The Latest Place To Hang Out In Kuching

The newest, latest place to hang out in Kuching is not Secret Recipe.

It is not The Living Room.

Heck, it is not even bloody Bing!

It is right here, at the Kuching International Airport, aka The Poikeeteo.

Now, why the heck would Kuching people wanna hang out, of all places, at THE AIRPORT?

Because after opening a branch in virtually every single other state in Malaysia, Starbucks has finally opened its doors in our humble little city of Kuching.

Instead of making their mark in some huge ass shopping mall in Kuching, Starbucks chose to make their first impression at our airport.
For the first time, Kuching people, most of whom have never tasted this expensive coffee franchise before, flooded the airport eventhough they have no flight to catch.

As much as I am a fan of Starbucks and enjoy a bit of quality coffee every so often, I can’t help but to wonder the big question on every Kuching folk’s mind.
Would the humble average-income earning Kuching population pay RM10 for a coffee just to sit under green umbrellas indoors, when they could’ve easily paid just RM1.40 to sit at the nearest kopitiam?

Clearly, not everyone here is a fan of Starbucks.


It’s the Rainforest World Music Festival!
Also held in conjunction with the music festival is the KL-People-Invades-Kuching Festival. With friends from the Peninsular flying over to my hometown, like Joyce, YC, Su Ann, Nicole, Christy, Charmayne and heaps others coming over, I think I’m gonna be very very wasted this weekend.

158 Replies to “The Latest Place To Hang Out In Kuching”

  1. Airport is just 5 minutes away from my house and about 15-20 minutes from town. We’re already paying about the same price for Coffeebean tho…
    lol @ t-shirt

  2. kuching is getting more and more like KL each day~ not sure whether that’s a good thing or bad~
    and yeah…another reason to lepak at the airport…lol~

  3. hmmm… looks tempting but I rather have cheese cake in NYDC S’pore… very nice. cool pics bro…. why u alwiz like starbucks…. no other pictures to take is it?
    boring la sometimes….

  4. yo kenny for your info starbucks is planning to open up it wings to places like springs and boulevard in kuching when these two places are built up… forget coffeebean or bing cause nothing beat starbuck!

  5. Hey dude, wah, like no- tomorrow one ? How come so suaku ? 🙂
    That’s Starbucks business strategy, located in busy side of the town, train station, Poikeeteo. they are just a fast coffee joint like McDonald for a quick pick up on the way to work or travel, many Starbucks have drive through.
    Starbuck really do not want the customers to hang out, berlepak lepak there leh. Just in and out, that is why you have to pay to use their business paretner’s Wifi.
    Being a coffee drinker, Starbucks coffee is not all that great. Their barista can’t make Espresso/latte/ cuppa worth a *#&$ because it’s just a job for them. Independent coffee shop, the baristas are more than likely to be a coffee lover themselves, have spent years in perfecting the skill of making a good espresso drinks with the creama. (making espresso looks easy but is really not that easy to get it right).
    For me, a cup of Kuching’s Kopi-O with the hometown aroma beats any franchised coffee joint.. Starbucks, Seattle’s Best, Coffe bean..!

  6. I just came back from Starbucks after spending RM12.81 on a Latte. And the sucker Starbucks sucked my RM1.70 for a few drip of halzenut syrup. Ripped off!!! I want my money back!!!

  7. MONEY!YES!$$$$$$$$$$ NO EVERYBODY COULD AFFORD A CUP OF COFFEE THERE. WHERE ELSEWHERE U COULD ALSO HAVE A BIG BOWL OF TASTY OF KOLO MEE PLUS COFFEE AT A CHEAPER PRICE!THEY MADE THE RIGHT CHOICE AT THE POIKEETEO AS PEOPLE HAVE NO CHOICE BUT DRINK THERE WHILE WAITE FOR DELAY AIRASIA FLIGHT.BUT THEN THEIR COFFEE VERY GOOD.HAVE A NICE DAY.

