Located on the northern portion of Borneo Island aka East Malaysia, Sabah is an awesome and beautiful place, which packed with loads of beautiful places to visit, and also tonnes of unique and finger licking food.
In this article, I’ll bring you through some of the best local cuisine that you have to try when you visit the land below the wind!
1. Sang Nyuk Mian (pork noodle) @ Jia Xiang Sang Nyuk Mian, Lintas Plaza (家香生肉面)
Sang Nyuk Mian (生肉面) originated from Tawau, Sabah. It’s actually a pork noodle just like what we can get in eat at Klang Valley or some other place,but better! The distinctive difference about this dish is that their pork is thinly sliced and then cooked in tasty pork broth. There are some other protein options too, such as meatball, intestines, liver etc. Sang Nyuk Mian can be enjoyed in soup or kon lau mian (dry stir noodle). Last but not least, not to forget to eat it with their homemade hot chilli paste.
There are several places where we can eat Sang Nyuk Mian in Kota Kinabalu. The most popular place is Jia Xiang Sang Nyuk Mian, Sinsuran Sang Nyuk Mian and Melanian Sang Nyuk Mian, where these three restaurant are all located at Lintas Plaza. (there are several branches opened at other places in Kota Kinabalu).
2. Seafood @ Welcome Seafood Restaurant, Asia City (大茄来海鲜餐厅)
Sabah is famous for its seafood, which is very fresh and finger licking good. There are some restaurants which provide us with nice seafood, but among these seafood restaurants, I will strongly recommend you to visit Welcome Seafood Restaurant. It is located within the city, serving fresh, great tasting seafood, which have reasonably price. You can also pick the fish you want to eat from their aquarium. Most of the seafood there is slaughtered on the spot upon order. #freshnessguaranteed
This restaurant is open during lunch hour and dinner time. When it is weekend or public holiday, this place is packed with tourist, usually from 5pm onward.
3. Fish Noodle @ Fatt Kee, Hilltop (发记鱼杂专卖店)
Sabah is well-known of its fresh, affordable seafood. Hence, the local likes to serve fresh fish slices with noodle. Besides, some restaurant make its own homemade, literally fish noodle (the noodle is made from fish meat), and serve it with fresh fish slices. There are plenty of restaurant serve this noodle, such as Fatt Kee, Wan Wan restaurant, Apiwon etc. I would recommend Fatt Kee, Hilltop, as this restaurant offer a variety of fish for us to pick. There, they offer both soup noodle and dry stired noodle. Moreover, Fatt Kee offer the option to add milk into your soup if you like a creamy taste to your dish.
4. Local coffee / tea and roti kahwin @ Fook Yuen Bakery Cafe, Asia City / Damai / Star City (富源茶餐厅)
Locals here often have their tea time at local coffee shop. Roti kahwin (bread with slice of cold butter and kaya) is one of the favourite tea time snacks in Sabah. To match with the roti kahwin, you can have a cup of coffee or tea. One of the most popular places is the Fook Yuen Bakery Cafe, which served one of the best roti kahwin in town, and also wide range variety of coffee / tea. Besides, they also served noodles and dim sum, too. Fook Yuen Bakery Cafe has branches throughout Kota Kinabalu City, where every branch is always packed with customers.
5. Hot Buns @ Keng Wan Hing, Gaya Street (琼万兴茶室)
Keng Wan Hing is also one of the most popular tea time spots/kopitiam in Kota Kinabalu. It has been serving variety of buns in Gaya Street for years! Fresh buns like coconut fillings, butter milk fillings, black bean fillings (tau sar) etc are baked daily. Besides, this coffee shop also serve sweet soup (tong shui) like barley, red bean, bubur cha cha etc. If you prefer local coffee or tea, this coffee shop serve one of the best coffee in town too!
6. Laksa @ Yee Fung Coffee Shop (怡丰茶室)
You can taste a delicious, different laksa here at Yee Fung Coffee Shop! Thick and creamy curry laksa soup, with noodles of your choice, lastly topped with shrimp and shredded chicken is surely one of the best breakfast you should have while you visit to Sabah. Besides, remember to try a variety of specialty drinks, too!
7. Grilled Fish/Seafood @ Filipino Market
The Filipino market literally is a place where it is full of Philippines. They sell souvenir fresh vegetables, wet market and dry seafood there. During night time, the hawker stall, which operated by Philippines too will sell variety of foods, including these grilled seafood. This market is packed with tourists and locals. You will love this place so much! (but beware of pick pockets.)
8. Local Kadazan-Dusun Food @ D’ Place Kinabalu, Asia City (Plaza Shell)
Saving the best for last, the food you must try here is the local Kadazan-Dusun cuisine! In Sabah, the largest ethnic in Sabah is the Kadazan-Dusun. Being the largest community in Sabah, they also have their own local, homemade foods. I can guaranteed that you surely need to try these unique foods which you can’t find anywhere else.
There are several types of Kadazan-Dusun local food, such as:
Hinava (pickled raw river fish)
Butod (sago worm)
Tuhau ( pickled shoots of the ginger )
Busou (fermented fish)
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