stayed warm throughout. This was thick, chunky from the meat and vegetables and delicious from the assorted spices.
The ikan bakar featured a very fresh kerapu (Garoupa) with a spicy-sweet and smoky sauce. Also good was the grilled sotong (fresh squid) and udang harimau (jumbo tiger prawns) – tender, succulent and richly satisfying.
For my main course, I tucked into sumptuous servings of rendang daging, udang karang and murukh tikka; each delicious in their own way. The rendang daging (beef rendang) was terrifically tender, well-spiced and very tasty with biryani rice. You can also choose to eat this with naan (there’s an option of garlic, plain or butter) or fresh chapatti and it tastes just as good.
The udang karang (wok-fried lobster with Indian spices and curry gravy) was one of my favourite dishes that night. What’s not to love about fresh Andaman lobster, cooked with just the right balance of spices? It was hard to find fault in the Murukh Tikka (skewered boneless chicken), for the chicken pieces were flavourful and tender.
Side dishes that night included Aloo Gobi Masala and Sayur Lemak Lodeh, and both I enjoyed. The aloo gobi masala packed a wallop of flavour while the sayur lemak was milder but equally tasty. It was a massive feast – one I struggled to finish.
I was too stuffed for dessert, served buffet style. If you want to sample some local kuih-muih, you can do so here. Although, I wasn’t a fan of the Malay cake (ma lai goh) – it was a tad dry. That said, they do a good bubur kacang hijau; thick, adequately sweet and aromatic from the addition of pandan (screwpine leaves) and coconut milk.
I love dining in restaurants such as The Gulai because the lush nature adds to the ambiance and somehow makes the food taste better. At least for me.
For more information about The Gulai House, visit The Datai Langkawi’s official website here. Also, “Like” The Datai Langkawi on Facebook and Instagram.
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Price: N/A (charged by kg and amount of seafood you choose)
Food: 7.5/10 (halal)
Verdict: Very fresh seafood and traditional preparation. The rendang daging and lobster was wicked stuff!
The Gulai House,
The Datai Langkawi
Jalan Teluk Datai,
07000 Pulau Langkawi
Kedah Darul Aman
Tel: +60 4 9500 500
GPS Coordinates: N 6 25.374 E 99 40.217