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20 Best Places To Eat In Sarawak, Malaysia: The Ultimate Food List - Updated 2020

best places to eat in sarawak
Jessica
Jessica
Updated

Penang and Ipoh are widely regarded as the food capitals of Malaysia, but Sarawak, land of the hornbills, could also make a claim to the title. With its mix of ethnic and Chinese food, the local fare is sure to charm even the most discerning of taste buds. Here are the 20 best places to eat at the next time you’re in East Malaysia.

1. Noodle Descendants

Special Pork Noodle Soup
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With a name like that, you know this place must be noodle experts, and you’d be right. Famed for their pork innards in an unbeatable broth alongside their legendary Kolo Mee, Noodle Descendants (formerly known as Min Joo) enjoys boatloads of customers every morning and afternoon. Be prepared for at least a 20-minute wait during lunch hours, but be guaranteed of a delicious meal that’ll make you want to come back again and again.

Noodle Descendants

Address: Ground Floor Lot 18, No. 188, Section 52, Padungan Road, Kuching, Malaysia

Facebook: Noodle Descendants

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia

2. Chong Choon Cafe

The mystery bowl
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Next up, the very famous Kuching laksa. Chong Choon Cafe’s Poh Lam Laksa stall is THE place to get your laksa fix, according to the locals. With a darker soup richer in spices than its Penang counterpart but lighter than the coconut-milk infused Johor version, Sarawakian laksa is a smorgasbord of flavors in a bowl. With shredded chicken, succulent fresh prawns, and a topping of fresh coriander, it’s understandable why it’s nearly always sold out by mid-morning.

Chong Choon Cafe

Address: 275, Jalan Chan Chin Ann, 93100 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

Facebook: Chong Choon Cafe

Opening hours: Mon-Tue / Thurs - Sun: 6.30am - 12pm, Tues: 6.30am - 11am

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia

3. Ah Mui Beef Noodles at Old Market/Electra Food Court

Sarawak Kolo Mee
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This noodle stall puts a different spin on Kolo Mee by serving theirs with slices of beef and a rich soup made by boiling the bones for hours. Unlike your typical Malaysian beef noodles which have a clear broth, the dark stock adds an additional dimension to the flavor and the springy noodles only make it better. Ah Mui has branched out to a few locations, among them Vivacity Mall, but the original stall in the open-air Old Market only opens at night.

Ah Mui Beef Noodles

Address: Open Air Market, Khoo Hun Yeang Street, 93200, Kuching, Malaysia

Facebook: Ah Mui Beef Noodles

Opening hours: Tues - Sun: 6am - 10pm (closed on Mondays)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia

4. Lau Ya Keng Temple Food Court (Carpenter Street)

Fish and Beef Ball Rice Vermicelli Soup
Source: Photo by Flickr user Alpha used under CC BY-SA 2.0

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Now that you’ve tried all the noodle dishes (and might be traumatized by the amount you’ve had), it’s time for some street food unique to Sarawak - pork satay! Sarawak is probably the only state in Malaysia, a predominantly Muslim country, that makes the famous meat skewers with pork instead of chicken. These mouthwatering bites are basted with a secret sauce while chargrilled to perfection and served with a perfect peanut dip. The fish ball soup with tanghoon (glass noodles) also deserves a shout-out. If you still have room after, walk across the street to a small stall selling banana fritters (pisang goreng), which make for a scrumptious snack.

Lau Ya Keng Temple Food Court

Address: Carpenter Street, 93300 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

Website: Lau Ya Keng - 阳春台 or 上帝庙 food court)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia

5. Kek Lapis Dayang Salhah

Andersen Bakery Cappuccino Cream Cake
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Getting to this famous layer cake shop is an adventure in itself. You’ll have to cross the river on a sampan (traditional Malay fishing boat) first! Once inside, you’ll discover a layer cake free-for-all. The proprietress, Dayang Salhah, is so confident in her cakes that there are free unlimited samples, which you can munch to your heart’s delight before deciding on your purchase. This business model has been wildly successful but the spectacularly-colored cakes in unusual but also tasty flavors are the true stars of the show. Be sure to bring a few boxes of your favorites home!

