Sabah is known for being close to nature. This state in Malaysia has many of the must-see national parks, forest reserve, and pristine waters. Visiting its capital city, Kota Kinabalu, will bring you close to the best attractions in the entire state. Because of the diversions and natural resources, it comes as no surprise that you will find a lot of healthy and excellent food in Kota Kinabalu. The food in the capital city is truly Southeast Asian. If you are planning to visit Sabah or Kota Kinabalu in particular, here are some of the local dishes you should not dare miss:
- Sang Nyuk Mian
The first on the list is nothing but the signature food of the city. Also called as the Sabah Pork noodle, this meal is eaten by serving the thinly sliced pork on top of the noodle. Although it literally means raw pork noodle, they will not serve you raw meat. It just means that the meat is freshly served to you. You can even find Chinese coffee shops that let you taste Sang Nyuk Mian the Chinese style. They will serve you a bowl of noodles and a separate bowl of pork broth that has pork slices and liver. You can also request for vegetables if you want a healthier meal.
- Chilli crabs
For those who are not huge fans of meat, you can find lots of restaurants offering fresh seafood all over the city. After all, your travel to Sabah will not be complete without tasting their seafood. The good thing about their seafood is that they are decently priced. There is a variety of seafood dishes to try, like the huge buttered prawns and calamari but nothing beats the crab in Sabah. This dish will satisfy even those who are on a tight budget because they are big yet cheap. At night, you can find street stalls selling grilled seafood.
- Ngau Chap
Just like the Sang Nyuk Mian, Ngau Chap (or Ngiu Chap) is a serving of noodles topped with meat. But instead of pork, the Sabahans will serve you beef mixed with organs like tendon, liver, and heart. This hearty meal is usually served in thick broth and can be topped with chunks of radish.
This dish is very popular not just in Malaysia but also in its neighboring Asian countries. Laksa is food resulted from the combination of Malay, Indian, and Chinese cultures. Do not be surprised to see Sabahans eating laksa for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Almost everyone eats this meal. This flavorful dish is a concoction of rice noodles, laksa leaves, coconut, lemongrass, all served in spicy broth. If you prefer something tastier, you can add more curry. You can also add some beef balls and tripe. It is best eaten when topped with herbs like green onions and cilantro.
- Coconut Pudding
Because of its tropical climate, it’s normal to see an abundance of coconut trees all over Kota Kinabalu. It comes as no surprise that coconut is a favorite ingredient not just in the city but in Malaysia itself. So for the best dessert, we will not go far; but instead suggest what is ample in the country: coconuts! This dessert is done by boiling the coconut water from the young coconut and adding some agar powder into it. There are already variations in the preparation of this dessert, but it is mostly served in the open coconut itself.
Tasty is one word that best describes Kota Kinabalu’s cuisine. Sabahans are fond of eating noodles that are great as comfort foods. They also have flavorful meat and seafood that will whet anyone’s appetite. As you may have noticed, Sabahan food is rich in herbs and spices. While they serve meat, they keep it healthy by adding some herbs or vegetables in the dish. When you are in Kota Kinabalu, go ahead and try these dishes!