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N.E.S.W. - East (Kuching, Day 2, Part 1)

>> Thursday, November 12, 2009

Date: 30 October - 1 November 2009, Friday - Sunday
Venue: Kuching, Sarawak
Occasion: Weekend get-away with 2 high school friends
Halal: No (for breakfast & lunch) & Yes (for dinner)

There are just too many photos taken on Day 2 in Kuching! *lol* I've decided to share Day 2 with my readers in 4 parts.

Part 1 - Food information i.e. where to eat, what to eat, & how to get there
Part 2, 3, & 4 - Travel information i.e. places of interest, activities, etc.

So, here's Part 1! *woots!*

Breakfast was at Chong Choon Cafe, Jalan Abbel. We woke up a 'lil earlier to ensure that by the time we get to the coffeeshop, there will still be food sold. We were told by friends & bloggers to get there early, but it's a Saturday! Girls like us won't want to wake up too early on a Saturday just for some good breakfast....(unless it's a MUST EAT).

We walked to Chong Choon from Tune Hotel. It took us roughly 10-15minutes to get there by foot. It's quite easily located. Once you're on Jalan Abbel, you'll see Maybank on your left & Chong Choon is somewhere further down, opposite. You can't miss it ;)

Note: Make sure you don't get there too late. The place is usually packed & we had to wait for a table!

Sarawak Laksa (RM3.50/small bowl)
Yums! I kinda enjoyed this laksa, although it's my first time having it :) I can't make a comparison since it's my first, but I'll give it 4 stars out of 5 for its taste :D It's very different from the usual curry laksa/asam laksa in the Kuala Lumpur. The soup is like a cross between curry powder + prawn noodle's soup, & the bee hoon is slightly more coarse, so it doesn't soak up the soup so quickly. Nice.

Mee Jawa Special (RM4.00/small plate)
Mee Jawa special = Mee Jawa + 4 sticks of satay (3 chicken, 1 beef)
We ordered this to share cos I saw many people enjoying it. But it's just too different from the ones in KL for my personal liking. I don't like the thick, gooey sauce; it tasted very starchy. I much prefer the "potato filled-slightly spicy mee Jawa sauce with a tinge of sour taste from lime juice". Somehow, satay + mee Jawa is a strange combination to me...hahaha...the satay is also very different. It's practically just a slice of marinated chicken breast meat on a stick! There's no piece of skin/fat, & the satay was so flat....those that we get in KL are "full & thickly wrapped around the stick", not some flat piece of meat on the stick :P Oh well, this is just a personal preference ;) Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

Teh C-Ping (RM1.80/glass)
Kuching is said to be famous for their teh c-ping a.k.a. Iced Tea with Evaporated Milk. You may be wondering, why is it so special in Kuching? Just check out the looks of it: 3 layers. That's what so special...they mix it in a way that the tea & milk looks separated upon serving. This drink is basically tea + sugar + evaporated milk. It is unlike its 'sibling', the teh ping, whereby sweet condensed milk is added to the tea. Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Map to Chong Choon coffeeshop

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Chong Choon Cafe
Jalan Abbel
93100 Kuching
Tel: (+6012) 8571 811
Business Hours: 6:30 am - 12:00 pm

Lunch was at Yang Chun Tai Cafe, opposite a Chinese temple, in the middle of Carpenter Street. Once again, we walked over...hahaha...we actually spent the morning after breakfast on a simple "river cruise" (you'll find out more from the next 2 blog posts, coming up soon) 'til lunch hour. You'll find out in the upcoming posts that our main mode of transportation apart from foot is the "sampan"/small wooden boat :D

From our 'drop-off' at Jalan Bazaar, we walked to Carpenter Street. It's not too far away; you'll take roughly 10minutes by foot. Along the way to Carpenter Street, you'll pass by some museums & the main post office.

Carpenter Street is Kuching's "China Town". On both sides of the road, you'll see very old shops & of course, many carpenter/furniture shops! All through the street, you'll find many coffeeshops & food places, but smacked right in the middle of Carpenter Street is Yang Chun Tai Cafe. It's well-known among the locals & some tourists for their mouth-watering kolo mee & fish balls.

Yang Chun Tai Cafe
If you don't read Chinese, you will most probably not know this is the cafe that I'm talking about. The only indication is the temple directly opposite the coffeeshop & the large banners in front of the shop, which I believe is used as blinds :D The interior of the coffeeshop is very humid. Air-ventilation is certainly not good, but for the sake of good food, you'll just have to bear with the heat.

Kolo Mee Stall
Most people in Kuching speak Mandarin or Hokkien. I'm sure for tourists sake, they will understand English :)

Kolo Mee (RM3.50/small bowl)
I thought the serving was very generous! I can't even finish my bowl of noodles & needed Theng to help me finish it up. The barbecued pork/"char siew" wasn't excellent, but somehow the entire noodle dish just tasted nice :) I reckon it's because of the load of pork contained in the noodles! Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Fish Ball Noodles Stall
This stall offers a variety of fish balls & fish paste items. It's almost like the Yong Tau Foo. They also sell pork satay for RM0.50/stick, but at the time we went, it's not ready yet. It's only ready around 2p.m.

Assorted Fish Balls/Fish Paste Items (RM5.00 for the variety we chose ourselves)
I am not a fish ball fan, but I can confidently say that this is good. The texture of the fish ball is bouncy, yet firm (unlike those commercial ones with so much Boric acid that it could hit the ceiling when it bounces). I enjoyed the fish balls, beancurd stuffed with fish paste, & the fried fish balls :) The soup's not too bad as well, but I didn't get to finish it up as I was too full. Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Iced "Loh Hong Kor" drink (RM1.50/glass)
On a really hot day, this herbal tea is very refreshing...

