Part of my responsibilities at work involves traveling to Kota Kinabalu at Sabah. That’s mighty fine by me since it is probably my top 3 cities in Malaysia, the other two being Penang and KL.
Kota Kinabalu has it all, crystal clear ocean minutes away from the city, Mount Kinabalu, rich local culture, and just maybe too many Chinese and Korean tourists these days.
Ah Chee Tom Yam, at Kota Kinabalu
Anyway, since I happen to be at KK more often these days, I make it a point to explore the local food offerings. On my last trip, as I was looking for lunch options upon checking in the hotel, I found Ah Chee Tom Yam by chance.
Ah Chee Tom Yam is located just a few doors’ down from the famous Wiya Chicken Rice, the restaurant offers a rather simple menu with a choice of tomyam prawn meehun, Sarawak laksa with prawn, Prawn mee with rice wine, and Thai style chicken feet.
Ah Chee Tom Yam – meehun with fresh prawns
For obvious reasons, I tried the Tomyam meehun, which comes with 5 pieces of fresh tasting saltwater prawns properly peeled and cooked just right. Most importantly, the tomyam soup was rich and fragrant by without being overly spicy. The star of the bowl though was the prawns, they were sweet and definitely worth the RM 11 or so asking price for a bowl.
If you find yourself in KK town, this is one worthy place for a quick meal, oh, it’s completely pork free too.
Address: Ah Chee Tom Yam Lorong Segama, Pusat Bandar Kota Kinabalu, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah GPS: 5.983448, 116.075227
I can categorize my friends into 3 groups when it comes to spicy food. Those who can eat spicy food, those who can’t, and lastly, the one who can’t eat spicy food but will embrace it like a Winnie the Pooh to honey pot if it’s tomyam, no matter how hot the soup is. Case in point, Yuki.
So when she enthusiastically suggest that Haze (another tomyam fanatic) needs to try the tomyam meehun at Restaurant Gou Lou at Jalan Alor, I was certain that it won’t be a disappointment.
Restaurant Gou Lou at Jalan Alor
Jalan Alor is usually filled with tourists at night, but in the afternoon, more than half the restaurants are closed, and those that are in operation usually caters to locals instead – both price and taste wise. As a bonus, parking too is a lot less troublesome in the morning/afternoon.
The restaurant has air conditioned indoor, as well as the more “traditional” kopitiam set up with a retractable roof/umbrella at the semi open air alfresco area. They start early, and ends pretty early. 7 am to 4 pm.
tomyam seafood meehun, and curry soup version too
Though labeled more clearly as a fish head noodle shop, my first experience here was their tomyam seafood meehun (RM 7.50). The dish is loaded with plenty of squid, cuttle fish, lala, and one pretty decent size prawn. The seafood were good, and the prawn especially sweet and juicy (you can order extra prawns for extra $).
As for the tomyam broth, Yuki was right and Haze concurred. It was spicy, flavorful, and perhaps one of the best out there from a Chinese hawker stall. I like they didn’t spare the usage of Chinese parsley.
Kerol chose the curry soup and had hers with extra foo-chok, and the picky girl was satisfied too.
absolutely love this dry curry chicken noodle
My favorite from restaurant Gou Lou though, is this dry curry chicken noodle (RM 5.50) that I had on a separate visit (they ran out before 2pm on our first visit). The dish consists of thick chicken curry poured over your choice of noodle with dark soya sauce base at the bottom. The noodle comes with chicken, potato, bean sprout, and topped with spring onion and fried shallots, it was fantastic.
Highly recommended for anyone who loves curry chicken, this was fantastic and I stopped over for breakfast this morning just to have this again.
dry curry mee with pork ball, curry mee, and fish swim bladder soup
The menu is actually pretty big here, and they are pretty flexible and allows mix-matching different ingredients of your choice. Horng tried dry curry with pork balls in soup before, and my colleague and I also shared a bowl of tasty fish swim bladder soup that tasted very fishy, but in a good way, if you know what I mean.
The curry mee (not Penang style) too was reported to be very palatable by another colleague of mine, Lee, who almost always order curry mee at every kopitiam we go.
Horng, Yuki, Kerol, and Haze
While a lot of locals sees Jalan Alor as a tourist trap with pricey but sup-bar food destination, the place really did not rise to fame purely by travel magazines or junior feature journalists. There are really some hidden gems nested within this busy little street at Bukit Bintang. Give it a try some day!
Address: Restaurant Gou Lou 37, Jalan Alor, 50200 Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.145755, 101.708947 Tel: 012-665 4095 Hours: 7 am to 4 pm, closed on Wednesday Branch: 73, Jalan SS 21/60 Damansara Utama 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor GPS: 3.133296, 101.621527 Tel: 03-7725 3420 Hours: Mon-Fri 9:30 am to 10 pm. 8 am to 4 pm otherwise