EAT LIKE A LOCAL
You’ve endured that long flight to this part of the world not to gobble up something you can easily find across the street in your hometown. Wild borneo calls for wild gastronomic journeys, take your taste-buds on a thrilling tour of exotic tastes while you’re in Sabah... here’s our two cents on the list of treats and eats!
A visit to Sabah is not complete without trying the ‘Tuaran Mee’. The noodles used is homemade with the batter of egg yolk and flour, and it is usually served with BBQ Pork, egg rolls and fried with egg.
The egg aroma and springiness of this famous hawker dish is scattered all over the eateries of Kota Kinabalu, as it is an absolute local and universal favorite. Tuaran Mee can be enjoyed with many assorted toppings like seafood, pork, chicken or simply vegetarian. Tamparuli Noodles however boast the same texture and cooking method, also popular dish among locals.
The notorious ‘Roti Kahwin’ plays an important role in the Coffee Shop culture Sabah is known for. Afternoon hi-tea chatter is usually accompanied by this sweet treat. Kaya (coconut jam) is spread on two pieces of soft white-bread and coupled with a few knobs of butter which melts as soon as it enters your mouth.
The locals usually have this all-time favorite with The Tarik, which is hot tea made from Black Tea leaves, evaporated milk and condensed milk.
Sinalau Bakas, also known as “Smoked Wild Boar” reigns from the charming small-town of Tamparuli and is famous among the Kadazan Dusun locals. With unrivaled flavors unlike any other kind of meat, the Sinalau Bakas is a delicacy best had with the local rice wine known as “Lihing” or “Montoku”.
This fish dish is sure to sizzle those taste-buds. Wrapped in banana leaf and grilled to perfection while allowing the great smokey flavor to seep into the fish. When it comes to the Ikan Panggang street-food spice bomb, it all boils down to the sambal belacan (spicy shrimp paste). Have it mild or tongue-numbingly spicy like the locals do, it’s an explosion of flavor to remember.
The Chicken Wings in Sabah is nothing like the one’s you’ve tasted before. Barbecued, grazed with honey and basking in an inferno of smoky goodness, it commands its succulent presence on your list of things to eat while you’re in Sabah.
The legendary Nasi lemak is a fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk and “pandan leaf”. This local favorite can be commonly found in Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Southern Thailand.
It is served with spicy sambal, anchovies, fried peanuts, sliced cucumber and hard boiled eggs. However, there are a variety of sides that come along with it, like curry chicken, fried chicken and salted fish. Delicious, simple and authentic, the Nasi Lemak is everyone’s choice for a perfect quick breakfast in Kota Kinabalu.
DEEP FRIED SOFT-SHELL CRAB
One of Sabah’s specialties, the deep fried soft-shell crab. Relatively cheap in Kota Kinabalu, it can be enjoyed in almost all of the Seafood joints scattered in Kota Kinabalu.
After a coating of flour and cornstarch batter, the crab is then deep-fried till crispy and then stir-fried with a dash of salt, pepper, and some garlic. How do you resist such a mouth-watering meal?!
The ‘tarap’ takes the crown as one of Borneo’s unique fruits. Easily recognized by its blunt spikes and distinct smell, rip through the peels with bare hands to savor its fleshy sweetness. Dipped in flour batter and deep-fried, the ‘Kuih Tarap” is a local favorite during snack-time.
DALIT AND SUKANG
Also known as the Red and Orange durian, it has a distinct taste with a smell that is less fervent compared to the common Durian. This sessional exotic fruit is wild-grown in the jungle but due to demand, they are now grown and cultivated in orchards.