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Kuching Food

Display at Top Spot
Display at Top Spot

This is the eleventh in a series of more in-depth posts on our trip to Borneo.

February 23

Kuching has great food. It is known for several dishes such a Kuching (or Sawarak) Laksa and Kolo Mee. It also has many great hawker stalls.

We had read about the Top Spot. It is the place recommended for tourists who want fresh fish although I saw mostly locals when we went. It is located just up from the Riverfront and is on top of a 3 story concrete parking lot. I know... it sounds strange to a westerner but it is wonderful. The top is ringed by several hawker stalls. Each stall has their fresh fish and vegetables displayed similar to farmers market here in the US - neat and very artistic. Each stall is also topped with the name of their stall several in neon.

As you walk around, each vendor will try to persuade you to eat at their stall. We made the circuit and then returned to #10. The woman was very friendly and helped us to pick out fish. We wanted it with sambal but she told us that it was very different sambal from what we may have had before and served it on the side.

We also wanted to try midin - jungle fern. We asked her to prepare it spiced with belacan (shrimp paste) and chili. We also ordered some tomato mee. It is all prepared fresh but fast. They brought us our Tiger beer first and then our dishes. Yummm...

My only complaint was the napkins. The paper napkins were very small and thin. Otherwise, the everything was excellent.

We also wanted to try Laksa. Laksa is a spicy noodle soup with shrimp, chicken. bean sprouts and shredded egg. There are several different varieties in Malaysia and Kuching is known for their variety. We decided to go to Choon Hui Cafe. It was written up in our guide book and was on the Kuching segment of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations. It wasn't too far from our hotel and we got there early in the morning. Laksa is a traditional breakfast food. We also ordered a sweet coffee - coffee sweetened with condensed milk. It wasn't that bad.

The ladies in the front of the cafe cooked up the Laksa fresh. They had a huge pot of boiling water where they cooked the noodles. Then they ladled the broth over the noodles and topped it with the meat and vegetables. It was served with limes and a scoop of sambal. Perfect for a hot muggy morning.

We also had Kolo Mee and Prawn Mee for lunch at a stall along Jalan Carpenter. Mee is more like ramen noodles and more dry. Both were very good but I didn't get any pictures. One night we also had pizza at Bla Bla Bla which had great atmosphere and decor but was much more expensive than the seafood. Good but we preferred the seafood and noodles.

Here are some shots of two of the restaurants and the food we had.

Top Spot
Top Spot Restaurant - you enter up the stairs on the right - 3 floors up

Welcome to Top Spot
Selamat Datang - Welcome!

Neon Signs at Top Spot
Our favorite stall

Display at Top Spot
Fish and vegetables on display - choose your dinner

Waiting for dinner at Top Spot
We're ready and waiting for dinner

Top Spot
Other diners enjoying their meals

Grilled fish at Top Spot
Grilled Fish

Tomato Mee at Top Spot
Tomato Mee

Midin in belecan
Midin (jungle fern) with belacan and chili

Black Pepper Prawns
Black Pepper Prawns for our second dinner

Midin again - with garlic this time

Neon Signs at Top Spot
Great Neon Signs

Neon Signs at Top Spot
Another great sign

Choon Hui Cafe - Laksa
Choon Hui Cafe - our stop for breakfast laksa

Preparing Laksa at Choon Hui Cafe
Preparing Laksa at Choon Hui Cafe

Laksa at Choon Hui Cafe
Our dish

Laksa breakfast
G enjoying his bowl

Welcome sign at McDonalds
They are everywhere! We did *not* eat at McDonalds but couldn't resist including the welcome sign.

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Comments (3)


Wow, everything sounds and looks amazing!

Loved seeing these photos! Looks like quite a meal you had. I laughed when reading about the napkins. Reminds me of the napkins you get at a gelateria in Italy.

The food looks and sounds so good. And I love the signs (even Mickey D's!).

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