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 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
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 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.
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
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
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, 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
Jalan Wong Thau Yong,
88400 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah GPS: 5.984623, 116.08289 Tel: +60 16 789 1873
While home cooking is often healthier, cheaper, and quite fun on its own, I was quite ready to go out for a proper meal after months thanks to this Covid-19 era.
Hang Sing seafood restaurant, Pandamaran
So when Yann May came over to this part of town, we decided that dinner should be cooked by someone else, and in this case, one of the restaurants she used to frequent as a kid – Hang Sing Seafood Restaurant all the way at Pandamaran, Klang. Suits me just well since I do stay rather close to Klang itself, and limited movement control period means that traffic isn’t exactly too troubling.
tapioca noodle, sweet potato leaf, kung pao mantis prawns
After having our temperature checked and names signed into the log book, we were seated down on a rather large table to accommodate for social distancing SOP.
We ordered kung pao mantis prawn, deep fried calamari (squid), sweet potato leaf, and a rather large portion of prawn dish that’s a bit spicy and strong tasting, can’t remember the name if my life depend on it… these dishes were all rather delicious and we chowed them down like hungry teenagers.
deep fried calamari, err.. some sort of prawn dish
With the insistence of May, we also ordered fried tapioca noodle (in fact she even ordered another one to go for next day breakfast. If you love the texture of bubble tea, you’d love this dish, I am not a huge fan of those bubble’s texture, so you’d be right if you guessed that I did not embrace this dish.
Dinner came out to be RM 170 for all these and 4 glasses of kedondong juice. Considering prices of prawns, squid, and mantis prawns, I thought the bill was reasonable.
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
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
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
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.
On my last work trip to KK, my buddy Yann May suggested that dinner should come in the form of chicken wings. I like chicken skin, and wings has the most skin, so, why not?
And that’s how we got ourselves to Lido Square at Lintas.
Lido Square, Lintas, Kota Kinabalu
Lido Square is this huge food court situated about 15 minutes away from Kota Kinabalu city center. Like most food courts, there are dozens of different stalls offering a wide variety of dishes, many of these are pork free, but some aren’t. If halal food is a must, choose wisely.
We ended up having more than just chicken wings, of course.
The highlight, for me at least, would be those big cockles – RM 10 for half a kilo if you have them boiled, or RM 15 if fried. These cockles are several times larger than those you typically find in Klang Valley – only 9 pieces for half a kilo. They were absolutely on point and delicious! I love it, the lady doesn’t eat cockles, hmph.
May approves of the stingray, but maybe not cockles!
The ikan pari (stingray, RM 25) was properly grilled and rather tasty as well. The fish was fresh, and prepared to a texture that lets you chew down 90% of the cartilage. We enjoyed the fish quite a bit.
melvic chicken wings is the “brand” to go
Then there’s we came for – MELVIC chicken wings. That took quite a wait as the stall is almost always pretty busy.
The wings were nice, sweet with all its honey goodness, and made better with a squeeze of limau on top as well. These are comparable with some of the best wings in KL too.
the popiah is a bit of a disappointment
If you’re a fan of popiah, I can safely say that you may want to skip the version here in KK. Their “Northern style popiah” is almost acceptable, but the Lido style popiah was just a blend of thick popiah skin with not much else to shout about. I’ll avoid.
Other things worth checking out would be the freshly made mochi, and those steamed soup. Plenty of stalls we had no stomach space to try, perhaps next time!
Address: Lido Square Jalan Penampang, Lido Square, 88300 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah GPS: 5.943246, 116.081579 Hours: 7:30 am to 11:30 pm