An Epic Culinary Guide to Bentong Food
When one thinks about Bentong, it is hard not to think about Bentong food.
The first thing that comes to mind when Bentong is mentioned is the king of fruits in Malaysia; durian and the Bentong ginger. When a place is famous for its produce, you know that there will be good food in Bentong.
Bentong food is not all about ginger and durian though, so worry not, those of you who are not a fan of the spice and fruit. WWB writer, Sabrina will bring you through an epic culinary adventure in Bentong where your taste buds will thank you for making this trip.
The famous food in Bentong reflects the culture of the district where most of the locals will spend their evenings having tea at the local diners. Most of the famous food in Bentong is located in ‘Kopitiams’ (local coffee shops), morning markets, or local no-frills diners.
We can look forward to exploring the various types of good food in Bentong:
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Where is Bentong?
Before we dive into the food in Bentong, let’s find out where exactly is Bentong?
Bentong district is located in western Pahang, Malaysia.
It is bordered by Selangor and Negeri Sembilan which makes travel to the district easy via several modes of transportation from Kuala Lumpur City Center.
The Bentong district even includes two very popular local getaway hill resorts:
You may want to consider putting up a night or two at either of these two locations to enjoy a cool respite from the usually hot temperatures in the cities.
How Do I Get From Kuala Lumpur to Bentong?
You can make your way to Bentong via bus, taxi, or car.
It takes somewhere between 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes to get to Bentong depending on the mode of transportation and traffic conditions.
Renting a car is a good idea if you are planning to move around town.
Car rentals are usually quite affordable (USD 30 onwards/day) depending on the car that you choose and will make your Bentong trip more convenient instead of having to wait for busses or flagging down a taxi.
Getting to Bentong from Kuala Lumpur is fairly easy through the Lebuhraya Kuala Lumpur-Gua Musang (Federal Route 8) which will take you roughly 1 hour.
It is advisable to leave early in the morning if you are planning your trip during the weekend or on a public holiday to avoid traffic congestion.
Famous Food in Bentong, Pahang
Now that we know how to get to Bentong, let us start talking about Bentong’s famous food.
There is an array of food that is worth exploring in Bentong which will cater to the various palettes for everyone you travel with.
Bring along your bellies and let’s get started on exploring some Bentong food.
Touted as a must-try dish when you make a trip to Bentong, this is a dish that you would not want to miss.
Wonton noodles are yellow wheat egg noodles that are springy and chewy in texture. It is usually served tossed in a dark caramel sauce for the dry version or in a clear broth for the soup version. It is then topped with caramelized pork, braised chicken feet, and shitake mushrooms, or wonton dumplings which are either boiled or fried.
Every stall serves theirs differently with their secret recipe for the dark caramel sauce, soup, and dumpling.
Hooi Kee Wan Ton Noodles serves a really good version of the dry wanton noodle dish. It operates during the day which would make it an excellent choice for breakfast or lunch.
Hooi Kee Wan Ton Noodles is operating from a stall set up in Yuen Kee Cafe.
If you are not up for wanton noodles, there are other food choices available there too such as the classic toast bread with butter and kaya (coconut jam made with eggs, sugar, and coconut milk).
Location: Hooi Kee Wan Ton Noodles @ Yuen Kee Cafe
Operation Hours: 7 am – 5 pm
Yong tau foo is a traditional Chinese Hakka dish consisting mainly of vegetables, mushrooms, or tofu stuffed with minced pork or fish, or a blend of both. It is then fried or boiled in soup and served with the traditional sweet black sauce and chili sauce.
This dish can be eaten as an afternoon snack or to make it more substantial, diners usually will order a side of dry or soup noodles to complete the meal.
If you do drop by Yuen Kee Cafe for the wanton noodles, do check out the yong tau foo stall as well. It is famous for the selection of yong tau foo available and is said to be one of the best in Bentong.
Location: Yuen Kee Coffee Shop
Operation Hours: 8 am (Until they run out, usually about 12.30 pm)
Thong Kee Kopitiam is a legend in its own rights. Originating from Bentong in 1988, it has since expanded to 5 other outlets around the Klang Valley area. Nothing beats going to the original outlet in Bentong though.
Famous for its croissants, toast, and coffee, Thong Kee Kopitiam is no stranger to the locals in Bentong. They flock to the cafe for their signature 1+1 drink which is a blend of milk tea and coffee.
The sandwich croissant is a must-try. Instead of the usual white bread, they use a croissant in its place to make their signature kaya and butter toast. It is buttery flaky goodness in a bite.
Be prepared to wait too as with all other popular eateries. They have an extensive menu of sandwiches and noodles.
