Late-Night Guide: Kuching, Malaysia
Dec 10, 2019

Late-Night Guide: Kuching, Malaysia

Early birds or night owls, Kuching has the best early morning/late night spots for you to feast and dine, and we bring you to our favourite haunts in Kuching.

Thinking of a short trip to Kuching? Here’s a rundown of the city’s popular late-night spots for fun and food.

We’re always on the lookout for hidden gems and lesser-known cities to satisfy our thirst for adventure. Tourist traps and overcrowded beaches are no-one’s idea of a relaxing retreat. Located at the southwest tip of Sarawak on the island of Borneo, Kuching is definitely Malaysia’s off the beaten track.

With an endless supply of delicious food available all day, every day, amazing national parks and a laid back atmosphere, Kuching is an up-and-coming travel destination that you should add to your list. The Sarawak River weaves through the city, creating a unique landscape which attracts both tourists and locals to the waterfront. There, they grab a bite of their local delights while enjoying the city’s delightful scenery under a mountain backdrop.

As with all great holiday destinations, the fun doesn’t stop when the sun sets. From unique local eateries to vibrant weekend markets, we’ve cooked up a Late Night Guide to take you through all of Kuching’s hottest hotspots!

Eat

The Barber Café & Bar

74, Wayang St, Kuching, 93100 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

Tuesdays to Sundays | 4:00pm to 1.30am

Don’t be fooled by the name and décor! Once an old and iconic barbershop in Kuching, the space has now been transformed into a trendy café and bar known simply as The Barber. Dining in the café almost feels like you’ve stepped back in time as much of the old hairdressing tools and decorations have been kept, preserving a sense of old world charm and nostalgia. 

This quirky concept is not just a gimmick. The Barber serves a selection of gourmet food with a touch of local cuisine. Unique and creative, the menu definitely matches the style of the café.

If there’s one dish you must try, it has to be the Duck Jepun Nasi Penyet, which is a Malaysian-style crispy fried duck paired with aromatic Japanese rice that is seasoned with nori (seaweed) and sesame. It comes with a sunny-side-up egg and a vegetable dish. It’s a clever fusion of Japanese and Malaysian cuisine and the flavour combination is heavenly. The Barber is highly recommended and we’ll eat this all over again if we can.

There’s always room for dessert, and you’ll definitely want to save some space for the O.M.F.G. Shake. The name says it all! This mug of pure indulgence is essentially a banana milkshake topped with popcorn and a generous drizzle of caramel sauce. The rim of the mug is also covered in chocolate because... why not? 

You might expect the taste to be too sweet and creamy but the addition of crushed ice in the milkshake mixture actually gives it a surprisingly pleasant and refreshing quality. Feel free to treat yourself, but before you dig in, remember to do it for the Instsgram. This shake is extremely photogenic.

Siniawan Night Market

Siniawan, 94000 Bau, Sarawak, Malaysia

Friday to Sundays | 5.00pm to 11.00pm

Located 45 minutes from the city centre, Siniawan Night Market is definitely worth the road trip. On  arrival at the small town, you are greeted by the magical (and Insta-worthy) sight of red lanterns, the delicious aroma of food and the soft murmurs of the crowd. Only open on weekends, the market has a fantastic vibe – super local with a perfect balance of liveliness and chill. 

The market consists of two rows of shops with a road filled with tables separating them in the middle. With a total of 48 shops, there are bound to be stalls selling similar food but don’t worry, the selection of street food, snacks, cakes and kuihs (Malay pastries) is enough to satisfy anyone. With grilled meats and seafood, fried chicken wings and rojak, it’s best to come with an empty stomach.

We love the deep fried pork ribs wrapped in water lily leaf. When you unwrap the pork, your mouth will instantly start to water as the aroma hits you, and rest assured, the taste does not disappoint, either. The pork is juicy and oh-so-satisfying, and the water lily leaf has a wonderful umami flavour.

Chong Choon Café

275, Jalan Chan Chin Ann, 93100 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

Monday to Sunday | 6.30am to 12.30pm

The epitome of local cuisine has to be the Sarawak Laksa (rice vermicelli noodles in sour spicy soup most commonly served with juicy prawns) and that’s exactly what you should eat at Chong Choon Café. The mark of a good laksa is the broth and with the carefully selected spices and ingredients that go into it. And this broth has the perfectly layered balance of flavours. Locals usually have this for breakfast and you’ll understand once you get a taste of it because the Sarawak Laksa will wake you right up.

This humble, no-frills café is small and quaint with an old-school hawker feel. It opens early in the morning and closes at around noon. It’s normal to see the café packed with customers, so be sure to head down as early as possible as their famous Laksa tends to sell out by 11am. 

Activity

Sarawak River Cruise

1st Floor, Lot 42, Section 33, 124, Jalan Tabuan, 93100 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

Monday to Sunday | 5.30pm to 7.00pm

A cruise along the Sarawak River is the best way to take in the city sights. From the river, you’will see the 19th century Chinese shophouses, quaint Malay villages, and Kuching’s amazing architecture including a golden-domed mosque and a palace with majestic wooden roofs, and the Sarawak State Legislature is a striking masterpiece of modern Asian architecture. All of this is set against a backdrop of the beautiful mountains nearby. The Daily Signature Sunset Cruise is highly recommended as the view looks even more magnificent when bathed in the warm orange hues of dusk.

Refreshments are served on board so you can enjoy the gentle breeze while sipping on a drink of your choice and nibbling on a variety of tasty Malaysian snacks in the spacious Sky Deck. You can’t go wrong with a refreshing glass of orange juice and kueh lapis (layer cake).

Immerse yourself further into the cultures of Kuching as the cruise also offers a traditional performance. Priced at RM65 for adults and RM32 for children, this relaxing experience is a great deal.

Kuching Cat Statues

Kuching literally translates to “cat” in Malay. There are a number of theories on the origins of the city’s name, and while it is highly unlikely that it has anything to do with furry felines, there are now strangely gaudy (and sometimes surreal) cat statues throughout the city. You will probably need a cat statue selfie before you leave.

Kuching’s has both a rich heritage and a laidback charm. The city is an ideal destination for a weekend getaway from the daily grind. Foodies with a free and easy itinerary can treat themselves to its eclectic mix of quirky eateries and delicious traditional local cuisine, so pack your bags and start eating!

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