From Courthouse to ChinaHouse Kuching, with style

Kuching Old Courthouse was one of the colonial-era buildings built during the White Rajahs’ era. Before it was converted to ChinaHouse, the building used to be home to Sarawak Tourism Board and National Park Booking Office in Kuching (now temporarily moved to Sama Jaya Nature Reserve until a permanent location at the Urban Transformation Centre Sarawak is completed), Sabati’s Women’s Museum and Little Lebanon Restaurant (now closed permanently).

The idea of the historical colonial building turned to restaurant, cafe and cultural complex was originally brought to Georgetown when one talented Australian named Narelle McMurtrie had recognised the city’s tourism potential. McMurtrie, along with Christopher Ong; an expatriate Australian, had helped transformed Georgetown’s ramshackle shophouses into boutique accommodation, cafes, restaurants, shops and cultural centres.

One of the corridors at the Old Court House at Kuching

One of the corridors at the Old Court House at Kuching

Image credit to The Borneo Post

With her eyes set on Kuching, Narelle McMurtrie had once again worked her magic and transformed Kuching Old Courthouse into one of the coolest place to hang out in Kuching.

ChinaHouse was opened around March 2016. It houses crafts & art space, library, café & wine bar, gift shop, reading room, performance space, restaurant and auditorium.

The most popular spot at ChinaHouse would be Kopi C Café. With over 30 cakes displayed on a long table and in a glass-fronted fridge, tourists and locals had been visiting the café to check out their cake assortments such as Salted Caramel Cheesecake, Passionfruit Coconut Buttermilk Cake, Lemon Meringue Tart, Vietnamese Coffee Tart, Chocolate Coconut Meringue Pie, Banana Mocha Frost Cake, Ginger Cake and many more! For Halloween night, they even have specially decorated cakes in Halloween theme such as Chocolate Decadence, Chocolate Devil, Chocolate Tissimo, Mocha Tart, and Fleur de Se.

Cakes are not the only attraction of this café. Guests can also try their daily bento special, Chopped Crunchy Salad, Ginger Bud Pesto Spaghetti and others. There are mahjong papers covering the tables so that the guests can doodle on it using the crayons on the table. Recently, they even give Cash Voucher worth RM50 to the best doodle of the week. Guests can also play board games while waiting for their food.

Another famous section of ChinaHouse Kuching is the performance space called The Canteen. Visitors get to enjoy live music performance from local and international bands for free and sometimes for a fee. Among the bands that have performed at the Canteen were Cermin, Tornado Eye, Drasska, Bencana, The Warm, Inspired The Bee, Eleven 51, The Farrah and others. Sometimes, there will were events held there such as Tamiya Mini 4WD competition, Art Galleria’ exhibition and the occasional Quiz Night and Open Mic Night.

Recent quiz night at the Old Courthouse

Recent quiz night at the Old Courthouse

Image credit to Borneo Post

Jazzin it up with Jolynn Under the Stars’ at the courtyard of ChinaHouse

Jazzin it up with Jolynn Under the Stars’ at the courtyard of ChinaHouse

Image credit to Borneo Post

For those who wish for a romantic dinner, they can go to BTB Restaurant. The restaurant is opened daily from 6:00pm to 11:00pm. They serve modern western style dishes influenced by a mix of Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines.

The relaxing atmosphere of ChinaHouse, along with the cool and artistic decorations and friendly staffs make the place a cosy hang out spot for tourists and locals.

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Sarai Minang, the hidden Indonesian restaurant in Kuching

July 21, 2016 by  
Filed under Best Kuching Eateries, Sarawak

Most would not know there is an Indonesian restaurant behind Wisma Prudential, Jalan Abell, Kuching.  We also did not know there is a restaurant there until Meen, the owner of Riung Kuring, told us about her other restaurant there.

So, we decided to check out the restaurant. We used Waze to guide our way, and it brought us right to the restaurant’s door step. We took the long way, entering the junction near HSBC Bank, then turn to the first junction on the left. Then, drive along the one-way road. You will have to pass Great Eastern building, then make a U-turn at the left junction.  There will be a junction on the right. If you enter from the junction at Prudential, you only need turn left once, and then drive about a hundred metres ahead to reach the restaurant.

Sarai Minang

Sarai Minang

Our first impression when we were first seated was the place was a bit warm despite having an open space. There were several ceiling fans but since there were not many people when we arrived, most fans were switched off.