  8. Woah!
    Of all the places to open starbucks
    they chose an airport!

    on another note
    i actually don’t find what’s sooo great about starbucks
    it’s just a brand what…
    but perhaps that’s what makes all the difference

  9. starbucks seriously is juz a brand….nothing great about it…actually i think some body like 2 go there coz they think it is more ‘high class’ 2 drink a coffee from there…is like…
    ‘hey dude…i juz went starbucks n spend RM15 4 my coffee!! i have high taste!!’
    ‘huh? u juz go kopitiam arr??so sad….u dun have taste at all’
    although i do went once a while..but i still dun think worth 2 spend so much 4 a coffee…=)i rather go kopitiam…

  10. Starbucks (as well as other coffee chains) actually has pretty crap coffee if you ask me. Nothing like popping down to your local coffee place… better and yet half of what ever they are charging at Starbucks.

  11. what’s wrong paying RM10 for a starbucks coffee? some of us are the fans but you’re just not one of them. and that’s all..

  12. I believe everyone has own preference. Either you love it or hate it. I am a fan of Starbucks. Love the Frap. Espresso. I dun drink bcoz it’s high class or just to lepak there…sometimes I would just go tah pao and go straight home. It’s just heaven to feel those coffee spread over my taste buds. I think the cashier know my fav drink even b4 i order 😛

  13. I still think Starbucks doensn’t have the best coffee in Malaysia!(dunno why sum ppl say Starbucks is the best). It doesn’t have wide ranges choice of coffee and it doesn’t taste so nice. Unlike Coffee Bean, have variety of choices and good taste. Cheaper a bit than Starbucks somemore. Coffee Bean serve delicious cake (esp. Oreo Cheese Cake, nice nice!)

  14. Although I already tasted their trademark coffee beans, the coffee wasn’t good enough to meet the standard of a “good coffee” and I felt very disappointed for that.
    Starbucks or whatsoever, it all depends on the barista himself/herself.
    Come on guys…Starbucks, so what? Our very own local kopi-o’s still the best apart from bing!.

  15. That last fella is clearly (much like myself) a devoted Coffee Bean fan. Unfortunately back in Australia Coffee Bean is only available in Victoria, so I only get to drink when I’m in KL. Back in Australia I’m forced to drink Starbucks.

  16. i live in connecticut, USA. there are 4 starbucks in like 2 blocks radius of each other…. and there are starbucks in every corner of nyc. Starbucks is no luxury, it’s really just an image…..

  17. ya, my friend and i purposely went to the poikeeteo to try starbucks drinks 2 days ago after reading it from the local newspaper. pay rm1 for the parking fee, tour around the airport and went home. heard only kuching airport has starbucks and coffee bean, other airports (i.e.klia, lcct)in malaysia do not have these two franchises. am i rite?

  18. i guess no where more suitable than airport in kuching. Since kuching’s ppl mostly cant afford. that’s the main reason starbucks open in airport.
    1st,alot outsiders that can afford.
    2nd,minority rich ppl in kuching that fly always,they can afford.

  19. I don think i will ever go to airport to drink coffee.. open in airport is a good strategy. At least if kuching ppl don drink, ang moh that reach the airport will go and spend there…

  20. Blue – Starbucks opens in KLIA too, at the international hall, upstairs with the pubs around.
    Starbucks Rulez.

  21. too expensive lar… sure cant tahan long.. lol. ppl here are too kiam siak one.. unless of cos they’re taukes and tauke neos la.. Anyways, will u go there Kenny?

  22. no matter u like it or not, at least kuching ppl have one more choice lah! i like starbuck better than coffeebean myself, we went their on the opening n the manager really nice! uhh..abang azma if i m not mistaken. u seldom got that personal touch with franchise like this ya know…thanks for the free mugs!

  23. There was a similar concern when Starbucks came to Penang coz Penang is the kopitiam and hawker’s food heaven.
    However, to date there are 11 Starbucks outlets in our little Penang!

  24. LOL starfucks fo free hehe
    ppl just like trends…
    starbucks has its charm,afterall stabucks is a very sucessful in the world…
    I don’t opt to pay so much to drink there,but once in a while if go YumCha there with friends,its fine…
    I notice many people bring their ‘latest’ laptop to showoff that they are using the wifi…go n ‘haolian’ there n risk being robbed.. hehe

  25. Wow!Is that really the new Poikeeteo?
    It looks totally different than the one I last saw when I went there 2 years ago.

