Because of a new client, I got to spend a couple days last week in Langkawi. It was my first visit to this sleepy and picturesque tropical island just off the northwestern coast of Malaysia. While there, I visited a number of really gorgeous resorts and ate in some lovely restaurants. Best of all, in my opinion, were the Bon Ton Resort and its in-house restaurant Nam.
Bon Ton, I have to say, might not be for everyone. It’s a beautiful and chic resort but at the same time a rustic and eclectic one. Owner Narelle McMurtie has acquired 8 antique Malay kampung (village) houses and transported them to her gorgeous 3 acre property, set in the middle of a lush coconut plantation. Each of the houses has been stylishly and distinctively appointed. Bon Ton is a cool, idyllic and unique retreat for people that are looking for a humble and private place to chill out for a few days.
While the resort opened in 1995, Bon Ton’s restaurant’s history actually stretches back to 1987. It was originally established by McMurtie in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital. Over the years, it built a reputation for good, innovative food and an excellent wine list. Bon Ton Langkawi was opened in 1994 as a sister restaurant. In 1999, McMurtie sold off the original restaurant in order to focus on her resort on the island.
I had the pleasure of dining at Nam twice in two days. The restaurant is located in a breezy, open air Balinese inspired building that also serves as the resort’s entrance. The views from the tables are stunning. The picture at the top of the post was taken while sitting in the restaurant.
On my first visit, I pigged out. I started my dinner with the seafood antipasto plate of prawn cakes, Balinese seafood satay on lemongrass and chargrilled rock lobster. Everything was perfect. I was especially impressed that the rock lobster was wonderfully tender. I actually didn’t expect it to be cooked so well. For my main, I had a grilled chicken breast with a light coconut curry sauce, cashew and mango salad, and sticky rice. I was also impressed with this dish. Too often, chicken breast is overcooked and served too tough. The one I had was moist and tender. For dessert, and because I was a little stuffed, I asked for only half of one of the restaurant’s desserts, the duo of ice cream sandwiches – gingerbread with gula melaka ice cream and chocolate brownie with chocolate ice cream served with caramel bananas. I had only the first sandwich and the caramel bananas.
The next day, I returned for a small but delicious lunch. I had Nam’s mini-burgers with cheese and avocado (pictured above). These were great. Tasty, moist and satisfying. With the burgers, I sipped my way through an iced coffee with homemade vanilla ice cream. Yum.
Since returning to Singapore, I’ve been talking S’s ear off, promising to take her to Bon Ton for a vacation someday soon (ideally, when she finally finishes her doctoral thesis). I can’t wait. I’m sure she’ll love this tranquil little spot and the good food that they serve there.
Bon Ton Restaurant & Resort