Category: Distinctively Kuching

Kuching Airport’s Wireless Internet Service

Finally, I flew back home to Kuching last night.

What a fun-filled and exciting trip over the weekend!
I had the best bunch of people to travel with and that makes a whole lotta difference. But more about the Nuffnang gathering, the Penang Bridge marathon and my unexpectedly interesting side trip to Ipoh a bit later. Right now I just feel like resting my legs and taking it easy.

While I was at the Kuching International Airport, I propped up my laptop hoping to go online by leeching off someone’s wireless internet service. Normally at the airport, I’m able to connect to an unsecured access point called “dlink” or “linksys” or one of those boring default names.
So I brought up the list of wireless connections available.

Curiously only one access point was available, and it was from a guy named “Poi Kee Teo”.
At first I was wondering, how come I can manage to detect the wireless connection of this Mr Teo’s house? The airport is so big and secluded, it’s impossible to get anything from even the closest residential house nearby.
And then I realised.

Kuching Airport sure has a funny sense of humour.

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Save Our Endangered Restaurants

It’s always sad to see your favourite eateries close down.

Some of my favourite restaurants in the past had closed down simply because business wasn’t good enough.
Even when I had the chance to dine at those restaurants, I didn’t see many customers around. It’s almost as if I was the only person in the whole of Kuching who appreciates their good food. Everyone else just prefers to eat at the same old few places.
Among the unfortunate casualties were Mambo King at Travillion and A-ha at Ban Hock (now renamed De Crimson, also known as the place where they serve potato wages)

I reckon that’s a bloody shame really. Because good food should be celebrated, not avoided!
There are plenty of restaurants out there in the same scenario. One thing I noticed is that their chef never fails to churn out good food, but somehow they can’t seem to put enough asses on their chairs.
One ass from me ain’t gonna be enough to keep them afloat.

I love these restaurants and I wanna be eating their good food from them for a long time. But judging by the emptiness of their tables everytime I go there, it’s a matter of time before they’re in danger of closing down.
Unless we act now. FAST!
Which is why for my own selfish reasons, I’m gonna shamelessly plug these restaurants here.

Apologies in advance if I incorrectly assumed that these restaurants aren’t doing well, since the only thing I could based that claim on is my personal observation. 🙂
But nonetheless, presents to you, Kuching’s Top 4 Most Under-Rated and Unappreciated Eateries.

1. Bella Italia at RH Plaza BDC

With the exception of maybe Restaurant Beccari at Merdeka Palace, there seems to be a notable absence of goodItalian food in Kuching.
That is, until I stumbled across Bella Italia secretly stashed away at the backlot of RH Plaza BDC.

Apparently they’ve been around for a while but god knows why I had only just discovered them recently.
I came here twice and on both occasions, we were the only customers there. Maybe it’s their quiet location, but this cosy little restaurant is so devoid of customers it’s Italian tragedy. I am dumbstruck as to why because everything they did here is almost perfect.

Their risotto is delicious, their marinara soup is super-tasty and their pasta rivals the best in KL. At RM15 to RM20 for mains, price-wise they are also quite reasonable.

And I am absolutely head over heels in love with their bruschetta bread.

2. Pizza Junction at Jalan Song

I walked into this restaurant one afternoon and their bored staff jolted up from their seats like they’ve just seen their first customer since The Stone Age.
It’s a pity to see such a nice restaurant so empty and bare.

Pizza Junction is a local homegrown fast-food chain restaurant similar to Pizza Hut. But unlike the international franchise, Pizza Junction serves darn good pizzas at prices much lower than the Hut‘s offerings.
As a comparison, RM21 gets you only one regular pizza at the Hut, but you can get that plus two soups and drinks at the Junction. They even have some dessert pizzas with a local twist, like the Banana Kaya Delight.

I tried their fusili pasta which was decent, but it was their Chicken Delight Pizza absolutely rocks my socks.
Personally I think Pizza Junction tastes a lot better than Pizza Hut. But do try it out and support our local brand.

3. Korean Da Om BBQ House at Jalan Song

Quite possibly, the best authentic Korean restaurant in town.

