This restaurant is a true dining delight, and despite the fact that I don't eat seafood, this did not stop me from enjoying the service and experience of dining at Jala Restaurant.
Eating at Jala is not just about the food, but the overall dining experience.
To begin with, service was unbelievably attentive. The staff make you feel like you're the only customer around! When I initially made the booking I enquired as to whether there were food options for people who did not eat seafood. At that point in time I thought Jala exclusively served seafood. The staff member who took the booking said that there were things on the menu for me, so I went ahead with the booking.
When we turned up the next day, we handed our thongs over as the restaurant floor is sand. The restaurant is undercover but open right on the beach! It was such a care free and lovely feeling. The view of the beach is splendid but don't forget your mosquito repellant!
As we were seated, one of the waitstaff actually handed me an ala carte menu and said 'I believe there is someone at the table that doesn't eat seafood?' When I mentioned that it was me, he kindly pointed out the non sea food options before letting us decide.
Jala restaurant actually has an uncooked seafood buffet display at the front, where the seafood lovers can choose their fish/lobster/prawns etc, before discussing how they would like it cooked and served with the sous chef who is manning the area. My husband choose this option whilst I ordered off the menu. When you choose your seafood, you also get to choose a number of accompaniments. The chef was more than pleased to make recommendations.
The food was fantastic and the seafood fresh.
At some point during the evening the duty manager introduced himself to welcome us to the restaurant, as well as to invite us to provide any feed back.
The Andaman should take pride in their staff who made such a wonderful impression. At one point in the evening a restaurant staff member grabbed another light/candle to bring it over as it was getting dark so we could see better.
Reception and concierge were friendly and most helpful in directing us to the restaurant when we first arrived, and then helping us to organise a cab upon leaving. The hotel driver who drove us home was pleasant, polite and friendly. I believe his name was Ahman/Ahmed.
The restaurant even has an area for you to wash the sand from your feet as you leave.
The only drawbacks is that the Andaman is quite remote and the cabs will charge about 70RM from Cenang Beach - although I think its remoteness only adds to the wonderfully secluded atmosphere - no traffic, no hawkers, no buzzing from water sports or crowds!
The other 'draw back' is obviously the fact that this is a fine dining restaurant and they charge accordingly.
I would recommend the Jala experience to anyone!
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