A British tradition since the early 1840s, afternoon tea involves having small bites such as sandwiches, cakes, pastries, scones, and of course tea. But the practice is not exclusive to the Brits. In Sarawak, afternoon tea is an everyday affair as well, except here it doesn’t necessarily involve tea, the food doesn’t necessarily have to be bite sized or limited to breads and pastries, and no, they don’t have to be purely Sarawakian either. It’s pretty much whatever’s yummy for the tummy. Here are some places where Sarawakians love to go for their afternoon tea.
Cendol Mami, Kuching
Cendol (palm sugar and coconut milk on shaved ice, with green rice flour jelly) and belacan bihun (rice vermicelli in a rich sauce made with fermented shrimp paste) complement each other like profound lyrics to a beautiful melody. At Cendol Mami, located near Bolhassan Trading and Gita police station, they have amazing Cendol Pulut, Cendol Durian and Cendol Tapai, and their belacan bihun ranks among the best in Kuching. Highly recommended for those with a big appetite.
Dayang Saloma Cucur Campur, Kuching
This small roadside stall located across the road from ‘Sekolah Kebangsaan Encik Buyong’ school, just steps away from the overhead pedestrian bridge is always busy especially around afternoon tea. So what’s the big deal here? Assorted fritters, that’s what! Famous are their banana fritters, vegetable fritters, prawn fritters and apam balik (local pancake topped with sugar, butter and peanuts).
Troots Café, Kuching
Sarawakians love their shaved ice, bingsu included. Troots Café at Kuching’s Trinity Hub is expert at making this fluffy icy Korean dessert. We recommend their Mango Cheese Cake Bingsu, with its beautiful balance of sweetness, creaminess and saltiness.
Sau Pau Café, Miri
This small bakery café is located along a row of shops about five minutes walk away from Permaisuri Imperial City Mall and is well loved for its signature baked Sau Pau (meat bun). They also have a good variety of steamed buns, egg tarts and freshly-made pastries. Perfect for afternoon tea. The bakery Café is Non-Halal though.
Tiong Hua Road Kompia, Sibu
When in Sibu, make sure you head to this small café in a house. The owner of this business is from Kuching but now calls Sibu home. This place is wildly famous for its kompia (also known as Chinese bagel), which is served in Teochew style gravy and topped with pork slices, among other varieties.
Nica Gelateria, Sibu
It’s gelato galore at Sibu’s Nica Gelateria. The gelato here is freshly made using real fruits and top quality ingredients, so you know they’re good! Have them in a cone or on top of a waffle. Don’t forget to try their gelato rojak, which is definitely something entirely different altogether.