local delicacies in kuching

Kuching, located in the state of Sarawak, East Malaysia is brimming with a unique culture. Kuching is part of Borneo, so the population is made up of people from the local tribes such as the Iban, Bidayuh, Orang Ulu, who live alongside the local Malays and Chinese. As with the different states and town of Malaysia, the melting pot of cultures has given rise to more than a few tantalizing signature dishes. The best Kolok Mee, Sarawak Laksa and Tomato Mee can be found in Kuching. While Kolok Mee reigns over the other dishes as the best food in Kuching and the must-try for any visitor, there’s far more flavours to be explored and lots of good places to eat in Kuching.

During my time when I visited Kuching, I dropped by a few notable restaurants and cafes which offer these local dishes at their best. Kuching is well worth visiting for any foodie traveller or anyone interested in culture. But here’s a tip – the perfect time to visit Kuching for anyone would be when the annual Rainforest Festival is happening. Which makes end June the best time to visit.

Where to Enjoy the Best Food in Kuching

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Peach Garden

After touching down Kuching airport, this is the place where most people, including I, will have their first meal of Kuching food.

As this place comprises of multiple hawker stalls that sell different varieties of food, the usual order of Kolok Mee and Sarawak Laksa is very famous amongst tourist. There are also other types of food which are true to Malaysian culture with Char Kway Teow, Koay Zhap, even Nasi Lemak.

This place opens all the way from morning till night. You’ll get different kinds of food available at different times of the day. Some stalls are only open in the daytime, while others will start in the evening.

Sarawak laksa, Peach GardenSarawak Laksa at Peach Garden Kuching

Of course not forgetting the famous 3 Layer Tea to quench ones’ thirst.

Sarawak 3 Layer TeaSarawak 3 Layer Tea

Hui Sing Hawker Center

In this part of South East Asia, the saying goes, food can taste good but not necessarily expensive. As travelers, good food is a must wherever we visit. For good food in Kuching, what better place to recommend than Hui Sing Hawker Center.

Like the Peach Garden Hawker area, this place is full of different food varieties. This is one of the oldest hawker centers around here. You can also get your usual Kolok Mee, Sarawak Laksa, and others. Mee Tomato here is highly recommended at the stall from Hup Ghim Heng Fried Noodles.

Tomato mee, Sarawak foodMee tomato

Ta Wan Kung

What a place to have your noodles and your appetite for Kolok Mee (or some call it Kolo Mee) satisfied!

The Kolo Mee here in Ta Wan Kung Kuching is a bit different where one can choose to have it in different ways than the original; the soup; wanton (dumpling); with zha jiang (pork fried with bean sauce), etc.  Located at Jalan Datuk Wee Kheng Chiang, this place is usually packed with people all through the day.

Char Siew Kolok Mee, Sarawak food

Considering the literal translation means “Grandfather’s Big Bowl,” it is no wonder that the noodles come in a big bowl. This helps one to have a very fulfilling breakfast/lunch or perhaps tea time. If you are a small eater, this might be quite a lot for you.

Ta Wan Kung Shop Entrance, Sarawak food places

 Ta Wan Kung Shop Entrance

Sunny Hill Ice Cream, Kuching

Sometimes it’s good to take a break from the sun and treat your palate to something different than all those meaty noodley dishes. How about some ice cream to freshen you up?

 Sunny Hill Ice Cream is a well-known ice cream shop in Kuching. Located at Jalan Bukit Cahaya (hence the name Sunny Hill), the ice cream here has a very fine texture, and one can also eat it along with bread (sandwich). This place is popular with locals more than tourists. Heck even I myself was skeptical at first until I tried it. The location looks like an old school canteen with seats around which would let one experience the old 90s canteen feeling.

Sunny Hill Ice Cream Vanilla & Corn, Sarawak food places

Top Spot Seafood Centre

Staying in Kuching town and having had enough of eating Kolok Mee, I had a craving for seafood. We head to Top Spot Seafood Centre.

Located at Jalan Padungan, this place is full of seafood all around. As there were too many choices, finding one is all about whether the presentation of the food is great. Well, that was how I chose. Of course, somewhere around here one can actually have a photo of the cat statue, which is like the unofficial “ambassador” of Kuching.

With wide varieties of seafood, this is like a seafood heaven for those who will be spending more time in town.

Steamed Grouper, Sarawak food places

Steamed Grouper

Lim Hock Ann Seafood

If you are looking for a place outside of the town to enjoy good food in Kuching, consider travelling a little further to have seafood in the village Kampung Buntal. I have been to this place almost every time for my seafood cravings in all my trips to Kuching.

Kampung Buntal is located about 30km from Kuching town but seeing as it is a fishing village, the seafood you will get here is definitely worth the journey. The food is not only delicious, but it is also easy on the wallet. What’s more, the scenery of the Malay fishing village could be viewed as this restaurant is just located by the sea.

Lim Hock Ann Seafood Restaurant in Kampung Buntal in particular, serves the best seafood.

Midin (local vegetable)

steamed prawns

Steamed prawns

Aside from all the seafood, try the Midin, a local vegetable delicacy. It is crunchy and I was already hooked on it the first time I did try. Of course coming all the way to Kampung Buntal, you are just about 10 minutes away to Damai Beach, where one can view the sunset scenery before dinner.

Chong Chon Cafe

Back to Kuching town, time for more Kolok Mee favorites! Located at 308, Jalan Tun Ahmad Zaidi Adruce, 3rd Mile, Chong Chon Cafe also has its own signature dish, Lamb Stew noodles.

chong chon cafe

Chong Chon Cafe

The lamb stew noodle is a must try. The reason why this place is different is the noodles. The noodles are made out of spinach, creating a different taste.

Chong Chon Spinach Kolok Mee

Chong Chon Spinach Kolok Mee

Chong Choon Cafe

“If you have not been to Chong Choon Cafe, you have never actually visited Kuching.”

Not to be mistaken for the cafe above, is the similarly named Chong Choon Cafe.

Located at Jalan Abell, this cafe is one of the most crowded places as its famous for serving some of the best food in Kuching. Be sure to be there early or food might have been sold out. Kolok Mee here is another best seller and with a variety of different fillings. Of course, there are other familiar favourites served here, such as the Fried Carrot Cake.

Seafood Kolo Mee

local delicacies in kuching

Foodies Trip in Kuching

For a worthwhile trip to Kuching for tourist and food hunters, I would definitely recommend staying at least minimum 3 or 4 days to enjoy these delicacies.

If you fancy a river front view, staying at Grand Margherita Hotel would be an ideal choice. Not only is it in the city, but it also is near to a few places of interest like the Kuching cat statue. It’s also not too far from Fort Margherita.

Another ideal choice of place to stay in Kuching is the Damai Beach Resort. This is a little further out of town. This place is suitable for nature and beach lovers as it escapes the hustle and bustle of city life and is nearer to Kampung Buntal for your seafood cravings.

Piqued your interest in traveling to Kuching for the food? The journey is yours to take. To Mee Kolok and beyonnnddd!