The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Kuching trip III: "wild" eats and oodles of noodles

On the morning of our second day in Kuching, our guide S wanted to have an early start at 7am to have breakfast then head to Semenggoh Forest Reserve for the orang-utans' 9am feeding time, but we had a late night the previous night and by the time we were all ready to go, it was already 10am in the morning. We had brunch instead, and went to the orang utan sanctuary for the 3pm feeding time.

Brunch @ Jit Hin

S took us on an hour's drive out of Kuching centre to Tebakang, to a kopitiam called Jit Hin to eat some unusual and interesting dishes. He actually wanted us to try a type of fish, but it had sold out by the time we arrived at 11ish in the day. Jit Hin is a no-frills place, in a "kampung" (rural) setting, and it is definitely not the decor that draws the crowd to this family-run business. Jit Hin serves up organic-grown and wild-caught dishes, with some unusual items like deer and bat meat, and is very popular for its seafood.

The shopfront:

Dishes we ate included:

Tortoise in Soya Sauce - tasted like pork; and Drunken Ginger Prawns - the prawns were delicious, but too much shaoxing wine was used which was a bit overpowering:

Wild boar in Soya Sauce - tasted like pork, but leaner; and Kampung Chicken in Soya Sauce - "kampung" is Malay for the word "village", and this dish is basically free range chicken with firm meat that is not at all fatty:

It was good trying out all the unusual dishes, but having almost everything in the same soy-based sauce made everything taste (and look) the same.

Drinks and snacks @ a kopitiam:

After checking out the orang-utan at the sanctuary, we had some icey drinks to cool down and ate some delicious Kuching cucur (fritters). White Lady is a popular drink in Kuching, and we had the Black Beauty drink mostly out of curiousity.

Black Beauty (blackcurrant flavoured) and White Lady (pineapple flavoured) - icey milk-based drinks with jelly and flavoured syrup; and Mixed Cucur - fritters of prawns, sweet potato, tofu and yam (or was it taro?):

Home-prepared Breakfast

The housekeeper at my auntie's house where we stayed put together this meal on our last morning in Kuching. We asked her to cook Char Kuey Teow, and boy can she whip up a delicious one! She also bought some Pulut Panggang (grilled glutinous rice in banana leaves with grated coconut filling) and Chai Kueh (vegetable dumpling) from the nearby market. We'd gotten some Kuching Kolo Mee and Sio Bee (the Kuching siu mai the previous night, but we were far too full to eat them after that big seafood feast, so the dear housekeeper steamed up both of them for our breakfast - they were both delicious even though they were bought the night before.

Clockwise from top left: Char Kuey Teow, Pulut Panggang, Chai Kueh, Kolo Mee and Sio Bee - now, this is what I call a breakfast feast!

Lunch @ Madam Tang's

S had to work on our last day in Kuching, so his mum kindly drove us to the airport. We had a quick lunch at Madam Tang's, where we ate some delicious Kuching Laksa. This type of laksa is quite different to the common types of curry or asam laksa as it contains sambal belacan (a chilli shrimp paste).

Kuching Laksa - a must try for anyone who is visiting the area; and Beef Noodles, one of Madam Tang's specialties:


  1. the BEST laksa in the world! was it your first time trying kuching laksa?

  2. Thanks for reading my blog. No, it wasn't my first time eating Kuching laksa. My first encounter with this type of laksa was in Perth quite a few years ago, when my mum brought back laksa paste from her trip to Kuching.

  3. We also had kuching Laksa made for us in Perth by our Kuching guide's mother who was a trained cook. It was soooo good. Better than the one we had in Kuching actually.
    That said, I still prefer Penang curry laksa, but not by much!