Malaysian food traces its roots to three primary Asian cuisines: Chinese, Indian, and Malay. It shares a lot of culinary ties with Singapore and Indonesia, while still maintaining its own unique flavour.
Foodies already know that Peninsular Malaysia is where one can find plenty of makan hotspots, like Kuala Lumpur and Penang. However, East Malaysia’s food scene isn’t anything to sneeze at either. In particular, Sarawak is a definite haven for some of Malaysia’s most iconic dishes. Book a Kuching tour package and explore Sarawak’s capital through its delicious food, starting with these seven restaurants.
Sarawak food tours will not be complete without Sarawak laksa in the itinerary. In fact, this is usually the first item on the list. Unlike neighboring Singapore’s laksa, which has a coconut milk base, Sarawak laksa’s broth is made from prawns to give it a different, richer flavour. One of the best places, if not outright the best place, to get Sarawak laksa is Chong Choon Cafe at Jalan Chan Chin Ann. It’s a VERY popular place, known to start preparing the rich broth early in the morning so that they can serve customers as early as 6:30 A.M. Make sure to drop by early, preferably at 10 or 11 o’clock, as Chong Choon Cafe is always packed. In fact, it might be best to put this destination on top of your list. The restaurant closes at noon or even earlier if they’re already sold out.
Aladdin Chicken Rice Shop
Aladdin Chicken Rice Shop is a small restaurant, easily missable if not for its yellow sign. Once you taste their chicken rice, the best in Kuching according to locals, you won’t be able to forget where this humble food stall is located. Aladdin Chicken Rice Shop offers fried, roasted, and steamed chicken with fragrant white rice. It’s the perfect meal to fill your tummy after sightseeing and shopping in Carpenter Street.
One of Kuching’s most famous dishes is kolo mee. It’s like Hong Kong’s kon lou wantan mee, but with char siew and minced meat mixed with clear sauce. Noodle Descendants in Jalan Padungan is one of the best places in Kuching to get a plate or two of kolo mee. It’s an extremely popular place, always packed with locals and tourists, so you know the food is good. You might have to wait an hour (the place is extremely popular) to get a seat and have your order served but it’s definitely worth it.
Tan Wan Kung
Another popular place to get kolo mee is Tan Wan Lung. It’s less touristy, with locals occupying its tables most of the time. This is a good indicator of the authenticity of the food. Expect to bite into springy noodles and red-rimmed char siew, drenched in perfectly seasoned sauce.
333 Fried Kway Teow
333 Charcoal Fried Kway Teow is located in Yu Yuan Cafe. It serves eight varieties of char kway teow, all cooked using the traditional charcoal method. This gives a distinct smoky flavour to the dish. Some of 333 Charcoal Fried Kway Teow’s most popular variants include the salted egg and the gula apong. Another must-try dish here is the charcoal char siew or barbecue pork rice, juicy and savoury with a satisfying crisp. You can pair it with your chosen char kway teow for the ultimate experience.
Lau Ya Keng Food Court
If you’re looking for some excellent kway chap, head on over to Attap Street to Lau Ya Keng Food Court. You won’t miss it, since there’s always a long line for this corner stall’s kway chap. While waiting for your turn, you can watch the kitchen staff’s mesmerising way of chopping the meat. A good “technique” here is to come early and visit the only satay stall first. Like Chong Choon Cafe, this satay stall has the tendency to close early since their products sell out fast. Make sure to try the pork satay!
Mira Cake House
For dessert in Kuching, you can’t go wrong with kuih lapis or layered cake. The best place to get these delectable rainbow cakes is at Mira Cake House, with over 50 types of kuih lapis to choose from. Moreover, Mira Cake House makes their kuih lapis in the traditional basah style. This makes their cakes softer and more moist. Kuih lapis are also great food souvenirs, so pick up a box or two before you leave.
Sarawak isn’t usually top of mind when it comes to food tours. Hopefully, this list can help change your mind and perhaps even convince you to encourage others to do the same.