Kek Lapis Dayang Salhah

Address: 40, Jalan Gersik, Kampung Gersik (Petra Jaya) 93050 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

Website: Kek Lapis Dayang Salhah

Opening hours: 9am - 11pm (daily)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia

6. Swee Kang Ais Kacang

Ice Kacang
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After a hot afternoon spent exploring Kuching, why not cool down with a bowl of shaved ice prepared 18 different ways by a veteran ais kacang vendor? Swee Kang is popular for its traditional yet innovative desserts, featuring treats with names such as “Matahorn” (a bowl reminiscent of the Matterhorn Mountain) and “White Lady” (a milky drink with surprises at the bottom). Go with a large group for a variety of orders and sample some great hawker food around the coffee shop too.

Swee Kang Ais Kacang

Address: Ground Floor, Lot 176, Jalan Haji Taha, 93400 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

Facebook: Swee Kang Ais Kacang

Opening hours: Fri - Wed: 12 - 6.30pm (closed on Thursdays)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia

7. Top Spot Food Court

Seafood food stall
Source: Piqsels

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Ask a local for the best place for a seafood dinner, and they’ll most likely tell you to head for Top Spot. This food court lives up to its name with a dazzling selection of stalls for you to choose from, each neon sign vying for your attention. Be sure to try the very appetizing ayam pansuh (herbed chicken cooked in bamboo), stir fried midin (wild fern native to Sarawak - especially good with sambal belacan), and perhaps a special catch of the day. Wash it all down with the ubiquitous “teh C peng” (3-layer iced tea), or some sweet sugar cane juice for the heat.

Top Spot Food Court

Address: Off Jalan Padungan, 93100 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

Opening hours: 5 - 11pm (daily)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia

8. Black Bean Coffee

Tea+Coffee Cham - Old Town Kopitiam Mamak AUD3
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A small gem of a cafe, Black Bean Coffee and Tea Company has won over the coffee-loving hearts of locals and tourists alike. Besides the usual suspects of Arabica and Robusta beans, this place serves up “Sarawak Liberica”, grown locally by the Bidayuh tribe and freshly roasted daily by the owner, Mr. Chang. This coffee unique to Sarawak has an intense aroma and velvety mouthfeel, making every sip wonderfully enjoyable, whether you decide to have it hot or iced.

Black Bean Coffee

Address: No. 87, Ewe Hai Street, Kuching 93000, Malaysia

Facebook: Black Bean Coffee & Tea Co.

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 9am - 6pm (closed on Sundays)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia

9. The Junk Restaurant

Braised lamb shanks on risotto (20264854002)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user terri_bateman used under CC0

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Don’t be put off by the name of this restaurant. The Junk has undoubtedly the quirkiest collection of items from a bygone era found in the oddest nooks and crannies of its decor. The overall effect is part whimsical, part nostalgic. Dim lighting also makes for an intimate and cozy ambiance. However, the retro setting isn’t the only thing diners rave about. Their famous Lamb Shank and pizzas are consistently delicious and portions are generous. The restaurant also has a bar area, great for a relaxing post-dinner drink.

The Junk Restaurant

Address: No 80 82 & 84 Wayang Street, Kuching 93000, Malaysia

Facebook: The Junk

Opening hours: Mon / Wed - Sun: 6pm - 1am (closed on Tuesdays)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia

10. the.Dyak

Very Delicious Sarawak Kon Lau Mee!
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Kuching seems to have a penchant for unique restaurant names. the.Dyak however, stands out for its tribal, Dayak-inspired cuisine. All dishes on the menu are authentically spiced and prepared, as the owner, Mary is of Iban descent. Specialties include varieties of pork, the ubiquitous midin, and their special dessert: ice cream with tuak (local rice wine). This is a gastronomic experience you cannot miss if you can’t stay long in Sarawak, as it is the true food of the Sarawakians.

the.Dyak

Address: Sub-lot 29, Ground Floor, Panovel Commercial Complex, Jalan Simpang Tiga, Kuching, Malaysia

Facebook: the.Dyak

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 12 - 10pm (closed on Sundays)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia

11. Oriental Park Kolo Mee

Kolo Mee Kuching
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The hyped Oriental Park Kolo Mee is well known for its char siew also known as roasted pork meat, as well as their authentic bowl of kolo mee. It’s been one of the most famous Kolo Mee spots in town hence expect that it might be fully housed when you visit it. The ordering system here is quite interesting as it shows how patient its diners are in waiting just to have their beloved dishes. Here, you can’t walk up to any of the staff to order but just wait until they come to get your orders and this works fine with the diners. No wonder that the locals love their food and tourists are enticed to visit it as the cooks of this restaurant have been making char siew and kolo mee for many years.