Here’s the deal. You order one main course and they’ll give you 3 side dish for free. The great thing about Da Om’s side dish is, when you finish them you can ask for a refill an unlimited amount of times.
So technically speaking, you can go to Da Om with ten friends, then you just order one main course and let your ten friends eat the side dish until full.
Just don’t tell them you learn this trick from one hor! 😛

My only complaint with Da Om is that all their spicy dishes are really, really, REALLY spicy! Those stuff should come with titanium metal to reinforce your tongue, because they are so damn spicy it’s not funny.
Seriously, their kimchee is so freaking hot, I think they made it out of a mixture of chilli padi and gunpowder.

My recommendation is to stay safe and stick to the non-spicy dishes.
My favourites here are the Korean marinated beef served with fresh lettuce, Bi Bim Bap (Korean Fried Rice) and the Sam Gye Theng (Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup).

Some say there are better Korean restaurants out there in Kuching, but I disagree.
I say, Da Om is Da Bomb!

4. Sin Chiew Chicken Rice at Point One, Travilion Mall

Actually this chicken rice stall is quite popular already. The only reason I put it on my ‘endangered’ list is because… it is too cheap!
It’s so cheap I wonder how they could even make a profit.

Sin Chiew is good, although I won’t say it is the best-tasting chicken rice in Kuching.
I insist that title still goes to Good Thumb (ex-Big Mouth). But the problem with Good Thumb is that their portion is so pathetic, you have to buy two meals to fill up your stomach. Another good chicken rice place in Kuching is Ah Suan, but they can be expensive and parking around that area is a bitch.

That’s why I think Sin Chiew has the best value chicken rice in Kuching. I asked for one plate of chicken rice with a portion of boob meat, one vegie dish, minus the soup and the grand total comes up to just RM4!
How can I not love this place!?
On top of that, Ah Ming the boss is a nice polite guy who will smile and greet at you when you come, and say bye-bye when you leave.

Yes, I know they smile and greet you too at Coffee Bean. But that one you have to pay 10% service charge for it.

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United Colors of Kuching

Now here’s a sight you don’t often get to see in Kuching.

The colours of the major different races sitting down at a table, playing Mahjong, of all games. 10 years ago this wouldn’t even be possible. Without us even noticing, Kuching is surely becoming more cosmopolitan.
This time next year, don’t be surprised if you see a black dude cooking laksa, or a white lady serving drinks at a hawker centre over here.

And by white lady, I don’t mean this drink called “white lady”.

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Ban? Got Ban Meh?

Isn’t there supposed to be a ban on fireworks in Malaysia?

It sure didn’t seem that way when the clock struck midnight here in Kuching.
Despite the police warning year after year that they’ll be slapping some RM100 on-the-spot fine on anyone found to be in possession of fireworks, us Kuching folks are still proudly firing colourful explosives into the skies, courtesy of our friendly illegal exporters from China.

It’s a blessing in disguise for the predominantly Chinese south city folks. Standing at a house on the hilltop where I had a clear view of all the action, the amount of pyrotechnics let off from the private residential homes across Kuching would have easily put the multimillion ringgit government-sponsored fireworks on the 1st January in Kuala Lumpur to shame.
Why ban fireworks anyway? It’s still easily available at shoddy car boot sales everywhere. Besides, only idiots would misuse fireworks and injure themselves. The government should be happy that they don’t even have to spend a single cent to entertain its residents this festive season.

Happy Chinese New Year of the Pork to all readers!

Changing Face Of Chinese New Year

This Chinese New Year, pay attention to your surroundings. Don’t be surprised if you feel the atmosphere is a little bit different.

One only needs to walk through Kuching’s Chinatown at Padungan Road to find our cat statues is not only decked in their Chinese New Year costumes, they are now also holding latterns bearing the likeness of packets of Maggi Mee instant noodles.

Well, at least it’s Maggi. Can you imagine what those cats would dress like if Triumph underwear were to sponsor the whole thing?

If Triumph sponsored Padungan’s Chinese New Year Bazaar.

That’ll give a whole new meaning to Kuching’s nickname of Pussy Town.
This wasn’t the only instance of advertising infiltrating our festive celebrations. A while back I witnessed an interesting lion dance performance that is unlike any other I have ever seen before.

At first sight, the trio of lions look just like any other ugly lions we see on Chinese New Year.
But these ones are slightly special. If you look close enough, you would notice that the green, red and yellow coloured lions have the logos of a certain brand painted on them.