Map to Yang Chun Tai Cafe

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Yang Chun Tai
Carpenter Street
93100 Kuching

Finally, dinner was at Tom's, a Western cuisine restaurant on Jalan Padungan. This was a recommendation from a friend who works in Kuching as a doctor. Unfortunately, he was on-call that day, so we didn't get to meet up with him for a meal. This place is highly recommended although the price is slightly on the higher end. Oh yes, the price range is also quite wide. You can have a lovely & satisfying 2 course meal for less than RM25.00, to a lavish 4 course meal that comes up to more than RM100.00.

Tom's at Jalan Padungan

Cutlery at Tom's
As you would have noticed, this place is quite dim & lighting is certainly insufficient for good photos to be taken.

Mushroom Salad (RM18.50/serving)
Paying RM18 for a salad certainly sounds absurd, especially when you can DIY at home. But I reckon that's the price you pay at restaurant, even at places like Itallianies (maybe more). I enjoyed this salad SO much that I could just have this for dinner & it could make me very happy.

What can you find in this mushroom salad? Generous serving of assorted mushrooms - golden, straw, button, & oyster mushrooms + green & red salad leaves, shredded carrots, & some slices of cucumbers & tomatoes. The dressing was excellent in taste. It's very simple, if I'm not wrong, there's lemon juice, some crushed black pepper, herbs, sugar, & salt. There could be more, perhaps my 2 friends could help me out here...I was just digging in with glee! :D No regrets. Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Salmon Skin Salad (RM19.00/serving)
This was interesting. I've never had this before, but because I just love mushrooms, I didn't order this "'new' type of salad in my little world". The salmon skin was sliced into strips & it's crispy. The fishy smell is not very evident, but you could still taste the salmon through its skin. Apart from that, the salad is the same as the mushroom salad, just without the mushrooms ;) Unique. Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Spinny Lobster Anglio Olio (RM18.50/serving)
This tasted quite Malaysian! Hahaha...it reminded me of the Ranjit's pasta at Leornado's. Angel's hair pasta served in anglio olio style with chili flakes, salt, crushed black pepper, herbs, finely chopped garlic & without doubts, lobster chunks! *drool* The only reason why I ordered this dish was because I wanted some pasta & I thought lobster pastas don't come very easily (at such a price!). Hmm...no regrets as well although I felt it was a tad too salty to my liking. Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Australian Lamb Chop (RM39.00/serving)
Just looking at it brought me to near tears....*looks at pasta, looks at lamb, looks at pasta, looks at lamb....eats pasta without regrets* Theng said it was good, & so it was! Tender lamb chops, nicely flavoured. The broccoli & vegetables are also well done - not over-cooked, not raw. Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Rump Steak (RM38.00/serving)
Another dish that brought me to near tears *stares awhile, snaps a photo or 2 of the steak, gets back to the pasta* The meat was a little tougher than I thought, but the flavour was just nice. I like the presentation of the dish...colourful & appetizing!! *can't stop drooling* Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 (cos of the texture)

Dessert: Strawberry Shortcake (RM10.50/slice)
Not too sweet, soft yet firm cake texture, & filled with strawberry fragrance with every mouthful. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

Dessert: Apple Crumble (RM7.50/serving)
Wow. Check out the size of the scoop of ice cream! Generous *gives extra points* The apple crumble didn't have oats in it, to Ling's delight. It was served warm, 'crumbly', crispy-ish, & the apple mixture tastes lovely, especially when eaten together with the vanilla ice cream! Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

Ling with her Lavilla Red Wine (RM16.50/glass)
It's actually not very expensive for a glass of red wine. Ling said it tastes okay. It's not very smooth though...

Theng enjoying her Irish Cream Latte (RM8.90/glass)
It was so addictive that she had 2 glasses, while Ling ordered one glass for herself as well!

Map to Tom's

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(Thomas Yii, Proprietor & Head Chef)
82, Jalan Padungan
93100 Kuching
Tel: (+082) 247672
Cake reservations/Enquiries: (+016) 8603 133 or (+082) 247672
Business Hours: Monday - Saturday, 11:30a.m. - 11:00p.m. Close on Sundays.


Presentation: * * * *
Price: * * *
Environment: * * * 1/2
Taste: * * * 1/2
Service: * * * 1/2


At the end of the day, we were all SO satisfied & could sleep happy...the amount of food that we took in wasn't TOO much, but feels a lot...hahaha...it was a great "makan" day! It's indeed a "jalan-jalan cari makan" time for us! ;)

Stay tuned with PerutBesi for more updates on the Kuching trip!

- Ruth


ciki November 12, 2009 at 11:48 AM  

talk about eat fest.. got enough hours in one day meh? LOL.. nice shots.

PerutBesi November 12, 2009 at 1:53 PM  

->ciki: I don't think there's enough hours to have an eating fest in 1 day lor :( Eat 'til jelak...hahaha...thanks for the compliment :)

J2Kfm November 14, 2009 at 12:18 PM  

what a run. i'll hop here for some guidance if i ever go sarawak.
i've never been there. =P
shameful huh?
teh c special supposed to contain gula melaka as well, does it not?

PerutBesi November 16, 2009 at 1:51 PM  

->J2Kfm: Hello! Thanks for dropping by :) Im not too sure if the teh c special contained gula melaka...can't taste it if it did :P It tasted like any usual teh c ping to me :D

Anonymous January 26, 2010 at 1:10 AM  

The information here is great. I will invite my friends here.


PerutBesi January 26, 2010 at 3:17 PM  

->Anonymous: Hello! Thanks for dropping by my site :) I sure hope to provide better (& more fun-filled) information to all of u! Do leave your name so that we could keep in touch as well :) Cheers!

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