Laksa Sarawak Paste Set to go Global

Bernama News Agency
20 March 2006

KUCHING, March 20 (Bernama) – Laksa Sarawak, the spicy noodles long adored by food lovers in the country, is now set to be on the shelves of supermarkets or on the tables of restaurants in foreign countries.

Sarawak-based B.S. Spices Enterprise, the country’s only manufacturer of the original “Sarawak Sambal Laksa”, has outlined ambitious plans to export its product under the brand name of “Barrett’s Sarawak Laksa Paste” to more markets overseas after scoring a major success in domestic and foreign markets, particularly in Asean countries.

Barret Tan Boon Tiang, who is the co-owner of B.S. Spices Enterprise with his wife Stefania Tan Guek Kee, said 50 percent of its paste, the main ingredient for making Sarawak Laksa, had been exported to Peninsular Malaysia, particularly Kuala Lumpur, 15 percent to Singapore, 10 percent to Brunei and the rest to some of the European and Asia-Pacific countries.

Tan said the products has the potential to penetrate international markets based on the queries and proposals received from businessmen either from face-to-face meetings or via the company’s website,, which was operational one year ago.

“Right now, our main markets apart from within Sarawak are Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. We are seriously trying to break into international markets,” he told Bernama here Monday.

Tan said due to their growing popularity, his paste products have been exported to England, Taiwan, Australia and Hong Kong but the volume was still small.

“We have received queries from Germany and even as far as Serbia and Montenegro via our own website,” he said, adding that most of the overseas clients were Sarawakians working abroad.

Tan, who owns and operates “Tiang’s cafe” here serving what he claimed the original Sarawak Laksa, said to diversify the client base, he had successfully obtained halal certification from Jabatan Agama Islam Sarawak (JAIS) from Dec 1 last year.

With the certification, plans are underway to market the paste to Arab countries and
a Malaysian businessman had voiced his interest to become the agent to distribute the products, he said.

“The halal certification was issued based on what we have done during manufacturing process at our own factory right through serving,” he added.

Tan said the company had invested a total of RM100,000 to set up the factory in Kuching
in 2004 to produce the paste that catered for two different markets.

“For the Peninsular market, we created a spicy version of laksa paste while for Sarawak we have a less spicy recipe,” he said.

As part of its long-term plans, the company planned to set up factory in Kuala Lumpur
for more cost-effective production, he added.

Refusing to disclose his recipe, Tan said the original paste to make Sarawak Laksa comprised of a mixture of 20 herbs and spices needed to blend well with the noodles.

He said he inherited the art of making laksa paste from his father Tan Yong Him who come up with the Sarawak Laksa recipe in 1957 after several trial-and-error processes.