Sarawak Laksa and Kolo Mee are definitely the first foods that come into mind when one mentions Kuching, Sarawak. I’ve seen and read so much about Sarawak Laksa in Kenny Sia and sixthseal‘s blogs that I was dying to know how they taste like. No other food managed to make me feel that way, so I have to thank them for this. They have been promoting these foods so hard and have taken so many yummy photos too.
If you are an avid Penang reader of Kenny Sia’s blog, you should know that he came to Penang earlier this year to compare Sarawak and Penang food. Because I have tried both Penang Laksa and Sarawak Laksa, I can finally understand why Sarawakians would be so disappointed and dislike the taste of Penang Laksa. The reason is they are totally different dish altogether!
As far as I know there are 3 main variations of laksa. Assam laksa, curry laksa and Sarawak Laksa. Assam laksa would be those laksa you can normally find in Penang or Ipoh. Curry laksa on the other hand is more commonly known as curry mee by Penangites, because we use yellow noodle/rice vermicelli instead of laksa noodle. In Singapore, they would be known as Katong Laksa. Also known as the ‘Great Borneo Breakfast’ Sarawak Laksa is most similar to curry mee in the main ingredient used: coconut milk. However it does not use curry powder but other spices for the taste. For Penangites, imagine a bowl of curry mee, with mee hoon only and lots of lime juice squeezed into the soup. That’s how Sarawak Laksa generally tastes. Yes, it’s a bit sour.
I’ve had only tasted 2 different stalls of Sarawak Laksa in Kuching. Once in the open air market opposite Electra House and another in Chong Choon Cafe, Jalan Abell. The latter is known for the best Sarawak Laksa in town. Kenny Sia blogged about this cafe too not long ago. If not for Allen‘s recommendation and taking us there, we wouldn’t know where to look.
One thing I like about Sarawak hawker food is that their food quality are well controlled so they taste equally good. Unlike Penang, the best and worst may be just next to each other lol.
A bowl of Sarawak Laksa would consist of rice vermicelli, taugeh, chicken strips, omelette strips, and big, fresh peeled prawns. It also comes with a lime, so you can squeeze as much lime juice as desired into the soup. Shown above is a bowl of special Sarawak Laksa from Chong Choon, RM4.50. We thoroughly enjoyed it, so it deserves a big thumbs up from me!