Guess what? Three lions are named Milo, Nescafe and Maggi! Oh my.
What was previously a good ol’ traditional Chinese custom of lion dances, now doubles up as a platform for advertising.
Times must be difficult for this troupe of lion dancers. You must not blame them for resorting to this though, especially considering the only time these lion dancers can earn any profit from their hard work is during Chinese New Year. Of course they’ll do what they can to maximise their profits lah.
Heck, even the Chinese drum they use sports a huge logo of Maggi on it!

I don’t know about you, but I bet that thing sends out secret subliminal messages. With every beat of the drum, the audience become subconsciously urged to buy Maggi products on their next trip to the supermarkets.
No wonder I got craving for instant noodles after watching the performance.

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Senso @ Hilton

I’m seldom online because once in a while my day job (yes, I do have one) catches up on me.

These days I’m spending longer hours in the office and shorter hours lying on my bed sleeping. In between earning my dough, staying healthy, having a social life and maintaining this blog, I don’t have a lot of spare time to do some of the stuff I enjoy doing, like chatting on msn or watching the latest movies in the cinemas.

Hilton Hotel is becoming like my second home. Not because I stay there (I wish), but without fail, every single day after work I’d drop by the fitness centre for an hour or so, either to lift weights or to use the pathetically small swimming pool they have on their first floor.

Sometimes at night, I enjoy coming here to chill out.
I like the hot chocolate they serve at Cafe Cinno.

Without a doubt, they make the best hot chocolate in the whole of Kuching.
Unlike the conventional they served elsewhere that are probably made with chocolate powder, the hot chocolate at Cafe Cinno comes in a mug of hot milk and a glass filled with rolls of chocolate. Actual hard chocolate rolls.

You’re supposed to chuck those chocolate rolls into the hot milk and give it a good stir. I find that doing it this way makes the beverage smoother, creamier and more satisfying. At RM8 a mug, it’s not all that expensive compared to Bing or Coffee Bean either.
If you pass by Hilton these few days, you’d noticed that they’ve been promoting this trio of singers called ‘Reflections’ like crazy.

Yea I thought the girl on the right look pretty easy on the eye too. 😛
In fact, she looks even more yummilicious in person.

The girl is Relene. She looks Japanese but she’s actually Filipino.
Relene sings alongside her mother Arlene and a pianist from Thailand called Dio at Senso everynight except Mondays. The trio was performing in places like Tokyo and Bangkok before they decided to make Kuching their next stop.

I was there last Friday and Senso was packed to the max.
Reflections performs mostly covers from the classic 80s, but every now and then they throw in a bit of modern pop tunes to hype up the crowd.

How well can a Filipino sing? Not bad in fact. That’s why you see so many of them on American Idol.
Strange thing with these performers is that when they talk, they talk with a heavy Thai/Filipino accent, but when they start singing their accent automagically disappeared.

Hey, at least it’s great that Senso is doing something different from the rest of the bars and pubs in town.
Sure, Kuching still seriously pale in comparison to KL and Singapore when it comes to nightlife. Those big cities have got clubs so enormous they could fit the whole Kuching in, and then some.

But hey, at least we’re improving.
If you want R&B, there’s SoHo. If you wanna shuffle, there’s MC3. If you want house music, go Links. Now, if you want good live music, you’ve got Senso.
Someone bring more variety into Kuching nightlife please. Otherwise, it’ll just be Ah Beng tetno music everywhere, and we’re seriously sick of those.

That, dodgy dangdut bars for dirty divorced old men to grope all over scantily-dressed Indonesian women half their age.

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The Kuching Food Awards

A lot of tourists come to Kuching City not knowing what to do.

Truth is, there isn’t a lot to do within Kuching City. Most of Sarawak’s natural charms are located outside the city limits, towards the beaches in Damai, the mountains in Santubong, the hot springs at Annas Rais, the caves at Bau, and the jungles at Batang Ai. Not inside Kuching City.
If there’s any reason for the average tourist to stay in Kuching at all, it is for the amazing array of delicious local food. To honour the unsung heroes of the Kuching tourism industry, I think it’s high time to give out awards that the Sarawak Tourism Board had forgotten to give out on their glitzy Awards evening.
It’s time for…

After reading this entry, I bet all those Kuching people living overseas must be desperately trying to book their tickets back home now.

Best Fine-Dining Restaurant

Magenta Restaurant, Jalan Nanas
Lately, there’s been a lot of new fine-dining restaurants popping up all over Kuching. One dish there would cost about RM40. It is so expensive but these places are never empty. Kuching people must be getting richer and richer.
The problem is, most of these restaurants don’t get the concept of fine-dining. It’s either the service is crap, or the food tastes like shit.

