Time Out Malaysia Eating and Drinking Guide - - EAST MALAYSIA -

The Amer­i­cas


The Retro Club

Unit No.P1/G/41/ Gr & 1, Ground & First Level, Block G, Sig­na­ture Of­fice, KK Times Square, Off Coastal High­way, Kota Kin­a­balu (08 825 4251).

One of sev­eral “resto­bars” – restau­rants cum bars – in the KK Times Square nightlife cen­tre, Retro Club is the only restau­rant in the city serv­ing up South­ern com­fort food with a nod to New Or­leans. Pop­u­lar choices are the shrimp gumbo, spicy buf­falo wings, big bad bar­be­cue beef ribs, tuna steak and old school half roasted chicken. The party area is above the restau­rant fea­tur­ing a live band ev­ery night, play­ing – you guessed it – retro mu­sic but hold off if you don’t like cramped, dark spa­ces. Pork-free. Kids’ menu. Credit cards ac­cepted. $$$

Up­per­star Grill & Bar Block C, Lot 8, Ground & First Floor, Segama Com­plex, Kota Kin­a­balu (Op­po­site Hy­att Re­gency Kin­a­balu)

The Up­per­star chain of restau­rants has strate­gic lo­ca­tions, gen­er­ous seat­ing, free in­ter­net in fam­ily-style booths, af­ford­able tried and true lo­cal and western menu and most of all, cheap beer. The first Up­per­star to open, this branch caters for the big party crowds that in­vade higher-priced Shenani­gan’s just a few me­tres away. Be­sides the stan­dard western fare of grilled salmon, fried chicken and chips, Up­per­star has its own Up­per­crust Pizza. Don’t ex­pect gourmet food at these prices al­though the Malaysian De­light is a par­tic­u­larly af­ford­able and fill­ing meal of rice with clas­sic condi­ments and chicken curry. Also, check out the kitschy mem­o­ra­bilia dec­o­rat­ing its walls. Pork-free. Child friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. Dis­abled friendly. Free park­ing at night. $$

Cafés Brass Mon­key Café & Bar Lot 1-0, Lorong Lin­tas Plaza 4, Lin­tas Plaza (08 826 1543).

Take a short lit­tle trip out of the city and you will find your­self in quaint lit­tle sub­urbs where food rules. Set in an open-air en­vi­ron­ment, Brass Mon­key is a long es­tab­lished restau­rant with a large se­lec­tion of wines, and western menu of im­ported Aus­tralian steaks, lo­cal prawns and fish. This restau­rant lo­cated in the bustling Lin­tas area is usu­ally packed with lo­cal fam­i­lies on a Sun­day night. The owner keeps the place at the top of its form with his culi­nary ex­pe­ri­ence and friendly PR. Pork-free. Child friendly. Kids’ menu. Credit cards ac­cepted. Free park­ing at night. $$

Kopi Ping Café Lot D-01-16 & 17, 1st Floor, Block D, Warisan Square (08 844 7956).

Kopi Ping Café’s pop­u­lar­ity is due to its cof­fee and a good take on the clas­sic com­fort foods of Malaysia – nasi lemak, curry laksa, fried noo­dles, beef noo­dles, fish head noo­dles and chicken rice to name a few. How­ever, their fish sauce ver­mi­celli and but­ter­milk chicken with rice is their most pop­u­lar dishes. Cof­fee here is also de­cent – have yours hot or cold with a lit­tle snack of roti kah­win. The en­vi­ron­ment is all wood and sim­ple tastes, but com­fort­able. There’s wifi and ser­vice is fast.

Pork-free. Child friendly. $

Cheap Eats Hawker Kedai Kopi Seng Hing Block E Lot 10, Sin­suran Com­plex, Kota Kin­a­balu (08 821 1594).

A must-try when in Sabah is the de­li­cious Tuaran mee. Orig­i­nat­ing from the district of Tuaran some 50km away from the city, this is one of the best places to get this spe­cial dish of dried fried egg noo­dles with slices of pork and egg rolls. The cor­ner shop is only five minute walk from Gaya Street’s Sun­day Mar­ket and close to the Le Méri­dien Ho­tel and Cen­tre Point Sabah shop­ping cen­tre. Also pop­u­lar is the tom yum noo­dles with prawns, which is creamier than the Thai tom yum and closer to a curry. They only do break­fast and lunch ser­vice so do come early.

Child friendly. $

NEW Kedai Kopi Kim Hing Lee Blk F, Lot 7, Sin­suran Com­plex, 88000 Kota Kin­a­balu, Sabah.

