Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Food Trip to Kuching

Since last year, TSC has been talking about the 'best' nasi briyani at Boulevard, Kuching. 'It's the best in Sarawak', he said. So, after much persuasion from him, three out of the five of us were convinced to make the trip, to taste this 'best' nasi briyani. I went because I wanted my Hartz Chicken and All Joy buns.

The trip started at about 12:50 p.m. on 31st October 2009, from Sibu. I had my lunch of packed KFC before leaving, but not TSC and CTT. At Jakar bazaar, Sarikei, they had their late lunch at 1:50 p.m. at Sing Chen Cafe.

CTT had chicken rice ....

... and TSC had fried noodle.

The was a drizzle at Jakar. After the late lunch, we were on our way to Kuching. The weather was gloomy but there was no rain as we drove away from Jakar.

At 5:15 p.m., it was rain all the way to Kuching. We only reached Green Mountain Hotel at the Green Hill area in Kuching at about 8:00 p.m.

After a quick check-in, we were on our way to The Spring, where the sister of TSC recommended the nasi briyani there (instead of the one at Boulevard). The stall was there alright, but not the food nor the vendor. There was no nasi briyani so we ordered something else. I had Lemon Chicken Salad rice (RM5.00) while the two of them ordered beef noodle (RM5.50). 7/10 points for the Lemon Chicken Salad rice. According to both of them, the noodle was good, but not the beef broth.

At 9:30 p.m., the two of them decided to go for Starbucks coffee. Well, it was too expensive for me. Furthermore, I wouldn't be able to sleep after drinking coffee. They went in to Starbucks while I went to check out Tai Kiong Supermarket. The supermarket was closing at 10:00 p.m., so I joined them at Starbucks after browsing through the products at Tai Kiong. Starbucks was also closing, so we left just after the shutter was pulled.

We have to search for another round of food before calling it a day. Afterall, that was the purpose of our trip. We needed to fill up our stomach to the brim. As we were cruising around, we saw many people taking supper at the hawker stall at one end of the food market in front of Electra House. It was already 10:50 p.m.

We decided to check it out. TSC and CTT had the kolo mee tossed in char siew oil (turning the noodle orange in colour), while I had the plain original white kolo mee. It was good. I would give the original kolo mee 7/10 points.

TSC ordered take-away special char siew kolo mee for his brother-in-law at Stampin, where he would be staying for the night while CTT and I would be staying at Green Mountain Hotel, a budget hostel.

With a full stomach, sleep did not come easy. It was already 12:30 a.m. After tossing in bed for sometime, I finally fell asleep. I woke up just before 5:00 a.m. and could not get myself to sleep again. As daylight began to break, I got up of bed thinking of taking an early morning walk before TSC arrived. As I was getting ready, CTT woke up. He then joined me walking around the Bukit Mata Kuching area down to Ban Hock Road. There were the new Pullman Hotel and the Hills Shopping Mall, both of which had yet to open.

Pullman Hotel:

Hills shopping mall:

As usual, TSC failed to keep his promise of meeting us at 7:00 a.m. I showed CTT around as I was familiar with the area, having studied in Kuching many years back. TSC arrived at 7:40 a.m. and we went to look for authentic Kuching rice porridge for breakfast at the hawker food market next to the other hawker food market in front of Electra House. It was closed. Last night, it was opened. What luck! We missed the chance to savour authentic Kuching breakfast.

After deliberating for a while on where to eat, we decided to enter the hawker food market in front of Electra House to check out what were available. The courteous Char Kuey Tiau (fried flat rice noodle) tauke quickly came over and asked us to take our seats. So we sat. We were the good obedient customers from Sibu. The ordinary Char Kuey Tiau cost RM2.50 while the one I took with clam was RM3.50. It was good. Another 7/10 points for this fare. The soya milk cost RM1.00.

One round of breakfast was not good enough. We were looking for the second round and I remembered that many, many years back, there was a good laksa stall at India street. We went to look for it but it was no longer there. Anyway, we decided to take a walk around Kuching, so as to allow our food to 'digest' before we went for the second round of breakfast. We passed through the old cock house, so named because of this:

The former court house in proper perspective (now turned into Little Lebanon):

We walked, and walked and walked, passing by St. Thomas Catheral, Merdeka Palace Suite and ending at St. Joseph Catheral before turning back, and passing through the cemetery behind the muzium before visiting Aquarium Bandaraya.

By the time we reached our car, it was 9:40 a.m. already. All Joy Bakery which was situated there was still closed..... so no All Joy on this trip. After dillying-dallying on where to go for our second breakfast, TSC called his brother-in-law and sister on where to find the best Kuching laksa. The brother-in-law said 'there' and the sister said 'here'. It looked like the pair of husband and wife did not share the same taste for food. We eventually ended up 'there'. It was already 10:30 a.m., Sunday, and this laksa stall had only one more bowl of laksa left. Since TSC and CTT offered to take something else, I had the last bowl of laksa. I could only give it 4/10 points. The wife was correct.

CTT had Mi Poh....

.... while TSC had this, whatever it was called.

We left the place at about 11:30 a.m. and went to the airport to pick up TSC sister who was arriving with her two little kids from Sibu. On sending them home, we went straight for nasi briyani at Boulevard. By the time we ordered our nasi briyani, it was 1:15 p.m. already.

This plate of nasi briyani with beef, chicken wing and squid cost a whopping RM13. Without the beef, it was RM8.00. In terms of taste, I would give it 7/10 points. TSC said it was as good as the first time he had it. Shariff Nasi Kandar at Gelugor, Penang, was better (see http://www.worldisround.com/articles/345287/index.html - look for the photos with the long queue on the sixth row)

By the time we finished our nasi briyani at Boulevard, it was already 1:30 p.m.! We had planned to return to Sibu at 4:00 p.m., and we still haven't had our Hartz Chicken.

Earlier, TSC sister recommended the steamed bun at this place. I did not know what it was called as I do not read Chinese. It was located among the old rows of shophouses at Padungan.

After purchasing bagfuls of the buns, we proceeded to Sarawak Plaza for Hartz Chicken. Before entering Hartz at 3:30 p.m., we emptied our bowel in the W.C., both TSC and I!!!!

This was the reason I came. Though the nasi briyani had not fully digested, I had four pieces of chicken and others + one piece of chicken from TSC to rescue him from being penalised for not finishing his six pieces of chicken. TSC tortured himself just to finish his five pieces of chicken. CTT had six pieces. We were not able to recover our investment of RM17.70 per person.

TSC did not want to try the ice-cream because he said it looked like dog poo, eventhough it was white, not brown. It certainly taste good, unlike dog poo ...

Our meals ended at 4:30 p.m. and it was time to say good-bye to Kuching. We reached home in Sibu at 11:40 p.m.


  1. You guys really can eat a lot, haha!

  2. Jam: It was a trip for crazy people, driving over 800 km for this food. It was quite heavy on us. If we had our second breakfast earlier, and the lunch at 12 noon, downing 6 pieces of chicken should not be a problem. We had only 2 hours break from our lunch before attempting Hartz Chicken.

    TSC was bloated and could not sit straight after Hartz Chicken, and he could not drive with a bloated stomach. Poor guy! Nevertheless, he suffered happily as this was all fun.

  3. All Joy bun open around 10am to 5.00pm. You'll find great stall foods around Stutong, Tabuan Jaya and Jalan Song. Night life for food more happening there instead of Kuching town itself.