Magenta has been around for a long time and I reckon they’re one of the few who got it right. It’s the best place to bring a date out for a romantic dinner. The food here is delicious. What’s more, their dishes are so well-presented they look more like sculptures from an art gallery, than food you can actually eat.

Best Bar

Links, Kuching Civic Center
If you like to be in the company of a rowdy crowd, go to SoHo. But if you enjoy a relaxing and exquisite environment, go to Links. I’m not saying this just because they did a great job hosting my 24th birthday party. But seriously, where else can you find a nice bar playing sweet house music perched on top of a tower overlooking the entire city of Kuching?

Best Place To Have Breakfast

Kaya & Toast. They got two branches. One in 3rd Mile, the other one closer to the city in Wisma Nation Horizon, Jalan Petanak.
Their soft-boiled eggs are the best in town and I simply love their curry rice.

I come here so many times that even the staff recognises me. Not only that, they also developed some sort of psychic powers. I don’t even have to open my mouth and they know what I want to order already.
If they see me walking in sleepily, they’ll know I want my coffee. If they see me walking in with saliva dripping down my mouth, they’ll know I want my curry chicken rice. Damn power.

Best Food Court To Try Almost Everything Under The Sun

Jalan Song Food Court
With three major food courts packed into one area, no wonder is placed is always decked out. They are only open at night and the only way tourists staying in the city can get there is by taxi. Whenever I have friends coming over wanting to try a bit of everything that Kuching has to offer, this is where I bring them to.
Seriously, this place is so freaking huge, it’s like the 1Utama of food courts in Kuching.

Best Roti Canai

J&J Cafeteria, Jalan Setia Raja at Tabuan Laru
Roti Canai isn’t very popular in Kuching, no thanks to the longstanding rumour that Indian roti canai makers who wear big rings on their fingers may have shit stained hands. Most Indians wash their ass with their hands instead of using toilet paper, and you won’t wanna eat the roti canai made with those same hands.

Well, if that rumour is true, then the shit of this roti canai maker must taste really good. Every morning J&J Cafeteria is packed to the max.

Best Teh-C-Special

Fresh Food Court, Lorong Liu Shan Bang 3A, Kota Sentosa (aka 7th Mile)
Sarawak is the only place in Malaysia where you can get the Teh-C-Special, otherwise known as the three-layer Teh-C-Peng. This drink is served with three distinct layers of tea essence, sugar water and ideal milk clearly seperated in the glass. You’re supposed to stir it up before you gulp it down.

The delicious concoction of drink is available in almost every single coffee shop in Kuching, and and it tastes pretty much the same everywhere. If you believe in the doctrine that “Original Is Best”, then go to this shop in the 7th Mile near the wet market.
Just like how Bethlehem is the birthplace of Jesus, Fresh Food Court in 7th Mile is the birthplace of the Teh-C-Special. It’s where the citywide craze all began.

Best Sio Bee

Sin Kwang Heng, Open Air Market
The owner manager of this sio bee stall is a Kuching legend in his own right.
Almost never seen without a cigarette hanging from his mouth, the guy must have violated hygiene laws in at least 70 different countries, including Malaysia’s. But Kuching people very power one. If something is good to eat, we will risk life and death to eat – even if it has cigarette butts in it.

The owner manager of Sin Kwang Heng is also famous for shouting at you when you make your order. Try standing in front of his stall and he’d shout “LU AI HAMIK!?” (WHAT DO YOU WANT) like you had insulted his grandmother. It’s funny, but a bit ridiculous. Wanna buy sio bee also kena shouted at. Like you owe him money like that.

That aside, the sio bee here is a long-time Kuching favourite. They are so good that Sin Kwang Heng have begun mass-producing and supplying them to kopitiams all over Kuching.
The only thing Sin Kwang Heng could possibly do to make it better is if they follow those KL franchise like Strudelz and Baoz, and change their name to Sio Beez.

Best Beef Noodle

Ah Mui, Open Air Market
Another long-time Kuching favourite. With some luck, you might be able to order this dish served with bull’s penis.

I’ve never tried it before myself though. To me, eating a bull’s penis is too much like giving dead animals a blowjob.