  26. but I thought those stuff in airports cost a bit more higher than the usual price..but then…yeah, i like starbucks too..once in a while la..if not…pocket bleeds
    Cheers
    J

  27. Erggggh Starbucks hot chocolate sucks ass! Seriously if you want real coffee don’t go to Starbucks 😎

  28. i paid rm10-20 not for the coffee in starbuck but rather for the chance to relax and online there….

  29. i am not a fan of starbucks, i super love coffee bean 😀 kenny! make a post compare between these 2 can aa? 😀

  30. Starbucks coffee isn’t that good. Their frappes are alright. I’d never order a starbucks “coffee”. Only their ice crushy drinks are decent.

  31. I never knew that kuching people are so craving for a starbucks taste. It’s 5 min drive from here but there’s no temptation yet…

  32. omg lah… i never realize that IT IS starbuck at the airport..I’d been hanging around the airport quite a few times lately.. always at KFC yet i NEVER realize it is starbuck.. LoL!

  33. Wow, another new Jamban :).
    How much is a cup of star bucks coffee in Kuching cost ?
    My American friends love Kuching coffee so much. Sayang I did not bring enough back to Florida.
    Cheers !
    Jamy from sunshine Florida.

  34. I’m shocked it took this long for Kuching to get a Starbucks. I mean, I lived on one of the Pescadores islands off the coast of Taiwan, which had no more than 20,000 people spread across three islands, and even they had TWO Starbucks 3-4 years ago.

  35. If u purposely go to the airport just for Starbuck, still hav to pay another few bucks for the parking fee..if u simply park, then ur parking fee will hav to be paid at a PREMIUM price. Then that makes the coffee trip more HIGH class though..hiak hiak..Starbucks is just selling a kind of ‘lifestyle’. the kind of lifestyle that makes ppl think that drinking that cup of coffee there would increase value to themselves..but im one of those also lah..the coffee at OLD TOWN is better..the price is also reasonable..perhaps OLD TOWN would be more favourable in Kuching..Hazelnut white coffee is the BEST!!!

  36. haihz. maybe this post would be popular if u post it 5 or 6 years ago. starbucks is so common right now..

  37. Okay sorry, I kind of gave her that suggestion.
    But…but…she’s the one who suggested that everyone came here to tag you hor!
    Speaking of which, where are all the cheesed-ers??!

  38. wow! kuching airport has really changed! haven been there for a while d… miss kuching ko lo mee!!!

  39. Actually the product you get from Starbucks itself is wayyy overrated. Nothing special you can’t get from anywhere else. The service is not so fantastic either. But the reason why I frequent Starbucks is the atmosphere. Especially those in Singapore. There is something to be said about grabbing your jacket, dashing off to the nearest Starbucks, sit in isolation in 1 corner, enjoying a drink, the orange lighting, all alone, listening to the jazz they play (or just to my own music), while surfing the net, oblivious to the world around u yet strangely aware of your environment (read: pretty girls) as well.

  40. STARBUCKS SUX! kenny u lived in australia for such a long time, how can you like starbucks? it’s shitty american coffee with no kick… bah…

  41. I wouldn’t go so far as to say Starbucks sucks! They’re alright but not great and certainly not the best! Different people have different opinions, you either like it or you don’t. If anyone is going to Christchurch, NZ, C1 and Honey Pot have pretty good coffees.

  42. Starbucks not bad lah but I prefer Bing’s….surprise? Brought a group of my KL frens there & they all said better than CoffeeBean & Starbucks……(definitely the ambience much better).

  43. HAHAHAHAH Mr Starfucks’s expression deserves a medal. GOLD.
    Q: What sound does a Starbucks fanboy make when he’s surfing the internet?
    A: FRAP FRAP FRAP FRAP FRAP
    Yeah, I know. It came to me in an epiphany.

