Oct 24, 2011

Song Kheng Hai : One of the perfect chilling places in Kuching

Living in Malaysia has taught me well, as hot and humid is no longer something unfamiliar, from the day I was born. I believe it is the same reason that tropical countries are blessed to be the right climate for coconut and sugarcane cultivation.

Coconut and sugarcane are the options on a hot afternoon in a typical kopitiam in Kuala Lumpur. But nothing seems to strike me more than this glass of Cococane that I had in Song Kheng Hai Hawker Centre at Jalan Padungan, Kuching.

You must be wondering, "What on earth is this Cococane?"
It is a rather simple drink, I would say. Freshly crushed sugarcane, newly extracted coconut water, mixed with generous amount of peeled coconut meat, and topped with generous amount of ice cubes or crushed ice.
It is so common in Kuching that not only one stall, but almost every drink stall serves Cococane.

The unmistakable natural sweetness of sugarcane and fragrance of coconut water was concentrated in  this glass of Cococane. Seriously, it is quenching and healthily good! Why can't we find some in Kuala Lumpur?

Oh well, let's not dwell on it. Let's have some of this famous Kuching snack named Kong Piah!
According to a local friend of ours, Song Kheng Hai Hawker Centre serves the best Kong Piah in Kuching and that pretty much explains why we were here.

I loved how sesame seeds enhanced the aroma. It was a powerful temptress that a long whiff was the price I paid before I started to devour these evil buns!
Despite the butter fried to crispiness outer layer, it retained slightly soft texture inside, which I believe it served a greater purpose. And yes, I was right!

The meat gravy moistened the inner bun with much enthusiasm, leaving only the slightest hint of crispiness. It was not a hard task to find the sweet note in this savory Kong Piah. The taste was well balanced, and guess what, I plopped the first and downed the second!

What else was on the table? It was no other than the famous local delicacy, Tomato Kuey Tiew.

I believe it was hailed in the same family as Wat Tan Ho. Instead of the usual starchy egg soup base, this was replaced by the tomato soup.

Spectacularity was not quite the term here. Apart from the sourish flavor from the tomato sauce, I found it rather bland and one dimensional. Perhaps I am biased, but if you would prefer a flavorful dish, you might want to reserve your quota for other dishes you have in mind.

According to my boyfriend, this Pork Leg Rice was good too and so, we gave it another try this time in Kuching.

At the first glance, the meat was dry. The brownish layer indicated some sort of marination had taken place, which was most likely be Herbs. I took a tentative bite and I was right. The pork leg meat was far from tender and moist, even though it was chunky and easily fallen from bones.

Dipped into the sauce, it was neither enhancing nor complementing. It was similar to Bak Kut Teh soup, sans the intensity of herbs concentration. Overall, it was bland. Appalled we was that it was not as good as he claimed. Maybe the chef was not in the good mood that day.

No doubt, we were very satisfied with Cococane and Kong Piah and definitely we would come to Song Kheng Hai Hawker Centre just for these!


  1. Haha. Glad you like the kong piah! =P

  2. welcome to kuching, hitomi! LOL.. nice food right? XD

  3. @cutebun :
    Thanks for fetching us to makan makan!

    @shiiteck :
    Eh, you also from Kuching? Oopsss...

  4. HiTomi^^,
    Yum yum indeed.
    All the drinks look do so Refreshing.

    Great photos!


  5. @ David :
    Yeap it was indeed refreshing on a hot afternoon!

  6. Sharon Kuan11:19 AM

    shit..i was at jln padungan 2 weeks ago but didnt get the chance to try what u posted here! :(

  7. Next time you might wanna do some research to try some famous local delicacies so you won't miss out those you are interested to try :)

    What did you have Instead?


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