Monday, 8 September 2008

Knowing Me, Knowing You - Kuching

Passing the AHA Organic Cafe as we arrived in Kuching, The Cat City as it means in Malay. I wondered if the 80's Norwegian pop group had been big in Malaysia, or whether Alan Partridge had made a runner from his job at Radio Norwich.
We were at a loss for where to eat lunch one day, it was raining hard and neither of us wanted to walk too far, as we only had only one umbrella slightly big enough to keep one side of each of us dry. I remembered AHA. Had to give it a try. It was organic, and as long as the photos of Morten and co were kept to a minimum and 80's hits were at a low volume I could handle it. 
As we were walking there, a car decided to show us who was boss and deliberately splash in a large puddle and drench our backs completely. The obscenities that flowed from my mouth would have turned the meanest criminal a slight shade of red. I know people back in the UK who do this all the time. They do it for fun, and because they hate pedestrians, because they get in the way. I wanted to throw a brick through the back window, but the thought of spending any time in a jail in Kuching did not appeal to me, plus the car would belong to a local politician or policeman. One day vengeance will be had. In this life or the next. 
We arrived at AHA and all thoughts of cheesy euro-pop groups vanished. Downstairs was a shop selling all manner of organic produce as you would expect to find in any organic shop back in London. Maybe not as much but a good selection there was. 
The seating for the cafe was upstairs, so we wandered up, trying to ignore the looks of the staff as they were gorping at our soaked backs. Lot's of nice comfy sofas and some all together strange tables met us as we took the last steps onto the top floor. We both jumped into the same sofa and it enveloped us. I love places like this, that care as much about how comfy you are as well as how good the food is. 
The menu was kinda sparse. Only a few dishes on it, and all consisted of noodles, plus a pasta dish. We forgot to ask about Today's Special, which was a shame as it turned out to be Tuna Head Soup. Fish Head's would have to wait until Little India in Singapore. 
I ordered a Dry Noodle Curry, and Lina opted for a Apple Cider Noodle Soup. Interesting. The headlines downstairs were that they did not use oil to cook with. Dry frying they called it. I guessed everything was either steamed or boiled. 
As we relaxed soaking up the place, drinking my Green Tea, we really could have been anywhere. Chiswick did really come to mind, as it has been on our minds of late. Maybe we were meant to move back there, but we were opting for North London instead. 
Our food arrived and a delight to the senses it was. So colourful and visual. My noodles were topped off with shredded carrot and red cabbage, and a few ground nuts for extra texture. Not so sure about the two green leafs sticking out of the side of the dish, but they added colour. Lina's was just as colourful with red cabbage, some sweet corn, green leafs and those pounded nuts again. 
My dry noodle curry was exactly that, and it was great. The spices were nicely blended to give you a taste of the Sub-Continent but not to over whelm you. Lina's soup was good but odd. Not an everyday occurrence to encounter cider as a soup base. It worked though. Although it could have used more salt. The inclusion of a small yolky egg was a welcome delight and something we haven't seen since Japan. It had been missed. 
All in all AHA was a great place for a light lunch, as Malay food had been weighing us down a bit of late. It had stopped raining, so we decided to vacate the premises and head off to a museum for some culture.
By this time I had forgotten to ask them if Alan was in today. I would have hoped the answer was no. 
Ahhaaaaaa .... 

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