From Mount Kinabalu to the island of Sipadan, Sabah is a treasure trove of tourist attractions, but one of the best things about Sabah is their amazing local cuisine. To help you eat your way around Sabah, we’ve compiled some of the best of what this Land Below the Wind has to offer!
1. Curry Laksa at Kedai Kopi Yee Fung
Located at Gaya Street, Kota Kinabalu, Kedai Kopi Yee Fung has been serving local favourites for 37 years. Its specialty is the Sabah-style curry laksa, which are thin noodles in curry-based soup complemented with prawns and shredded chicken.
* Serve No Pork
2. Kopi Ping Cafe
With three outlets under their belt, Kopi Ping Cafe prides themselves over their Borneo Coffee and their Kopi Ping (Sabahan slang for iced coffee), brewed fresh every morning. Besides gourmet coffee, Kopi Ping Café also offers delicious food such as Mee Tuaran (Sabah’s own stir-fried homemade egg noodles).
3. Sinalau Bakas
Sinalau Bakas is essentially smoked wild boar meat, and can be found in roadside food stalls along the roads of Tamparuli, Kundasang, Tambunan, Kota Belud and Ranau. A traditional delicacy of the Sabah’s largest ethnic group, the Kadazan-Dusun, the huge chunks of wild boar meat is smoked and then cooked over wood fire. Some stalls even sell other traditional food like fermented rice and meat.
4. Kampung Nelayan Restaurant
What’s a trip to Sabah without at least one seafood feast, am I right? Kampung Nelayan is a floating seafood restaurant, which also offers buffet-style dining in addition to the regular dining experience. It is also one of the only restaurants in Kota Kinabalu that has daily cultural performances showcasing Sabah’s cultural diversity.
5. Little Italy
Many restaurants claim to serve authentic Italian food, but this restaurant is actually owned and operated by the Ceresa family from Torino, Italy since 2000. Infamous around locals, Little Italy has an extensive menu of amazing homemade dishes. From squid ink pasta and mushroom ravioli to lasagne and tiramisu, this cozy Italian place is a must-try for anyone seeking delicious comfort food at an affordable price.
Address: Ground Floor, Hotel Capital, Jalan Haji Saman, Pusat Bandar Kota Kinabalu, 88400 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Tel: +60 88 232 231 Website: www.littleitalykk.my
6. Asiarasa Café Citarasa Kampung
If you’re looking for more traditional Sabahan food, look no further. Asiarasa Café changes up their buffet menu daily, while keeping staple delicacies like hinava (traditional raw fish salad, usually mixed with lime juice, chilli, sliced shallots and grated ginger) and latok (a type of seaweed).
7. Kah Hiong Ngiu Chap
Sabah’s famous ngiu chap is basically a mixed beef dish consisting of minced beef balls, beef slices, tripe, tendon and tongue, served with noodles in a delicious beef broth. However, you can customise it with beef parts and noodles of your choice, or even have the dry version!
Address: Kolam Centre 2, 2-0-10, Lorong Taman Nosoob Jaya Phase 2, Kolam Centre, 93450 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Tel: +60 16 818 9699 Facebook: @Kah%20Hiong%20Ngiu%20Chap
8. UFO Tarts
A true Sandakan dessert, UFO Tarts are named so because of its shape. This tart is made up of a thin cake base with sweet custard and meringue top and is actually a happy accident. In 1955, a Hainanese cake baker named Fu Ah On was making tarts the usual way but over baked them in the oven. The burnt tart tasted surprisingly good and 7 decades later can be found in bakeries across Sabah.
9. Borenos Fried Chicken
Have a taste of Sabah’s own fried chicken chain at one of their two outlets. Founded in 2015, Borenos Fried Chicken is dedicated to serving the best fried chicken by only using farm fresh spring chicken delivered to their outlets daily and frying them in small batches.
Address: Lot G23, Kompleks Asia City, Jalan Asia City, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Tel: +60 12 809 2009 Website: www.borenos.com
From amazing islands and the tallest mountain in Malaysia to fresh latok and Borneo coffee, Sabah has something for everyone and is becoming increasingly popular as one of Malaysia’s culinary hotspot. Come experience Sabah’s unique gastronomy trail for yourself!