Naturally rich and beautiful, Sabah, Sarawak, and the tiny island state of Labuan are not, first and foremost, foodie destinations. Nevertheless, a visit to Kota Kinabalu affords the opportunity to try some Sabahan treats like beefy ngiu chap and the regi
The delectable chicken rice served here draws diners to this simple Chinese coffee shop. The tangy sauce that goes with the chicken rice is unique, and very different from the sauce served in most establishments. The recipe is a closely guarded secret and is very moreish. Get here early if you’re planning on having lunch as it gets crowded very quickly.
Child friendly. Disabled friendly.
Mamak Restoran Selera Farizah Lorong Bunga Tanjung.
This restaurant has an array of dishes ranging from roti, curries and nasi campur served with a variety of side dishes. Before leaving have a sip of refreshing limau ais.
Chinese Pulau Labuan Restaurant 27-28 Jalan Muhibbah, Hotel Pulau Labuan (08 741 6288).
Wine and dine at this Chinese restaurant, which offers a large variety of authentic seafood dishes. Situated within Hotel Pulau Labuan, this place boasts affordable prices and some delicious coconut dishes including the coconut pudding, which is the speciality here.
Child friendly. Credit cards accepted. Disabled friendly. Daily, 7am–10pm.
Indian Choice Restaurant U0104, Jalan OKK Awang Besar (08 741 8086).
Open from breakfast to dinner, Choice serves top notch Indian cuisine. Authentic dishes are the specialties around here with the top favourites being roti and fish head curry.
Halal. Child friendly. Disabled friendly. Free parking.
Krishna Fish Head Curry Restaurant 36 Jalan Tun Mustapha, Lazenda Commercial Centre (08 742 6335).
Krishna’s is the perfect place to satisfy any Indian food cravings. Indulge in authentic Indian cuisine and various types of curries; the fish head curry here is a must.
Mehfil U 0259, ground floor, Jati Commercial Centre.
This restaurant offers classic Indian staples such as biryanis, curries, fish masala, chicken tandoori and garlic naan. Try the lamb biryani, it’s especially good and studded with succulent chunks of lamb. Daily, 10.30am–2.30pm, 5.30pm– 10pm.
NEW Cassiopeia Riverside Restaurant Bangunan Restoran Eko Pelancongan, Sg. Kinabenuwa, Jalan Kinabenuwa (019 853 6286/www. facebook.com/pages/CassiopeiaRiverside/321356971304242).
This place marries Malay and Chinese cuisines with some Western dishes in a slightly more upscale environment than can be usually seen on the island. Its attractive riverside setting should make it a popular spot for special occasions.
Halal. Daily, 10am-10pm.
Seri Malindo Restaurant 431 Jalan Dewan Bangunan USIA (08 741 6676).
Traditional Malaysian dishes are very popular here, with over 50 choices on offer for lunch. But they also serve decent, simple Western dishes like fish and chips and chicken chop. Halal. Child friendly. Credit cards accepted. Disabled friendly.
Spinnaker Restaurant 1 Jalan Wawasan, Waterfront Financial Hotel (08 741 8111).
Spinnaker, which is open 24 hours, is the perfect spot for late-nighters and early-risers. They serve a variety of local and international cuisine. Halal. Child friendly. Credit cards accepted. Disabled friendly. Free parking.
Victoria’s Brasserie Jalan Merdeka, Dorsett Grand Labuan Hotel (08 742 2000/www.dorsetthotels. com).
Choose from finest selections of an á la carte or buffet menu of Asian and Western cuisine to whet your appetite. Menus change every night to give diners a pleasant dining experience. 24-hour advance order placement is advisable if you’re planning to dine here. Pork-free. Kids’ menu. Credit cards accepted. Disabled friendly. Free parking (limited spaces). Italian
NEW Fratini’s Jalan Bunga Kesuma, Labuan (08 741 7555/www.facebook. com/pages/Fratinis-RestaurantLabuan/198485400287106). If you’ve got a craving for Italian food, head to Fratini’s. It’s actually one of
a chain of restaurants from Brunei, priding themselves on generous portions of good quality dishes including freshly made pizzas, pastas, soups and meaty mains. Halal. Child friendly. Daily, 10am– 11pm. $$
Seafood Anjung Ketam Jalan Simpang Anjung Ketam, Kampung Tanjung Aru (08 742 4366/019 830 9577).
For crab dinner by the sea, go to Anjung Ketam which is wildly popular with the locals. The crabs served here are famous in their own right and can be cooked in a number of different ways – buttermilk, black pepper and steamed. Book a day – yes, a whole day – in advance to guarantee a table. Halal. Child friendly. Credit cards accepted. Free parking. $
Manja Rasa Jalan Tanjung Purun, near the International Sea Sports Complex (08 742 4937).
Look past the dubious green lighting scheme and step into Manja Rasa where you will get one of the best value-for-money deals in Labuan. For RM20, eat all you can at this floating restaurant’s seafood BBQ buffet. With friendly service plus great views of the night scene you’ll be back for more.
Halal. Child friendly. Free parking.
Mawilla Yacht Club Restaurant Jalan Tanjung Batu (08 742 2125).
Mawilla is a seafood joint that isn’t as famous as Anjung Ketam but it is closer to the centre of town. It’s very atmospheric, and as it’s next to the sea, you can dine on steamed fish and their speciality, Nestum crab, as the sea breeze gently caresses your skin.
Island Tomyam Restaurant
SU3162 Jalan Kolam, Kg. Batu Arang (08 741 5248/www.islandtomyam. blogspot.com).
Tomyam is a famous dish hailing from Thailand. Spoon up this hot and sour soup with your choice of vegetables, meat, chicken or a combination of all three at Island Tomyam Restaurant.
Halal. Child friendly. Disabled friendly. Free parking.