Location: Thong Kee Kopitiam
Address: 4, Jalan Chui Yin, Bentong, Pahang
Operation Hours: 7 am – 3 pm (Closed on Mondays)
Lemang is a traditional Minang food made from glutinous rice, coconut milk, and salt. It is cooked in bamboo lined with banana leaves to impart fragrance into the rice and also to prevent the rice from sticking to the bamboo casing. It is usually eaten with rendang (a rich and tender coconut beef stew cooked with spices).
Lemang To’ki is famous for their lemang and rendang which is the best duo for a hearty meal.
On top of that, they serve other local delights as well such as Patin Tempoyak (coconut milk curry cooked with fermented durian and patin fish) and Ayam Bakar Air Asam (roasted chicken with a sour spicy paste).
They have an extensive menu of local delights at reasonable prices.
Location: Lemang To’Ki
Operation Hours: 8 am-8 pm (Daily)
Soft, silky, and smooth is what you would use to describe silk, and that is also used to describe the tofu that is made by Tauhu Auntie Mok.
Tauhu Auntie Mok used to be known as Bentong Tau Fu Sdn Bhd. If you see people making a beeline to the shop, I would suggest that you join in too.
Tauhu Auntie Mok serves a Chinese dessert called tau fu fa. Tau fu fa is a dessert made of silky tofu pudding paired with a sweet syrup, usually flavored with ginger or palm sugar. Tauhu Aunty Mok’s ginger syrup is made with the famed Bentong ginger which gives it a warm spicy kick that the locals love.
Location: Tauhu Auntie Mok
Operation Hours: 6 am – 6 pm (Closed on Wednesdays)
Ice cold dessert on a hot day sounds like a dream, that’s where we are definitely headed after a day of walking around in the hot sun. T.A.K. Ice Cream Corner serves their special homemade ice cream inspired by local flavors such as pandan, yam, and coconut.
The ice cream is usually used as a topping on their special ABC (shaved ice dessert topped with jelly, sweet syrup, corn, red beans and evaporated milk) which contains lychee or cendol (shaved ice dessert topped with coconut milk, green jelly, and palm sugar).
Their recommendation is to stir all the ingredients well to enjoy the perfect taste of the dessert.
Location: T.A.K Ice Cream Corner
Operation Hours: 11 am – 6 pm (Closed on Tuesdays)
When you are a dessert enthusiast, one dessert stop is never enough. The offering at Cafe Kow Po is somewhat similar to those of T.A.K Ice Cream Corner. Kow Po Ice Cream boasts a slightly varied offering of ice cream flavors.
Your Bentong food journey would not be complete without tasting Bentong’s famous ice cream.
The ice cream is not made the same as the usual fare that you can get from elsewhere as the flavors are light, refreshing, and not too sweet. Perfect to pair with the iced desserts that they offer.
Some diners prefer to order the ice cream ala carte without all the frills or add ons to taste the original unadulterated taste of Bentong’s local ice cream.
Location: Cafe Kow Po
Operation Hours: 11 am – 6.30 pm (Daily)
What Is Bentong Famous For?
Similar to most locations in Malaysia, Bentong is famous for its food and local produce.
Bentong ginger is synonymous with the name Bentong, it is especially popular for medicinal and cooking purposes. This is because the Bentong ginger is prized more than the regular ginger and costs more as the ginger is said to contain trace minerals that the regular gingers do not have.
It is also hailed as the ‘King of Ginger’ by the locals.
The next produce that Bentong is famous for is its durian, another ‘King’ of its category. The best ‘King of Fruits’ is said to be planted in durian orchards in Pahang, some of them located in Bentong.
A Bentong durian trip is not unheard of where you can visit orchards and sample the variety of durian available.
On top of that, Bentong is also known for its locally-made soy sauce by Kicap Bentong Sdn Bhd which is a must-have in all of the local’s kitchen. It is made from premium imported soybeans and undergoes a meticulous production process.
Another local produce that Bentong is famous for is their locally made tofu puffs by Lai Sen BTG Enterprise which have a history of over 100 years, the secret recipe and technique being passed down from generation to generation. You can take a quick factory tour as well if you drop by.
Things You Can Do When You Visit Bentong
Besides indulging in all of Bentong town’s famous food, there are local attractions that you can explore such as the Japanese Village which is a must-visit if you love Japanese-inspired gardens and attractions.
If you are looking for activities to work off those calories from all the great food, you can go on a hike at some of the trails in Bentong such as Gunung Rajah, Lenteng Forest Reserve, or Chamang Waterfalls. It is a good idea to pick a trail that ends at a waterfall so you can cool off and take a quick dip.
- Make A Visit To Bentong Gallery
For all the history buffs or if you would like to know how Bentong came to her present state, a visit to the Bentong Gallery will help you to understand and appreciate the historical journey of the town. Admission is free, it is open from 10 am to 7 pm and is closed on Wednesdays.
- Stay At A Highland Resort
Bentong is a little-known town to tourists, but it is worth a trip to enjoy, explore the local delights, and get to know the little unassuming town.