Wakaf Baru may not ring any bell to many people outside of Kelantan. Most tourists coming to Kota Bharu via train will know of Wakaf Baru as it is the embarkation point for Kota Bharu. Kota Bharu doesn't have a railway station of its own since it is on the other side of the river. Wakaf Baru is in the district of Tumpat on the west bank of the Kelantan River opposite to Kota Bharu. After alighting in Wakaf Baru, a traveller must take a taxi or 'kereta sewa' be it licenced or the unlicenced ones. The unlicensed ones are also known by the locals as 'private sapu'. Whatever it is they will get you to Kota Bharu at a price. Make sure the price is agreed upon before getting into one.
The ride to Kota Bharu covers a distance of approximately 8 kms from the railway station to the other side of the bridge and the time taken varies from 5 minutes to more than an hour depending on how massive is the traffic jam trying to cross the bridge. Imagine a three lane traffic trying to converge into a single lane on the bridge and if you are a meek driver, those on the left lanes will cut into your lane from any point in front of you. Don't worry the Kelantanese are very tolerant so nothing happens when people cut the queue, if you feel like it, just join them.
Wakaf Baru is a small town. Due to its proximity to Kota Bharu, Wakaf Baru developed faster than the town of Tumpat itself, the administrative place for the district. Together with Pasir Pekan which is on the bank of the Kelantan River near the Sultan Yahya Petra Bridge, they will merge to form a satelite town to Kota Bharu. Housing development with SBJ being the major player, makes Wakaf Baru as the residential place for those working in Kota Bharu. Once the additional bridge is constructed to ease the congestion at the present single lane Sultan Yahya Bridge, the traffic jam will become history.
What interest me with Wakaf Baru is the number of Thai food and Chinese food or a combination of them in this small town. The restaurants are concentrated in a predominantly Chinese and Thai populated village of Kulim on the fringe of town. Upon closer inspection the reason for this phenomena is this Budhist Wat located withing the village. Anyway this is my guess as it seems to be the focal point for the restaurants.
The most peculiar thing about these restaurants are their names. One of the earliest to be set up was this Ban Kok Restaurant.
Later it was perhaps followed by this one called Chieng Mai.
The next one seems to be more down to earth and thus named after the very village itself Kg Kulim and thus Restoran Kg Kulim.
Kg. Delima is the next village to Kg. Kulim so the next restaurant took after the name of the village and is thus named Seri Delima.
The owner of the next restaurant must be an avid fan of Chef Yan of the famous television series Wok With Yan and so he named his eatery as Yan Restaurant.
The next restaurant has a very Thai sounding name of Prik Knu. This must be an authentic Thai food restaurant.
The front of this eatery below don't seem to be well kept. Either the food must be so good that it is well patronised as it is or it is facing a rough time.
If you don't know where to find those restaurants, don't worry there are ample signages to lead you to the place.
Since all of the above restaurants are non halal meaning they are not for moslems I can't say much about the food. Hopefully some of the bloggers who write about food glorious food will get to visit them and write about them. How about you l'abeille?
During the festive seasons, the Yam Seng will resonate through the nights. So who says you cant drink and eat pork in Kelantan? You need only to know where to go.
By the way KBguy lives in Wakaf Baru so he should be able to tell us something about these eateries.