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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Category / East Malaysia

If you’re someone who’s in Kota Kinabalu having a craving for proper Penang hawker food, I have good news for you. Jin Siang kopitiam at Luyang happens to serve a pretty competent bowl of Penang style prawn mee, with another hidden option!

Jin Siang Prawn Mee at Luyang, Sabah
Jin Siang Prawn Mee at Luyang, Sabah

Jin Siang is located at Luyang Commercial Centre, about 5 kilometers away from KK town center in, well, where else but Luyang? Parking isn’t usually a difficult affair, but I believe you do have to pay for it.

I was actually last there about 3 years back when covid wasn’t in our lexicon, traveling was only restricted by your wallet, and face mask is associated with the likes of batman & spider-man. How I wish we’re transported back to that life again… but I digress.

Penang Prawn Mee and Fried Prawn Mee
Penang Prawn Mee and Fried Prawn Mee

I tried the Penang prawn mee here and thought it was a pretty competent recreation of what they serve in Penang. The soup was fragrant, and all the ingredients checked out. The sambal was perhaps an area that could be improved a bit but overall it should certainly satisfy anyone’s cravings, being over 1,700 km away from the island of origin.

my KK food buddy
my KK food buddy

My dining buddy Yann May opted for something more special instead – fried prawn mee! I am not sure if you can even find this in Penang (or KL). It was as you would expect, prawn mee with all the same ingredients but fried, I thought it was interesting and a good change of pace, though personally may not be something I would order.

Jin Siang also has char kuih teow on their menu, we did not try it. If you’re in Kota Kinabalu thinking of Penang hawker dishes, this is a place to check out.

jin siang prawn mee kk menu

map to Jin Siang prawn mee

Address:
Kedai Kopi Jin Siang
17, Lorong Damai Point,
Luyang Commercial Centre,
88300 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
GPS: 5.962056, 116.091603
Tel: +6016 832 8708

Before we begin, yes, these photos and this meal was taken just before Covid19 time, and not because we were anti-mask or trying to be funny. I’m not sure about you, but I sure miss those time when I frequent Kota Kinabalu and day to day life was much simpler, seemingly a lifetime ago now isn’t it?

Kota Kinabalu Signal Hill Eco Farm
Kota Kinabalu Signal Hill Eco Farm

Anyway, on this trip, my buddy Yann May took us to check out one of the hidden treasures this part of Kota Kinabalu – Signal Hill Eco Farm.

The Eco Farm is located just a few minutes away from the heart of Kota Kinabalu at Signal Hill. However, the ambiance here is as far from the city as you can imagine. It is as much a plantation and farm as it is a restaurant, and that is the charm of this place, pretty much everything you eat is grown just a few tens of meters away from the table.

moringga egg, lady fingers, bitter gourd salted egg, purslane
moringga egg, lady fingers, bitter gourd salted egg, purslane

The menu here consists of mainly vegetable dishes, but also comes with options for free range chicken, duck, and tilapia fish.

For dinner, we ordered moringga omelete (free range chicken egg, RM 10), fried okra (RM 8), bitter gourd salted egg (RM 12), and purslan (telinga tikus, RM 8). Dishes did take a while before the slow-ish kitchen got them prepared, we were able to make good use of those waiting time by having a bit of sight see around the farm.

kale juice
kale juice, May, KY

Well, the vegetables were undoubtedly fresh, but to be perfectly honest, the chef didn’t have much of a magical touch preparing them. There were adequate and comforting, but not something that wowed me. However, the experience at Signal Hill Eco farm was quite a unique one, and a place that definitely worth a visit if you find yourself at Kota Kinabalu and just about got tired of having more seafood.

signal hill eco farm menu (1) signal hill eco farm menu (2) signal hill eco farm menu (3)

signal hill eco farm menu (4) signal hill eco farm menu (5) signal hill eco farm menu (6)

KK eco farm map

Address:
Signal Hill Eco Farm
Jalan Wong Thau Yong,
88400 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
GPS: 5.984623, 116.08289
Tel: +60 16 789 1873

It was a span of almost half a year since my last work trip to Kota Kinabalu, and I believe anyone would know that this was due to the Covid-19 lock down (2020, what a year huh?).

I had only two meals to dine out on this stopover, dinner was at one of my favorite restaurants in KK – Tung Fong Seafood, and for next day’s lunch, I met up with Ben and was introduced to this new-ish fish noodle place by the name of GK Fish Soup.

fresh fish head vs fried fish 'lam'
fresh fish head vs fried fish ‘lam’

The operation has only been around for about 7 months, it is located about 10 minutes away from city center and can be slightly tricky to find – but if you thought you end up at light industrial area with lots of car workshops, then you’ve reached the right place.

Menu is a simple one page affair – you get to have fish filet, lam ikan (fish stomach), sirip ikan (tails), mix ikan, or kepala ikan (fish head) either fried, or fresh. Soup base can be either peria (bitter gourd), tomato, hamchoi (salted vege), or tomyam.

