Kuching, there is plenty of origins for this name. Some say it is derived from the Malay word of cat, ‘kucing’. While some may say it is derived from cochin, an indian trading harbour. Although it is still unclear as of which of these two and many more is the origins of the name Kuching, it is clear that Kuching is a food paradise waiting for you to discover.
For all locations mentioned in this post (and many other places with delicious Kuching foods), click here http://goo.gl/zPHMGM for a Google Maps we prepared for your convenience.
Which is why the first stop when you reach Kuching is always to go for Kolo Mee as BREAKFAST. Kolo Mee is the comfort food of Kuchingites, just like Wantan Mee to a KL-ite, or Hokkien Mee to a Penang lang.
Oriental Park Kolo Mee @ Gertak Lane:
The first Kolo Mee that we recommends is very hidden, and will possibly be difficult for travellers to locate. But if you follow the Google Maps we prepared, and maybe a little bit of asking around, you will definitely find the place.
Oriental Park Kolo Mee has been around for decades, serving unlimited number of happy customers not only from Kuching but also adventurous travellers who managed to locate this hidden treasure.
Operating Hours: 7am to 12pm Daily
**Tips: (1) Come earlier for guaranteed seats and shorter waiting time. (2) If you want to try the original taste of Kolo Mee, don’t order the ‘Red’ version (‘Red’ is actually the oil when the pork is barbecued) because it will taste sweeter.
Kim Joo Kolo Mee @ Carpenter Street:
Another authentic Kolo Mee that is within reach if you are staying at the centre of the town is the one at Kim Joo. Operating since 1958, Kim Joo’s Kolo Mee is the one that you cannot afford to miss.
There are 2 types of noodles for Kolo Mee, one that is curly and one that is straight. The curly noodles offers more texture and is more chewy as compared to the straight noodle, but you won’t be needing to worry which type of noodle to choose from as there is only the straight type here at Kim Joo. Also…… they don’t have the ‘Red’ version of Kolo Mee. So, “What to order leh?”.
-The business license from 1958-
Operating Hours: 6.30am to 2pm (or until the noodles are sold out), Monday OFF
**Tips: (1) The place is rather easy to find if are on foot, but if you’re driving, be patience and you might need to turn a few round in order to find a parking. It’s totally normal. Or you can just park at the nearby mall and walk all the way down the street.
Chong Choon Cafe Laksa @ Jalan Chan Chin Ann:
Chong Choon Cafe, like Choon Hui Cafe is also always crowded. The other similarity is that it is rather difficult to locate a good parking space, or it used to be. Or maybe it will again when you are back. Confused? Ya, me too.
Chong Choon Cafe used to be located here,
But currently it is located here, just the opposite of the usual spot.
We asked the stalls if the kopitiam will be located there permanently or not, but they are just as unsure as we are. Well, the point is, depending on the decision of the landlord, you might need to look at both spots to find this amazing Laksa.
Operating Hours: 6.00am to 12.00pm
*Tips: (1) If you’re driving, be considerate and don’t double park or park at parking area that belongs to other people or businesses at the area. (2) The Laksa here is different from the Laksa stall at Sin Chong Choon, Green Heights, where ‘Sin’ means ‘New’ in Chinese. So, don’t get confused.
Mee Jawa @ Syn Wan Hui:
If you’re craving for Mee Jawa, and is able to wait a little while, head over to Syn Wan Hui Cafe for some possibly the best Mee Jawa in town.
Be sure to order the Mee Jawa Special with 5 additional chicken or beef Satays.
Operating Hours: Breakfast and Brunch.
Lau Ya Geng @ Carpenter Street:
At Kuching, we have tons of choices for a simple meal. The same food such as Kolo Mee can be taken as breakfast, lunch, and even dinner. One of such food is the Kueh Chap. Kueh Chap fans in Kuching can have Kueh Chap for all 3 meals throughout the day, 4 if you include supper, and no, we rarely take it during tea time.
Kueh Chap is a bowl of flat and wide rice flour with a mixture of pork innards bathed in a very light broth. A good bowl of Kueh Chap is determined by the broth as well as the tenderness of the ingredients.
Other than the Kueh Chap, the Fishball Tauhu Soup is also one of the must try food at the place. In my humble opinion, it taste the best when you have vermicelli added to the soup. And let’s not forget the satays!
Operating Hours: 5am to 9pm Daily
**Tips: (1) The Kueh Chap stall during the day and the night is operated by different people, but in my opinion, both is equally delicious
Aladin Cafe @ Carpenter Street:
Opposite Lau Ya Geng is Aladin Cafe. Aladin Cafe is famous in town for its Fried Chicken with Rice, but do you know they are open during lunch too? But you should know that the Fried Chicken is only available at night, they only serve Roasted Chicken and Steamed Chicken during the day.
Operating Hours:12pm to 2.30pm; 6pm to 10pm.
**Tips: (1) Don’t be intimidated by the tattoos, they are really nice. (2) Be patient.
Song Kheng Hai Hawker Centre @ Pandungan:
If you’re looking for a place to satisfy a lot of your cravings at once, come to Song Kheng Hai Hawker Centre. You can find lots of local delights here, hence it is perfect for both lunch or if you are just looking for some light food for your tea time.
