The Junk is the mother of all outlets in Kuching. Restaurant, bar, club, live music venue, it is a warren of spaces tunneled out of four adjacent shophouses in a row of entertainment outlets where Junk was the pioneer. Its décor is a labour of love, filled with memorabilia collected over a lifetime so there is always something to look at even if you are not kept busy observing the crowd. Friday and Saturday nights are perpetually rammed to the rafters and there is something for everyone’s taste from local bands to lively DJ. Originally a restaurant, it is still a firm favourite for birthdays and special occasions or even just a mid-week slice of stone-baked pizza. Portions are enormous so prepare to share (and split the price) and then sit back and enjoy the atmosphere that is uniquely Junk.
80 WAYANG STREET
OPEN DAILY FROM 6PM EXCEPT TUESDAYS
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DRUNK MONKEY OLD STREET BAR
This was the first of a crop of new hipster bars on Carpenter Street and has proven to have staying power thanks to its clean, industrial décor, laid back atmosphere and a huge range of whiskies and pretty decent house wine. The interior of the bar was smoke free long before the government caught up and you can relax here to classic tunes with a cool beer in hand. But the outside space really makes it. Located directly next to Kuching’s landmark Bishopsgate, this shady little enclave is ideal for a lazy Saturday afternoon or an easy night out chatting with friends. If you want a snack, you can order from a number of eateries nearby without ever leaving your table – the ultimate in effortless.
68 CARPENTER STREET
LAU YA KENG @ THE TEO CHEW TEMPLE
Unmissable, this food court is one of the oldest in Kuching, with many of the stallholders into their third generation. It runs full steam from morning to night serving up a wide variety of kopitiam classics. Little more than a vaulted space between two buildings, it belongs to the picturesque Teo Chew temple across the way. Now it is a temple to food: the laksa is top notch, the Tang Hoon soup (mung bean noodles with stuffed tofu) a healthy, light option and pork satay, a sweeter alternative to the halal original. Another big draw is the kueh chap stall, a rich broth with every part of the pig imaginable from ears to intestines. For a light snack, ask thoroughly modern Mollie for ngo hiang (almost unpronounceable but utterly delightful to the Western tongue). This minced pork sausage, wrapped in bean curd and then fried to a crisp is the perfect partner to a can of Tiger. See out the day here, staring at the Temple and sampling every Sarawak specialty.
19 LEBUH CARPENTER
OPEN DAILY 7AM UNTIL MIDNIGHT
LOCAL STREET FOOD
SNACKS & SWEETS
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