KANTIN at the Granary

Some of the mouth-watering menus at KANTIN at the Granary.


11 Eateries You Must Visit When in Kuching, Sarawak

Here’s a list on how to make your trip to Kuching not only fulfilling, but also appetizing!

Here’s a list on how to make your trip to Kuching not only fulfilling, but also appetizing!

It’s not my first time in Kuching, actually. But surprisingly enough, I do not actually realize that how rich and diverse the foods that this capital city of Sarawak can offer to travellers like me. I mean, with over 28 different ethnic groups, that alone signals something, right?

In conjunction with a four-day-three-night media familiarization trip called ‘Sarawak Food Trail – Lan Berambeh Makan di Sarawak’ organized by Tourism Malaysia Sarawak, I got to experience Kuching through my stomach like never before. We discovered new foods, new tastes every day and I just thought it was still not enough which is why I decided to extend my trip discovering the enticing, ambrosial side of Kuching more…

Tip: Though there are a lot of recommended restaurants can be found online, do ask locals on some hidden spots for better experience. Try to blend in like a local by saying ‘nang nyaman’, which means ‘so delicious’ if you feel like it!

1. Top Spot Seafood Restaurant

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Top Spot Seafood Restaurant
Top Spot Food Court has many choices of seafood restaurants.

Without doubt, this is an ultimate recommendation for anyone, be it locals, first-time or even regular travellers in Kuching. This place is usually packed with customers who wish to experience some of the best menus in town, especially seafoods. Since it is located at an al fresco, breezy top floor of a cark park, it sure gives an intimate space to enjoy foods with friends and family.

2. Café Café at The Original Carwash

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Set up in a cosy, intimate area just next to a carwash, the restaurant is known to serve delectable fusion foods for diners’ pleasure. The idea behind it is to give customers a pleasing time treating themselves foods while waiting their cars being cared and washed. My favourite picks would be Nyonya beef Rendang, mini tuna toast, and Thai-styled cold midin (a type of wild fern).

3. Lepau Restaurant

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Open for dinner, this is one of the finest restaurants that serve authentic traditional cuisines, especially from Orang Ulu and Dayak, that one can find in Kuching. Experience eating the classic Brown Bario Rice wrapped in itun isip (wild ginger leaf) alongside variety of quintessential menus like pansuh (bamboo) chicken, Melanau fish umai, tempoyak goreng pusuk, sambal terung asam and stir fried midin with garlic.

4. Chelum Sarawak Chocolate

A chocolate lover herself, Noorasmah, 45, decided to open her own brand of chocolate in 2018 called Chelum (which means ‘black’ in Iban). But what makes her chocolate special is that she incorporates Sarawak’s flavours into her premium chocolate ingredient. Among the types of chocolate being produced include Sagok Pearl, Tebaloi Crunch, Tiong Delite, Blackpepper Seed, and Lazeez Spice. To learn more or order the chocolate, travellers may contact Lazeez Enterprise at +6013 939 9809 or +6019 888 8808.

5. KANTIN at the Granary

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Located at an old building rumoured to be a warehouse for grains, belian (Bornean ironwood) and opium, KANTIN at The Granary sits right at the foot of Marian Boutique Hotel. Focusing on modern Sarawak cuisine, the restaurant’s favourite mains include Rainforest Fried Rice, Nanasi (Nanas + Nasi), and Superdry Laksa while recommended beverages include Kantin Kaffeine, Sarawak Teh C Special (Three Layer Tea), and Three Sour Crush. My favourite must be the thick, juicy chicken satays (also served with Nanasi) which are chargrilled with Sarawak’s iconic natural sweetener, gula apong (palm sugar).

6. Babaganoush Restaurant

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This air-conditioned restaurant serves variety of foods, from seafood, fusion, international, to even local favourites making it convenient for any type of diners to come. Some of the highlights are ikan kurau asam pedas (threadfin in spicy gravy), dry curry ambal (razor shell), umai obor-obor (Melanau traditional dish with jellyfish), and ikan terubok goreng kering (dry-fried toli shad). Oh, don’t forget to conclude your meal with a refreshing bowl of sago gula apong!

7. Kek Lapis Warisan

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For Malay community in Sarawak, kek lapis is a staple snack during the Eid celebration and most of the time, this is also considered a favourite souvenir to bring back home. Kek Lapis Warisan is one of the popular producers of this snack. It has more than 30 types of kek lapis to choose from with price ranging around RM10 to RM30. Interestingly, kek lapis produced here are of high-quality ingredients with no preservative used. Among the top-selling kek lapis are hati pari, lumut, masam manis, belacan, tiga serangkai and chocolate cheese. Tasters are available for travellers to nibble before deciding the preferred flavours to buy. Oh, you can even witness and learn the painstaking process of making the kek lapis here!

8. IG Aiskrim Gula Apong

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IG Aiskrim Gula Apong
IG Aiskrim Gula Apong. Photo by @foodiesxdate Instagram).

Beat the heat by enjoying the toothsome ice cream drizzled with gula apong syrup! The distinctive, sweet taste of the gula apong is truly satisfying that you might repeat it rightly after. The gula apong ice cream is their all-time top-selling item but they also have other luscious options like gula apong bubble milk tea with ice cream and gula apong ice cream with bubble that can also be served with toppings, so good luck! They have five branches spread across Kuching which are at Kuching Waterfront, Emart Batu Kawa, Eco Mall Semariang, Metrocity Square, and Jalan Satok.

9. Chong Choon Café

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Chong Choon Café
A hearty breakfast at Chong Choon Café which includes Sarawak laksa, mee Jawa, and Hainanese thick toast.

This humble eatery has many stalls serving different menus under one roof. My friends and I tried three of them: Sarawak laksa, mee Jawa, and Hainanese thick toast which all comes recommended. No wonder why this restaurant is most of the time huddled with people, especially locals, during breakfast!

10. Kubah Ria

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Satok Suspension Bridge
Satok Suspension Bridge from Kubah Ria.

This food court has more than a dozen of restaurants serving myriads of types of food for travellers to dig in. From seafood, legendary mi kolok and other Sarawak’s signatures to even other Malaysian states’ pride can also be gnawed here. While doing that, travellers can also admire the panoramic view of the newly-rebuilt Satok Suspension Bridge which will be lit up in kaleidoscopic colours during night!

11. Indah Café

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This café located at one of the time-honoured shophouses along the charming Carpenter Street is proud in serving Sarawak-inspired cuisines. Established in 2014, among the recommended items include Nasi Lemak Daging Hitam, Ayam Kuah Satay Sandwich and Beef Bolognese Quesadilla. The café also caters an art gallery, event space, and cooking class among others.

This article is featured in Gaya Travel Magazine Issue 17.1. Read the magazine online here or buy the magazine here.

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