Ben had fresh fish head and I ordered fried fish stomach with tomato soup, partly due to us being late in arrival (almost noon) and ran out of other options. The seafood were prepared just right, and of top quality, something that I now came to expect at this part of Malaysia. The soup too was packed with flavor and I especially enjoyed the cili paste that was served alongside. This was a good departure as some of the other places often serve subpar condiment (looking at you, Fatt Kee), or have it ultra limited (hello Madam Ing).

GK fish soup, plenty of social distancing
GK fish soup, plenty of social distancing

Priced at RM 10 – 18, it offers rather good value. There’s plenty of seafood in a bowl, but portion of meehun can be a bit on the low side, which suits me but not everyone. I am going to come back here again for sure.

map to GK fish soup, Kota Kinabalu

Address:
GK Fish Soup
23, Lorong Nosoob Jaya 1,
Taman Nosoob Jaya,
88200 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
GPS: 5.931134, 116.075720

Fish noodle is one of my favorite noodle dishes ever, and being situated by the coast with access to great ocean haul and a knack for making the best out of these sea bounty, it’s not secret that Kota Kinabalu offers some of the best seafood noodle restaurants.

jewel garupa soup, with kanlau mian on the side
jewel garupa soup, with kanlau mian on the side

A few weeks ago, during one of my now almost routine visit to this East Malaysian city, we got the opportunity to check out one of the more “hidden” fish noodle restaurants by the name of Notung Kusan Cafe, sometimes also known as Seafood Ah Huat.

The restaurant has just recently moved from a household set up to a proper shop lot situated at Dongongan, just a stone’s throw away from the Kota Kinabalu International Airport. Do check to make sure you’re not routing to their old location if you decided to visit this place (use the GPS info below).

Notung Kusan Cafe Mihun Soup, Kota Kinabalu
Notung Kusan Cafe Mihun Soup, Kota Kinabalu

There are a few options to choose from when it comes to noodle, we picked kon lou mee (dry noodle), to go with fresh fish slices, jewel garupa was available so we went for that. There’s also fish stomach, fish egg, and fish head if that’s what you crave.

The portion for two pax (RM 35) was huge and came with loads of thick cut super fresh fish fillet that’s cooked so the texture was just right – soft, almost crumpling on first bite but not in an “unfresh” sort of way. I really love it.

The tomato soup base was quite subtle, but takes on the sweetness of seafood itself, a plus point if you ask me. The dry noodle too was properly seasoned and I thought compliment the seafood quite well.

super fresh chunky fish fillet, awesome fish skin too
super fresh chunky fish fillet, awesome fish skin too

I think this has just became my favorite fish noodle place in KK right now, they open from morning till around lunch time, and I’ve heard that they may close whenever there’s no fresh fish or when owner goes out fishing. Do try to call in to avoid disappointment.

For availability, Fatt Kee is the one to go, they’re pretty good and open all the time.

map to Notung Kusan Cafe

Address:
Notung Kusan Cafe
Lorong Cyber Perdana 1
89500 Dongongan, Sabah
GPS: 5.915234, 116.063027
Tel: 013-878 1918

Most everyone knows that Kota Kinabalu, being located by the crystal clear and beautiful South China Sea, is famous for  seafood when it comes to .. well, food. One of the ways to enjoy this sea bounty without having to bring a crowd to a seafood restaurant is by heading to one the few fish noodle restaurants in the city.

Today, we look at one of the more famous shops – Restoran Wan Wan.

Wan Wan fish noodle, Kota Kinabalu
Wan Wan fish noodle, Kota Kinabalu

Wan Wan is located at Bundusan, some 15 minutes away from the city center, which coincidentally, is also nearby another one of my favorite seafood restaurants – the original branch of Welcome Seafood.

Parking isn’t an issue in this part of tow, and being only some 12 mins away from airport, it’s not a bad idea for pre-flight meal, which was what I did.

Wan Wan runs a bit of a self-service kinda operations. While you do get to order from the server and have the food served to your table, you do have to get condiments and cutlery DIY style.

home made noodle with chunky fish fillet
home made noodle with chunky fish fillet

For lunch, I chose jewel garupa with extra fish skin to go with their version of dry noodle.

The fish were certainly worthy to be labeled “KK standard”, fresh, succulent, and certainly super fresh tasting. At Wan Wan they do it super thick cuts too, which I thought retains more of the fish’s own juiciness. The “kan lou” noodle was springy and makes for good companion to the seafood for sure. Soup was packed with seafood sweetness, with very minor tomato note, quite different the stronger tasting Fatt Kee, but rather nice in its own way.

For those who likes it spicy, there’s tomyam soup base, and of course there are prawns, and quite a few other choices of fish to choose, there’s even fish paste noodle too.

jewel garupa is always one of my favorites
jewel garupa is always one of my favorites

If you love fish noodle and likes your fish chunky, this is certainly a place to check out.

map to wan wan fish noodle, kota kinabalu

Address:
Wan Wan Fish Noodle
Lorong Bundusan,
Hsk Industrial Centre,
88300 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
GPS: 5.924120, 116.092525
Tel: 088-716 698
Hours: 6:30 am to 2:30 pm, close on Tuesdays