Sabah food finds — eats 019

after a quick glance through the photos i've taken during this trip, i thought a compilation post of our meals in Sabah would be a good idea, so here it is. we had quite a hard time finding food that suited our taste buds until the last few days but it has been such an interesting journey as foodies. this might also help if you ever find yourself in the Land Below the Wind!

^ these freshly baked buns looked really good but we didn't try them, there's a pretty long line for us to get in and we saw it right after lunch! Location: Keng Wan Hing | 80, Jalan Gaya, Pusat Bandar Kota Kinabalu, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

^ Claypot Chicken Rice and Beef Noodles in Yee Fung Kopitiam were our first meals in Kota Kinabalu. I love the hint of salted fish in my claypot rice, and also the huge shiitake mushrooms i found as i dig in. Beef Noodles weren't outstanding as per K, i agreed as we've had better ones in KL. we missed out on their famous laksa, maybe next time.  Location: Kedai Kopi Yee Fung | 127, Jalan Gaya, Pusat Bandar Kota Kinabalu, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

^ a pretty weird-tasting takoyaki in Suria Sabah food court, i only managed to eat one.. takoyakis are my favorite, but these weren't it! i think these were made with a different local Sabahan ingredient and i'm used to the traditional takoyaki taste. honestly, we were in the food court for the stunning view of the waterfront\sea. the view didn't disappoint. Location: Food Court, Suria Sabah | 1, Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens, Kota Kinabalu, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

^ these yummy fried chicken wings at The Loft, Waterfront KK. we ordered two plates of it, each costed about rm10+. the wings aren't oily & perfectly seasoned. this place became our spot for 2 nights, i also love their house wine (red, bin 239). it has a really cooling aftertaste. perfect for sunset watching. we also ordered some satay from a little stall nearby & it's the best satay i've had, no joke. took some photos but my hands were busy with skewers & covered in peanut sauce before i knew it, couldn't adjust the camera settings much so i gave up... Location: The Loft | Lot No 12, Waterfront Anjung Samudera, Jalan Tun Fuad Stephen, Kota Kinabalu, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

^ we had a quick breakfast at this place & K had the worst shumai (being really honest here)the place were flooded with people because it's a 'fast food, self-service' style restaurant where you could grab any food you want from the shelves and pay at the end of the line. an interesting concept, i must say. the coconuts were tempting. the restaurant is open so early in the morning so that was a plus for a quick grab-and-go. really pricey for a so-so dimsum, rm5 each. Location: Fook Yuen | 53, Jalan Gaya, Pusat Bandar Kota Kinabalu, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

^ we had a nice lunch at a local Chinese shop - Weng Hap in Ranau. these are their version of roasted pork and rice set. i'm a fan. the menu on the wall is in local dialect so it's best to just point to what you want, which is what i did. i wish we could've went for another meal but it was too far from where we were staying. Location: Weng Hap Restaurant | Block D, Jalan Pekan, 89302 Ranau, Sabah

^ breakfast at the The Pines Restaurant. best coffee ever. i was enjoying two cups of it, if only we didn't have to leave. i had noodles soup and it was made with fresh ingredients, the fish balls were great and the soup tasted clean, nothing fancy but perfect as it is. K had nasi lemak. Location: The Pines Restaurant | Kinabalu Pine Resort, Kampung Kundasang (Along Kundasang-Ranau Highway), Kundasang, 89308 Sabah

^ if you ever find yourself at the Desa Cattle Dairy farm, grab some of their fresh milk, yogurt and gelato before you hit the road. these were so good! Location: Desa Cattle Dairy Farm | Mesilau, Kundasang, 89308 Sabah

^ 89 Station is where i found food that tasted a little like home. we ordered 'payau' (deer meat) cooked with black pepper and spring onions, though they added a little too much shaoxing wine for K's liking. i agreed, but it did tasted okay so we managed to finish it! we also had some wild boar curry, which was also good, but could be better. the last dish - bitter gourd, deep fried with salted egg. it was perfect. i couldn't stop eating. Location: 89 Station Restaurant | AH 150 Highway (1 km from Kinabalu Park Entrance), Kundasang, 89308 Sabah

^ i feel silly for going to an Italian-style restaurant in Sabah, and truly did regret my decision afterwards. this place was filled to the brim with diners, with a great view of the Waterfront, so i was curious. curiosity  pretty much killed the cat, in this case. we spent more than we should for a tiny amount of seafood - we ordered paella (Italian??) and grilled seabass. the service was excellent though. for a pint of beer or two, this would be one of the good spot to watch KK's magnificent sunset. Location: Toscani's | Waterfront, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

^ Seng Hing was our favorite place for breakfast, we went twice. their Tuaran Mee (noodles stir-fried with Sabah's famous fish paste and roasted pork) was perfect, but also a hit-and-miss because K ordered one after he tasted mine but his was burnt so it wasn't as good! still, i ordered the same the next round, with seafood, still so good! look at the amount of seafood. K had the soup version and he loved it. Tuaran Mee costs about RM8 each.  Location: Seng Hing Coffee Shop | Lot 10, Lorong Sinsuran 2b, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

^ Welcome Seafood is great. we picked our choice of seafood - fresh and still alive in aquariums - and the dishes were out in about 10 minutes. everything came with a pretty reasonable price tag, with lots of menu choices. the 'Sabah vegetable' weren't available on the day of our visit so i was a little disappointed - maybe next time! Location: Welcome Seafood Restaurant | GF, G-15 - G-18 , Asia City , Jalan Coastal, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

^ the Sang Nyuk Mian (or pork noodles) at Kim Hing Lee is one of our favorite dish during this trip. the pork are sliced so thinly and the soup tasted so good. we had the dry version - the noodles are mixed with dark soy sauce and served separately. perfect lunch! we ordered another bowl just to make sure we don't crave for another throughout the day. Location: Kedai Kopi Kim Hing Lee | Block F, Lot 7, Sinsuran Complex, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah (just a few minutes walk from Seng Hing Kopitiam)

^ a pretty good bowl tomyam noodles at the Jesselton Kopitiam. fresh, succulent prawns, delicious fish fillets and squid. Location: Jesselton Kopitiam | 1st Floor, Kota Kinabalu International Airport T1 (Terminal 2), 88740 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah


none of these places are luxurious in any way, but while traveling, we love eating like the locals and try our best to avoid tourist-filled spots. bear in mind that we've only went to these restaurants once, or twice - so it isn't fair to  include any of it in your 'blacklisted restaurant' list just yet (i do that often when reading reviews!). i do think we might've had a totally different experience if we ordered anything differently.

p.s Sabah is surrounded by the South China Sea and so it's blessed with so much of good, fresh, delicious seafood. Go for those.