Local Delicacy In Mukah
Mukah’s signature dish is umai, a spicy salad of raw marinated fish with shallots, lime juice and chillies. It was invented by Melanau fishermen who were reluctant to cook aboard their fishing boats because of the risk of fire. Other local favourites – not for the squeamish – include sago worms (actually sago-trunk-dwelling beetle larvae), and lameh, caterpillars that have recently spun their chrysalis. The last two dishes are hard to find in restaurants, but can be obtained at the town market and are often served in Melanau homes.
Both the Old Town and the New Town are crammed with Chinese coffee shops and Malay restaurants serving a variety of popular Malaysian dishes, and a number also offer freshly grilled fish wrapped in banana leaves and coated with sambal belacan (shrimp paste relish). More up-market outlets include the air-conditioned JS Seafood and the River View Restaurant, both located near to the Tua Pek Kong Temple.
For western food with a selection of quality wines, the best option is a 15-minute taxi ride to the new Kingwood Resort. However, for authentic Melanau food, including superb umai, visitors should head for Nibong House, on Jalan Orang Kaya Setia Raja opposite the Civic Centre