Sunday, January 07, 2007

Hunting for Sarawak Laksa in Kuching

I love to eat. And I love to travel.

Which works out fine because I do most of my pigging out whenever I am on the road and all those walkabouts easily burn off the extra calories that I have tucked in, or so I convince myself to avoid the guilt trap. ;-)

I've heard so much about authentic Sarawak Laksa and I was given a little tip at the hotel to go look for a coffee shop in Padungan which serves the real McCoy.

I arrived rather late but luckily, the proprietor has enough at the bottom of the pot for two more bowls before calling it a day. She did apologise for the absence of prawns though because, she had simply ran out of prawns. But she made up for it by giving us extra helpings of chicken meat.

I was not disappointed.

It was the best Sarawak Laksa I have ever tasted! (Okaylah, not that I have tasted a whole lot of Sarawak Laksa in the Peninsular, though the ones I did taste was nothing quite like this.)

I heard too that there are many different versions of Sarawak Laksa but I have absolutely no complaints about this one. I was glad I made the effort to weave through the narrow streets and shops to get a taste of this local specialty.

According to the Wikipedia entry on Kuching here, Sarawak Laksa is a spicy coconut prawn paste-based soup served with rice vermicelli, eggs, prawns, chicken, deep fried tofu and occasionally clams.

And according to this entry by Kuching boy Paul Si in here, the Sarawak Laksa has gone global through a laksa paste developed and marketed by Tan Yong Him and his family ( under the iconic Swallow brand. The paste is a mixture of shallots, lemon grass, galingal, garlic, coriander seeds, dried chilli and about 20 other herbs and spices that are a secret jealously guarded by its makers.

I am a huge Laksa fan - be it curry laksa, Penang laksa, Kelantan laksa, Sarawak laksa and everything that remotely tastes like laksa, even Penang prawn curry mee. I can't ever imagine myself not craving for a hot bowl of Laksa after weeks away from the country.

Malaysians can disagree on a lot of things but when it comes to our food, we are all united by our tastebuds and love for typical Malaysian street cuisine, regardless of the ethnic origins of the food served.

Which says a lot about our people, irregardless of what some mischievous ones like to do to split us up.

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Blogger Maverick SM said...

That's my favorite too! Each time I arrived Kuching, the first thing I will eat is the Laksa!!!!

7/1/07 20:44  
Blogger PabloPabla said... must have visited Choon Yuen, I think. I shall have to wait for my CNY trip before I can savour Sarawak Laksa in the Land of the Hornbills itself... Hope you had a great trip :)

8/1/07 10:05  
Blogger Helen said...

Waa never tried Kuching Laksa before.

Good to know apart from Kenny, Kuching has something to offer. lol

8/1/07 14:00  
Blogger Kenny Ng said...

ah... I love foods too!!! Sarawak Laksa also nice, I like their Kolo Mee too.

8/1/07 17:42  
Blogger Anak Merdeka said...

Mave: I know we have some deep connection there!! :-)

Pablopabla: I'm not sure b'coz I can't read the Chinese signboard. Yes - it was a great trip esp. for my tummy!

Helen: Must try it if you also like Laksa - but do make sure you get authentic Sarawak Laksa. Some local Peninsular stuff is totally way off the mark.

Kenny: Miao! You must recommend me a good Kolo Mee place next time I visit Kuching. The stall I went to served a rubbery & dry version which I'm sure could not be the best Kolo Mee in Kuching.

8/1/07 19:05  
Blogger Howsy said...

Fruss and Fuss is a travel blog now? :P

8/1/07 19:52  
Blogger Anak Merdeka said...

Hi Howsy - glad to hear from you. Neh, I'm just writing these fillers coz I'm tired of the usual stuff. I'd much prefer The Sensintravelert :-)

9/1/07 08:29  

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