  44. I’m a starbucks fans… starbucks just like maybank in KL… you would not be able to miss the outlet… good to hear that starbucks has opened and going to open more outlets in Kuching, Sarawak. I will pay a visit when i’m in Kuching :-)… Just missed the Rainforest World Music again 🙁
    Hey, Kenny any idea how to get the shirt? it is awesome and creative … ROTFL Salute to the person that wear it too 🙂

  45. Hey Kenny,
    Starbucks very over rated one lah. It appropriately has “bucks” in the name ‘cos that is where they grab the “bucks” from stuffy people for so so coffee. Ahh…nothing beats a cup of kopi O from the kopitiam and futher more you could get 7 cups of kopi O for the price of one Starbucks coffee.
    For the real coffee conoisseur (i.e. really stuufy people) nothing beats civet cat coffee. The coffee beans are extracted from civet cat poop! Check it out on the following link:
    http://www.firebox.com/index.html?dir=firebox&action=product&pid=1077
    Can’t beat the catch phrase “Godd to the last dropping”, hahahaha…

  46. Jesus…
    Starbucks comes from the name of a character in Moby Dick. and Starbucks != Jewish. Coffee Bean is.

  47. i love mocha. but a coffee drink at all these coffee joints are so expensive! havent had one for so long..

  48. if this is distinctively kuching then i dont recognise kuching anymore. it’s growing up too fast, in consumerist directions, what the hell. the only thing familiar is the sight of kuching people flocking to whatever’s new in town. i hope the fates of a&w’s and kenny rogers smile down upon starbucks because frankly, the last thing we need is some more wannabe yuppie culture.
    … and some more cents while scrolling through your comments. what ambience? generic yellow lighting and wood veneer! and why the need to bring in other franchises, no matter whether they’re better than starbucks or not? sometimes one needs a change from hawker fare and ambience (and marks for pretentious word is there was any) but what’s wrong with homegrown, quirky, DISTINCTIVE? the junk was miles ahead when it first came out all those years ago and blablabla and the living room just continues that standard. then again, one must not generalise. padungan road is full of the neo-yuppie and foodwise, generic.
    off to another tangent, people dash off to the airport for famous amos. for the past 7 years +-. good thing it’s just five mins away then. malaysians typified – nowhere is too far or too inconvenient for perceived good food. but please la, i hope kuching people are more discerning than starbucks-dazzled.

  49. I think paying rm10+ for a cuppa joe in a quiet starbucks outlet is absurb. however, if the outlet is at a posh hangout area, say bkt bintang, hartamas, etc……i think its ok. in fact, its both safer and healthier!

  50. There’s always eye-candy at starbucks. Ladies love materialistic stuff e.g starbucks. Meh; look but don’t touch, or ur gonna have to skip your kolo mee as well…. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! LoL

  51. Starbucks is mediocre at best. It’s just a place where the urban “hipsters” hang out. It has already preselected and sells the music you should listen to and the art you should enjoy.
    So basically if you want to be a corporate construct of what an urban hipster should be. Go there or at least that is the case here in the western hemisphere

  52. well, i don’t care starbucks or coffeebean or bing lo!
    any of those who can provide me with new menus new drinks which suit my taste every now and then,i will absolutely go try.
    who cares which 1 is the best in the world or what, like i know how to differenciate the coffee..
    anyway, i still think we should support malaysia la. Or else all our money always flow out and flow out.. then the value will drop .. that will be very susah lo..

  53. congratulations ABG SAMSUL EZAM for the opening of the first Sbux in Sarawak. Please come back to Miri to open one here 🙂

  54. Hate Starbucks! Their name is mud with a lot of people in the London (I’m from Kuching but based in London). Big American co-operation etc… like McD; better to support your local kopitiam instead of this Western tosh!! RM10 for a cup of coffee- more money than sense.

  55. OMG! I went there just last week and I thought “I didn’t know they got a Starbucks here since my last visit.” Who knows it’s just one new shop.

  56. You know, Kenny should implement a comment system on his site similar to that of digg.com
    It would be awesome in burying crap comments and bringing to the forefront good comments.
    On topic, I had no idea Kuching didn’t have a Starbucks. Always thought there was one in the city. Guess I never looked around enough when I was there lol

  57. “Instead of making their mark in some huge ass shopping mall in Kuching, Starbucks chose to make their first impression at our airport.”
    here where got big big shopping mall? lol

  58. I disagree. I still say Bing! beats Starbucks 🙂
    Especially with that yummy Mars Bar Cheesecake of theirs….delicious.
    As much as I like Starbucks, I still say Bing! is awesome-ER…
    🙂

  59. I don’t understand the craze for Starbucks or Coffee Bean. It’s all just in the name brand. Their coffee doesn’t taste that great anyway. The only reason why ppl say its the best coffee is because… it’s Starbucks ma! Even if the staffs put some dog poop in it, people will still say it’s the best coffee they’ve ever tasted, because again, it’s Starbucks, can? When Coffee Bean opened its first fran in S’wak Plaza, a friend of mine who was driving then parked right in front of the entrance while 5 of us were squeezing in his tiny car in the 38c weather. We waited for almost an hour, and all he came out with was a plain cup of coffee and a muffin for himself. Grrr!

