Genting may boast over 10,000 hotel rooms and 100 dining establishments but it’s hardly a gourmet paradise. Visitors flock there for the cool weather, theme parks and of course, to try their luck at the casinos but no one is there for the food which is not surprising. As far as dining options go, you’ll find a lot of fast food establishments like McDonald’s, KFC and Marry Brown, and casual dining outlets serving overpriced and mediocre food (if you’re lucky). This poses somewhat of a problem for someone like me. I like my food. Especially when I’m traveling. And I usually make it a point to spend some time scouting for good places to eat. Unfortunately, not much is written about what’s good in Genting. Simply because I suspect there isn’t much to write about. After a couple of visits over recent years, a few hits and misses and recommendations from family and friends, I’ve sussed out 3 places worth visiting:
Ah Yat Abalone (First World Plaza Hotel, Level 2)
This restaurant chain is famous for their abalone. Above is the braised abalone with braised goose web. The abalones are served whole and as individual portions. Ah Yat fans rave about the abalone – its firm texture and intensely flavorful sauce. Unfortunately, I don’t really get the fuss about abalone. I found the abalone not worth its price tag and prefer the regular items on the menu. Favourite dishes include the Peking duck which is carved right at your table. The thin, crispy duck skin is served with meat that is not too lean and with just enough fat to make each mouthful a delicious, juicy bite. The thick, succulent pieces of duck meat are then fried separately with spring onion – absolutely delicious.
Food here is generally good, and they serve a pretty decent dim sum during lunch. It can get crowded during the weekends so go early or make a reservation. Prices are reasonable so long as you stay away from the abalone and fresh seafood dishes.
Ming Ren (Highlands Hotel)
This place has become a firm favourite for our family. It is more fine dining than your typical noisy Chinese restaurant. The ambiance is elegant and cosy, and service is excellent. It serves a unique fusion of Cantonese culinary methods and Xinjiang’s traditional spices and seasonings and they specialize in lamb dishes. Worth mentioning is their signature dish – roasted Xinjiang lamb ribs. The meat is tender, roasted to perfection and bursting with flavour.
Another must try is the special Xinjiang Almond and Pistachio ice cream which is made from … get this ……. lamb! The meat is minced beforehand and added to vanilla ice cream. It is served with pureed pumpkin and topped with almonds. The texture of the ice cream is rather coarse, and is a little like ice shavings mixed with a smooth nougat. You cannot taste the lamb at all but the combination of flavors and textures makes for an interesting experience.
This place is great if you want good food that is a little different from the usual Chinese cuisine. Prices are also reasonable. Dinner for four, including dessert came up to a little over RM180.
Penang Fried Kway Teow (Genting Bus Terminal outside First World Hotel)
This humble set up at the bus terminal is manned by one sweaty cook slaving over a hot wok, churning out plates of sinful char kway teow. The noodles are fried with enough “wok hei” and a generous serving fresh, crunchy bean sprouts. This may not be the best char kway teow in Malaysia but it’s pretty good. And there’s something about sitting outdoors in the chilly highlands with a piping hot plate of char kway teow that makes me one happy girl. RM8 per plate.