Five stars! For a regional airport, the Plaza Premium Lounge Kuching does a surprisingly good job of making itself stand out. The space is small but welcoming, and the food and drink options will be sure to leave you satisfied. In fact, the lounge is vastly preferable to its only competitor, Malaysia Airway’s Golden Lounge, which leaves a lot to be desired. If you have the luxury of being able to choose between the two, definitely choose this one.
The Plaza Premimum Lounge Kuching is a short stroll from the security checkpoint, and of course located just beyond Sarawak immigration (which you will need to pass through even if you’re flying to Sabah or the Peninsula. You can access it using your Priority Pass card, as well as a number of other cards (you can also just pony up the dough). The lounge is simple, but well done: it focuses entirely on its kitchen, serving up full meals made to order. It’s no frills, but somehow, that’s a winning formula.
Wow. Of course, good meals are a hallmark of Plaza Premium lounges, but that didn’t stop us from being impressed by the quality of food on offer here. They know their food is a winner, too, so much so that they put the menu board right outside to entice you in like a siren calling out to her Odysseus.
Most of the dishes are local, and made with tender love and care. The Laksa Sarawak will cheer up even the most dour, delayed passenger. But really, we can’t stress enough how incredibly decent this fare is. In fact, we were so enticed by it that we forgot to take a picture of our meal the first time, and had to order a second dish just to ensure full documentation (tragedy of tragedies.)
Seriously, this place is set up to look like a full on kitchen at a hip restaurant in Greenwich Village. Here is a chef demonstrating his craft:
If you’re wondering what the full line up looked like when we were passing through, here you go:
The drinks aren’t actually spectacular, but this still goes in the plus column for the very fact that the lounge has beer. Carlesberg, specifically. It’s not Bud Light, but it’ll do in a pinch. Also, heads up, you’ll have to drink it with ice since they don’t seem to keep it chilled. They also have a range of “Heaven and Earth” teas and juices, whatever that is. There’s also this small area where you can help yourself:
The Plaza Premium Lounge Kuching makes a respectable showing when it comes to internet. Fast enough to feel pity for the poor suckers flying business class on Malaysia who have to use the airline’s terrible internet. If you have some downloading to do, the Plaza’s the place to be.
Okay, so this is a little wild, but it still goes in the plus column: this lounge has a terrace, a patio, the opportunity to eat your al dente laksa al fresco. A chance not to be walled off in your golden tower, far from society, but right there in the thick of it, with only a small, symbolic barrier to keep you safe. This seating area truly is strangely compelling, in part because it offers some sunlight, a nice change from the dark interior of the main lounge hall.
Okay, so to be honest, for all our enthusiasm, there is one downside to this lounge: there isn’t much space, and there isn’t much to do. The lounge is one large square with seats ranged tightly throughout it. If one even slightly boisterous group comes in, their cackles will reverberate throughout the entire room (true story).
It’s also a little bit depressing that all the lighting is artificial, and there are no decorations to spice things up – unlike the beautiful artwork to be found at, say, the Saphire Lounge in Jakarta. One saving grace is that the TV volume is muted, so at least you dont have to hear that.
Another downside: the restrooms are located outside – beyond the perimeter. But then, you can walk off that first laksa before you go for the next bowl.