  60. i brought my mom to coffeebean the other day.. she keep saying why is the coffee so damn expensive.. yet i insist to buy her one.. she look ard, and exclaim, why are all the patrons youngsters? we laughed.. seems like, the old folks will work so hard for $$, yet the youngsters will happily spent off the old folk’s ‘sweat and blood’ money…
    i still think the kopitiam’s RM1.20 kopi kao is better le… or, i can simply blend my own ice blended coffee with sarawak own’s mei mei kopi + ice cube many many

  61. =.= now only open in Sarawak ah…. i think most possibly they open in airport is their marketing strategy….. starbucks could hv thought tht they could only make money frm travellers only…

  62. Starbucks must be going through some major business expenditure. I realise recently they have been opening in a lot of towns (bigger ones) in Malaysia.
    Seremban has 2 Starbucks in less than 1 year and Kajang also open up their very own Starbucks recently! If not mistaken I think I even saw a Starbucks when I was at Langkawi Jetty!
    Too bad I’m not a big fan of Starbucks. I prefer Coffee Bean. The environment is way more cozier than Starbucks!

  63. I dont know about you guys CBTL lah Secret Recipelah Dome Lah Burger King lah Gloria Jeans,Starbucks lah…
    CBTL is good for their Mocha Blended
    Secret Recipe…cakes?
    Dome…they say its about coffee but i think its more to their food.Its a shame they say its a coffee house, but in actual fact its more of a restaurant
    Gloria Jeans?Maybe outside of Malaysia esp Australia but not Malaysialah.Last time they had more than 30 outlets.Now they are left with two…why? Lets see, I come for coffee but you can order tomyam, fried noodles…you get the picture. European/American style coffee joints do not serve these lah.Only our kopi tiams can!Even then our kopi tiam more to roti bakar half boiled eggs NOT tomyam.
    Burger King…great for burgers but you cannot compare

  64. I dont know about you guys CBTL lah Secret Recipelah Dome Lah Burger King lah Gloria Jeans,Starbucks lah…
    CBTL is good for their Mocha Blended.Fullstop.
    Secret Recipe…cakes?
    Dome…they say its about coffee but i think its more to their food.Its a shame they say its a coffee house, but in actual fact its more of a restaurant
    Gloria Jeans?Maybe outside of Malaysia esp Australia but not Malaysialah.Last time they had more than 30 outlets.Now they are left with two…why? Lets see, I come for coffee but you can order tomyam, fried noodles…you get the picture. European/American style coffee joints do not serve these lah.Only our kopi tiams can!Even then our kopi tiam more to roti bakar half boiled eggs NOT tomyam.
    Burger King…great for burgers but you cannot compare to coffee houses…not the same category.
    Bing makes ONE of the nicest iced latte
    But coffee in all majority categories?Consistency and familiarity? Starbucks Coffee.Choice? Hands down..Starbucks.Dont like their latte, try other drinks.Very sure can find the right one for you. Me and my friends did!
    Just because you dont like their hot chocolate, dont say dont buy coffee from Starbucks COFFEE.Doesnt make any senselah.Its not Starbucks Chocolatelah dude!
    Them being Jewish?Tell me, what major market economy is not involving Jews? Go and sit in a cave lah tai ko.
    We maybe Kiam Siak but deep in our heart we wish we can go all these joints when we have the money and the company.
    Kuching has changed,but the people havent, for good or bad.RM 1 for parking expensive ah? Park at KLCC for 3 hours and say goodbye to the money you want to use to buy your favorite food.1 hour there can pay you 5-9 visits in Kuching.Wake up!
    Every one have their own place where they want to hang out.Thats our choice. Look at the bright side, no more going to KL for all these good brands and buying dumping ground stocks from Peninsular. We have gone another level Kuching people!and we should be happy with it! Kuching bolih!

