While Sabah is well known for her spectacular sights and wonders of nature, there is also something else that makes Sabah a destination to-die-for: glorious food!

The city capital of Sabah, Kota Kinabalu is teeming with places to eat as well as large varieties of cuisines to sample – ranging from local favourites to international delights. Enjoy as we take you for a spin along the gastronomically enticing KK food trail.


Sang Nyuk Mien (pork noodle soup) (non-halal)

Ask the average Sabahan abroad of what makes them dream of home the most and chances are, you will hear these three words. Essentially a dish of stewed pork meat (with the option of including organ meat) served with noodles, sang nyuk mien is the ultimate Sabahan comfort food – topped with sinfully luscious lard-ladden broth and zhu you zha (pork cracklings which is made into a paste). It is even better when teamed up with sprinklings of homemade chili!

Where to indulge?

Kedai Kopi Jia Siang, Lintas Plaza (tel: 016-8303435) and Kedai Kopi Melanian, Gaya Street (tel: 012-8382888).

Ngiu Chap (beef noodle soup)

The iconic ngiu chap is Sabah’s answer to the universal beef stew dish. A dish almost identical to the Vietnamese pho, the ngiu chap consists of sliced beef and meatballs, with the option of adding organ meat such as tripe, tendon and liver. It is normally served with noodles, although you can also have it with rice if you like.

Where to indulge?

Kedai Kopi Lee Sheng, Hilltop (tel: 019-8100698) and Kedai Kopi Loi Hin, Donggongon (tel: 088-712136). Both establishments serve no pork.

Beaufort mee (non-halal)

Sabah offers a lot of micro-diversity even when it comes to food, all thanks to its melting pot of ethnic groups and cultural background. One of the lovely byproduct of diversity is the Beaufort mee, a dish invented by the Hakka community in the Interior Division of Sabah. In appearance, the Beaufort mee looks somewhat similar to the wattan hor (wet fried noodle), except that its thick gravy doesn’t contain egg white and it is usually topped with a generous amount of veggie. The Beaufort mee is usually served with slices of pork meat or char siew (barbecued pork).

Where to indulge?

Kedai Kopi New Man T ai, Jalan Bundusan (tel: 088-717930) and Kedai Kopi Yu Hing, City Mall (tel: 088-484747).

Sabah-style Tom yum noodle

If you’re used to having the traditional Thai-style tom yum noodle, trying the Sabah-style tom yum noodle will surprise you! Unlike the traditional tom yum, Sabahan tom yum generally has thicker broth, which is added with either evaporated milk or santan (coconut milk). The result is a richer and more filling broth that is simply delicious! Sabahan tom yum is mainly served with seafood such as fish slices and fresh prawn. It is a wonderful bowl of spicy, tangy and creaminess all rolled into one.

Where to indulge?

Kedai Kopi Seng Hing, Sinsuran (tel: 088-211594) and Kedai Kopi Janggut, Hilltop (tel: 016-8413849)

Coffee, tea and pastries

For teatime fancies and delectable cakes and scones over a cuppa, KK offers some of the coziest venues for a daytime soiree. Swing by popular hang out spots like Lady BonBon Patisserie, Lintas Plaza (tel: 013-8861368) and Café De Vie, Metro Town Kolombong (tel: 088-393863). Both establishments serve no pork.

Late night makan spots

Having trouble sleeping off the late night munchies? Have no fear because KK just also happens to be the city that never stops eating. You can get your supper fix at the Lido night market Food Court (open until 4am) that offers the famous luk luk (mobile steamboat) favourites, or you can explore the Sinsuran Pasar Malam (night market), which is open till midnight for a variety of fresh grilled seafood and other hawker-style gastronomic delights.

For an exclusive and customised food tour around KK City, sign up for our KK City & Food Tour!


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