There are many different types of quisine available in Sarawak, apart from restaurants serving different foreign types of food the local street food consists of 3 distinct influences. The first and probably the biggest is Chinese food, there are many ethnic Chinese people in Sarawak and they are most often the street food vendors. The other influences are Malay and Indian. The Dayak kitchen is also quite distinct, however it is rarely represented in street food, it usually requires fresh forest ingredients and slightly different cooking methods, which make it difficult to translate it to street food. Also most vendors are not Dayaks and therefore they often simply don’t know much about Dayak food.
Truth be told it is not my favorite dish, however this is mainly because I prefer more soupy foods and dry noodles dont impress me much. However the Kolok mee in Sarawak is quite well known and many tourists from other parts of Malaysia or Singapore make it a must have point of their trip here. What goes into it? Again the dish is actually quite simple, some boiled wheat noodle with a little melted pork fat and minced pork on top. Ah, and I would forget the all important roasted red pork. It is often topped with some mushroom slices and chives or fried shallots.Not being an expert on this dish I am not sure what would be considered the best place in town to try it. But there is a good one on Padungan street in a roofed over side lane being used as a coffe shop. Ps: halal version of the dish exist (with beef instead) but to be blunt, they arent even close.
One of the simplest dishes you can get. It is as the name suggests a plate of rice and chicken. The chicken is typically steamed or roasted. The rice served alongside is often boiled with chicken stock and herbs or pandan leaves to give it an interesting colour and flavour. This tradition (I have been told) comes from times when many Chinese workers in Sarawak were so poor they could only afford to get the rice and not the chicken. On the side you will usually get a few slices of fresh or pickled cucumber and a small bowl of chicken soup. Not to mention some chilly sauce (of the freshly home made variety, not to be confused with the awful reddish/translucent substance commonly sold here). I dont have the time to do another ranking for Chicken Rice as I did for Laksa but there is a good spot for it behind the Hock Lee shopping centre in Kuching.
Laksa is the most important street dish in Sarawak, however it already has a separate section here in the blog so I will skip it here, but make sure you dont skip it on your trip to Kuching.
Other street foods include: Char quay tiaw, Quay Tiaw, Bah Kut Teh, Tomato Mee, Belacan Bee Hoon and many others. I will add more pictures in the next few days.