Best Tomato Kueh Teow

Hap Hap Hin at Kenyalang Market
You can get Tomato Kueh Teow almost everywhere in Kuching, but only this stall does it to perfection. Come early, because they are so popular, they sometimes sold out before noon time.
This is what Sarawak’s Tomato Kueh Teow looks like.

Other people seems to have a different intepretation of what “Tomato Kueh Teow” means.
Last time I ordered “Tomato Kueh Teow” in Singapore, they gave me a plate of Fried Kueh Teow and a bottle of tomato sauce.

Best Belacan Beehoon

Padungan Belacan Beehoon at Song Kheng Hai Food Court, Jalan Padungan
This is my favourite dish! I always order it with extra cuttlefish and century eggs. This stall at Song Kheng Hai serves pretty mean Sotong Kangkung as well and the drinks stall next to it can make excellent Honey Sea Coconut.
The drinks stall owner next door has a pretty lame sense of humour. If something costs one ringgit, he’d come to you and ask for “one thousand ringgit.”

Belacan Beehoon is one of Sarawak’s most legendary delicacies, although it can’t reach Sarawak Laksa in terms of popularity. Nowadays, it is not so easy to find Belacan Beehoon in Kuching because not a lot of people can stand its pungent smell.
But for people like me who love this dish to death, we won’t find it smelly at all. I had it for lunch with Jojo the other day and she complained about it.
Jojo: “That’s gross. How can anyone stand eating Belacan Beehoon? It’s so smelly!”
Kenny: “I put up with your smoking all the time, and you can’t even put up with me eating Belacan Beehoon?”

Best BBQ Rice

Wan Nurn Barbecue Specialist Duck & Chicken, Jalan Padungan
They are within walking distance from the city centre, located right opposite Memories Cafe.

It takes a lot of balls for someone to call themselves a “specialist”. Luckily, Wan Nurn lives up to its name. I especially like their BBQ pork selection. Served with their sweet homemade BBQ sauce, it is absolutely heavenly. Just remember not to take too much from this BBQ “specialist”, otherwise you might have to make a trip to visit a cancer specialist.

Best Chicken Rice

Good Thumb Food Centre, Jalan Dogan, Batu Kawa
This place used to be called Big Mouth. But then the popular chicken rice stall there had a dispute with the landlord, so they moved next door and call themselves Good Thumb. Why Good Thumb? Because the Big Mouth can suck on the Good Thumb and shut up.
Regardless of what they’re called, the chicken rice there is still hands down the best of the best in Kuching.

The most important ingredient of a chicken rice is the chilli sauce. Good Thumb’s chilli sauce is so damn good, they might as well package it and sell it off as can drinks. I’d drink it everyday.

Best Kolo Mee

Ah Ping Mee Stall, Siang Siang Food Court Tabuan Jaya
There are no decent Kolo Mee stalls located within walking distance of any of the hotels here. For a real taste of Kuching, you must travel out to the suburbs.
Trust me, it’s worth it. You hadn’t really been to Kuching until you had a taste of Kolo Mee. And please, eat it like the locals do. Don’t mix it with dark soy sauce like how the KL people does, or mix it with sambal like how the Singaporeans do.

Actually, I still think Kuching’s best Kolo Mee is at KY Cafe on Sekama Road. But too much of the same thing can be monotonous. For a change, I recommend this stall at Siang Siang Food Court in Tabuan Jaya. When I was staying overseas, my dad used to “ta pao” the Kolo Mee from this stall and bring it over for us. It’s the only thing we look forward to.

Best Lui Teh

A residential house at the corner of Jalan Intan and Jalan Tengah, off Green Road
Lui Teh is a Hakka dish that normally tastes very bitter. Somehow the Lui Teh at this place is different – it doesn’t even taste bitter at all!
I wouldn’t even know this place existed if it weren’t from Francis bringing me out to lunch here.

This place so well-hidden inside the residential area it must be Kuching best kept Lui Teh secret.
It’s puzzling why the owner didn’t wanna set up a stall at a food court to attract more business, especially since it’s obvious that his Lui Teh recipe is so popular. Sometimes, his eatery can be so full that people have to wait outside to get a seat.
Even more puzzling is – why don’t he serve drinks to his customers to earn more income? I think maybe he knows his Lui Teh is so good, his customers are gonna salivate so much that they don’t need to order drinks anymore.

Whatever it is, you MUST try the Lui Teh at this place. Some people call it delicious.
I call it, Lui-Teh-licious.

