Monday, April 27, 2015

Eating in Kuching 2015 - The Barber

The Junk F&B empire is one of the most successful in Kuching, and the latest addition to their stable is a restaurant called The Barber. Located next door to The Junk, this new restaurant is housed in an old barber shop - complete with mirrors and barber chairs.

The place looked like it hasn't been touched, but in fact quite a lot of work has gone into it. The renovation was so cleverly done that you can't really see what is original and what is new. The artful display of old barber shop paraphernalia add to the authenticity of the place. This is one trendy and chic venue to dine.

The new menu for the restaurant is still a work in progress, so for now you have to order from The Junk menu. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Eating in Kuching 2015 - Boulevard Restaurant

There is a new Chinese restaurant in town and it is located in the new wing of Boulevard Shopping Mall - and its called non-other than Boulevard Restaurant. This is a non-halal Chinese restaurant that serves Dim Sum during the day. Many other restaurants have tried Dim Sum and failed - it is interesting to see whether this one be able to avoid the same fate. Kuchingites just don't seem to take on to the Dim Sum culture as readily as in other towns.

The restaurant is fairly big and the decor is quite typical of modern Chinese restaurants in Singapore or Malaysia. There is an open kitchen right next to the entrance where you can see the roasted goodies hung behind a glass case - very Hong Kong.

We were there for a Saturday lunch and the place was half full - which was surprising as we have heard about long queues. As is typical of modern Dim Sum restaurants - you write your orders on an order chit. I prefer the traditional Dim Sum trolley but sadly this tradition is dying off even in Hong Kong.

They have all the regular Dim Sum staples here. The quality and taste puts them at the top of Dim Sum offerings in Kuching for the moment. The Har Gao are suitably crunchy and tasty.

The Char Siew Puffs are very good - nice filling the crust is soft and crumbly. Our only complaint is they are a bit too big and really fill you up.

The Ham Sui Kok (Fried Cresent Dumplings) are another favourite.

The Yam Puffs have a flaky crust and tasty filling.

The Lo Bak Kou (Turnip Cake) is quite firm in texture, but has a distinct taste of white radish and Chinese sausages. Nice. 

The only low point was the Cheong Fun with Char Siew (Rice Rolls with BBQ Pork). The skin was not as silky as it should be. 

Besides the Dim Sum, you can also order noodles and porridge from the open kitchen. We ordered a dry wanton noodle. The wantons were good, and the noodles had good texture but lacked taste.

Having Dim Sum at Boulevard Restaurant is quite a pleasant experience, and the pricing is very reasonable too.  This is one of the best places to go for Dim Sum in Kuching right now.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Kuching Cafes 2015 - Caffeine & Cocoa

One of the newest kids on the block is Caffeine & Cocoa. Just opened a couple of weeks ago, this new cafe shares the same address as Earthlings - it is at the ground floor of CityOne Shopping Centre. 

The cafe itself is quite small, but they have a large outdoor terrace that can accommodate a lot more people. The interior is fairly simple - at one end is a bare-brick feature wall that is the in-thing now, The rest is bare concrete and recycled timber and wooden crates re-appropriated as shelves behind the counter.

The twist to this cafe is besides coffee, they also serve hot chocolate. For those who have overloaded on coffee, this could be a welcome relieve. Their cake selection is reasonable and feature heavily on chocolate as you would expect.

This is a cozy and unpretentious cafe that could become a regular haunt. My only peeve is that they use Illy which is not my favourite coffee blend.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Kuching Cafes 2015 - MK Classico Caffe

Another fairly new cafe in town is MK Classico Caffe which is located along Jalan Tabuan - near Borneo Hotel. Its in a double-storey old corner shophouse that is trapezoidal in shape.

This cafe is really big on style. All the plaster on the walls have been stripped to reveal the original brickwork, and every corner of the cafe is filled with vintage brick a bracks like old signages, picture frames, suitcases, clocks, toys, etc. There is even a corner dedicated to the Beetle and Mini Minor. Overall it needs a bit of curation to stop the place from becoming too much of a flea market.

The ground floor is mainly occupied by the service counter, and most of the seating area is on the 1st floor.

There is also a large al fresco area outside.

While we were there on a Saturday evening, the place was fairly busy. Being new that was not a surprise - but it was surprising to see Kuchingites queuing up for a cup of joe. We decided to give it a miss and go back when they are less busy.