People have always compared Kuching to Penang when it comes to the food capital of Malaysia.
Malaysia’s largest state, Sarawak is well known for their distinct regional cuisine which makes use of fresh seafood and aromatic local herbs.
Any trip to Kuching, the state’s capital, is not complete without you enjoying a hearty bowl of laksa Sarawak or Kolo Mee or maybe sipping tuak, a traditional rice-based alcoholic beverage native to the Dayak community.
When it comes to local specialities that you should try while in Kuching, the first and foremost is sarawak laksa – a laksa dish that’s very particular to this area. It features flavours including sambal, tamarind, galangal, garlic and lemongrass, with coconut milk used as the base whilst omelette, chicken and prawns make up the main bulk of the meal. There are various versions, normally all based on this traditional combination of ingredients and it has a distinctive and tasty flavour… then there is the Kolo Mee (also known as Mi Kolok), a dish which originated from Sarawak, consisting of the famous springy egg noodles coated with oil and black soya sauce. Where else to hunt for the authentic taste of Kolo Mee if not Kuching, right?
And that’s not all, there are so much to explore, indulge and try in Kuching… which was what I did with my fellow team mates from Gaya Travel magazine, thanks to Persatuan Media Negeri Selangor and Sarawak Tourism Board….
These are 6 eateries where we ate during our trip to Kuching…
Heritage Central Cafe
Heritage Central Cafe is a cosy and comfortable cafe that serves up some delicious local traditional cuisine right in the heart of Kuching city. Located on the ground floor of Bangunan Yayasan Sarawak, this cafe preserves the finest delicacies that were passed down through generations, deeply embedded in Sarawakian heritage…..
Here guests get to enjoy affordable yet delectable meals overlooking the lush greens of Padang Merdeka….
On the first day when we arrived in Kuching, we enjoyed some of their dishes served with rice such as the Kerabu Midin (jungle fern stir fried in onion, chilli & lime mixture), Sup Ayam Berkentang (chicken soup with potatoes), Ayam Masak Merah, Daging Masak Hitam (this was really delicious!!) and Pajeri Terung
On the last day just before we ended our trip in Kuching, we dined here again and ordered and try a myriad of localized dishes too….
Laksa Sarawak – an all time favourite amongst Sarawakians. Even the late American celebrity chef, Anthony Bourdain deemed this dish “Breakfast of the Gods” for good reason. Different from any other variations of laksa, Sarawak laksa has a long unique list of spices and herbs, creating a magnificent broth that is unmatched. Vermicelli noodles, spicy broth with coconut milk, sliced omelette strips, chicken strips, prawns, bean sprouts & cilantro… this was definitely good and I loved it
Roti Bakar Sarikei – consist of a lightly toasted/grilled bun with creamy pandan coconut jam….
Roti Sangkaya – Hainanese bun in creamy pandan coconut with evaporated milk
Melanau Linut or Ambuyat – Sticky sago flour mixture served with special heritage “sambal belacan”
Tumpik – Melanau dish pancake made from sago flour and dried coconut flake… this was my first time trying this and it was a bit dry and powdery but not bad as it is meant to be dipped in gula apong syrup, I think
Heritage Central Cafe also has a small gallery that sells snacks , souvenirs and handicrafts from all over Sarawak….
Address – Yayasan Sarawak, Jalan Masjid, 93000 Kuching
Website – https://www.heritagecentralcafe.com
Bukit Mata Seafood 25 Sdn Bhd / Topspot Kuching
In Kuching there’s this place called Top Spot Food Court where half a dozen of restaurants – mostly serving seafood (halal options available) operate on the roof of a 6 storey car park.
The stalls here are numbered and lit up with lurid neon signs that reminds you of Vegas and buzzing with people coming for dinner and leaving after dinner…
We had our dinner from the Bukit Mata Seafood stall, or stall number 25…. the seafood variety here is good and most importantly fresh…..
We had some Tomyam Soup, Ikan 3 Rasa, Salted Egg Prawn, Midin Belacan, Oyster Pancake, Black Pepper Crab, Kungpao Squid with our rice and even though it isn’t the best sea food I have had, cos I am lucky to have tasted really good ones, it certainly was fresh and the food pretty nice!!!
The oyster pancake is definitely different from the normal oyster omelette we have in Peninsula Malaysia… the pancake here is crispy, thin and brittle and it’s hard to break off a piece cleanly….. The clear savoury sauce in the bowl in the centre is loaded with white pepper.
Address – Topspot Foodcourt, Jalan Padungan, Kuching
Bonfire @ Serapi Garden Cafe
A restaurant focusing on halal grilled, barbecue and smoked food in the heart of Kuching City, located in Satok.
80% of Bonfire @ Serapi Garden Cafe menu are Western grilled and barbecued while the other 20% are Asian favourites grilled and barbecued foods.
Western grill and barbecue choices menu are the texas smoked and grilled sharing platter. Barbecued ribs, smoked brisket grill and roasted chicken.
Asian Favourites Grills and Barbecue menus are the salai, percik, bakar sambal, thai barbecue and grills.
I ordered their Bonfire Fried Noodle and requested for koay teow which came with huge crispy squid tentacles and delicious sambal…. The portion was generous and more importantly, it was really delicious!!!!
Address – Lot 209, 171A, Lorong 11,Jalan Satok, 93400 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
Contact – 011-10897794
Serapi Corner is a restaurant that offers Sarawakian authentic Peninsular Malay cuisine.
For our visit here, we got to indulge in some Ulam-Ulaman with sambal belacan (which came with anchovies too), Ayam Goreng Berempah, Ikan Kari, Telur Dadar Ala Thai and Sayur Masak Lemak….
The food was really satisfying and good and we enjoyed it a lot
Address – Lot 2051, No 231, Blok 233 Knld, Rich Commercial Centre, Pekan Batu 7, Kota Sentosa, 93250 Kuching
Le’Song Cafe is simple and nice cafe that serves up some traditional Sarawakian dishes too….
We got to try dishes like the Sarawak bubor pedas, donut lemantak (which kind of taste like keropok lekor) and ayam gulapong (chicken which has been marinated with gula apong and other spices) which happen to be Le’Song’s signature dishes.
Other things we tried were the Umai ikan, Ikan bakar and Tauhu bergedil which were pretty ok too
Address – No 14172, Ground Floor, Sublot 39, Section 65 KTLD, Metrocity Commercial Centre, Q309, Petra Jaya, Kuching
I know there are probably a lot of cafes to visit in Kuching but one of my favorite and most convenient place would be the Commons …. This charming and pretty cafe enables you the experience that merges the classic design of the heritage listed, 1870’s Old Courthouse with a design that features untouched hard wood floors, high ceilings, and mid century pieces that has been handpicked and curated to complement the building, inside and out….
With interesting dishes created to bring comfort to the soul, Commons also serves up a wide range of cakes and specialty coffee right in the heart of Kuching…
And their toilet experience is unique since you have to use a password to access the toilet….
Address – Commons @ the Old CourtHouse, Jalan Tun Abang Haji Openg Kuching, Malaysia 93000