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
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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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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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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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