Thursday, October 30, 2014

Review: Best Laksa Sarawak in Kuching...

According to me, that is.

Street food, hawker's favorite, uniquely Sarawak... whatever it is called, this dish has always been my favorite Saturday morning breakfast. Laksa Sarawak is easy to find all over Kuching compared to other parts of Sarawak, but whether you like what you're being served is very subjective and entirely up to your taste buds. Or if you're a little industrious and diligent, then hey you can also opt to fix a bowl on your own!

But in case you're new in town --- and remember this is a review based on MY taste buds only --- and is looking for some awesome Laksa Sarawak experience, here's MY Top 10 places to have the best Kuching.

1. Fat Cat Cafe, Stutong 
- same row with J&J Cafeteria Stutong and next to Ambank
- RM6 for a big bowl. Steamed chicken as per photo below is additionally ordered from the chicken rice next stall (cause I like my chicken in big pieces instead of shredded)
- Very consistent in taste.
- Opens daily but they normally finished serving by 11am, so wake up early man.
- This Cafe is usually crowded in the weekends but not so bad on other days
- My rating: 10 star!
Fat Cat Laksa...
 
2.  Chong Choon Cafe, Jalan Abell
- same row with Air Asia sales office; Raja Ayam Bakar)
- Around RM6 - RM8 for a big bowl
- Also consistent in taste. And they also have a very big glass of teh C peng to go with it.
- Normally finished serving by 11am, so if you're late, then it's your own fault.
- This cafe is almost always packed with customers so sharing tables with smiling strangers are almost always a necessity too. Food connects people, yes?
- My rating: 9 star
 Chong Choon Laksa...

3. Sin Chong Choon Cafe, Green Height Commercial Centre
- just right behind the Cold Storage
- very crowded during peak breakfast hour at any time of the day so if you mind waiting, you can nicely ask to share table, although waiting for an empty table won't be that long
- Around RM8 for a big bowl
- We usually order steamed chicken drumstick (no rice) from the next stall to add in to our laksa (the chicken rice is also not bad weh)
- My rating: 7 star (or 6.5 if they don't have the coriander leaves which I love so much in my laksa)
Sin Chong Choon laksa...

4. Foody Goody Cafe, Stutong/Jalan Setia Raja
- the next block of shop before Kuching Specialist Hospital; in fact it's also almost at the same area with Fat Cat Cafe, just different blocks of shops
- reasonably priced for a big bowl, although sometimes the prawns are not so big even when you ask for a special bowl (which they make up for with quantity)
- Business is brisk and the good news is they normally finish by 12pm, if you're lucky, which is convenient for me in case Fat Cat laksa is gone, I can always opt to come here as a second choice
- My rating: 6.5
 
Foody Goody Laksa...

5. Mom's Laksa, Jalan Semarak or at any location
- This cafe has a few branches in Kuching, just watchout for the logo (with the same name)
- The one I normally visit is at nearby Gita/Matang area, opposite Bemmers Cafe, because it's closer to home. There's another one at Jalan Astana, Petra Jaya
- Opens daily (7am - 11pm)
- The gravy is slightly thick and creamy and sometimes they have king prawn to go with it, if they don't run out of stock too fast
- My rating: 5.5
Mom's Laksa...

6. Fu Xiang Food Court, in between Rubber Road/Jalan Satok
- I might have missed the road signs but this food court is right opposite Hong Leong Bank in Satok (this side of the road on Rubber Road) before you pass by the Original Car Wash
- The laksa here is not bad, in fact if they also serve it with the green soup leaves (or coriander), I might've frequented it more often since it's not that far away
- The gravy is consistently nice
- We also usually order extra steamed chicken meat from the next stall just to add more bites to it
- My rating: 5 (also because the lady owner is sweet)
Fu Xiang laksa...

7. Madam Tang's Cafe, Jalan Petanak, Padungan
- ah king prawn, the 'big special' is priced at RM12, last time I ordered
- The gravy is nice but not always consistent, sometimes it's a bit salty and sometimes slightly bland but I supposed I can forgive them for the amount of garnishing they usually put
- Laksa is served throughout the day although lunchtime would be very packed and you won't be able to find an empty table for awhile
- My rating: 4.5
 
Madam Tang laksa...

8. Ciak Pa Boi Cafe, Jalan Datuk Tawi Sli
- Near 3rd Mile roundabout and Jua Joo Park, you can't miss it on your coming down from the flyover heading to Boulevard Mall
- The good thing about the laksa here is that it opens from morning till late at night
- A special order would have the red pork meat in them (so this makes it non-halal)
- The gravy is not bad (although can be better) and the portion is big
- My Rating: 4.5
Ciak Pa Boi laksa...

