Open air…

That day, my friend, Philip, and I headed to the city centre in his rented car but before we went to check into the hotel, we stopped by here…

Open Air Market, Kuching 1

…right across the road from this shopping complex…

Electra House, Kuching

…which was THE place to shop in the 70’s but these days, it has been overshadowed by all the huge malls here, there and everywhere in the city.

This hawker centre was closed down for a while for renovations but when we stepped into the place that day, I did not think it looked any different from before…

Open Air Market, Kuching 2

In my younger days, we would drop by here to enjoy some of the nice stuff that they sold here and one of the must-eat in those days would be the sio bee (meat dumplings)…

Open Air sio bee

…from this stall…

Sin Kwang Heng, Open Air Market, Kuching 1

…which is still going strong. Many will still drop by to enjoy those sio bee and also the paos…

Sin Kwang Heng, Open Air Market, Kuching 2

…and order their soya bean milk to wash everything down and one of them would be my friend, Philip, who loves the sio bee a lot and also their char siew pao

Open Air char siew pao

In fact, before we left Kuching, he made it a point to stop by this place again to grab hold of some to take home. I tried the char siew pao and I actually liked it very much – nicer than any we can get in Sibu…but I did not feel like buying any back. Philip bought a big pao

Open Air big pao 1

…for me to try and I found it to be really nice too…

Open Air big pao 2

In fact, I would think everything is much nicer than at that one other place in the city that, for some reason or other, is so so very popular to this day – I will be blogging about that one soon. Having tried both varieties of the pao here, on my part, I think that between the two, the char siew pao is nicer.

We also had the jiew hu eng chai/sotong kangkong (cuttlefish & water spinach)…

Open Air jiewhu engchai

…but though it was all right, I did not think it was as great as I remembered it to be.

I used to love the beef noodles here too…

Open Air Ah Mui

…but even if the stall was open, I would not have ordered as that last time I had it here, it did not seem to be as nice as before, not anymore and because of that, I never came back again.

After that pit stop, we went to check into our hotel…

Pullman, Kuching

No, no…we did not stay at this one – I, for one, will not be able to afford it. That was just the view from the hotel where we were staying where the room…

360 Express 1

…though small…

360 Express 2

…was nice and clean and comfortable…

360 Express 3

Actually Philip booked two single rooms with single beds (RM49.99 nett each, all inclusive unlike that one where you would have to pay extra for electricity, towel, soap and so on and so forth) but when we went to our respective rooms, I found that the power in mine refused to come on despite my inserting their sensor card into the slot. I went to the reception counter to lodge a complaint and they upgraded me to this bigger one with a queen-sized bed (RM108.00 nett) at no extra charge. Ain’t that nice?

The service was excellent and the staff was extra helpful and friendly. With its ideal location, I certainly wouldn’t mind staying here again the next time I come to town.

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

33 thoughts on “Open air…”

  1. Why Ah Mui, isn’t it nicer to call herself Ah Moy LOL

    He was a man. He passed on already though – his children are running this stall and the other branches in the city.

  2. the pao looks nice, similar to the ones i remember from my childhood in malacca … which my grandpa would buy from a shop every sunday. i loved looking for the piece of hard-boiled egg in the meat, and i always hoped for more yolk 😀

    Yes, real old school pao skin, exactly what my friend, Philip, home from the US, wants. He’s not into those dim sum pao skin…and most these days are somewhere between the two – not authentic, not like those in the old days anymore. They say it has got something to do with the flour they use.

  3. Looks and sounds great! And it is always a plus when the staff is friendly and the service is good.

    It most certainly is. Not like in the expensive, classier hotels – they’re standoff-ish, snooty…especially to us locals.

  4. Wow, my favourite place to go for sio bee & pao. Once upon a time, it was the busiest place both day & night but now it seems deserted at night with only a few stalls operating. Most of the stalls has moved like the famous Swee Kaang Ice kacang.

    I have such fond memories of this place – the good ol’ days! Ya, we went to Swee Kang. Watch out for the post on that…

  5. The hotel you stay, 360 hotel, rite?

    Express. There’s another one, classier and more expensive at Hock Lee but the location is not as good.

  6. I like the siao bee and char siew pau, but not the sotong kangkung.. I like tai pau too but will usually prefer to have two char siew pau..

    Another one who does not like sotong kangkong. I wonder why. Maybe the ones over at your side aren’t so nice? Oh ya! I forgot. You do not eat veg. Hehehehehe!!!!

  7. Don’t see any kangkung in the jiu hu eng chai. I like that a lot but haven’t eaten in ages. Don’t know where to find over here. So nice your room got upgraded. Queen sized bed is a whole lot better.

    Yes, I was lucky. True, I have not had sotong kangkong anywhere over at your side. Guess it’s not that popular there? You’re the odd one out – the rest so far do not like it.

  8. They always close for renovation but to me, they look the same. Except brighter with paints etc. Lol.

    missed the sio mee and soya milk. Hehe.

    Yup, just the colour seemed new…and maybe the floor as well, tiled now. Missing Kuching, eh? Hehehehehe!!!!!

    1. Yes. Missed Kuching and its variety of food! ^^

      Very near, can go back anytime. Hari Raya holidays coming soon, one week off – all the schools.

  9. Good to see these pics. The trip was over too fast.

    Yes, we actually had a bit more than one day only… Not enough, much uncovered still.

  10. The hotel room looks pleasant ! The pau seems have more skin than meat.

    We love the skin – the old school type. That’s what eating pao is all about. If want meat, better just go and eat char siew…

  11. The char siew pao fillings macam a lot! Yummz~

    You’re the opposite of Chris. I would say there was enough, just right. Some paos…after two or three bites, still no sign of the meat…and some the skin is so thin, you might as well just go and eat the meat.

  12. Ah the siobee, still my favourite too. 🙂 So which hotel is that? nearby Pullman would be… Tune? Batik Boutique?

    The other side, 360 Express, formerly where Upwell was…

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at

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