It’s Friday night and you have just arrived home after a long day at work. You’re thinking of grabbing coffee and a quick bite, but that’s when you notice the piles of dirty laundry in the corner of your room! Don’t let that spoil your Friday night because in Sarawak, you can go somewhere for a nice cup of coffee, perhaps with cake or a croissant, while getting your laundry done…how is this possible? By going to a laundromat themed café you can make Friday night laundry night a lot more social and a lot less stressful!
No longer is a cafe a place to eat and drink. Today, themed cafés are extremely popular with everyone, and some daring café owners have gone beyond the norm by creating unique and quirky ideas to attract customers. They do this by bringing together ‘taste’ (of food and drinks) and ‘feel’ (of the café ambience and mood), hence creating unique experiences.
As with other major cities around the world, cafés in Sarawak used to be a place that only sells drinks and light meals, but the café scene, especially in Kuching, has evolved way beyond this. A café is now a place for friends to meet, savour the food, drinks and cosy ambience; against a quintessentially Sarawakian background.
A themed café is where a café has a distinct theme and is therefore unique in its characteristics, such as in the design, style and architecture; the types of food served; how food is presented; the décor; the uniforms of the servers/employees; the choice of music; or the type of crowd. Themed cafés are seen to be an innovation from the earlier version of being ‘dull and dreary’ to becoming more ‘chic and out-of-the-ordinary’. This also makes themed cafés, such as hipster cafés, a target for younger crowds who like patronising these places as they offer ‘Instagram-able’ opportunities.
If you are nodding your head in agreement, then read our list of uniquely themed cafés in Sarawak’s major cities.(given the rising Covid-19 numbers, do call ahead to verify hours, and remember to practice social distancing).And don’t forget to tell us if we missed any good ones and include links to their website or Facebook pages!
Black Bean Coffee & Tea Company
Address: No. 87, Ewe Hai Street, 93000 Kuching, Sarawak
Opening hours: 9.00am – 6.00pm (closed on Sunday)
Located along one of the city’s oldest streets, this grandly named café may seem small and old-fashioned, but as soon as you step inside, you experience a magical and soothing ambience as the lingering scent of roasted coffee washes over you, making you feel as if you’ve been transported to coffee heaven! You will be spoilt for choice at their specialities, which include Arabica, Liberica and Robusta coffees from local grown coffee beans and imported ones from Indonesia, Colombia and Tanzania. These beans are grounded and roasted in-house before brewing. Seats at the café are limited, so we recommend visting earlier in the mornings. Go ahead and have a steaming cup of freshly brewed aromatic coffee whilst admiring the café’s interior which has been beautifully decorated with old tea and coffee sets, classic table ware and old photos. If you’re not a coffee drinker, try their oolong and green teas, which are also favourites with regulars.
Order a cup of freshly brewed aromatic coffee at this classic café.
Photo credit: https://www.happyfoodies.com/black-bean-coffee-and-tea-kuching/
Earthlings Coffee Workshop
Address: Soho East, Sublot 16 Ground Floor, Lot 188, Jalan Wan Alwi Lorong 5, 93350 Kuching, Sarawak
Opening hours: 9.00am – 11.00pm
As soon as you walk into this classy café, you’ll feel good vibes as you breathe in the aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans, brewed to perfection by a team of highly trained baristas. The café was founded by a Sarawakian coffee lover, who, along with his team of coffee connoisseur friends, travelled to several countries to acquire state-of-the-art techniques, and obtain first-hand knowledge from coffee professionals to ensure they offer only the best coffee to their customers. Today they also offer in-house certified professional training and education programmes and it’s the only coffee institute that offers globally-recognised qualification systems in Malaysia. Want to have a coffee education and enjoy a good cup with a delicious cake? Then make a beeline for this place when you’re next in Kuching!
A section of the Earthlings Coffee Workshop, Kuching.
Photo credit: Dr Rashidah Kamarulzaman.
Feast and Furious Café
Address: No. 244, Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, 93100 Kuching, Sarawak
Opening hours: 7.30am – 10.30pm (closed on Monday)
Up for a one-of-a-kind dining experience at a motorsports-themed café? You will not be disappointed, because not only has this café received great reviews on its magnificently designed interior which includes a vast collection of racing memorabilia, motorbikes and scooters (and even a life-sized Formula 1 racing car mounted on the wall!), but the café also offers a variety of Western fusion and local dishes at affordable prices. Black and white murals of bikes and portraits of motorsports legends such as Michael Schumacher and Valentino Rossi can also be found painted on the café’s exterior walls. The café belongs to a former racer, Sarawak-born Alex Wong, who personally owns the unique collections and memorabilia, and would certainly be a memorable dining experience for couples, friends and families.
Check out the Formula 1 race car mounted on the wall.
Photo credit: Feast and Furious Café Facebook page.
Address: No. 38, Upper China Street, Off Carpenter Street, 93000 Kuching, Sarawak
Opening hours: 8.00am – 6.30pm (including public holidays)
Art enthusiasts will fall in love with Indah House. It is just the place to go to and enjoy a cup of coffee with a lovely slice of home-baked cake while appreciating beautifully drawn art and Sarawak batik, displayed all around the café’s interior. The café serves as an arts & events space and a homestay, and its owners also organise cooking classes, especially for participants who wish to learn how to cook Sarawak-style meat and vegan dishes. The café has received rave reviews from both local and foreign travellers, and is considered a fun and artsy space that offers delicious and reasonable priced food – don’t miss it when in Kuching!
Merchandise by local artists on sale at Indah Café.
