[Sarawak Kolo Mee/ Sarawak Laksa] Sajo Cafe @ Air Itam, Penang.
Sarawakians can now ease their cravings for their hometown favorites at Sajo Cafe on the bustling Jalan Air Hitam, where the wet market is located (two doors away from the Police Station). The place is known to serve authentic Sarawak delicacies. Notable highlights are Sarawak Kolo Mee, Foo Chow Red Wine Mee Sua, Sarawak Laksa, tri-color Milk Tea etc. The air-conditioned restaurant has quite an extensive menu, covering most iconic dishes uniquely to Sarawak; the menu has choices more than sufficient to please everyone in any age group. The very hospitable lady owner explained the menu to us and shared with us some of her favorites and the authenticity of their dishes. Sajo Cafe is a place worth dropping by for a quick meal if you are in the vicinity.
We tested the depth of water by trying their Sarawak Kolo Mee (Rm 4.80/ Original). No, we did not try the one with Char Siew Oil. The original one filled with the aroma of Pork Lard and fairly seasoned with flavors; completed with minced Pork, home-made Char Siew (Roasted Pork) and Deep Fried Shallot Oil. The springy and bouncy noodles were given an even toss, not even a single trace of light Soy Sauce can be seen. We understand that the authentic Sarawak Kolo Mee should be dry but we thought it was a little too dry to our liking. The lady boss insisted we had our Kolo Mee with their home-made Vinegared Chilies, which said to introduce a nice and appetizing acidic tilt to the noodle dish.
An acquired taste, Ang Chow Mee Sua (Rm 8.80) is not a dish that can be easily accepted by all. The boozy yet invigorating Foo Chow Red Wine broth was simmered for many hours, to fully accentuate the flavors of the Chicken. The broth was slightly greasing and leaning towards the sweeter side, but it was robust with flavors. As much as I would love to have more, my untrained taste buds forced me to think otherwise. As expected, the Mee Sua was cooked to a slouchy texture. No, not that it was wrong but I prefer my noodles al-dente; I would not order Mee Sua on a regular basis. My mother, on the other hand, seemed to enjoy this a lot.
Sarawak Laksa with Vermicelli Noodles (Rm 6.80) stood out amongst the dishes we ordered. It was creamy, rich and packed with a peppery heat. The addition of the Chili Paste and Lime Juice introduced another layered dimension to the dish. The broth has traces of seafood, easily discerned from the seafood sweetness. I would not mind to come back for this again.
Taste: 7/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service: 7.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Price: 7/10 (1-3 expensive, 4-7 average, 8-10 cheap)
Ambiance: 7.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Parking: 6/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service Charge: No
Address: Jalan Air Hitam, 11500, Air Hitam, Penang.
Business Hours: 11 am to 9: 30 pm. Closed on Sundays.
Contact Number: N/A