We ordered a glass of iced tea and a glass of Jagung Susu. Since we are not that familiar with Padang dishes, we asked the employee to recommend us some dish. With the help of the owner and the waiter, we ordered Dendeng Balado (deep fried beef with sambal on top), Ikan Bawal Bakar (grilled pomfret fish), Gado-Gado (vegetable with peanut sauce), Tauhu Goreng (deep fried tofu), and plain white rice.

Iced tea and Jagung Susu

Iced tea and Jagung Susu

When the Dendeng Balado was served, we thought it would be quite spicy, judging the amount of crushed red chillies on top of it. The meat actually looked like beef jerky with chillies. Surprisingly, it does not taste spicy at all to the point we could not taste the spiciness.

Dendeng Balado

Dendeng Balado

The grilled fish was also quite mediocre, but it tasted like a normal grilled fish from other restaurant; nothing special about it. Same goes with the ayam penyet.

Ikan Bawal Bakar

Ikan Bawal Bakar

Ayam Penyet

Ayam Penyet

We liked the gado-gado, as they were quite generous with the peanut sauce. The gado-gado is a mix of long beans, cabbage, fried tofu and crackers. The crackers tasted a bit different than what we have at our local store, and I remember tasting a similar keropok at my friend’s house which she bought from nearby town, Serikin; near Indonesia border.

Gado-Gado

Gado-Gado

The fried tofu was served with some green sambal. The sambal looked spicy but when we bite into it, the sambal was not spicy.

Fried tofu

Fried tofu

Our verdict:

Taste: 6/10

Price: 6/10

Ambience: 5/10

So, if you wish to try out their dishes, head over to their restaurant at Jalan Abell, Kuching. They are closed on Sundays.

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Bumbu Cabe, a Sundanese restaurant in Kuching

April 20, 2016 by  
Filed under Best Kuching Eateries

Kuching lately has seen an increase of halal restaurants popping up all over the city. Now Muslims can have variety of options for eating out.

This is what we thought when we stumble across the new Sundanese restaurant at ICOM Square. The name of the restaurant is Bumbu Cabe. It is located at ICOM Square, Jalan Pending, 93450 Kuching, Sarawak. ‘Bumbu’ generally means seasoning, and it can be spice mixtures, sauces or seasoning pastes while ‘cabe’ stands for chilli.

We were brought to our seats upon entering and the staffs were very helpful in assisting us to order as it was our first time eating there. There were several dishes displayed at the counter, and you could pick and choose the dishes and let the staff know so they could serve it for you. When we had chosen several dishes, we returned to our seats while the staffs heat up the food and sent it to our table when they were done.

 

Bumbu Cabe during lunch time

Bumbu Cabe during lunch time

 

We were also served a plate of ‘lalab’, a Sundanese raw vegetable salad served with 4 types of sambal for free. These 4 sambals have their own unique taste and might be a bit spicy for some people.

Lalab, a Sundanese raw vegetable salad served with 4 types of sambal

Lalab, a Sundanese raw vegetable salad served with 4 types of sambal

Free sambals at the counter

Free sambals at the counter

During our visit there, we ordered a glass of Ice Honey Lemon and a glass of Soda Gembira which when translated to mean “Happy Soda” and one of the mocktail known to Indonesian. It contained soda water, condensed milk, and red rose flavoured syrup. We also ordered nasi liwet (rice dish cooked in coconut milk, chicken broth and spices) with salted egg, plain white rice, ayam bakar kecap (roasted chicken with soy sauce), tumis kacang buncis (stir fried pole beans) and bala bala (deep fried vegetable fritters).

The nasi liwet tasted like nasi lemak; our very own coconut milk rice, though the fried anchovies and salted eggs were nice addition to it. We liked the bala bala very much. Even though the ayam bakar kicap tasted a bit sweet, and the tumis kacang buncis is a bit oily, we still enjoyed all the food, accompanied by soft Indonesian instrumental music.