9. Yee Ho Yan Cafe, Matang Jaya
- Is a new cafe, same block with a discount score
- Now this place was introduced by an avid food critic on FB.
- Overall I'd say it was ok
- Gravy slightly lacking in the creamy department but the presentation is nice; the lady selling it was also friendly. If all else fails, I'd probably make this the second last resort
- My Rating: 4; but you gotta try it to rate it yourself
 
Yee Ho yan laksa...

10. Garden Cafe Laksa, Golden Arch, Hua Joo Park
- right at the 3rd Mile roundabout, can't miss it
- Finding a parking would be a slightly challenging task
- The laksa sarawak here used to be the talk of the town due to its big prawns and real creamy gravy.
- Lately I found the gravy getting spicier, like hot spicy, the kind that can make your nose run.
- The service is fast and the waitresses are always friendly especially to regular customers, so points scored for that.
- On a normal craving day, this would be my last resort
- My Rating: 3.5 
 Golden Arch laksa...

So there you have it! You either take my word for it or you don't, that's entirely up to you. And there are actually a lot more other places selling really nice Laksa Sarawak, but probably I haven't discovered them. These ones above have been tested and tried.
 
And if you noticed, most of these cafes have Chinese names, but that's Sarawak for you. And don't be worried about its state of halal or non-halal. Most Laksa Sarawak do not have pork or lard in them (otherwise you would be informed about it). Or to be safe, you can always opt to visit Muslim cafes selling laksa. :-)
 
ON THE OVERALL FRONT... And this goes without saying...

Of course, I still prefer my own home-made laksa sarawak (below) because I can customised however I want, add more prawns than I dare and play around with the garnishing according to my own taste buds. You can read about that little laksa adventure HERE.

Coffee Girl's home made laksa...

Bon appétit and have a great laksa ahead people! :-)

12 comments:

  1. I tried all except 5, 6 & 8. The best Sarawak laksa is in Kuching. No other places can beat it.

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  2. Eh.. How come the cafe depan GrandContinental hotel not in list? Tak boleh jd ni, Anthony Bourdian also ate. Thats #1 on my list.

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  3. that's a lot of Laksa! Luckily i can get them in Dubai here. Or else i will be missing them pretty much after reading this.

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  4. I;ve never eaten Sarawak laksa before.. Just the normal curry laksa and assam laksa.. I love curry laksa and I love it with extra cockles and "foo pok".. Yummzzz.

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  5. Rose: Yes you're right! I tried finding one in Miri, Sibu, Bintulu etc... couldnt find any. So glad im a Kuching girl right now. Haha

    Ez Vina: Oh that one... i only been there once, was not bad. Cuma I lupa masuk dlm list, kira sama kategory dgn Sin Chong Choon lah. Ya susah maok parking juak... ya lah jarang2 ke sia.

    Irvine Chin: yes! Dubai has? Really? I wonder what laksa sarawak tastes like in Dubai... away from its natural habitat. hmm

    Princess Ribbon: you should! it's totally a different experience. :-) I like asam laksa too.

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  6. I've had (2) and (3) and (10) only, one nice one at 7th Mile and maybe also Foody Goody, - the one near one Choice supermart, Tabuan Jaya/Laru side...Stutong? Some people swear by Fat Cat and Madam Tang...never tried/heard of the rest.

    Of course the best would be one's own at home - what brand do you use, the sambal laksa. That makes a world of difference.

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  7. Ya, I've had the one in front of Grand Con Hotel - not No. 3. Choon Hui. Anthony Bourdain ate that one!

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  8. ooo you get laksa here, not sarawak. hehe. more like pinoy version of asian laksa! but it cost RM50!

    missing sarawak laksa. especially kampua. my hometown is in sarikei!

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  9. Suituapui: Yes Foody Goody near the Choice Daily supermarket, Stutong/Tabuan Laru. Same one. Yes I wud swear by Fat Cat. I use Haji Manan's brand, but the Swallow brand is also not bad. And i've had the one at the front of Grand Cont too, just that I rarely drop by there. It's not bad either. I wonder why I forgot to include it in my list. Haha

    Irvine: Oo not the Sarawak laksa, but I supposed u can dish one on your own if u have all the right ingredients. =) Oh yes kampua! Sibu has the best! Sarikei? The charcoal roti kawin! Lol

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  10. Looks delicious. But I still biasa with the laksa over here.

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  11. Hi Dinah,
    I have been keeping this article for New Sarawak Tribune until my research has completed and thanks to you, you have added some info for my upcoming article. I hope you don't mind if I take some of the shop list here for my article.

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  12. Small Kucing: ya lor... laksa over there has its own unique taste,and its entirely different from laksa Sarawak. :-)

    Willie: Good for you! Sharing is caring. No problem. Spread the love. :-)

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