Best Seafood Kolo Mee

Hong Yan, Jalan Kuek Sik Fong off Jalan Sekama
The place is two shoplots big and the only thing they sell there is Seafood Kolo Mee. RM5.50 is pretty expensive by Kuching’s standards, but Hong Yan makes every single cent worth it.

You don’t see the customers there complaining. Eating the Seafood Kolo Mee here makes them happy. Don’t come after 11am because I guarantee you it’ll be sold out by then.

Best Kueh Chap

Lau-Tee-Fang, 4 1/2th Mile Commercial Centre
We call it Kueh Chap. Other people call it “The Pig’s Spare Parts Soup”. Kueh Chap is made by chopping up every single internal organ of the pig and served in some black-coloured soup. Salty, but lovely.

Just like the Seafood Kolo Mee stall, the Kueh Chap at Lau-Tee-Fang is usually sold out by 11am. I wish they could make more for lunch, but they are open for breakfast only so come early.

Best Sarawak Laksa

Chong Choon Cafe, Jalan Abell.
These guys have been around for ages and they really know their stuff. Located smack in the middle of the city, they are easily accessible to tourists staying in the hotels here. The 8TV crew has been here before and they love it. I brought every single one of my friends from overseas here and they love it. Their laksa is so good its addictive.

Chong Choon is open early in the morning and their laksa is all sold out before the clock even hits 11am.
If you realise, all the good eateries in Kuching are only open for a few hours. They could’ve make more money if they are opened a bit longer to serve the lunchtime crowd, but these people don’t do it. I don’t know why.
Maybe Kuching people just don’t know how to do business.

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Useless Tourism Award

From time to time, people overseas and from other parts of Malaysia e-mailed me asking, “Hi Kenny. Big fan of blog. I’m visiting Kuching soon. What is there to do in Kuching?”

The first few times, I was happy enough to reply them individually. After 500 e-mails or so asking me different questions, it begins to get frustrating. Next time I get asked what’s there to do in Kuching, I’m gonna ask them to use what the Internet was invented for.
Then again, I guess it’s somehow understandable why so few people trusted the information given out by the Tourism Board. Quite often, what the Tourism Board recommends to tourists is VERY DIFFERENT from what a local boy would recommend to tourists.

Like recently, the Tourism Board held a major Awards ceremony to recognise outstanding tourism players in Sarawak. It’s all fine and dandy, rewarding fine talented people and all. But what I don’t understand is, why is there an award for BEST TOILET OPERATOR IN SARAWAK, but no award for BEST KOLO MEE STALL IN SARAWAK!?
Seriously! What stupid purpose does having an award for Best Toilet Operator actually serve? What are these people thinking?

Best Public Toilet Ever.

Do they think that if a tourist wanna go to the loo, they would rush to the nearest public toilet, only to find out “Oh shit! This is not by the Best Toilet Operator! How now!?”, then run around the whole of Sarawak holding their crotch looking for toilets operated by the Best Toilet Operator in Sarawak to pee at?

Of course not!
The average tourist couldn’t care less about which public toilet is the best. Everyone knows the best toilets are the ones in 5-star hotels and restaurants. And maybe those glitzy ones they have in KL that auto-clean itself and wipe your butt for you when you’re done doing business.
Actually I’m not sure about the wiping your ass part. At RM400K a piece, they ought to be able to do that.
The average tourist wanna know where the BEST LOCAL FOOD is at. They wanna EAT the stuff locals EAT. And ONLY a local can tell them where the best kolo mee and where the best laksa is at. The Tourism Board couldn’t tell that. Either that, or they don’t promote to tourists the good eateries located outside the main tourism belt.

Which is why as a local boy in support for Visit Malaysia Year 2007, is gonna do its part promoting Kuching tourism. It may not mean much, but I’m gonna give out Awards the Tourism Board had forgotten to give.
Presenting, Kuching Food Awards!

Unfortunately, in typical Malaysian fashion, “due to unforeseen circumstances”, the list is still being finalised . (Actually I just ran out of time to blog lah.)
So that’s coming up… in the next update. 😉

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The Strangest Place To Have Chicken Rice In Kuching

Yesterday, Mei Ling called me out to have lunch.

I thought “Wah! Very rare!” The guy never go out during lunch time one. I asked him where we’re going but he wouldn’t tell. Must be bringing me to some place nice.
Great. So he picked me up from my workplace and off we drove me to this old row of shophouses a short distance away from my office.