Bumbu Cabe

Besides that, they also serve ikan gurame terbang (literally means ‘flying gurame fish’), ayam Bumbu Cabe (the restaurant’s special chicken dish), ayam kremes (crunchy fried chicken), ayam bumbu Bali (chicken fried with Nusantara spices), terung balado (eggplants with chilli sauce), cumi cabe ijo (fried squid with green chillies), sambal kacang teri (fried groundnuts in chilli sauce), gepuk sapi (fried beef dish), rujak buah (fruit salad mixed with spicy peanut sauce), karedok (raw vegetable salad in peanut sauce), kentang mustofa (deep fried potato strips with chilli sauce), and many other dishes.

 Dishes at Bumbu Cabe  20160506_125012
 20160506_125119  20160506_125644

Each dish has the price per portion displayed next to them. You can estimate how many portions and the total price of your food based on the displayed price as the dishes are a bit pricey.

The ambience of the restaurant is also quite nice. The walls looked like the traditional leaf mat, and the owner said he painted it himself, and it took him about 2 months! They have indoor and outdoor seating area. The indoor area design was inspired by traditional Indonesian house, with wooden furniture, bamboo baskets to display the food, and traditional Indonesian music playing in the background. The outdoor area has several low tables that look like Japanese style dining table, but instead of sitting on the floor, they have long benches around the table.

 20160506_125347  20160506_125342

Our verdict:

Taste: 8/10

Price: 6/10

Ambience: 9/10

So, if you wish to try out their dishes, head over to their restaurant at ICOM Square or at CityOne Mall, Jalan Song, Kuching. You can also book in advance as the place can be quite crowded during lunch and dinner time. They are closed on Sundays.

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Popular Vegetarian Restaurant Kuching

January 2, 2016 by  
Filed under Best Kuching Eateries

I have not really been a fan of vegetarian food only because I would get hungry after a few hours of eating it. Anyway, so my relatives came and they are vegetarians. So we visited this vegetarian restaurant called Popular Vegetarian Restaurant located at Lot 151 – 152, Jalan Datuk Abang Abdul Rahim 5A Kuching.

Popular Vegetarian’s 2013 competition team at Popular Vegetarian Restaurant

Popular Vegetarian’s 2013 competition team at Popular Vegetarian Restaurant

Image credit to Borneo Post

The name itself states that it is Popular, and I figured that this is because of marketing strategy, because if we do not know where to eat, we may ask, “ Which is a Popular Vegetarian Restaurant around Kuching city” ? So that in itself is mentioning the restaurant name already. In a way, if you have some knowledge of Google organic search, then this is called, Word of mouth organic search. Hmmnnn…

When we arrived, there were only 1 table of customers eating there.

So we ordered braised tofu, stir fried noodles with chicken ( made of gluten mind you), roasted duck , clear soup, and luo han zhai stir mixed vegetables cooked with fermented beancurd.

Here below is my review of this Popular Vegetarian Restaurant.

1st dish: Braised tofu: this braised tofu is not made of tofu but is made of fish ball flavour. It is firm and the sauce was quite typical, satisfying enough, but nothing great.

Taste: 6/ 10

2nd dish: Roasted duck

It came out beautifully displayed in square shapes, bright orangy colour with a side mayonnaise cream. My relatives said it tasted good but for me its just a mashed up of vegetables and mock meat coated with flour and deep fried. It did not trigger my taste bud. To the contrary, as I like heavier taste, it tasted quite bland to me.

Taste: 6/ 10

3rd dish: Clear herbal vegetable soup

The soup was quite delicious. I think if you are not into heavy taste, this herbal vegetable soup would suit you.

Taste: 7 /10

4th dish: Luo Han Zhai

This is my favourite dish at other restaurant. Over here, however, I find it bland. The chef needs to add in more fermented beancurd flavour to give the dish the oomph.

Taste: 5/ 10

Our bill came up to RM152.95. For an air-conditioned restaurant, I believe this is about the slightly higher market price.

In conclusion, there are not many vegetarian restaurants in Kuching, that is a proper air-cond place with nice decoration.Most vegetarian dishes are cooked the same way, and as most dishes are made of gluten, tofu, vegetables, etc I hate to say this but it all tasted the same to me.

The owner is a motivational speaker and he has his posters and certificates posted on the wall of his achievements as well. He also offered free vouchers for meals above RM98, where if you collect enough vouchers, you can claim free dish or dishes. The food may appeal to some vegetarian folks but I think the taste wise, there is still room for improvements. Good luck to Popular Vegetarian Restaurant Kuching.