This lit­tle half shop lot has been serv­ing up hun­dreds of bowls of pork noo­dles lo­cally known as Sang Nyuk Mee since 1982. Ev­ery lo­cal has his or her favourite but Kim Hing Lee has been hailed as the orig­i­nal. An iconic Saba­han favourite, what makes this a favourite is the soup of thinly-sliced pork and of­fal with noo­dles served dry or in soup. You can choose to have just meat and pork balls or of­fal like liver, heart and in­testines but we def­i­nitely rec­om­mend the dry ver­sion of the noo­dles. Its pop­u­lar­ity means its noo­dles start run­ning out by 1.30pm so make sure you come early dur­ing break­fast or by 12.30pm. So pop­u­lar are these noo­dles that the own­ers have opened up sev­eral branches that go by 'Sin­suran Sang Nyuk Mee'.


Kim Fung Mar­ket Ban­dar Kim Fung, Mile 4, Jalan Labuk, San­dakan

This place is a hawker food par­adise any­time of the day. Noo­dles, dumplings, yau char kuay, grilled chicken wings, apam ba­lik, tau foo fah and fried radish cake are the favourites here. Do not miss out on the roasted pork ei­ther.

Child friendly. Free park­ing. $

NEW Lido Food Court Lido Com­mer­cial Cen­tre, Jalan Pe­nam­pang.

This food court in the sub­urbs of Kota Kin­a­balu is ar­guably the most pop­u­lar, at least among the Chi­nese com­mu­nity.

And no won­der! The sheer va­ri­ety of food on of­fer means some­thing for al­most any ev­ery crav­ing. Penang fried kuay teaw, oys­ter omelette, peanut pan­cakes, pork noo­dles, grilled seafood, grilled chicken wings, pan mee, dumplings and Sarawak laksa are all avail­able here at cheap prices from RM1.80 on­wards.

Child friendly. Free park­ing at night, $

NEW Suria Sabah Food Court Third floor, Suria Sabah Shop­ping Cen­tre, 1, Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens, Kota Kin­a­balu.

Pop­u­lar dur­ing the day time, this food court has a va­ri­ety of Malaysian food, freshly baked breads and buns and snacks. The nasi lemak stall serves some of the best nasi lemak in town with ac­com­pa­ny­ing chicken ren­dang for RM6.50 while the only non-ha­lal stall, Five-Star Hainanese Chicken Rice of­fers good bar­be­cues and roasted pork. Also rec­om­mended is Don Don au­then­tic Ja­panese cui­sine which serves freshly made udon and rice meals with choices of curry or sim­mered beef start­ing at RM8. Al­though good and cheap food here is plen­ti­ful, the view is the at­trac­tion to-die-for. Sit by the bal­cony and get a panoramic view of the South China Sea.

Child friendly. Kids’ menu. $

Ko­pi­tiam Wiya Chicken Rice and Cof­fee Shop Block F, Lot 4, Segama Com­plex (08 821 4378).

Pay a visit to one of the old­est and most es­tab­lished KK restau­rants and try their fa­mous pyra­mid-shaped Hainanese chicken rice. Lo­cated in the city cen­tre, this eas­ily-ac­ces­si­ble in­sti­tu­tion has 2 floors de­voted to the in­creas­ing de­mands of cus­tomers. Sit on the ground floor and watch the world go by or sit in the com­forts of air con­di­tion­ing up­stairs for an ex­tra RM0.50 per per­son.

Child friendly. $

UFO tarts @ Syn Ming Hing Café and Bak­ery Block 14, Le­buh 2, San­dakan.

Known as ngau si tat, lit­er­ally trans­lated as cow dung tarts, these lit­tle desserts of de­li­cious­ness where in­vented right here in San­dakan and are to­tally unique. A thin flat vanilla sponge but with an egg yolk cus­tard and egg white meringue, it is too eas­ily de­voured. There are sev­eral bak­eries that do it but Syn Min Hing is one of the old­est places. An old school cof­fee shop, they also do other freshly baked buns and cakes daily.

Pork-free. $

NEW Yee Fung Ko­pi­tiam 127, Jalan Gaya, Kota Kin­a­balu city cen­tre (08 831 2042).

The most pop­u­lar and ac­ces­si­ble spot for Kuch­ing laksa in town, this place, smack along Gaya street serves bowls and bowls of creamy, co­conut milk laden laksa, topped with prawns, shred­ded chicken, omelette, sprouts and co­rian­der. It’s not su­per spicy, in­stead it’s served with a side of spicy sam­bal for added kick. The clay­pot chicken rice and beef ball noo­dle soup or ngiu chap is also rec­om­mended. Be pre­pared to share ta­bles with a crowd of lo­cals and tourists if you come on Sun­days for brunch when the Gaya street crowd is at its busiest.

Pork-free. $

Ma­mak NEW Kedai Makan Is­lamic Restoran Base­ment Level Food Court, Cen­tre Point Sabah, Kota Kin­a­balu.

