Posted by: Borneo Adventure | November 5, 2010

Local alcoholic beverage… are you up for it?

A taste of adventure?

Rice wine, also known as “Tuak”, is often served as one of the native Dayak traditions to welcome guests into their homes. It is a milder form of alcoholic beverage, with a mild 6% alcohol content.

Palm wine, however, is something new; especially with its mildly sweet taste and smell. It is a stronger form of liquor compared to rice wine. Palm wine is otherwise known as “Chap Langkau”, which contains a much higher level of alcohol (approximately 12%).

For all you wine enthusiasts out there, just imagine drinking rice/palm wine as if you were drinking water. You will feel the warming sensation starting at the throat and flowing through to your stomach right before it starts muddling up your mind! Believe it or not, you will love it and ask for another glass.

 

Timothy enjoying his wine tasting   🙂

 

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Posted by: Borneo Adventure | October 20, 2010

Fried Chicken Nasi Lemak

Fried Chicken Nasi Lemak at Madam Tang, Bishop’s Gate Road

Nasi lemak is also a very popular Malay dish that that can be found in Kuching and is a breakfast and lunchtime favorite. The term “nasi lemak” literally means “rich rice” as coconut milk is added to the rice as it is being cooked giving it a pleasant and mouth watering aroma. The rice is often accompanied by a half slice of hard boiled egg, “sambal belacan” (spicy prawn paste), peanuts, crunchy anchovies (sometimes a whole fried fish) and sliced cucumber. Other nasi lemak offerings also include fried chicken, chicken curry or beef rendang depending on the shop offering the dish. Be sure to sample this dish when you get the chance!

Posted by: Borneo Adventure | October 13, 2010

Laksa Sarawak

The mighty Laksa Sarawak packs a hefty punch, featuring rice vermicelli in a rich and spicy broth topped with generous portions of shredded chicken, bean sprouts, strips of egg omelette and fresh prawns; sometimes you can opt to have yellow egg noodles instead of the regular rice vermicelli. The secret to a good bowl of laksa is in the stock, and the oomph comes from a combination of (reputedly over twenty) different root gingers and spices, making this a defining and unique Kuching dish. It is a perennial favourite with locals as well as visitors. Two of the more popular places in Kuching to try out the delicious Laksa Sarawak would most probably have to be Foody Goody and Madam Tang’s.

Laksa Sarawak at Madam Tang, Bishop’s Gate Road

Laksa Sarawak at Foody Goody, Stutong Baru

Unfortunately, that is all we have for now, but, for all you Laksa Sarawak lovers out there, be sure to check back for more upcoming posts on other Laksa offerings. Selamat menjamu selera!

Posted by: Borneo Adventure | October 1, 2010

A Field Guide to Street Foods of Kuching

Breakfast in Kuching is a highly social event, beginning at the crack of dawn, which starts with daybreak at about half past six, peaking at half past eight and finally tapering off by about half past ten. Breakfast is not only just for taking the morning repast but is also a time to discuss business and to catch up with the goings-on in the city.  The sound of simultaneous conversation imparts a definite buzz and frisson in the many “coffee shops”, also fondly referred to as “kopi tiam“, that are dotted all around the city.

While the food described in this guide are to be found mainly during the morning hours, some of these food may also be available over the lunch period, and though not as readily available during the evening may nonetheless be found at selected outlets.

Kuching is essentially a Chinese and Malay city and it is the entrepreneurial Chinese with the many different dialect groups from Southern China that dominate the food outlets; this means that there is a wide offering of regional Chinese specialties. Over the years, these regional cuisines have come under the steady and heavy influence of local ingredients and taste and have evolved into a flavor that is unique and special to Kuching. Considering that the local ethnic Indian population is negligible, Indian food is also popular and available and there are many restaurants and eateries that offer up excellent Indian style dishes for the discerning palate.

We will start off with the essential guide to ordering your hot drink. Apart from bottled water and canned drinks, hot drinks are available at all coffee shops. Here’s how you order your Kopi (Coffee) or Teh (Tea) in the local dialect and how you would like it prepared.

If you say: This is what you will get:

Kopi (or Teh)                            Hot Coffee (or Tea) with sweetened condensed milk
Kopi (or Teh) ‘C’                       Hot Coffee (or Tea) with evaporated milk
Kopi (or Teh) ‘O’                       Hot Black Coffee (or Tea) with a large spoonful of sugar
Kopi (or Teh) ‘O’ Kosong        Hot Black Coffee (or Tea) without sugar

As a rule, sugar is normally added to drinks; for drinks without sugar, add the word kosong (“empty”) to your order. And so, Black Coffee without sugar is Kopi O kosong; and Tea with evaporated milk (milk in a can) without sugar is Teh C kosong.  “Kurang manis” (less sweet) is the request for less sugar in your drinks.

However, if you prefer a cold beverage then you just need to add the term ‘peng‘ at the end of your order. The term “peng” is actually “ping” which is Mandarin for ice. For example, to order Iced Milk Tea just say Teh ‘C’ “Peng”. Asking for Kopi ‘O’ “Peng” will result in a glass / cup of iced back coffee if that happens to be your cup of tea, pun intended.

Kuching style drinks are varied and there are some shops that carry their own signature concoctions of the humble kopi and teh. If it’s available, you must try the Teh ‘C’ “Peng” Special which is iced milk tea with a thick layer of brown sugar syrup (Gula Melaka) at the bottom of the glass, which will thicken the drink slightly, making it sweeter and richer. In some cases, however, there are certain shops which substitute the layer of brown sugar syrup with Wheatgrass.

Teh ‘C’ Peng Special @ Madam Tang’s

A popular alternative to the normal milk tea is “teh-tarik” which literally translates to “pulled tea”. Milk tea is poured and “stretched” between two cups several times and this serves to give the beverage a foamy texture and a different taste to normal milk tea. You can order “teh-tarik” hot or iced.

A drinks’ vendor making teh tarik

Teh Tarik Peng @ Madam Tang’s

Next, we will touch on a topic close to every person’s heart. Food!

We will get the ball rolling with a Kuching favorite and definitely one of our signature offerings.  Come back soon to find out what it is. Until then, bon appétit!

Posted by: Borneo Adventure | October 1, 2010

Greetings and “Selamat Datai” to Borneo Adventure’s official blog on cyberspace. Our blog aims to include updates of all sorts about what is going on around us as well as the world of travel and tourism, but with a local flavor.

Our blog also offers up an informal peek at the goings on of Borneo Adventure and its denizens by being authored by several different individuals, giving it a heady variety of unique styles and flair.

We hope that you will find this blog informative, entertaining and we hope to see you in Borneo soon on your very own Borneo Adventure.

Until then, play safe and journey safe.

Awak ke gerai nyamai!!

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