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Nasi Lemak oh Nasi Lemak! Teh Tarik satu lagi

November 18, 2015 by  
Filed under Best Kuching Eateries

I have always loved Nasi Lemak ever since I went to College to study in West Malaysia. It has always been most Malaysians staple morning breakfasts. Not only was it cheap back then but it was also very filling, with its sambal ( prawn paste), egg, anchovies, peanuts , cucumber and coconut rice of course all wrapped up in coconut leaves. Of course there are those pick and pay where you can have the choice of adding on curry chicken, or even fried chicken. We would eat our Nasi Lemak with a glass of Teh Tarik.

Teh Tarik

Teh Tarik

Sometimes, when nasi lemak sellers tried to cut corners then you know as then the taste is not original anymore.

Someone recommended a new food stall right here in Kuching at Top 10 Café, Jalan Song, Kuching, as being the best in town, and so I did not hesitate to go check it out, and here below is my review of their Nasi Lemak.

Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak

The Nasi Lemak was RM6.50 . It comes with prawn paste, coconut rice of course, peanuts, split and cleaned anchovies, cucumber, hard boiled egg and some curry chicken pieces.

Anchovies: Initially I was of course impressed with the anchovies, and I thought, Hey! No stalls or restaurants have ever used this smaller size anchovies and it is even split and cleaned. This smaller size anchovies actually cost more compared to the larger size anchovies. On top of that, it was also split and cleaned.

Egg: They only have hard boiled egg and not the fried eggs which may be to the preference of some people.

Prawn Paste: At first glance of the prawn paste ( sambal) , I instantly knew that the chillies had been blended using a machine instead of the traditional method of pounding the chillies which would take more time to prepare. As they used a blender to grind it, so the chillies became more refined, which means that you actually needed more chillies to make the same amount of prawn paste.  This is of course not to their advantage, as chillies are rather costly these days, but if time is of essence, then they could consider preparing the chillies ahead of time. Pounding it is still the best.

The taste of the prawn paste needs to be a bit sweet, spicy and salty. I am pleased to say that they fulfilled this criteria. Some nasi lemak seller put too much belacan ( dried prawn paste) into the mix causing it to be a bit salty. They must put some Tamarind juice and sugar into the prawn paste to give it that soury kick In your tongue and also an added sweetness for that oomph!

Curry Chicken: They gave a few pieces of cut chicken. It was all right, not too spicy, or else it would be fighting with the sambal prawn paste for your attention.

Verdict:

Portion: 7/10

Taste: 7/10

Value: 8.5 / 10

In conclusion, kudos to the owner for selling all Malaysians beloved Nasi Lemak, and I do hope they take notice of my review above. Keep going and let folks in Kuching have more variety of food for breakfasts.

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Are you obsessed with Coffee in Kuching?

September 23, 2015 by  
Filed under Best Kuching Eateries

Coffee Obsession? Or to put it correctly, coffee addict?

Well, there is a new café in Kuching called Coffee Obsession for all those coffee addicts out there. Its address is at 29, 1st floor, Kueh Hock Kui Commercial Centre, Lorong Tun Ahmad Zaidi Adruce 18, 93150 Kuching, Sarawak.

Ground Floor Banner of Coffee Obsession Kuching

Ground Floor Banner of Coffee Obsession Kuching

Coffee Obsession opened just this year. We gather the owner must have taken some risks by opening the café on 1st floor instead of ground floor but kudos to him or her, patrons are still willing to walk up the few steps to eat and drink there.

The café actually comprised of 2 shoplots. The ambience of the place is rather cozy. Strings of light bulbs hang from the ceiling. Magazines are stacked neatly at book shelves and racks on the wall for your reading pleasure.

The place is filled with long and square smaller wooden tables and chairs. Long table is good for big group to sit together or if there was not enough space, sitting together along a long table allows the patrons to make new friends.

The moment I entered the door, I was greeted with the smell of freshly brewed coffee floating in the air. It was both intoxicating and electrifying. It gives you a positive feel.

I have read somewhere that real estate agents in USA used to fill the house with the aroma of coffee for the house that they intend to rent out or sell because when the buyers come and see the house, the smell of coffee floating in the air gives the feeling that the house is cozy and warm, hence worth the investment.

The place is uniquely designed with a warm and cozy feel. The design sure appeals to yuppies and young working adults as we saw that most of the patrons are in their 20s onwards.

