KUCHING, 11 May 2021: The authentic snacks you can find along the streets and alleys of Kuching in Sarawak are legendary for food lovers and it is likely to get even better if Kuching wins its bid to become a UNESCO Creative City in the field of gastronomy.
Securing Creative City status for gastronomy will put the state capital on the map as far as foodies are concerned who will be keen to visit Kuching to taste the diversity once travel reopens.
With its application completed Kuching should be among the cities recognised in the new UNESCO listing that is due to be released in October 2021.
You can enjoy Sarawak delicacies three meals a day. Let’s take you through the dining options on a typical day in Kuching for a foodie on tour..
A delicious and nutritious breakfast is definitely essential to start the day.
A breakfast the locals cannot do without is a bowl of kolo mee. The thin slices of char siu (pork slice), the flavorful minced meat, and the hand made noodles make this dish very unique. Some stores do it with zheng (mixed pork soup). The soup is rich with aroma and full of ingredients such as meatballs and internal organs of pork.
Recommended Restaurant: Kim Joo Kolo Mee
Address: 73 Jalan Ewe Hai, 93000 Kuching, Sarawak
In addition to Sarawak’s special meal, Kolo Mee, the one and only Sarawak Laksa is also not to be missed. The rich broth ̶̶ made from a variety of spices served with prawns and shredded chicken, a few drops of squeezed lime juice is appetizing and tantalizing to one’s taste buds.
Recommended Restaurant: Chong Choon Café Address: 275, Jalan Chan Chin Ann, 93100 Kuching, Sarawak
Popiah and toast
Popiah and toast can be said to be companions common in the local breakfast menu. The local Popiah is made of turnip filling wrapped in a soft thin paper-like crepe made from wheat flour. Paired with toasted bread and a cup of local coffee, a day of vitality is ahead.
Recommended Restaurant: Choon Hui Café Address: 34, Jalan Ban Hock, 93100 Kuching, Sarawak
Mee jawa, a popular noodle dish in Sarawak, is made of yellow egg noodles, topped with tofu, bean sprouts, hard-boiled eggs and sauce. Sometimes, satay (meat skewer) comes with the meal. A good breakfast choice too.
Recommended Restaurant: Mee Jawa Rabak:
Address: 100, 82, Jalan Main Bazaar, 93000 Kuching, Sarawak
It is hard to decide what to eat when faced with such a wide selection of delicious food as you walk around the streets of Kuching. I recommend trying all the delicacies to satisfy your appetite.
Kompia, which originated from Chaoshan, is very popular in Malaysia. The kompia is crunchy when fried till crispy and golden brown. The locals like to eat Kompia with meat fillings. The aroma from a baked Kompia combined with the fragrant smell of meat makes you want to eat more.
Rojak means “mixture” in Malay. A vegetable and fruit salad dish that reflects the diverse culture of Malay. Rojak cleverly blends various fruits and fritters with a spicy palm sugar paste, then topped with crushed peanuts. You can enjoy this authentic snack anytime.
Recommended Restaurant: Song Kheng Hai Hawker Centre
Address: Jalan Song Kheng Hai, 93100 Kuching, Sarawak
Sarawak kek lapis
The colourful Sarawak kek lapis is often served during religious or cultural celebrations. As the celebrity in the cake category, this traditional cake comes in different colours and patterns, so you must remember to take photos of it.
Recommended Restaurant: Kek Lapis Dayang Salhah Kuching
Address: Petra Jaya, 40, Jalan Gersik, Kampung Gersik, 93050 Kuching, Sarawak
When preparing kueh chap, attention is given to the cleanliness of the internal organs as they are the signature of the dish. The flat wide rice noodles rolls are soft and smooth. The rich meat-based broth is an important part of the dish. The combination of the ingredients gives a fantastic and aromatic taste.
Satay is one of the common barbecue food on the streets of Kuching. The marinated beef or chicken on skewers are grilled over hot burning charcoal and paired with a special spicy peanut sauce. The aroma of the satay itself is tempting enough
Recommended Restaurant: Lau Ya Keng Foodcourt
Address: 19, Carpenter St, 93000
Black olives fried rice
Black olives are a famous fruit in Sarawak. The locals use marinated black olives in their fried rice. The aroma of the olive penetrates the rice and makes it very appetising.
Recommended Restaurant: Warong Nusantara
Address: 23, 14, Jalan Bukit Mata Kuching, 93100 Kuching, Sarawak
The restaurants and cafes on the street become lively when night falls. The food available at night in Kuching must not be missed.
Crispy fried oyster pancake
The local food court is said to be a paradise for foodies; you can taste authentic delicacies at each stall. Crispy fried oyster pancake is a decadent meal of lovely oysters fried in pancake batter with lots of eggs. You’ll love stir-fried Bidin, one of the must-order special dishes. Many of the delicacies can’t be found elsewhere; you would want to try them all.
Recommended Restaurant: Top Spot Food Court
Address: Jalan Padungan, 93100 Kuching, Sarawak
Bamboo chicken is a traditional delicacy of the Ibans in Sarawak. The way to make it is to stuff the bamboo roll with chicken, red onion, ginger, lemongrass and other spices then close the opening with cassava leaves. The bamboo is roasted slowly over a fire. The tender chicken takes on a slightly burnt woody taste from the bamboo and goes very well with rice.
Recommended Restaurant: Rumah Asap Dayak Samarahan
Address: 94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak
Crispy roast pork
Crispy roast pork is hard to make. The skin is crispy and crunchy, yet the meat can be tender and juicy. Only an expert knows how to pull off this amazing dish. You can’t stop after a bite.
Recommended Restaurant: Yue Fang Yuan
Address: 370, Jalan Kampung Simpang Tiga,Kuching, 93200
(Source: Your Stories Sarawak Tourism Board)
For more details of Kuching’s application for UNESCO Creative Cities in designation see: https://www.ttrweekly.com/site/2021/05/kuching-files-for-creative-city-list/