Oriental Park Kolo Mee

Address: Gertak Lane, 93000 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

Opening hours: Mon - Sun: 7am - 1pm

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia

12. Mom's Laksa Kafe

Laksa
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Kcdtsg

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Feed yourself a bowl of laksa, a scrumptious famous local treat in Sarawak. Get this noodle dish at Mom’s Laksa Kafe which has become a household name among locals due to its popularity and a number of different branches around Kuching. When you order this hearty meal, you may choose from the different bowl sizes that is based on the size of the prawns. Sip the soup while it’s hot and expect that it’s bursting with flavors and has a nice herbal smell. It is seasoned well and the shrimp paste makes it a truly tasty treat. Its spiciness is perfectly balanced with the crisp bean sprouts, prawns, egg and chicken strips. Visit in the morning as the restaurant is always filled with diners as early as ten in the morning.

Mom's Laksa Kafe

Address: Lot 276, Jalan Haji Taha, Kuching Town Land District, 93400 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

Facebook: Mom’s Laksa Kafe

Opening hours: Mon: 7am - 6pm, Tues - Sun: 7am - 10pm

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia

13. Bintawa Kueh Chap

Soto Mi
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Bintawa Kueh Chap was originally located at Bintawa hence its name, however, this famous eatery is now located at Jalan Keranji. It has been existing in Kuching for many years thus has been well-known among locals. Due to its popularity, it is typically jam packed with customers especially during dinner time. You’d be lucky if you are able to get a seat right away during the peak hours but waiting to get a taste of their famous delish dish Kueh Chap is rewarding. Choose on how you want to enjoy your Kueh Chap may it be with pork soup or with rice. Either way, you’ll be delighted with this treat. A bowl of kueh chap contains pork meat, pork bellies, pork skin, tofu, boiled egg and kueh tiaw in pieces. Although this restaurant’s specialty is Kueh chap, they also offer other good tasting dishes like Kolo Mee and wanton with pork soup.

Bintawa Kueh Chap

Address: Jalan Keranji, Tabuan Desa, 93350 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

Facebook: Bintawa Kueh Chap

Opening hours: 4pm - 11pm (daily)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia

14. Petanak Central Market

Petanak Market
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Petanak Market is set in a large, two-story building that is close to the downtown on Jalan Petanak. Just like other markets, it houses different stalls for raw meats and aisles of produce that are both located on the ground floor. If you are into cooking during your stay in Sarawak, this place is a good spot to buy fresh produce. However, if you want to try the authentic local dining scene, then you may head to the upper floors of the market where a cafeteria of hawker stalls is situated. This area comes alive after six or seven in the evening and one of the recommended must try here is the sugar cane juice. Meanwhile, should you desire to shop for some food souvenirs, you may also buy a bag of smoked shrimp, little gem biscuits, chocolate creams, and cream crackers.

Petanak Central Market

Address: 110, Jalan Petanak, 93100 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

Facebook: Petanak Central Market

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia

15. Lepau Restaurant

coconut chicken soup
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Though this unique local homegrown restaurant is nestled in the heart of Kuching City, the setting of this restaurant resembles a traditional Kayan “kampung” farm-hut that is made of rustic wood and bamboo. This reflects the name of the restaurant, as Lepau, means temporary farm-hut when translated from the Kayan language. This restaurant offers authentic Sarawakian food and serve no pork and lard thus making their food suitable for everyone regardless of background, religion and dietary restriction.Two of the most interesting and delightful treats you can have is fish soup with fermented durian and chicken cooked in coconut juice. Aside from the unique food and the relaxing atmosphere, you may also find yourself on a quick cultural immersion as they play tribal music, and tribesmen that are heavily tattooed with traditional symbols, manning the kitchen and serving guests as well.

