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When Sarawakians meet, they do not ask “how are you?”. They ask “have you eaten already”. This shows how important food is in Sarawak, and no matter how much you eat there is always something new and delicious to try.
Kuching is famous for its celebrated noodle dishes, spicy Sarawak Laksa and savoury Kolo Mee, as well as a wide selection of Chinese, Malay and Indian cuisine, exotic rainforest fruits, crispy jungle ferns and wonderful fresh seafood. Dining options range from humble hawker stalls, through waterside seafood restaurants at Kampung Buntal and traditional Chinese delicacies at Siniawan Night Market to opulent fine dining outlets in 5-star hotels, and you can even learn to cook Sarawak-style. Kuching`s most famous drink is teh-c-peng a multi layered tea and palm sugar concoction worth of a brochure by itself. In the villages and longhouses, you can try native cuisine such as manak panasoh (chicken steamed in bamboo tubes) and fresh jungle produce.
Sibu is renowned for Foochow Chinese cooking, plus fresh fish and huge prawns from the Rejang River Delta. Dishes to look out for include prawn noodles, mee sua (longevity noodles), kampua noodles, kompia (minced pork bagels) and the rare and very expensive empurau fish. Local shops and markets abound with fresh jungle fruits, including durian, dabai (jungle olives), the bright pink engkalak fruit (or Borneo avocado) and many more according to season. The Melanau people around raw fish or prawn dish known as Umei, served with sago pearls instead of rice. They are also known for their delicious tebaloi sago crackers. The whole Central Region is pineapple country and the quality is excellent, in the town of Sarkei even celebrates a Pineapple Festival .
Miri has a similar culinary selection to Kuching, although with its seafront location the seafood is possibly even fresher. Bintulu is reckoned to produce the best belacan (shrimp paste) in all of Malaysia. Inland, be tempted by the fresh jungle produce and organically grown fruits and vegetables prepared by the Kelabit and Lun Bawang people of the Northern Highlands.