When we got there I saw nothing resembling a coffee shop.
All there is, is a lone table set up by the five-foot-way with a gay-looking umbrella and a few guys surrounding it.
I was like OMG. Mei Ling was laughing like mad.

We placed our order to the stall owner in Hokkien. “Hor wa nor ua, cham cham. Tehng pang zhay tham pok” (Give me two plates, mixed. Put more soup.)
I watched in disbelief as the bespectacled owner of the lonely stall casually scooped up some rice and placed them onto a turquoise plate.

“Ai ha mik bak” (What type of meat you want?), he asked.
We made our choice then he hand picked portions of chicken or pork from one of his large pots nearby and proceed to cut them up real time. He poured some chilli sauce over the meat and some savoury soup over the rice.

He handed Mei Ling a plate and he handed me a plate.
“Now what?” I asked Mei Ling. “There aren’t tables or chairs around, so where are we supposed to sit?”
“Sit here lah!” he walked into a narrow staircase and sit down on the dirty tiles, right next to a BROOM.

Damn, I was mortified.
No freaking way am I gonna sit there and eat my lunch on a dirty staircase! This is ridiculous.
If they are selling Ramly burgers by the roadside I can still understand, but never have I seen anyone selling chicken rice on the five-foot-way like that.

So there I was, miserable in my suit and tie, trying my best doing the unglam thing of eating chicken rice standing up.
Unsurpisingly, I was the only one having lunch there in my office attire.
Surprisingly, business appears to be brisk for this lonely chicken rice stall hidden away in an empty lorong. I guess to him, it’s a normal thing for people to eat their meal whilst sitting on the dirty staircase by the shophouse.

While we were there the stall has sold a few plates continuously.
At RM3.50 a plate, it’s not any cheaper compared to a normal plate of chicken rice you’d get at a coffee shop. But for this stall owner, the customers just keep coming in non-stop. Most of them foreign workers and delivery drivers who just wanna stop by and have a quick meal.

You can even order drinks here if you wanna. The wife would just walk up the dirty narrow staircase and get some from the fridge.
The unfazed customers sitting on the staircase would just siam one side when she’s walking past, like it’s a very normal thing for people to walk past you when you’re sitting on the staircase having lunch.
When you’re finished, the plates are piled up on the floor just like that.

I wonder why the uncle didn’t just rent a space at a food court to serve his meals. At least it’s more comfortable there, right?
I understand everyone wants to maximise their profit margin, but surely this is not the way to do it!

According to Mei Ling, the soft-spoken owner used to ride around Kuching in his rusty little bicycle selling chicken rice to office folks. Alas, some immoral scum burglar made away with his bicycle. With that, his only means of making a living was stolen from him.
Undetered, the old uncle set up a simple wooden table by the five foot way below his shophouse. Despite his very strange way of serving food, his business has been doing pretty ok.

When he’s not selling chicken rice, the owner dreams of becoming a flamingo

The Strangest Place To Have Chicken Rice In Kuching™ is at Lorong Ang Cheng Ho 7B, close to where the old Twenty Cent Supermarket used to be located. If you are not perturbed by the look of his simple stall, maybe you should drop by during your lunch hour and check it out.
I won’t say it is the best place for chicken rice, nor the most hygenic, but I say it certainly provides the most unique and old-school chicken rice experience in Kuching.

If you’re gonna order food from him, go ahead and ask him to keep the change. The guy is not earning as much as John Lee anyway.
Perhaps with the extra income, the aging uncle would finally be able to afford a new bike by then.

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Please Remain Seated

Just got back from KL a few minutes ago.

You know how when you’re on an airplane, and the plane is about to stop at the terminal, the flight captain usually makes an announcement asking all passengers to “please remain seated until the fasten seatbelt sign is turned off”?
In other parts of the world, that usually means all the passengers should have their butts obediently glued to their seats until the captain says they can go, then they can go unbuckle their seat belts and start moving around.
I guess next time the captain flies to Kuching, he can save his breath making that announcement because obviously over here, that rule does not apply.

Even before the seatbelt sign is turned off, as soon as the wheels of the plane ground to a halt, everyone immediately mushroomed up from their seats and unload their bags from the overhead compartment.
“Har? Seatbelt signs? What seatbelt signs? No such thing here.”

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