Kuching is the east-side food paradise!
Being the capital of Sarawak with at least 4 dominant races and over 40 sub-ethnic groups living in harmony, it’s no surprise that Kuching has a strong local food scene with some of the tastiest and interesting cuisines and vibes!
We hear your tummies rumbling! Are you ready to dine like a true Kuchingnite?
1. Oriental Park Kolo Mee
Serving up first, we have the Oriental Park Kolo Mee store: a gem hidden in the nook of Gertak Lane. Starting from 7am in the morning, this quaint little shop is packed with loyal customers coming for breakfast or lunch.
You will be greeted by the high spirited lady boss who comes to take your order. The options are few but on point. You can choose between the curly or straight noodles, with or without the ‘red’ which is the aromatic pork lard typically served with the Kuching kolo mee. The Charsiu (barbequed pork) is traditionally barbecued on the pit you will see at the entrance.
Address: Gertak Lane, 93000 Kuching, Sarawak
2. Poh Lam Laksa @ Chong Choon Cafe
The Sarawak Laksa is a pride of any local and Poh Lam Laksa is a classic. You find this famed stall in Chong Choon Cafe, where locals brave the wait to get a seat on those old school benches!
Despite the massive crowd, you get your delightful bowl of Sarawak Laksa – The one Anthony Bourdain calls the ‘Breakfast of Gods’ served real quickly. The magical combo here will be a bowl of classic laksa and a Teh C Peng large! Be warned! It’s really big!
Address: 275, Jalan Chan Chin Ann, 93100 Kuching, Sarawak
3. Swee Kang Ais Kacang
What’s better than a sweet bowl of desserts overflowing with shaved ice on a typical hot Kuching’s afternoon? The whole Kuching might be thinking the same, hence, the large crowd at Sweet Kang Ais Kacang!
This is probably the biggest dessert name in town, as it has about 18 thirst-quenching choices on the menu and they’re all really on point. The one not to miss is the Durian Ais when it’s in season! During that time of the year, the King of fruits is also the King of the Menu! Who are we kidding?
Address: Ground Floor, Lot 176 Jalan Haji Taha, 93400 Kuching.
4. Song Kheng Hai
Ranked number 4 for food courts in Kuching, this 2-storey open-air Recreational Food Centre is home to a variety of very delicious local delicacies like the Kolo Mee, Tomato Kuey Teow, and Belacan Beehoon. Furnished with fixed tables and chairs, and sometimes you have street dancers or hipsters skateboarding in the basement, Song Kheng Hai have the vibes like no other.
The one stall that stands out among the rest is No.7 Rihga owned by a courteous and friendly young lad. His Kompias or also known as the Foochow’s doughnut are many locals favourite. These mini buns are chewy when hot with glistening pork meat in between. They are served in 4 varieties – Original, Garlic, Cheese and Ham flavours.
To get the best of your SKH experience, you might want to complete your meal with the rojak, a local salad with Yiu Char Kueh, and the signature sugar cane coconut mix drink.
Address: Jalan Song Kheng Hai, 93100 Kuching, Sarawak
5. Lao Ya Keng Temple Food Court
Lao Ya Keng is one with a strong Cat City vibe. Business starts 7am – 12am daily, except Fridays being their off days, and is specially packed out during lunch hours.
The highlight of this place has got to be their fish ball soup with Tanghoon (glass noodles) as their fish balls have been handmade for generations. Next to them is the famous pork skewers which are absolutely heavenly. These skewers despite being chargrilled to perfection are extremely tender and are served with a perfect peanut dip. An extra Kedondong (sour fruits) drink will put a smile on your face!
Address: 19, Lebuh Carpenter, 93000 Kuching, Sarawak
6. Pisang Goreng @ Carpenter Street
So, you leave no.5 with the brightest smile, you head across the street to a small stall to get some banana, yam and sweet potato fritters. The wait might put you off but we can assure you that it’s worth it!
This stall is known to be particular of using the best quality bananas. These enormous bananas are peeled, sliced and coated with a thin layer of batter and fried in sizzling hot oil to perfection. This gives this snack a perfect crisp and sweet composition. It will give you wings.
7. Pinggai Cafe
If you’re looking for a place that serves authentic Dayak food, you should pay Pinggai Cafe a visit! Their signature dishes made from recipes that are passed down from generations are Cili Padi Ayam Pansuh also known as the Dayak Bamboo Chicken, chicken curry served with glutinous rice in a pitcher plant, Tempoyak Dabai Fried Rice and three-layered barbecued pork!
This place is great for lunch or tea. Pair these dishes with a good Ol Tuak, the local rice wine and there you are, dining in true Dayak style!
Address: 37, China St, 93000 Kuching, Sarawak
8. Black Bean Coffee and Tea Co
Tucked at the end of Carpenter Street, this peaceful little cafe enchants coffee lovers through the many years with one of their signature cup of caffeine brewed with Sarawak Liberica coffee beans proudly roasted by Mr Chang himself!
With just 3 tables, and an old school handwritten menu stuck on the wall, Black Bean Coffee serves countless coffee-loving locals and tourists, all leaving happily caffeinated with a price as low as RM5.
Address: No.87, Ewe Hai Street, 93000, Kuching, Sarawak
9. Red Kolo Mee @ Open Air Market
This Red Kolo Mee is known to be one of the earliest of its kind in town! ‘Red’ here stands for Kuching’s signature aromatic pork lard. Marinated in aromatic pork lard and garnished with juicy minced pork this bowl of springy handmade noodles, your taste buds are in for a treat!
Another strong reason we love coming here is the friendly and warm vibe this ‘Uncle’ and his son that we nicknamed the ‘Sunshine boy’ gives. His humour and energy can lighten any mood! Besides, you’ve got to try the fresh soybean drink and Sio Bee from the neighbouring stall if you want to have it like a true local!
Address: Jalan Market, 93000 Kuching, Sarawak
10. Soon Fatt Cafe
No Kuching food list is complete without some scrummy Foochow food! Foochows take pride in these dishes that are passed down from generations to generations. Here at Soon Fatt they serve everything from Mee Sua, to Kampua, Cha Zu Mee, Zhao Chai Hungan, Kompias, and more!
But our favourite has got to be the fried Zhao Chai Hungan (Fried Rice Vermicelli and preserved vegetables) paired with Egg Drop soup!
Address: Jalan Petanak, 93100 Kuching.
Is your favourite spot on the list? Share with us in the comments!
Header image credits: The Food Pornographer