Lepau Restaurant

Address: Lepau Restaurant, 93400 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

Website: Lepau Restaurant

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 11am–2.30pm, 6–11pm (closed on Sundays)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia

16. BBQ KING seafood (Jalan Song)

bbq pork belly
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This restaurant specializes in serving fresh seafood and scrumptious iconic local dishes. It is recognized as one of the recommended places to have the best seafood experience in town. On your visit here, try some of their famous signature dishes such as BBQ pork belly which is tenderly soft, juicy and best partnered with chili sauce. Then there’s also the bamboo squid which is cooked in a Sarawak traditional way through bamboo cooking style.

BBQ KING seafood (Jalan Song)

Address: Ground Floor, Lot 10587, Block, 16, Jalan Song, 93350 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

Facebook: BBQ KING seafood

Opening hours: Tues - Sun: 11am–2pm, 5–10pm (closed on Mondays)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia

17. The Tree Top

Coffee
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Although this cafe is called, tree top cafe, it is not literally located on top of a tree. This hidden beautiful paradise in Kuching is located on top of a hill that is surrounded by trees. It is a rainforest themed restaurant that continues to amaze both local and foreign diners. Being located on a hill, the place is windy and hidden from the busy city thus allows its diners to leisurely relax while eating. Their food repertoire includes western style dishes, coffee, tea, barbecues, beer, wine, and delectable desserts.So if you want to dine in a restaurant with a nature inspired ambiance, then include Tree Top Cafe in your food tour itinerary.

The Tree Top

Address: Lot 2223, No. 66, Lor Uplands 7, Jalan Uplands, Kuching, 93300 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

Facebook: The Tree Top

Opening hours: Sat - Sun 3pm - 11pm, Tues - Fri: 5pm - 11pm (closed on Mondays)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia

18. The Granary Kitchen + Bar

Pizza
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Set in a stunning building that once served as a grain warehouse in the early 1900’s, this Western styled restaurant is a must go to place in town. The cafe has maintained its original brickwork, restored with naturally raw and industrial elements and furnished with recycled doors and windows thus resulting in a unique space. Aside from its beautiful structure, this suave restaurant also serves impeccable dishes. They offer pasta,salads, pizza, burgers, grilled meats, seafood and tapas. Moreover, they have a fully stocked bar with wines from different countries, cocktails, mock-tails, juice and espresso coffee.

The Granary Kitchen + Bar

Address: 23, Wayang St, Kuching Town, 93000 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

Website: The Granary Kitchen + Bar

Opening hours: 12pm - 11pm (daily)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia

19. Serapi Garden Cafe

Watermelon salad
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This retro-styled joint sits in a quite invisible location which makes it charming for customers who want to escape from the noisy city. This sets you to have a quiet environment while enjoying delicious delicacies. What makes this cafe distinct and special is that it is set in an old house. As you explore their menu, you would find that they offer a variety of exciting dishes and serves modern Nusantara food. Some of their mouth watering treats are watermelon and fig salad, Hainanese toast topped with gula apong nyonya kaya and nasi sam pedas ikan tenggiri. Meanwhile, you may cap off your meal with smoothies, mocktails or coffee.

Serapi Garden Cafe

Address: Lot 209, 171A, Lorong 11, Jalan Satok 93400 Kuching, Malaysia

Facebook: Serapi Garden Cafe

Opening hours: 10.30am - 10.30 pm (daily)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia

20. COMMONS by Food Journal Group

Asian Style Italian Pasta
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Commons is a casual and hip café that is located at the Old Courthouse. This restaurant is lovely with its bold designs that merge contemporary look inspired by local Malaysian artisans and Swedish creativity. Tickle your tastebuds with their Western delectable food such as Italian pasta, salad, fish, chips, burgers and lamb dishes. Moreover they also serve local comfort food like nasi lemak. If you have a sweeth tooth, then finish your meal with one of their delicious signature cakes.

COMMONS by Food Journal Group

Address: The Old Court House, Jalan Tun Abang Haji Openg, Kuching, 93000 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

Facebook: COMMONS by Food Journal Group

Opening hours: 10am - 11pm (daily)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kuching - Sarawak (state), Malaysia

A whirlwind of delicacies

Laksa Sarawak
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jhlam79 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Clearly, Sarawak has so much to please the palate, from modified Malaysian favorites to tribal fare. Do give these places a try on your next trip, and do some exploring on your own - you might discover another hidden gem! Bon appetit!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Jessica is passionate about literature, gastronomy and travel. She recently learnt Korean and enjoys bathroom singing on good days.

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