Malaysia which is known as Tanah Melayu previously has two region; Penisular Malaysia and East Malaysia (Borneo). Penisular Malaysia consists of 13 states and East Malaysia has 2 states. Sarawak is one of the states listed under East Malaysia and Kuching is the capital of Sarawak. It is also known as Bumi Kenyalang which is called Land of the Hornbills in English. There is so much to explore from the diverse culture, attractions and of course the foods.
Here is the list of must-try foods in Kuching:
1. KOLO MEE
Kolo mee is the all time favourite for locals and it is a signature Sarawak food known publicly. The dry noodle is served with slices of char siew, minced meat and spring onions. As years goes, there are several kolo mee versions available but one thing for sure is that kolo mee has flatter noodles and QQ texture. One of the must-try local places in Kuching is the Min Joo Café which is known as Noodle Descandents now. The waiting time will take you more than an hour or even two. Nevertheless, do give it a try when you are here. Their noodles are springy and QQ and served with offal soup. The offal soup served with seaweeds, fishcakes,fish balls, pork belly slices, kidneys, intestines and more. With all these ingredients, the soup tasted flavourful.
Bear in mind that you need to be patient to wait for them to order and process your order. It will take up to 2 hours time. So, do not go with empty stomach if you are planning to go for their kolo mee.
Address: Lot 18, Ground Floor
Opening Hours: 7:30AM – 3:00PM
2. SARAWAK LAKSA
Different states of Malaysia has different version of Laksa and Sarawak Laksa has it’s own uniqueness. The Sarawak broth is made with a mixture of sambal belacan, sour tamarind, galangal, lemongrass, coconut milk and herbs and spices. The laksa comes with egg strips, prawn, chicken slices, bean sprouts and lime garnished on top of the mee hoon. And the recommended place to have the Sarawak Laksa is the coffeeshop named Chong Choon Café. The laksa has the creamy texture and mixture of spicy and sour taste. The extra sambal paste with a calamansi lime will be served separately if you wish to give an extra kick of the dish.
Chong Choon Café
Lot 121, Jalan Abell
Opening Hours: 6:00AM -12:00PM
3. SARAWAK KUEH CHAP
While I was surfing for Kuching foods, their kueh chap apparently is known as one of the must-try food. Kueh Chap in Sarawak is serves with a bowl of mixture ingredients such as pork intensis and different parts of the pork. The soup tasted lighter and savory. I find the taste is similar with West Malaysia though. The kuey-teow here is thinner and serves in bigger slices. If you are exploring the Carpenter Street, you will get to see this stall selling Kueh Chap.
4. KUEH LAPIS / LAYER CAKES
Kueh Lapis is well-known layer cake to buy when you are in Sarawak. The layer cake has different flavours and colouring in loafs that makes up an attractive visual satisfaction. The cake is delicately baked layer by layer at a time. Samplings are available at the counter where customers get to try the flavours before deciding. The cake was delicious, moist and buttery. The famous local shop to purchase this savoury cake is Mira Cake House. In order to get there, you can drive or take a boat ride (water taxi) from Kuching Waterfront. The one way trip to the other side of the river only cost merely RM1.00 via water taxi.
Rumah Merah Kampung Boyan
44A Tebingan Permaidani BGS
93050 Kuching Sarawak
5. OYSTER OMELETTE PANCAKE
I came across this during my supper upon arrival Kuching at night at the hawker stalls. We usually have the starchy oyster omelette in west Malaysia. But in Kuching, it comes in thin and crispy texture. It has the ‘roti tisu’ texture that great to share as a snack. The plate of oyster pancake is made of flour and egg and then deep fried until it is crispy. You can enjoy it on its own or dip it with the soy sauce that serves separately.
101 Food Court
6. PAKU MIDIN
Paku Midin is the Queen of the jungle Ferns in Sarawak. This is a well-loved dish by the Sarawakians.This type of vegetable is popular in the villages and longhouses of rural Sarawak. It is considered as wild vegetable which is selling cheap in the market. You can find most of the zhi char hawker stalls selling this. It is recommended to cook with sambal belachan just like how we usually have sambal belachan kangkung. In terms of taste wise, it has the similar taste of sambal belachan kangkung. Simple and yet comforting dish to go with a bowl of plain rice.
7.KOMPIA / GONG PIA
This is known as Foo Chow snack. There are quite a number of flavours to choose but the famous one is the char siew filling. With RM1, I got myself a mini kompia to try. I was told that there are two versions. The big ones is soft and fluffy while the smaller version is crispy and savoury. The dough has the nutty layer from the toasted sesame seeds and best to be eaten fresh. There is a crackling sound from the first bite when it is hot but it turned hard when you left it cold.
Song Kheng Hai Hawker Centre
Jalan Song Kheng Hai,
8. COCONUT WITH SUGARCANE DRINK
While you are enjoying the pipping hot gongpia at the food court, get yourself a coconut with sugarcane drink to quench your thirst. It is a simple drink where you can find anywhere. But the cococane juice here is freshly crushed sugarcane with extracted coconut water and peeled coconut flesh in it. It is common in Kuching to serve together with peeled coconut flesh and this is best to have it this humid weather.
Song Kheng Hai Hawker Centre
Jalan Song Kheng Hai
off Jln Padungan
9. SUNNY HILL SOFT SERVE
There is always room for dessert and this legendary ice-cream shop has been operating for more than a generation is an all time favourite for the locals. As you step into the shop, it is just like a school canteen with a counter for order and payment and limited seats for customers. I was there when they are almost time for closing and managed to order the sandwich sundae. It was Saturday night and the available flavours are vanilla and chocolate so I ordered a mix. There are certain flavours available on specific days and usually they will only serve two flavours for the day. The soft serve here is similar to the texture as the McDonald’s soft serve. The sundae was not too sweet and the texture was smooth and soft too.
Sunny Hill Ice-Cream Shop
3rd Mile Rock Road
10. OLD SCHOOL DESSERTS
Swee Kang Ais Kacang shop started their business in 1953 and has relocated to a two-storey shophouse at Kampung Bandarshah. There is an open counter where you see a man preparing customers’ order in action. He is the dessert mixologist that sets his mixing in the right proportion. One of the recommended desserts to order is the White Lady. It is a sweet milky drink served in a tall glass. There are fruits and jellies in it with a slice of lemon. It’s a refreshing dessert for an afternoon chit chatting session.Also, their Materhorn is another chilling dessert to try. It’s the combination of chendol, grass jelly, longan, pineapple and lemon.
Swee Kang Ais Kacang
176, Jalan Haji Taha
11. Cucur Udang & Lok Lok
While in Swee Kang Ais Kacang, there is this stall selling cucur udang which is called prawn fritters. For Chinese, it is called ‘Har Peng’. Basically, we picked the items we want and the stall owner will deep-fried them and served with the dipping sauce topped with grounded peanuts. We picked the prawn fritters and assorted fried lok lok for our snacks while chilling with local desserts. There is one particular café named Old Rex Cucur Udang Café which is known with this but I did not have the time to visit there. So, I tried the stall at Swee Kang Ais Kacang instead.
Swee Kang Ais Kacang
176, Jalan Haji Taha
My first time here and I really enjoyed the food here.The pace here is slower and everyone seems like taking their own sweet time to do their things. A nice weekend gateaway with friends and family.