Local Sabah food is as surprising as the people living here. Tastes are intense, ingredients are fresh and flavors mix in incredible combinations.
With no less than thirty ethnic groups sharing the region, each one with their specific ingredients, spices and particular ways of cooking food, it is no wonder that Sabah cuisine offers such a vast array of foods and food mixing.
The landmark of Sabah food is, without any doubt, the capital city, Kota Kinabalu. Here, everyone can find something on their taste, be it a conservative person or a gourmand individual ready to try anything when it comes to food.
Most of the restaurants here are specialized in local seafood, but there are also plenty of Chinese restaurants ready to fulfill all your culinary desires. Due to the large number of Chinese people living on Borneo Island, Chinese food is almost as spread in the region as the traditional local Sabah favourites! Other restaurants serve Malaysian dishes, Indian meals, Indonesian food as well as Western dishes (mostly Italian).
As in most Asian countries, the street food is present in all parts of Sabah. In most cases, this type of food is tastier than the ones served in restaurants.
Just wander the streets of Kota Kinabalu or any other city in Sabah and you will be able to sample the local dishes and local Sabah snacks directly from the local producers.
This way not only will you have a great culinary experience, but you will also save some money on food, as street food is usually cheaper than the sophisticated dishes you can serve in classic restaurants. Yet, for a complete experience, make sure that you also have a fine dinner in one of the local restaurants.
There are many things to taste while in Sabah, but there are some dishes which you must sample in order to fully experience the Borneo food taste.
1. Sea food should be your top priority.
2. Local Sabah Dishes containing noodles (in different shapes and combinations) and a variety of other choices
3. Local Sabah Snacks
4. If you are looking for something exotic. Chicken specialties (like chicken soupwith noodles or rice with chicken), pork dishes and wild animal specialties are likely to enchant your senses and make you crave for more.
5. Fine dining or other international delights
A great way to enjoy the best dishes is to eat local dishes whenever you have the chance. Also, try to avoid large restaurants and look for those small places where local people eat.
There are cozy places where at noon you will have to stay in line to find a free table. They may not be so attractive at a first glace, but you can be sure that there you will find a diversified menu and tasty food made with fresh ingredients. Furthermore, if local people eat there, then there are few to no chances of getting ripped off for your meal.
Sabah food is incredible, so make sure you sample it during your visit in the region. It is said that you can stay here half an year and eat two new dishes every day, without repeating the meals. This is what we call food diversity, so get ready for a tasty experience!