To order your food and drinks, you would need to queue at the counter, pay, be given a number and then food will be served to your table. Their menu is only 1 page. Various types of latte, cappuccino, frappucino, tea are available. As for food, they have seafood paella, creamy cheese linguine, sandwiches, salads, cakes etc.

Here is my review of their drinks and food:

Lemon with Ginger tea: RM8, 6 / 10

It was a big cup with a teabag of lemon with ginger dipped into hot water. Well, I am of the opinion that the café can make it more special by adding a small slice of lemon or ginger into the tea for that extra touch. After all, you are charging me RM8 for a cup of tea.

Mocha coffee: 6.5 / 10

Mocha being a combination of chocolate syrup and a shot of espresso, topped with steamed milk and a layer of micro-foam.

Okay, I will be honest of why I made a second trip to this café. It was because as the photos below showed you, I was impressed with their artwork on the hot drinks.

Mocha Coffee at different visits

Mocha Coffee at different visits

However, see the second photo Trip 2, as you can see, the artwork were not consistent. Perhaps a junior barrista made my drink.

Taste wise was well, creamy with coffee taste obviously. A bit sweet to my liking though. I will give it a 6.5 / 10

Chocolate Truffle Cake: 5 / 10

Chocolate Truffle Cake

Chocolate Truffle Cake

Whilst displayed, it looked sinfully tempting and yummy. We ordered a slice but we found it a bit dry and hard. Not to mention it was too sweet too. Chocolatey Yes. The cake should be a bit more moist and a little less sweet and it would taste good. Needless to say, between the 2 of us, we did not finish the cake as it was not to our liking.


Creamy Penne with peas and ham: 5/ 10

Pasta with peas and ham

Pasta with peas and ham

This pasta dish needs to have more cream to coat the pasta. Make it more creamy by adding a bit more water. Then it would taste better. The cream was not enough to coat the pasta. Taste wise it could be improved.

Chicken quiche: 8 / 10

Chicken Quiche

Chicken Quiche

It was delicious, tasty and just enough saltiness.

Egg tart: 8 / 10

It was warm and delicate as it should be. It was also sweet, soft, smooth and satisfying. The texture inside was buttery and just right. The crust was crispy.

In conclusion, the café may need to improve on their food and their artwork on the coffee needs to be consistent in terms of design so as not to disappoint customers . The café is a good place for a group of coffee addict friends to hang out and have fun. Keep it up.

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Singapore Food Street right now in Kuching

July 26, 2015 by  
Filed under Best Kuching Eateries

Singapore Oh Singapore! Most Malaysians staple meal is Chicken Rice , it can be Hainanese Chicken Rice, Singapore Chicken Rice, Nasi Ayam Goreng and etc.

It is because of this love for Chicken Rice, that SCR restaurant ( Singapore chicken rice shop) has trived for so many years expanding all the way to countries around Asia. SCR is a chicken rice fast-food restaurant and Halal family restaurant chain in Malaysia, originating in Sarawak.

Singapore Chicken Rice shops can be found in most towns, cities and streets. However, because there are too much competition around, that Singapore SCR decided to now open up adifferent concept, it Singapore Food Street.

Singapore Food Street Restaurant in Kuching

Singapore Food Street Restaurant in Kuching

The first one opened in Precinct 88, Jalan Song, Kuching. We decided to go check it out. This same place was previously SCR restaurant but they had invested some money to renovate the place up. Tables are set up all around the walkway of the shop . They had also renovated the first floor restaurant. The place is clean and pleasant, it being still new. There are enough staff to cater to your whims.

As we browsed through the menu, we saw that this time the variety of food served are much more limited compared to the former SCR. All its food has Singapore influence to it. Here is a list of some of the dishes.

Singapore Style Claypot Rice: RM8.40

Singapore Style Mee Siam: RM6.90

Rendang Lamb Rice: RM11.70

Singapore Style Nasi Lemak (Wing/Drum) RM7.90

Dumpling Soup: RM5.00

Minced Meat Noodle: RM5.90

Lemon Grass Chicken: RM10.90

Roasted Duck Rice: RM8.90

Steamed/ Fried Chicken Rice: RM7.10

Singapore Food Street menu in Kuching

Singapore Food Street menu in Kuching

There are also a variety type of drinks, some could set you back by about RM5.00.

we both ordered a plate of duck rice. The meal was all right. Nothing spectacular.

