The more you dig, the more eateries that one might discover in Miri. And folks don’t tell you this immediately, you have got to ask the right question, and of course, the right people. Most local Miri-ans tend to stay home and dine with their families, but a few do know of hidden gems, or a diamond in the rough, that serves up some decent grub in this town.
I’ve heard about this place from a colleague, which is actually quite close by to my old stomping grounds at the Marriott. Being holed up in a hotel during my transition period, I had to explore the outer realms, as the a meal in the hotel could set you back RM50-100 in one seating! So I took my trusty Honda city rental car, and off I went to search for this place.
Located just a few minutes drive towards the direction of Luak Bay, approximately 500m from the Marriott, lies the Medan Selera Tanjung Lobang . It is located right by the sea, and in between a grove of trees. It is by no means fancy, and chances are you will be raped by mosquitoes in the evening, but the food is tasty and you will get a brilliant sunset. So, wear long pants or you’re bug bait.
Store No.7 is our preferred stop at this particular food court. The proprieter actually runs another place called Everyday Cafe at Pelita during the day, and opens up this place in the evenings. He serves up some delicious fried chicken wings, that are actually not greasy, as depicted in the cover picture of this article. Don’t be shy, and do order a few of these, as they can be as addictive as crack. Not that I’ve tried crack, mind you.
Another staple that I tend to order, is the belacan fried Midin. For the uninitiated, Midin is a type of edible fern that can be found in abudance across Borneo (and apparently other parts of the globe according to Wikipedia), which is characterized by it’s furled fond. It has a nice crisp texture to it, and is typically fried with Belacan i.e. spicy shrimp paste, chilli, and garlic. It’s definitely one of my favourite greens in this part of the world.
This particular shop also serves up other decent seafood, such as the sambal grilled sting ray, or known locally as Ikan Pari. And the Malay section of the food court also serves some decent chicken satays. Apologize for the lack of pictures, as in my haste I forget to bring my dSLR, which would have done the delicious dishes justice. But fret not, as I shall return!
Do drop by this food court whenever you’re staying at the Marriott, or at the Parkcity Everly. Notably, the latter also acts as the venue for the popular Borneo Jazz festival, which usually jazzes up Miri annually around the month of May. Definitely a good reason to visit this quiet little oil town, which still has few surprises up its sleeve.