The beach bar with a family restaurant vibe.
The sole eatery for quite a ways on this stretch of sand, Miami Cafe is just steps from the beach, but not so close that dripping wet swimmers are constantly walking past your table. This restaurant is cash only, so check your wallet before deciding to eat here.
Ambience & Amenities
There are only a few tables – about eight – that are spaced out at a comfortable distance from each other. The restaurant will add more tables if demand calls for it, but then things will start to get a little cosy. Only a couple of tables will be covered, with the rest partly shaded by trees or the prime seats by the rail. Don’t miss the secluded table past their bar – turn left once you’ve entered to find it.
The bathroom is in the area of this private table. You will see a sink in front of a concrete shack with several doors. After opening a janitors closet or two that were much too secure to ever be a bathroom, I found it: the toilet is located behind the last door of this shack. It will have the word “TOILET” written in sharpie pen on the door, but maybe by the time you read this, they will have purchased a proper sign. The bathroom is only a single, but it was a sitting toilet with paper. Beach bathrooms almost always make you wish you didn’t have a nose, but this one astonishingly had no smell: no piss, no mildew, no rank ocean smell, nothing. Washing up is done outside at the previously mentioned sink with soap provided, and drying off is done by flicking your hands at the sand.
The menu is just a single sheet of food that’s easy to eat on the beach. For clueless Westerners, the recommended speciality is described as “Malaysian pancakes served with delicious authentic curry.” The rest of us know it simply as roti canai. A nice surprise was that the “small” sized beers on the menu were bottles instead of cans. The beers come out fast and in snug koozies to keep them cold for as long as possible. On the back of the menu is a remarkable story involving the tsunami that hit right here in George Town, and a conversation topic to bring up if you want to chat up the owners, Raja and Mary.
The Prawn Fritters (RM16) were not really fritters, but huge battered pieces of golden prawns with the tail on. The crispy outer batter covered cooked shrimp with bouncy flesh inside. Chilli and ketchup were brought along with these, with the chilli sauce working very well. This took a long time to arrive, but that just means it was battered and fried fresh to order.
We also got the Lamb Curry with Fries (RM18), the curry being the same one that comes with the “Ferringhi roti prata.” The speciality is definitely just roti canai because even the curry tastes like roti canai curry – that distinct flavour that every Malaysian knows. The lamb was very tender, cubes that fell apart in your mouth. I’m not sure if it was supposed to be throughout or if it was renegade morsel, but there was a total of one piece of potato in this. The fries were a bit bleh and undercooked. Overall, the food is what you expect for a beach bar: not great, but edible. It’s adequate enough to take the edge off after an active day at the beach.
You hear “beach bar” and immediately imagine thumping music and loud, annoying people. Miami Cafe has the advantage of being a pleasant spot in the middle of nowhere – not quite Batu Ferringhi, definitely not George Town. It’s too far to walk and most foreigners don’t have the insight to use Grab or the patience to take the bus which means much fewer tourists will come out here. All of the people eating here at dinnertime were not rowdy guests. The tables were taken up by quiet retirees that were likely guests at the expensive hotel across the street, or locals who ate their roti canai after a day of fishing. The owners (or their daughter) serve you, instead of some tanned surfer-looking dude. Miami Cafe is a rare find: the beach bar with a family restaurant vibe.
Price for 2 Pax: RM80.00
Prawn Fritters: RM16.00
Lamb Curry & Fries: RM18.00
Apple Fox x 3: RM36.00
Anchor Beer: RM10.00
Jalan Batu Ferringhi (across from the Hilton DoubleTree Resort) 11100 Pulau Pinang
Daily: 12pm – 12am
Closed on Wednesdays
Alcohol Served: Yes