There are tons of foods to be recommended here, but first, order the Fresh Sugar Cane with Coconut.
Once you ordered your drinks, go to stall number 7 and order the Kompia, one of each flavour. You can order more after you filled your tummy with all the delicious food at the hawker centre, but at the moment, one of each will do. And… let’s not forget the Rojak of this stall!
Now you have some snacks and refreshing drinks on your table. Head over to stall no. 3 and order the Tomato Kueh Tiaw and Noodles. To get the retro styled Tomato Mee such as the picture we have here, ask the owner to not deep fry your noodle.
In the early days, Tomato Mee was prepared without having the noodles deep fried, but fried slowly with the tomato sauce. The ‘modern’ kind of Tomato Mee is deep fried and before adding the tomato gravy. If you’re curious, order both and judge for yourself.
Operating Hours: Each stall operates at different hours, but come during lunch time or tea time, most of the stalls will be closed at around 5pm
Sing Fook Seng Cafe @ Pandungan:
Or, maybe you did your research and you heard of a very special pork leg rice at Pandungan Street. Then, come to Sing Fook Seng Cafe that is located at the arch at the entrance of the Pandungan Street’s.
They sold out really really fast. So be sure to be there early!
Operating Hours: First Session - 7 am until sold out; Second Session - 12pm until sold out
TEA TIME Snacks?
Chong Chon Biscuit Maker @ Kai Joo Lane:
Only Hong Kong produces the best puff and pastries? That’s not true. You can also find really delicious puffs in Kuching. It is hidden, in a very humble street, or lane to be exact.
Located at the end of Kai Joo Lane (depends on whether you enter the lane from the exit near the police station) is a shop with 45 years of experience making puffs and is the FIRST to make them in Kuching.
She came from Hong Kong over 50 years ago and with the time she had in her hands, she started making some puffs to earn some income. Slowly the business grew as more and more people love her puffs.
Operating Hours: 9am to 5pm
ABee Traditional Buns @ Pandungan:
Freshly baked and steamed buns with variety of flavours and fillings to choose from! And on top of that, they are cheap and DELICIOUS!! If you happen to be at the area, pick one of each flavour!
Operating Hours: 7.30am to 6pm
What about DINNER?
Open Air Market @ Jalan Power:
The other place that can satisfy many of your cravings in one location is the Open Air Market. There are tons of food to be tried here during the day, but we recommend that you go here during the night.
Order some Sio Bee, Beef Noodle, Kolo Mee for dinner. Then… queue up at the Gula Apong Ice Cream. Yes, queue. Or if you’re lucky, you won’t have to. But if you need to queue, stay calm, let your food digest, and create room for desserts!
Operating Hours: Gula Apong Ice Cream (1pm to 3am), Ah Mui Beef Noodle (5.00pm to 10.30pm)
**Tips: (1) If you go there in the morning, be sure to ask the food owner which table can you sit, and you are then not allowed to order food from other food stalls.
Top Spot @ Permata Carpark:
Top Spot, the heaven for a seafood feast! You get to choose your own seafood and then the way you want to cook it. While you’re there, be sure to order the Bidin if you’re not from Sarawak. This vegetable is only available here in Sarawak. You can have it fried with garlic, sambal, or oyster sauce.
Operating Hours: 4pm to 10pm
**Tips: (1) Again, be patient.
Before you leave Kuching, be sure to visit one last stop.
Kek Lapis Dayang Salhah:
Head over to the waterfront and take a Sampan to get to the opposite side of the river to find Dayang Salhah Layered Cake. The place is rather hidden as compared to the other stores selling layered cake.
Once you managed to find the place, you can go in and there will be an array of samples for you to try from. Which you can then use to decide which of the many flavours to choose from.
**Tips: (1) To make sure that you don’t pay extra for the Sampan’s fare, pay the navigator RM1 and look confident. They tend to charge the tourists more. While some actually charges less than RM1, so, just pay RM1 for each person in your group.
So, we listed all these nice places with superb food. Maybe you will be here for a day or two, maybe three, where should you start? We came up with the following suggested route for your consideration.
What’s this? One LAST thing we recommend to you, a drink unique to Kuching.
Teh C Special @ Nearly Everywhere in Kuching:
This drink is only available here in Kuching. Teh C Peng should not be a new thing to most Malaysian, but Teh C Peng Special?
Teh C Peng Special is Teh C Peng with an extra layer of syrup, the most common layer added is the Gula Apong syrup. This drink can be found at almost every kopitiams in Kuching.
There are many different versions of Teh C Special. The most common layer is Gula Apong, where some other kopitiams prefer to replace the Gula Apong with Wheat Grass or Pandan Syrup. Depending on your taste, you will definitely prefer one over the other.
**Tips: (1) The colours and the layers of the drink is best made with a lot of ice, like, lots of ice. So, don’t tell the waiter to reduce the ice. (2) Slowly stir the cup of drinks with your straw and take small sips as you stir. Since there is a lot of ice, the amount of water will be less. Hence if you stir the whole cup at once, it might be too sweet to drink. But that depends on the amount of syrup added and the sweetness of the syrup itself.
We from Teaspoon definitely wishes that we will be seeing you in Kuching very very soon. If you find any delicious food during your trip at Kuching, be sure to let us know!!!