  65. Someone really needs to fix Kenny’s wikipedia page. The grammatical mistakes under some of the sections is just horrendous.

  66. i just came back from sarawak for the rwmf! i wanna go againn!!!
    well sarawakians doesn’t need any sturbucks that much cuz they have their teh apung that’s much better than coffee in starbux 😀

  67. haha.. starbucks also opened in kk recently but i dont think people here will spend rm10 and above for an average coffee or ice blended..but maybe the will to be SEEN there..

  68. i believe u never try sarawak coffee b4…..if try oredi….i believe u wil not spend for rm 10 for a cup….but…………at KL i wil drink starbucks only…..y……..i believe u got answers who come KL b4……..”i believe i can fly…….i believe i can touch the sky”

  69. driving all the way to poikeeteo… and pay for parking charge, and pay for the overpriced coffee is unbelievable!
    i lived in UK at the moment, starbuck is just like a normal coffee shop you get in the town. too many competitions around. Kuching’s kopi-tiam coffee is still the best ok! and also teh-C specia etc!

  70. I still prefer home-brew black coffee bought from India Street. What kicks do you get from coffee? When I was your age, it’s beer and brandy by the cartoons and the toilet bowl and sink were your best friends. That’s the sign of the warrior!

  71. Whoa…just 30mins walk from my home is the airport oreaddy. 10mins car ride or less depending on traffic hahaha…okay…haven been back to kch for quite sometime..wonder how it’s like…

  72. The last time i was back in kch was for cny and even then the airport was still in the midst of renovations. Thanks Kenny for the wonderful pics. I sure miss Kuching.

  73. was surprised my sister told me she hang out in the airport during the weekend. i was like!!! of all places?? apparently it’s the “in-thing” so funny…..starbucks ehhhh. wouldn’t wan a rm10 coffee in kch. rather drink sky juice ehhh. just so not right.
    it’s like eating nasi lemak for $10aud which is rm30. crap…….i can eat nasi lemak for two weeks in kch.

  74. u can always bid for the voucher and average yr RM10/= with local brewed free coffee. visit Lelong.com and search for ‘spinner’

  75. Sarawak coffee spot – Carpenter Street opposite the taiwanese cafe.
    I have tried the coffee and it’s fantastic. Trust me, real original Sarawak beans roast by the shop owner himself – simple fresh. Lotsa lotsa ang – mo tourists go there just for a cup of hot coffee that comes with a cute piece of cookie.

  76. currently there are 2 starbucks and 2 coffee bean in kuching..we also have 2 manhattan fish market, 2 sushi king, 2 kenny rogers, 1 chicke rice shop, 1 old town white coffee, 1 mph book stores, and almost 20 KFC.haha

  77. Yeh David Chew!!!!!!! Kuching has accelerated development! I am proud of it. We are getting more and more no matter what other ppl say abt it and us.
    Starbucks…Coffee Bean..sushi King… Kopitiam… HuiSing Market o Kenyalang Market..Everywhere full of ppl and nice food… Food Heaven ok…
    Kuching I Luv u!

  78. Some people are just typically a freak of nature. Trying to be unique huh ? Haha. But make sure one doesn’t appear uniquely idiotic.

  79. no , it was not , simply click on Starbuck related , Starbuck also named Seattle coffee Company , Kuching have one @ Merdeka Palace , i believe it was the first place to enjoys latte in Kuching b4 1999 , i’m the first lucky draw winner (simply drop your name card ), it was 2000 , 12 tall cups of FOC latte , now Starbuck’s latte is not as good as b4 , but trust me , i got another surprise @ Kuching Airport’s Starbuck , good almond mocha …proud !!!

  80. RM10 for coffee??? I prefer drinking the home made Sarawak kopi. I have grown out of drinking coffee bean and star bucks. yucky..

  81. yeah…local coffeeshop especially the older look kopitiam one has a greater coffee than starbuck..kaw2 punya….they’re artist in coffee making n some them are have an experience in art of coffee more than 40 years(my granpa is one of them)n i believe some of coffee shop owner at open air market n waterfront there are the great coffee artisian coz i already taste their coffee..y need starbuck?that’s not work of art..that’s work of coffee dispenser machine..

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