Monday, October 27, 2008

Kitchen Bytes: Trippin in Kuching, Sarawak

I think I romanticised the idea of Kuching a tad bit. Land of the white rajah, orang asli tribes etc etc. The city itself was like a small town - bustling with old world charm (colonial buildings) and modern malls etc. Armed with maps in hand and tons of plans, my short three day trip was unfortunately plagued by heavy rainfall in the evenings which meant my roaming hours were cut in half . From the little bit that I've seen - especially of the outskirts like Santubong and Damai, I'll definitely be recommending to visiting friends that if they come to Malaysia, they should head to Borneo. I'm already planning my next one there where I hope to cover the national parks, caves and gorgeous beaches outside the city. Of course, Kuching has it famous food too but what truly surprised me was how cheap it was!

The view of the city from Merdeka Palace Hotel

At the Sarawak Cultural Village in Santubong, native long-house in the background

Making tebaloi (a type of flat cracker made from sago flour, coconut and sugar) the traditional way at the Melanau tribe Tall House. This was highly addictive - biscuit like texture yet melt in your mouth, couldn't stop munching it and bought dozen of packets home.

Sarawak Mee Kolo - noodles served with greens, mince pork and barbecue pork slices. Wandered around on my first day there and came across the Open Air Market (acc to my guidebook, it used to be popular with dock workers). At only RM2.50 (that's 70cents for you Americans) it was a hearty steal.

Miding (a type of fern shoot, very popular in Kuching) stir-fried in Belacan sauce.

I didn't understand the name until this speciality appeared on my plate and got unshelled. Ambal or literally translated as monkey's penis (actually its a type of bamboo clam).

The huge array of fresh seafood and vege at Top Spot Food Court. You basically pick what you want and then tell them what style you want it cooked. The place was a bit touristy though (as in that's what the tour buses all stopped) but the price was still reasonable compared to KL standards.

Of course, can't go to Sarawak without having Sarawak Laksa. Creamy "curry" type soup on rice vermicelli and topped with shredded egg, chicken, prawns, bean sprouts.

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