Low pro­file in na­ture, but speak­ing vol­umes in taste, this non­de­script shop serves nasi cam­pur and other ma­mak-style food. We rec­om­mend the Roti Co­bra. Don’t worry there is no ex­otic meat here. Roti co­bra is ba­si­cally a typ­i­cal roti canai glo­ri­fied with a sunny side up egg (soft cen­ter yolks), veg­eta­bles with lots of meat and gravy. A good bud­get op­tion for lunch. The biryani is good if you’re hun­gry as the heap­ing pile of flavoured rice and chicken curry will hit that spot.

Ha­lal. Child friendly. $

Chi­nese NEW Em­peror’s De­light 6, Jalan Pan­tai, op­po­site Esso petrol sta­tion, Kota Kin­a­balu (08 828 8686).

One of few places in KK that does la mian and Shang­hai-style xiao long bao. You can watch the chefs work the long strands of noo­dles which will be served to you ei­ther with braised meats, in hot soup or our favourite, minced meat. The dumplings, onion pan­cake and red braised pork belly are also good, and we love the red chilli oil. The mod­ern dé­cor and menu with pic­tures makes it an easy and has­sle­free din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

Credit cards ac­cepted. Free park­ing at night. $$$

NEW Five Star Hainanese Chicken Rice Fourth floor, Palm Square, Cen­tre Point Sabah.

This sib­ling-owned string of restau­rants serves what the name sug­gests. Sim­ple Chi­nese ev­ery­day com­fort dishes like steamed or roasted chicken rice, roasted pork, kon lou noo­dles and their clay­pot noo­dles are all de­li­cious and go for RM6.50 to RM9 per dish. Prices are slightly higher than your av­er­age cof­fee shop, but the ef­fi­cient ser­vice, va­ri­ety of dishes and rel­a­tive clean­li­ness is worth it and lo­cals agree as ev­i­dent from the lunch crowd.

Child friendly. $

Fatt Kee Restau­rant @ Ang’s Ho­tel 28 Lorong Bakau, Jalan Pan­tai, Kota Kin­a­balu.

An­other lo­cal in­sti­tu­tion, this cor­ner shop in the cen­tre of the city is pop­u­lar for its oys­ter sauce chicken wings. Dur­ing the day, they run a brisk lunch busi­ness, where you can choose up to four dishes from a se­lec­tion of ready cooked dishes and pay a flat RM6 per per­son – a good deal in this city. But don’t bother go­ing af­ter 1pm as they run out quick. At night, the restau­rant does à la carte. The as­sam fish curry and pigs trot­ters are also firm favourites. Go early or be ready to wait and hus­tle for a ta­ble.

Child friendly, $

Good Taste Bak Kut Teh Leila Road, Ban­dar Nam Tung, San­dakan (08 961 5899).

Bak Kut Teh here is a lit­tle dif­fer­ent. For those who can­not have pork, seafood is this place’s spe­cialty and they do it well. The herbal soup here is much more pep­pery, but the huge suc­cu­lent peeled prawns, fresh fish slices, fish balls and

whole steamed fish can be had any­time of the day.

Free park­ing. $

NEW Kuo Man Homemade Noo­dles and Fish Paste 5 Jalan Tuaran, Batu 1 1/2, 88450, Kota Kin­a­balu (08 822 1189); Lot BG 06, Ground Floor, Warisan Square Kota Kin­a­balu City Cen­tre.

Kuo Man is fa­mous as a homemade noo­dle house where KK fam­i­lies have been reg­u­larly pa­tro­n­is­ing for some 40 years. You might need a taxi or some lo­cal knowl­edge to get to their orig­i­nal restau­rant but Kuo Man re­cently opened a new branch in Warisan Square which makes it eas­ier for tourists to try these unique noo­dles out. You have a choice of fish paste balls, fish slices or beef slices among others and ei­ther wet or dry style.

Child friendly. $

Yu Kee’s Bak Kut Teh 74, Ground floor, Jalan Gaya, op­po­site Jes­sel­ton Ho­tel, Kota Kin­a­balu (08 822 1192).

The name bak kut teh trans­lates as ‘pork bone tea’ be­cause of its strong herbal soup flavoured by pork bone mar­row. This uber-fa­mous Chi­nese del­i­cacy is a for­mi­da­ble and fill­ing din­ner for those with a healthy car­niv­o­rous ap­petite. Yu Kee restau­rant has throngs of lo­cals and tourists com­ing in for their lit­tle bowls of porky good­ness. Or­der your favourite pig parts – pork balls, ribs and meat are the most pop­u­lar but if you have the stom­ach for it, the in­testines and liver are de­li­ciously unique in taste and tex­ture. Busi­ness starts as early as 5.30pm nightly till about mid­night but peak din­ner pe­ri­ods means you’ll have to wres­tle for a ta­ble.

Free park­ing at night, $

UFO Tarts at UFO Cafe

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.