Some of us eat to live while others live to eat. As we continue to live with Covid-19 in Sarawak, we are reminded on the importance of keeping ourselves safe by complying with current health regulations and precautionary measures. We can however look back at previous celebrations and festivals to remind us of what we have to look forward to in the near future. Introducing the annual Sarawak Kuching Festival and its main attraction - all the amazing food.
Kuching Food Festival
The Kuching Food Festival, usually held in August, brings together different kinds of food - local and international, traditional and modern – and showcases them in a fair that draws crowds from near and far. Visitors can indulge themselves in specialty food and beverages from all over the world.
Coconut ice cream
Sarawak has a hot and humid climate so there is bound to be ice cold desserts to cool you down. One of the favourites here is the coconut ice cream which melts in your mouth. It has a deep and full coconut flavour and fragrance and is served in a coconut shell. If coconut is not your cup of tea, then you can try some of the other flavours on offer.
Coconut ice cream served inside a coconut at the Sarawak Kuching Food Festival
Churros are not Sarawakian but they are readily available for those looking for something different at the Kuching Food Festival. This pastry originated from Spain. These fried dough sticks are usually sweet and taken freshly fried. They can be consumed with a side of different flavours of jam or chocolate.
Curry Fish Ball
Curry fish balls, one of Hong Kong’s classic street food, is also available at the festival. The small curry fish balls are springy, delicious and a delight for both locals and foreigners alike.
Curry fish balls at the Sarawak Kuching Food Festival
Those looking for an adventure can give crocodile a try. One of the most eye-catching foods on sale here is crocodile meat. The meat is high in protein, has a chewy texture, and tastes like chicken with a mildly fishy flavour. A local delicacy but perhaps not for the faint hearted.
Barbecued food stalls are essentials at every food festival. The aroma of all sorts of meat being grilled will entice you the moment you step out of your vehicle. One of the must-try grilled food here is the grilled saury. Cooked traditionally on charcoal fuelled flame, the end product is a delicious, fragrant and unforgettable meal.
Taro Meat Dumplings
Chinese food is very popular in Sarawak as the Chinese community makes up the second largest ethnic population in Malaysia’s largest state. You can find plenty of Chinese food at the festival but the ones to look out for are the sticky rice dumplings. These are filled with different types of fillings. The locals usually recommend those with meat and taro fillings.
Extra Long Fries
Bigger is always better, especially when it comes to food. The super long french fries that are popular in Japan have also made their way to the Kuching Food Festival. These deep-fried fries are crispy and irresistible. They are topped with various sauces according to your preference.
Extra long french fries available at the Sarawak Kuching Food Festival
Fried oyster omelette
The fried oyster omelette is one of Kuching’s famed delicacies. Fresh oysters are bathed in batter and then deep fried. This dish can either be soft with the texture of a pancake or deep fried to a crisp. The fresh oysters give it a succulent and refreshing flavour while a concocted dip of soy sauce and plum sauce will leave you yearning for more.
Fried Oyster Omelette at the Sarawak Kuching Food Festival
Apart from the food, the festival also plays host to a number of events and activities. There are many traditional, multicultural folk-dance performances to watch. Both local and foreign dancers light up the stage at the festival to welcome visitors. Sport competitions are also a main draw with hockey being a crowd favourite. In addition to these, there are also games for children, drama performances and a fireworks display.
Kuching Festival fireworks display Image source: 360tour.asia