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  • Writer's pictureRick

Kuching Eat: Borneo Delight Cafe Authentic Sarawak Native Cuisine @ Kuching Old Street

Borneo Delight, located in Kuching Old Street at one end of Jalan Ewe Hai, is one cafe serving authentic Borneo delights that included Sarawak dishes, Foochow dishes and native Borneo cuisine.

Borneo Delight Cafe

Borneo Delight serves quite a number of mouth-watering dishes, including grilled chicken (ayam bakar) dishes, fried chicken (ayam penyet) dishes, fried fish rice (nasi ikan), and Sarawak specialties like Sarawak laksa, mee kolo, mee belacan, etc, with special variations. There are Foochow delights, various types of fried rice dishes, noodle dishes and vegetarian dishes too.

Borneo Delight: Menu

The “Sarawak Native Cuisine” of the Dayak people is another draw to Borneo Delight. Several native dishes that are recommended for tourists to try in Sarawak are also on the menu, including kacang ma, ayam pansuh (bamboo chicken), paku (wild fern), umai ikan, etc.

Borneo Delight: Sarawak Native Cuisine Menu

The "kacang ma" (益母草姜酒鸡) is a chicken dish and is supposedly a nutritious dish for mothers during confinement after giving birth but became a popular dish of Sarawakians for its nutritional values. The kacang ma is cooked with motherwort herb (益母草), ginger, sesame oil, rice wine, etc. It is a savoury soupy dish with slight gingerly and unique taste of motherwort herb. The soup is best to go with steamed rice.

Borneo Delight: Kacang ma (chicken dish)

The bamboo chicken (竹筒鸡), or ayam pansuh, is a traditional native dish that is cooked in bamboo stalk with water, bamboo shoots and other vegetable ingredients. The chicken, with light bamboo aroma, is soft and tender in a light and pleasant tasting broth.

Borneo Delight: Bamboo chicken

Dabai (a Sarawak term) is an exotic fruit that is native to Borneo. It resembles olive and is also called "black olive" or "Sarawak olive" but the fruit is not related to olive at all. The dabai fried rice has near-similar taste to olive fried rice but with its own taste characteristics as well. Instead of white rice, Borneo Delight's fried rice dishes are better choices as staple and to try more native cookings.

Borneo Delight: Dabai fried rice

Nasi aruk is a local cooking style where steamed rice was fried without using oil. The resulting fried rice is oil-less (of course) and with some wok-aroma, but not all types of fried rice can be cooked without oil. At Borneo Delight, both the salted fish fried rice and spicy anchovy fried rice are nasi aruk dishes.

The anchovy fried rice is well-cooked and lightly charred with wok-aroma. The fried anchovies have its characteristic saltiness and meant to be eaten with the rice. It is a tasty and yet a healthier fried rice.

Borneo Delight: Anchovy fried rice (nasi aruk)

The stir-fried bamboo shoot (炒竹笋) is fried with paku (巴古菜/过山猫), an edible wild fern known as "vegetable fern", with mild-spiciness. It is a tasty and non-oily vegetable dish to complement any fried rice.

Borneo Delight: Stir-fried bamboo shoot

The umai ikan (鲜麦鱼) is a raw fish cold dish served with pickled shredded cucumber, ginger and red chillies. However, the fish does not taste raw — the fresh raw fish has been "cooked" when marinated in citrus lime juice or any acidic mixture that Borneo Delight used. This dish is refreshing and not spicy. And a popular dish of Borneo Delight.

Borneo Delight: Umai ikan (raw fish dish)

The Mee Belacan (拉面) is rice vermicelli cooked in a soup made with mild-spicy belacan (shrimp paste) and topped with lots of cuttlefish, shredded cucumber, bean sprouts, a century egg and a lime for citrus flavour. The belacan soup is not very overpowering in smell and taste, and is easy to drink.

Borneo Delight: Mee Belacan

Borneo Delight sold their home-brew tuak — or rice wine , also known as lihing in Sabah — in bottles of varying sizes. A 250ml bottle is about one full cup — unfinished bottle can be taken-away. The Sarawak tuak is transparent with a dark-yellowish colour and a light aroma. It has a clear, fruity and dry taste that was unlike any rice wine I have tasted. The alcohol content is not very high — probably around 12%.

Borneo Delight: Home-Brew Sarawak Tuak

It took me 4 visits to Borneo Delight to try most of their Borneo native cuisines — and cleared nearly half my food hunting list for Kuching. I have yet to try their other Sarawakian dishes, including Sarawak laksa, kolo mee and Foochow dishes, which I will definitely do so on next trip to Kuching.



13, Wayang St, 93000 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

Opening Hours:

10am to 8pm | Closed on Sunday


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