Duck: Meat is tender and tasty. 7/10
Rice: Very nice bite, and balanced, not bland. 7/10
Sauce: Thick and salty as it should be . 8/10

We also ordered a cup of lemon grass jelly. It tasted so-so only. We would give it a 5/10. There are also some dimsum dishes on menu but was not available when we were there. They also have a variety of toasted bread.

On the whole, the meal was satisfying but not great. Actually, we were just wondering why Singapore Food Street opened up such a concept in this area, because there are just so many cafes nearby from air-cond to non air-cond serving similar type of dishes. I guess the owner feels that there is opportunity in midst of competition. Kuching folks are surely spoilt for choice of where to go for their next meal.

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Going Hungry at Fish Frenzy Café Kuching

Kuching folks and I am not sure if they are aware of it, are spoilt for choice when it comes to food. There seems to be many cafes mushrooming up here and there all over Kuching.

There are not as many cafes or restaurants selling fish dishes only though there are a few selling fish noodle soup by hawker stalls around Kuching.

Exterior of the restaurant

Exterior of the restaurant

Being a lover of fish noodle soup, we decided to check out Fish Frenzy Café at SOHO 188, Ground Floor Lot 18713 Block 11 Jalan Wan Alwi 93350 Kuching. If you still don’t know where it is, ask around where is Boon Khai Rojak / Ice Kacang Shop, and someone would be able to point out to you.

This café is nicely designed with a woody wall, and wooden tables and chairs. Ambience is pretty all right for us, it being clean and quiet.

Fried fish meat with clear noodle soup

Fried fish meat with clear noodle soup

We ordered fried fish meat with clear noodle soup, seafood noodle and Spice Meat roll ( pork – that cost RM8) . Here we noted that noodles or rice is charged separately from the fish meat dish. Plain noodles cost RM2.20, and the fish meat ranges from RM11 upwards.

Seafood noodle

Seafood noodle

When the dishes arrived, it was satisfying and fulfilling enough. The fish meat was deep fried. Some of it was a bit hard but on the whole it was tasty.  The clear soup was not too salty and the noodles portion was quite large.

This café is just newly opened, and we saw several passers by looked in to see what we were eating and checking out the menu.

The menu of Fish Frenzy Cafe

The menu of Fish Frenzy Cafe

We would definitely return for a second visit to Frenzy Fish Cafe Kuching as the food is healthy and fulfilling. In this post GST era, we seriously cannot expect a RM6 a bowl fish noodle soup unless it is a hawker stall in a non air- cond place. Our lunch cost us less than RM28.00 inclusive of drinks. On the whole, for us, the lunch was not a too expensive one.

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Eating at Engleham 31 Thai Food and BBQ is like having a meal in Thailand

February 4, 2015 by  
Filed under Best Kuching Eateries

Sawadeekah!

Ever since my returned trip from Chiangmai, I have learned a few skills about cooking Northern Thai Food.

Social Media about food eateries had been abuzz about this new setup called Engleham 31 Thai Food and BBQ restaurant. Many comments seem to leave positive review about this place. So when I heard that there is a new Thai Restaurant in town, I dragged my partner to check out Engleham 31 Thai Food and BBQ.

Do come early though as parking space is limited, and it can be a hassle to get a parking space.

Green Seafood Curry

Green Seafood Curry


We ordered Green seafood curry, sliced fish stir fried with black peppercorn and chillies, morning glory cooked with prawn paste, mango sticky rice and 2 bowls of white rice.

I have to say that all the dishes tasted delicious though the taste was on the strong side. The portions for 2 persons were just nice, though if you are a big eater, just order more dishes.

Sliced fish stir fried with black peppercorn and chillies

Sliced fish stir fried with black peppercorn and chillies


Thai food is famous for its aromatic and subtle flavours and is often the favourite choice among all Asian foods. It combines the five fundamental flavours in all of its dishes. They are either spicy, sweet, sour, salty or bitter. Thai dishes usually made use of galangal ginger, lemongrass and coconut milk.

Thai cuisine has many regional variations because they are influenced by its neighbouring country namely Laos, Cambodia and even Vietnam.

Morning glory cooked with prawn paste

Morning glory cooked with prawn paste


Northern Thai dishes from my visit to CHiangmai is actually less spicy compared to Southern Thai but they made use of more spices, as more herbs could be grown in highland Chiangmai area.

