The Gulai House, Langkawi

The Gulai House, Unique Dining Experience Langkawi

Monica Tindall

For a truly unique experience on Langkawi island, dinner at The Gulai House is unforgettable. Set in a kampong house in the middle of the rainforest, its open walls allow diners to connect with nature as they dine on scrumptious Malaysian cuisine.

The Gulai House Location

It really is a magical setting. No air conditioning is needed as the wall-less shelter invites the crisp oxygenated air of the jungle to cool and refresh. No music playlist is required either as the symphony of fauna rises and falls in natural crescendos and diminuendos providing a far more enticing background. Fish traps acting as lampshades mute a warm glow over tables and a fresh seafood counter invites interaction with chefs.

The Gulai House, Langkawi
The Gulai House, Langkawi

The Gulai House Menu – Drinks

The drinks menu has a solid grounding with a good selection of base spirits, an excellent collection of wines and a handful of craft cocktails. We, of course, want to try their original creations so begin with two of the house recipes.

Kumin Margarita (RM70) is rich with local spices with a cumin and turmeric syrup over a base of Corralejo Reposado Tequila and Cointreau. The cocktail offers a solid kick with cayenne pepper (a good perk-me-up after our flight from KL) and a pleasantly sour finish thanks to the citrus. LangKooler (RM70) is hubby’s pick and much smoother in profile than my choice with lemongrass-infused rum, lemongrass, kaffir lime, mint, citrus and soda.

The Gulai House Langkawi
LangKooler & Kumin Margarita

The Gulai House Menu

The Gulai House menu is an easy-to-navigate booklet with tastes from around the country. Specialities are highlighted and the region from which each dish originates educates somewhat on the diversity of Malaysian cuisine. Various dietary preferences are clearly marked noting gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free and items containing nuts.

Dinner at The Gulai House

An amuse bouche of prawn and mango salad is served on spoons for mini bites of seduction. Both are tangy and both do their job of awakening our palates for the rest of the meal.

The Gulai House
Amuse Bouche

The Gulai House Malaysian Cuisine – Langkawi

Despite the delicious-looking mains menu, we’re seduced by our seaside location and are swept up by the fresh seafood counter. Guests can take their pick of the catch of the day and request it steamed, grilled and with any number of sauces of their choosing.

We’re fans of quality ingredients and savour the natural taste of prime produce. As such, we choose sea bass and prawns to be grilled with simple seasonings. One with chilli honey and one with salt alone. Both arrive tasting fresh from the sea, generous in portion and cooked enhancing the quality of the flesh.

The Gulai House Langkawi
Steamed Fish
Jungle Dining Langkawi
Grilled Prawn

I move on to wine with the meal and the Gustave Lorentz, Riesling Reserve from Alsace, France (RM39) fits the bill. Light straw in hue it offers a bouquet of citrus and flowers. It enters with a vibrancy on the palate, offers refreshing acidity and departs with a clean, savoury finish.

Jungle Dining Langkawi
Gustave Lorentz, Riesling Reserve, Alsace

Sides at The Gulai House

Kangkong (RM53) offers some green with morning glory wok-fried with chilli shrimp paste. Gobi Masala provides a taste of Indian flavours with cauliflower masala. The white veg is sauteed with onion, ginger and chilli. Although both have chilli, they are mildly spiced offering authentic flavours of the region without the heat – a gentle introduction to newbies to the cuisine.

Jungle Dining Langkawi
Kangkong
The Gulai House Langkawi
Gobi Masala

Carbs

To soak up those sumptuous sauces, we have Plain Naan (RM19) and Steamed Rice (RM18). Although there are much more exciting recipes on the menu such as biryani rice and dosa with chutneys and curry, the simplicity of these are perfect for soaking up the rich sauciness of other dishes.

The Gulai House Desserts

After such a meal, large portions of dessert would be too much. Fortunately, The Gulai House dishes up sweets in comfortable sizes. Hubby has more of a sweet tooth than I and the Sago Gula Melaka (RM28) is well-suited. Sago pudding is thick in coconut milk and sweetened with the local palm syrup. Yum! My finale preferences are for the lighter and fresher with a scoop of house-made Calamansi Sorbet (RM18). Presented in an ice bowl, the appearance is striking and the natural tartness of the citrus lingers in the mouth in a pleasant farewell.

Jungle Dining Langkawi
Sago Gula Melaka & Calamansi Sorbet

Reasons to visit The Gulai House: absolutely enchanting setting in the middle of the rainforest; a gentle and quality introduction to the flavours of Malaysian cuisine; excellent wine and beverage list.

The Gulai House
The Datai Langkawi
Jalan Teluk Datai
07000 Pulau Langkawi
Kedah Darul Aman, Malaysia
+60 4 9500 500
www.thedatai.com

Find more of what magical Langkawi has to offer here.

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6 Comments

  1. I so love the decor, so so so nice.Not air-conditioned? That’s good, same as my favourite in town here. I can see the Thai influence in some of the dishes but gobi masala is definitely Indian.

  2. Drinks look great❤

  3. Such an inviting entrance to a restaurant with a warm ambiance!!

  4. Love to check out the place! I’ve yet to visit Langkawi! xoxo

  5. I miss kangkong so much!
    It’s so expensive here though, around £3 a bunch.
    I can get a big basket full of kangkong for RM3.

  6. Wish it was closer so we could visit (sigh). Cheers Diane

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