It is impossible not to be a glutton in Kuching. My wonderful friends and extended family want to treat me, and I am very amendable to be indulged. I quickly gave up trying to pace myself and just surrendered into the fuzzy, food-filled clouds of joy. Unfortunately (or luckily, says my future cardiologist), this time I only had 4 days to stuff myself silly. Let the marathon makan (eating) session begin!
Mornings typically begin with my beloved popiah and teh-C peng (as per previous trips). Both Choon Hui Café at Ban Hock Road and Yun Nan Gardens kopitiam near Song Thian Cheok Rd served up excellent popiahs. I scrutinized the popiah lady and it finally dawned on me how she managed to get the popiah so tightly wrapped; she wraps the filling in half, then starts rolling.
Noodles were also on the menu for breakfast. Apart from the ubiquitous kolo mee, wonton soup and kueh chap, Si Ka and Si Ring (4th uncle and aunt) introduced me to the famous chicken feet noodles. The chicken feet are deep-fried, then braised until tender. These are very good, great texture, a touch too salty, but that’s what the noodles are for, – to balance the flavour.
Morning tea and afternoon tea typically went the way of an iced dessert and a savoury snack. My old standby is ais kacang chendol (shaved ice with red bean and pandan coconut jelly), but this time I tried some white lady (shaved ice with mango syrup, lychee, longans and jelly). Yum! Savoury snacks included rojak (cucumber, pinapple, fried tofu and yam bean with black shrimp paste) and cucur udang (prawn fritters).
My aunt CH took me to a great Malay restaurant for lunch. Rumah Hijau (Green House) occupies 4 terraced houses on Rubber Road. We had their famous ayam penyet (smashed fried chicken), which was a bit dry. Their rojak India was fantastic, even if the fritters were again, a little dry. The satay sauce made up for it though. I am convinced Rumah Hijau makes the best teh tarik in Kuching, and their roti tisu (tissue paper-thin roti made with butter and sugar) is dangerously moreish.
I finally made it to some satay on my last day from the food court at Carpenter Street at the Main Bazaar.
Dinners were a different story, it was seafood, seafood and more glorious seafood. But that’s for the next post.