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8 Best Halal Sarawak Food To Try And Where To Find Them In Kuching

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Farah Fazanna •  Jul 22, 2022

Featured photos credit: @momslaksacafebintulu, @senipatisserie, @serapi_corner

Malaysia is best known for its culinary offerings where Penang, Ipoh and Melaka reign supreme. However, Sarawak is completely underrated when it comes to food. Kuching, the bustling capital of Sarawak, is a melting pot of multi-cultures and ethnic groups. It’s no wonder that the city offers a plethora of different dishes with a unique flavour profile for a truly memorable culinary experience. It’s truly an absolute paradise for foodies!

For first-time travellers, figuring out what and where to eat in Kuching may be quite a challenge, especially looking for Halal or Muslim-friendly places. Well, you’ve come to the right place as we’ve rounded up the best Sarawak food to eat and where to find them! Warning, food cravings ahead! 

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1. Sarawak laksa at Mom’s Laksa Cafe

Laksa is a famous noodle soup that can be found throughout Malaysia and each state has its own version. Despite not being world-famous as its sister Penang’s asam laksa, Sarawak laksa is in a league of its own that even the late Anthony Boudain called it the “Breakfast of the Gods”. 

Sarawak laksa features a shrimp-based broth that is hearty and warm. Made with a mixture of sambal belacan, sour tamarind, lemongrass, and other herbs and spices, the aromatic broth is enriched and thickened with coconut milk to give it a savoury aftertaste. Instead of the usual thick rice noodles, you’ll find vermicelli rice noodles, garnished with a generous amount of bean sprouts, shredded omelette, and chicken slices. Yum!

Halal status: Muslim-owned restaurant. Ingredients are sourced from halal-certified suppliers and no alcohol is used in their cooking.

Address: Ground Floor, SL-2, Jalan Astana, Ave Astana, Petra Jaya, 93050 Kuching, Sarawak

Opening Hours: 5AM - 4.30PM (daily)

2. Midin belacan at Bukit Mata Seafood

Midin is a wild fern that grows in the jungles of Sarawak. It has a crunchy texture and is one of the most popular vegetables in the state, so it’s definitely a must-try when you’re there! There are a few ways to enjoy this local delicacy such as kerabu (local salad) or stir-fried belacan (shrimp paste). We highly recommend trying midin with your seafood and Bukit Mata Seafood is a good place to find it!

Halal status: Ingredients are sourced from halal-certified suppliers and no alcohol is used in their cooking.

Address: 25, Jalan Padungan, Taman Kereta, 93100 Kuching

Opening Hours: 5PM - 11PM (Tuesday – Sunday) 

3. Manok pansuh at Lepau

The next dish you must try in Kuching brings us closer to the roots of the local, indigenous heritage. Manok pansuh is a popular traditional dish that is often prepared by the Iban and Dayak tribes. It consists of chicken marinated in lemongrass, ginger, and tapioca leaves and then roasted over an open fire. The result is nothing short of deliciousness as the rich gravy is infused with the aromas of lemongrass and bamboo!

Lepau Restaurant is the perfect place for you to try this delicious local delicacy. They also offer other Sarawak’s traditional dishes such as prawn umai (marinated raw seafood), Bario rice and you can even try deep-friend sago worms!

Halal status: Strictly no pork, no lard. Ingredients are sourced from halal-certified suppliers and no alcohol is used in their cooking.

Address: 99, Jalan Ban Hock, Road, 93100 Kuching, Sarawak

Opening Hours: 10.30AM - 2PM, 5.30PM - 11PM

4. Kek lapis from Mira Cake House

Although you can find layer cakes all over Malaysia, Sarawak’s kek lapis truly takes the cake (pun intended). The cakes come in different flavours, but it’s usually the colours and intricate designs that make them stand out. If you’re looking to try out kek lapis, Mira Cake House offers the best in town. Baked fresh every day, their kek lapis is superbly moist and comes in plenty of flavours and colours!

Halal status: Muslim-owned bakery. Ingredients are sourced from halal-certified suppliers and no alcohol is used in their cooking.

Address: 43, Jalan Brooke, Kampung Gersik, 93050 Kuching (Flagship store)

Opening hours: 8AM - 12AM (daily)

5. Kolo mee at Serapi Corner

Kolo mee is another dish that you should add on your list. It’s not easy to find kolo mee in West Malaysia so it’s definitely a must-try! Although “kolo” means dry mix, a bowl of soup is usually served together. There are a few variations of kolo mee such as seafood kolo mee, beef kolo mee as well as kolo mee with black vinegar or red sauce. 

Kolo mee usually comes with springy noodles, minced meat (usually pork, but there is also halal kolo mee!) and tossed in a soy-based sauce and topped with spring onions. For a halal serving of Sarawak’s iconic noodle dish, try Serapi Corner, which many locals consider the best. While the noodles look a little different compared to traditional kolo mee, the taste is still yummy! 

Halal status: Muslim-owned restaurant. Ingredients are sourced from halal-certified suppliers and no alcohol is used in their cooking.

Address: Lot 2051, No 231, Blok 283, Rich Commercial Centre, Kota Sentosa, 93250, Kuching, Sarawak

Opening Hours: 7AM - 11PM (daily) 

6. Tomato noodle at Ling Long Seafood 

Credit: Kuching Tomato Crispy Mee on Facebook

Tomato noodle is comfort food to many Kuching-ites. The fried noodle is served in a tomato sauce-based gravy with vegetables, sliced chicken and seafood. It is served with an option of crispy noodles, rice vermicelli or flat noodles. Available at many wok-fried stalls, food courts and restaurants, it is characterised by the thick sweet and sour gravy. We highly recommend getting your tomato noodle at Ling Long Seafood (it’s Muslim-friendly!).

Halal status: Ingredients are sourced from halal-certified suppliers and no alcohol is used in their cooking.

Address: Lot 9059 - 9058, 1st Floor, Jalan Tun Jugah, King's Centre, 93350 Kuching, Sarawak, 93350

Opening Hours: 5PM - 11PM (daily)

7. Fresh seafood at Top Spot Food Court

As Kuching is located near the ocean, you can bet that it also offers delicious fresh seafood. The best place for the best ocean feasts can be found in Top Spot Food Court. There are a few different stalls, so you can choose the one that tickles your fancy. Be sure to try the butter-salted egg crabs, it’s so yummy!

Address: 6th Floor, Jalan Padungan, Taman Permata, 93100 Kuching, Sarawak

Opening hours: 4pm – 10.30pm daily

8. Kompia at Song Kheng Hai Hawker Centre

Kompia is a Foochow (a Chinese clan) delicacy that is famous in Sibu. Sometimes, it’s also known as the Foochow bagel and it usually consists of crusty baked buns with a fluffy texture — just like a bagel! Traditionally, the fillings are minced pork, but you can easily find Muslim-friendly fillings such as minced meat, cheese and garlic. You can find Muslim-friendly kompia at the Song Kheng Hai Hawker Centre and look for stall number 7 (Rihga).

Address: Jalan Song Kheng Hai, 93100 Kuching

Opening hours: 11.30AM - 5PM (daily)

Whet your appetites, my friends, because it’s time to dig into some sumptuous Sarawakian cuisine! Be sure to check out our Sarawak content while you’re planning your Sarawak adventure:

8 Hidden Gems To Discover On Your Trip To Kuching, Sarawak

6 Truly Amazing Places To Visit On Your Next Trip To Miri

5 Best Hotels In Kuching For Your Future Getaways (From RM156!)

10 Reasons To Explore Kuching - Malaysia's Most Underrated Destination

9 Best Things To Do In Kuching On Your Next Vacay