Eating in Kuching - Lunch at Bamboo Leaf Cafe

The old Chia Heng Restaurant used to be an institution in Kuching. The restaurant was originally located at Carpenter Street, and it was one of the most highly regarded and popular Chinese restaurant in town. I remember my grand father used to bring back the excellent chicken in galangal almost every week. Till today I can still remember the wonderful aromatic taste.

The restaurant subsequently moved to another location in Pending, and most recently transformed itself into more of a casual dining cafe at the Jalan Song Commercial Centre. It has gone through its ups and downs, and I think the most recent incarnation is more in sync with the current food trend in Kuching - more modern and casual settings instead of stuffy formal Chinese style eateries.

I am glad to see that they have kept most of their popular dishes on the menu, and have added some new ones. The old chicken with galangal is still there, and so is the oyster omelette. But they have added a new crispy version which is excellent. The omelette is fried separately to retain the crispness, and the oysters with sauce served on top, with lots of fresh coriander. Seriuosly yummy !

The chicken with galangal - still one of my favourites. The simple combination of tender chicken pieces and the aromatic spiciness of galangal is a great match. I especially love the deep-fried bits of galangal, very addictive ! Haven't seen this great dish in any other restaurants, so this could be one of Chia Heng's original inventions.

The soy sauce chicken is another very nice dish. The chicken is tender yet with a slightly firm bite. The soy sauce seasoning done just right - not too salty.

Other dishes are quite standard and no different from other restaurants. Sweet and sour chicken.

Long beans with minced pork.

Braised tofu.

I think the best way to dine here is to order the set lunch or dinner which comes in different combinations for various group sizes. You can request for some of the pre-fixed dishes to be substituted, and order additional a la carte dishes that you like. It is good to see an old establishment able to transform itself for new tastes.


I do remember the galangal chicken very vividly!
Borneoboy said…
Hi 3HT/ It is great isn't it !
The food there is quite good. I'm going to have to order the chicken with galangal next time. I hear their umai is also pretty good.

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