Rooftop dining is not uncommon for fine dining restaurants and bars. But what about seafood in a hawker setting? Well, in Kuching there’s this place called Top Spot Food Court where half a dozen of restaurants – mostly serving seafood (halal options available) operate on the roof of a 6 storey car park.
The environment is dim but airy and always buzzing with activity. If you are staying in the hotels along the Kuching Waterfront, Top Spot is reachable on foot within minutes.
Although you could sit down and order the dishes off the menu, it is more recommended that you browse and pick the seafood yourself – provided if you know how to judge a fresh fish. But from what we saw, the seafood variety here is good and more importantly fresh. So the tastiness pretty much depends on the chef’s skills. Anyway, we chose Ling Loong Seafood among the available options simply because the name sounded nice.
The star dish of the night has to be the Grilled Spiny Lobsters, which were wrongfully listed as prawns in the menu. So you could imagine our surprise when these meaty lobsters arrived on our table. They were cooked perfectly, as the chunky sized lobster flesh was sweet, juicy and succulent.
2nd best goes to the Fried Bamboo Clams in Curry Powder, a delicacy that has a special place in the heart of Kuchingians. Compared to a few other renditions I’ve had, Ling Loong’s could be considered one of the best because the clams were very fresh and did not have any weird taste. And freshness is the main thing to look for in clams, because biting into a watery and foul tasting one is the last thing you want to do. I have experienced that before first-hand and I can tell you, it’s really nasty.
Midin is a must try in Sarawak. These wriggly yet crunchy jungle ferns are versatile enough to be enjoyed in many ways but sambal belacan style is our personal favorite.
Steamed Sea Bass – we could not find any fault in this common dish.
Unfortunately it was all downhill from here, as both the oyster pancake (more like a oyster cracker) and ikan bakar were quite terrible. You could take my word for it and skip these two. The oysters were overly deep fried which led to a dry and rubbery taste.
The ikan bakar on the other hand tasted like it was not marinated at all and I think the spice paste was applied separately after the fish was grilled. The only good thing about the ikan bakar was the stingray that tasted exceptionally fresh. So it’s a real shame that the preparation was not up to the standard.
Overall it was still a pleasant meal and I only got myself to blame for the oyster pancake because I knew they were not going to taste fantastic just by the looks of it. The food’s still good for most of the standard items like grilled lobster, steamed fish, curry bambooo clams and sambal belacan midin.
These common dishes are pretty hard to screw up. Price wise it was unexpectedly affordable since we paid a little more than RM200 for all of the above including a seafood tofu which I did not show, two cups of sugar cane juice, a large bottle of beer and rice.
Top Spot Food Court (Taman Kereta Food Court)
Jalan Padungan, Kuching
GPS Coordinates: N1 33.367 E110 21.145