Southern Thai curries usually contain coconut milk and fresh turmeric but north eastern dishes usually include lime juice for that soury flavour.

Mango sticky rice

Mango sticky rice


I thoroughly enjoyed the food at this restaurant. Our bill came up to RM64.00 only , including 2 drinks. I was told that the chefs are from Thailand. So there, if you want to eat real authentic Thai cuisine, make sure the cook is from Thailand “Land of Smiles”. Check out their facebook page for opening hours and to make bookings.

https://www.facebook.com/engleham31

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IPO Kuching, the food that all Malaysians Love

January 19, 2015 by  
Filed under Best Kuching Eateries

IPO ? What IPO? When I first heard of the word IPO, the first thought that conjure in my mind was that some company is going to be Public Listed soon? Initial Public Offering?

Then I saw this restaurant that opened right across from City One Mall. I passed it a few times and I was thinking, another restaurant is here. Hope they will last long. Lately, seems many restaurants have mushroomed up and close soon enough.

Interior of the restaurant

Interior of the restaurant


So finally I visited the eatery over the weekend. I am a true blue Malaysian who loves all Malaysian food, esp. Nasi Lemak, Sarawak Laksa and so much more.  When I flipped the menu, I saw all my favourites listed there, esp, the nasi lemak.  There were several variety of nasi lemaks here.

Front page of the menu

Front page of the menu


When my nasi lemak arrived, it was served on a dimsum tray. I was surprised because nasi lemak is supposed to be associated with Malay food, not Chinese meal but still, it looks fairly presentable. How delicious a nasi lemak is depends on the sambal , and here I give thumbs up to the sambal because it is salty, spicy and soury due to the tamarind juice in it. Some nasi lemak sambal is too salty because they added in too much of belacan but here I give thumbs up to the nasi lemak. I usually eat half bowl of rice but this meal today, I ate the whole lot of rice in the plate and all because of the sambal.

Nasi Lemak served on a dimsum tray

Nasi Lemak served on a dimsum tray

Mouth-watering nasi lemak

Mouth-watering nasi lemak


My friend ordered Penang Fried Kuey teow (noodles). Seriously, everyone claims to serve Penang Fried Kuey teow in town but we would say it ain’t the real thing unless the cook is from Penang or you have it in Penang. Well, here this afternoon, the meal is served in a half wrapped brown paper laid out on a plate with a sheet of banana leaf underneath. There were 3 prawns in it, clams and beansprout, with sliced scallion and fried shallots sprinkled on top. The kuey teow was fried to perfect brown colour and it taste quite delicious.

Penang Char Kuey Teow served at IPO

Penang Char Kuey Teow served at IPO


The kuey teow was served with chillies in soy sauce and lime. The chillies were quite spicy for Sarawakian’s taste buds, but it was a nice addition to the kuey teow if you prefer it spicier.

It was so delicious that she gave 9 out of 10, minus 1 from full mark because she never tasted the original Penang Fried Kuey Tiaw for comparison. She ate every single bit of her kuey teow though. Since she didn’t unwrapped the brown paper, as the staff already took the trouble to present the dish nicely, her plate was clean. It can be passed as a new plate if not for the wrapper.

The names of other dishes are quite amusing. Who would’ve thought of naming a dish Apa Pun Ada Nasi Lemak? Only at IPO.

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How Awesome is Osome Wood Fired Pizza in Kuching

December 6, 2014 by  
Filed under Best Kuching Eateries

I have heard so many good reviews about this Osome Wood Fired Pizza located at 4th Mile, Jalan Datuk Tawi Sli, Kuching and so I just need to check out this restaurant and find out if it is as good as what has been the talk of town.

Menu at Osome Wood Fired Pizza

Menu at Osome Wood Fired Pizza

This place is called Osome Wood Fired Pizza and so, rightly they served only authentic thin crust pizzas and a few selections of side dish but it would be nice if the patrons could have more choices eg. Pasta, bruschetta, cakes and etc. Their pizzas are prepared daily fresh from their wood fired oven.

Combo meal and pizza selection

Combo meal and pizza selection

Menu for snacks and desserts

Menu for snacks and desserts

We ordered Chef’s Special Pizza, a salad, a glass of Panna Cotta Blackcurrant dessert, a basket of Golden Fries and ice lemon green tea.

