Kuching has no shortage of supermarkets, the difficulty (as you will realise once you have been here a while) is that you can’t find everything you need at just one. It is getting much better though, and consistency of stock is improving (we no longer have to buy all we see as we may not see it again, we can leave some for people who may come after us safe in the knowledge that it will come into stock again soon).
The supermarkets with the widest range of imported goods are listed below:
Choice Premier (at 101 along Jalan Tun Jugah), other supermarkets operated by the same group are: Choice Daily (located along Jalan Setia Raja), Choice Supermall aka Skody Mall (located along the road to Damai at Samariang). For actual addresses of the Choice supermarkets click here
Cold Storage (located at the Green Heights Mall), Ta Kiong (located in the Spring). Be careful with the dates on things at Cold Storage as they often try to sell food that is very close to expiry without letting the consumer know the date is almost (or in some cases already) up.
Ting and Ting Supermarkets’ appearance is decieving. This is a real ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ kind of place that is full of surprises and carries many imported brands and goods. Ting and Ting is located in town, not far from the Junk and Blah blah blah, at 30 Jalan Tabuan.
The Everise Group has a number of supermarkets dotted around town. They have more local foods but do surprise sometimes with the imported goods that they have. Locations can be accessed here.
Boulevard also has a large supermarket on the ground floor. It has the biggest trolleys in Kuching (which means they are a normal size) and you can fit your whole weeks’ groceries into just the one trolley. They have gone for a wet market/supermarket kind of concept all your normal supermarket stuff on one side and your fruits/veges/meats all available market style. It is a bit erratic with their imported goods, but they do tend to have most things. It opens at 9am which is a bonus as most other places open between 9 and 10 and is open until late. The indoor playground is upstairs so if you have someone to watch the kids for you then you can shop in peace. NOTE the playground doesn’t open until 10am.
H&L Supermarket has a number of different branches around town. Their new one at Tabuan Plaza is quite impressive. They have a wide range of goods, both local and imported, have a bakery, and sell roasted chickens. They even have Western sized trolleys (this may not seem important to those of you who have smaller families, but for us its great as it means we only have to push one trolley around rather than 2!)
Giant at Tabuan Jaya has just opened and we visited this morning. Owned by the same company as Cold Storage it is of a size and quality similar to any Giant in KL. I couldn’t help but smile at the size of the aisles and the trolleys! I felt right at home at the thought I could get all my weeks’ shop into just the one trolley and the aisles were spacious and practical. I didn’t get to have a proper look at their cheese, meat, milk sections but the basic products are all on offer and it looks like they have a large selection of most necessities. They also have a small children’s playground which is handy if you have someone to watch the kids play while you shop. Definitely worth a visit. It will be interesting to see what stock they carry once all the hype and starting sales have calmed down.
An update on Giant….Their breads are ok. They do the low GI bread that Coldstorage does, and quite a nice herb loaf. They also have a range of donuts and other types of buns. Local vegetables are cheap and fresh. Their non-halal section is large and well-stocked. As well as frozen sausages/bacon etc, they also have a deli-section where they slice the meats for you. They also have a selection of wines.
Bread can be bought at most supermarkets, they all have different bakery suppliers that they buy from. Delizze has recently closed down (I will always remember the Black Friday that I discovered this news…). Bread can be bought from a number of other outlets/bakeries. The Hilton does nice bread. Pastries and other delicious treats can be bought from Richman Bakery at Green Heights. This bakery is the supplier for Malaysian Airlines and they do very nice sweet pastries. Their breads are unremarkable but perfectly ok, and if you are really, really, mad you can buy ready made meals (pasta and rice dishes) served in Airplane trays.
Mita Cake House has a number of outlets around town (there is one near Choice Daily), they have a nice sugar free wholemeal that they do. Sunflower Deli (also by Choice Daily) is a nice little bakery, as is Gingerbread House which has outlets at Jalan Keretapi (Bormill Estate), Jalan Song, and at the Boulevard. Gingerbread house has a little cafe with decent coffee and wi-fi access at their Bormill Estate branch. Check out a review of their food on the food blog here.
Local Markets for Fruit and Veg
Local markets are a great option for your fresh fruit and veg. Each area/sub-division used to have its own market but now a number of them have been centralised at the Stutong Community Market along Jalan Setia Raja. This is a big new market and you are able to get most of your imported vegetables and some fruit here. It pays to come early though as the best is sold first.
The Satok Market which is at the same place as the weekly Sunday Market also has Vegetables and Fruit on sale every morning. And the Sunday market is a good place to get fresh fruit.
Padungan Road in town has a number of Chinese Fruit sellers along it. If you are unsure of how to pick good local fruit, or would like it to be ripe in a day or two, the storekeepers will be able to help you choose.