Photo credit: https://www.tripadvisor.com/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g298309-d6886452-i347204003-Indah_House_Kuching_Cafe_Art_Event_Space_Homestay_Cooking_Class-Kuching_.html
Meow Meow Cat Café
Address: Lot 2641, Ground Floor, Jalan Green Road, 93400 Kuching, Sarawak
Opening hours: 10.00am – 6.00pm
Fancy an afternoon tea with fluffy, adorable cats? Then make your way to Meow Meow Café, the first cat themed café in Kuching. The café owners ensure that visitors to the café take necessary precautions to maintain cleanliness and hygiene at all times, such as sanitising their hands before petting the cats and removing their footwear before entering the special area reserved for cats. The café serves imported coffee and tea, and home-made cakes on cat themed tableware and utensils, and is a therapeutic, fun experience for feline and animal lovers alike.
The dining area is separated from the ‘cat zone’.
Photo credit: https://www.getteaspoon.com/en/restaurant/meow-meow-cat-cafe-jalan-green-kuching
MK Classico Caffe
Address: Lot 30, Section 47 Jalan Tabuan, 93100 Kuching, Sarawak
Opening hours: 5.00pm – 2.00am
If you want to visit a place with character and beauty all in one, then MK Classico Caffe is the perfect choice. The interior of this funky café is filled with vintage beauties – furniture, wall paintings, old television sets, and other classic items –placed at odd spots all around the café, adding to its charm and groove. This double-storey café offers a range of delicious Western classics, and is a hit with a younger crowd. Oh, we heard that the Nutella Frappe is a favourite – be sure to try it on your next visit and tell us what you think!
When vintage meets contemporary at the MK Classico Caffe.
Photo credit: https://mykampusradio.com/tempat-makan-unik-photo-worthy/
Here are some other cafés in Kuching worth MIRI exploring:
Tease by Jase’s Tea Room ;
The Coffee Clinic; and
The Coffee Factory.
Address: Lot 1964, Marina Parkcity Phase 2, 98000 Miri, Sarawak
Opening hours: 10.00am – 12.00pm
This two-storey café is a favourite place for friends to hangout. The interior is characterised by its simplicity, which adds to the appeal. There are tables but the inside knowledge is to try and get the comfortable sofas on the mezzanine level, favoured by regulars.
This trendy café offers a unique display of coffee cups
Photo credit: http://www.thanislim.com/2017/06/miri-food-and-travel-best-cafes-in-miri.html
Chapter One Café
Address: Lot 2288, Jalan MS2/1, Marina Square 2, Marina Parkcity, 98000 Miri, Sarawak
Opening hours: 10.00am – 11.30pm
If you feel like cuddling up with a good book while having a steaming cup of hot coffee, why not make your way to Chapter One Café and do just that? This café is the first and only library themed café in Sarawak, and it promises a welcoming and cozy environment. It offers sweet desserts, snacks, a variety of drinks and there is also a good selection of board and card games – perfect for game night with families and friends. Drop by the café during your next trip to Miri!
Books and coffee – a perfect combination!
Photo credit: https://vmo.rocks/item/chapter-one-cafe-miri/
Check out some of the other cafés in Miri:
Route 66 Café; and
The Coffee Code Roastery Workshop
Address: No. 1, Jalan Bintang Selatan, 96000 Sibu, Sarawak
Opening hours: 9.00am – 11.00pm
Warmth, love and comfort. This is what The Coffee Code Roastery Workshop is all about. The décor and secluded spots around the café make you just want to sit back and relax with a cup of coffee while enjoying delicious home-baked cakes and pastries. One visit certainly won’t be enough!
An external view of The Coffee Code Roastery Workshop.
Photo credit: The Coffee Code Roastery Workshop Facebook page.
Address: No. 699, Jalan Sanyan, Pekan Sibu, 96000 Sibu, Sarawak
Opening hours: 10.00am – 11.30pm
Upstairs Café has a mixed tone of modern vibes and vintage design (the wooden planks give it an old-school feel), making it a perfect choice for a hipster café setting. Latte art is always a perfect touch to an awesome coffee experience, so why not experience this yourself? Be sure to drop by this hidden gem when you’re in Sibu next.
A rustic look and feel at the Upstairs Coffee Café.
Photo credit: https://foursquare.com/v/upstairs-coffee/5572a148498e4ce265f6209b
Other cafés worth checking out in Sibu are:
I Prefer Original; and
The new generation of diners are continuously looking for different dining experiences, emphasising more on creativity, innovation and fresh concepts. Of course, it does help to have Instagram-worthy cafés to delight the Insta junkies!
Themed cafés in Sarawak continue to attract both locals and foreign travellers, and is a good boost for the tourism industry. Sarawak is a treasure trove for travel foodies and these cafes add a universal feel to the very local cuisine. We believe the next stage in this evolution will see more themed cafés offering a wider range of tasty fusion cuisine merging local delicacies and tastes with international food.
Have you been to any themed cafés in Sarawak? What sort of themed cafés would you like to see in the future? Perhaps you have visited some of them in your travels to other parts of the world, or stumbled upon them online? Share your stories in the comments section below, we would love to hear them and see some pictures too!
Heard of the ‘Sia Sitok Sarawak’ campaign? If you’re a Sarawakian or a Non-Sarawakian residing in Sarawak, you have until 31st December 2020 to grab great discounts of up to 50% on over 30 travel attractions in Kuching, Sibu, Mukah, Bintulu, Miri and Mulu, for travels up to 31st March 2021. Perhaps you might a fancy a sunset cruise to catch the sights of Kuching’s gorgeous skyline and iconic landmarks, or walk around the city for an exclusive heritage tour? Check out https://sarawak.travel/explore -all to get more information. Make sure you submit an e-health declaration form at least 12 hours before entering Sarawak. Get more details here .
Meanwhile, let’s go café hopping!