When the food arrived, the pizza was more than satisfactory. The crust was crisp and nice. The pizza toppings were delicious, though I sprinkled a dash of chilli pepper. The waitress told me to go easy on the chilli powder as it was pretty spicy. So it was.

Chef’s Special Pizza

Chef’s Special Pizza

The salad came out on a plate, and very nicely arranged, that it looked like a garden to me. This was the first time that I tasted salad with anchovies on it. None the less I loved anchovies and the salad was healthy and satisfying. It was great to know that this restaurant uses Extra Virgin Pressed Olive Oil. It is very healthy. In fact, lately there has been a few restaurants in Kuching using olive oil in their cooking.

Osome Garden Salad

Osome Garden Salad

The Golden Fries and I thought it would be something different because its called Golden Fries, well, it was just French fries and some sauce at the side. Nothing special really.

Golden Fries

Golden Fries

One of the posters there

One of the posters there

Our dessert, Panna Cotta Blackcurrant , well, I would give it a 6 out of 10.

Panna Cotta Blackcurrant dessert

Panna Cotta Blackcurrant dessert

Ambience:ale

As for the ambience, the place was nicely decorated, it has ground floor and upper floor. We find the waiters and waitresses rather loud though . The music volume was loud already  and the staff there were talking pretty loud. If they could lower their voice when talking, the ambience would be nicer and we as patrons could enjoy our meal in a more quiet environment. We also happened to notice that the waitresses were wearing shorts. Is that a uniform?

Staff working at the Osome Kitchen

Staff working at the Osome Kitchen

So far, of all the places that I have tried in Kuching, this one tops the list. Go check it out . The pizzas thus far are indeed awesome.

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Review Of Kampua Noodles From Sibu Sarawak

October 13, 2014 by  
Filed under Best Kuching Eateries, General

Kampua noodles or fondly known as Kampua mee originated from the Foochow community, when they brought their favourite noodles to Sarawak when they came here to settle down centuries ago. The noodles are tossed in pork lard or vegetable oil, fried shallots, spring onions and soy sauce and/or chili sauce for that additional taste.

Delicious looking Kampua Mee, ready to be eaten

Delicious looking Kampua Mee, ready to be eaten


The social and cyber space have been abuzz with this new latest instant kampua noodles (kampua mee)  which comes in a transparent bag with 5 rolls of instant noodles inside, together with 2 sachets  of seasoning per roll of noodles.  We never actually went out to hunt for it until a relative from Sibu graciously gave us a bag to try.

Here is our review of the kampua noodles.

The noodles come in several varieties. They are white soya sauce, black soya sauce, round noodles and flat noodles.

The packaging of the bag seems to tear easily. They could work on the packaging but we saw that they are coming up soon with the newer packaging and they have also been listed in the top 20 listing of 2014 Innovation Business Challenge recently.

There are 5 rolls of noodles inside the transparent bag, with their own packaging. Each roll comes with 2 sachets of seasoning of soya sauce, stir fried shallots and oil.

Instant Kampua Mee from Sibu

Instant Kampua Mee from Sibu

First, you boil about 1.5 cups of water and then put in the noodles. You may need to boil the noodle for about 5-7 minutes. To have a more springy and firm texture, you are recommended to remove the noodles from the hot boiling water and then blanche it into cold water for a second and then remove it. Pour the noodles into a bowl.

Next, if you want a more tasty kam pua noodle, most people like to eat it with more additions of stir fried shallots. After you have set the noodles aside, heat up your wok and while the wok is heating up, pour in some oil. At same time, dice up some shallots and pour it into the wok and stir fried it until it is golden brown. Then you toss about 2 teaspoonfuls of the fried shallots and garnish it over the noodles.

You may also chop up some scallions to garnish the noodles. Kampua noodles is not complete without a few slices of BBQ pork meat. You may buy some from outside vendors and cut up a few slices onto your noodles.

Kampua Mee, a famous dish among Foochow people

Kampua Mee, a famous dish among Foochow people

There, we are sure you will love this Kampua noodles. If you eat the Kampua noodles just on its own, the small amount of fried shallot in the seasoning may be insufficient to give you that tasty aroma. Do add in some chilli sauce for that addition of spicy flavour to your noodles.

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