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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / yann may

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, 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 these cockles, I think?
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
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
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!

map to Lido Square, Lintas, KK

Address:
Lido Square
Jalan Penampang,
Lido Square,
88300 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
GPS: 5.943246, 116.081579
Hours: 7:30 am to 11:30 pm

My day job brings me to Kota Kinabalu quite often these days, which is a bit of a blessing when it comes to work travel as this North Borneo city does offer a full package of beautiful ocean & beaches, the magnificent mount KK, and a host of rather unique hawker dishes not easily found this side of Klang Valley. I’m also particularly blessed to have friends who would bring me to explore these places.

Kedai Kopi Wah Juan, Kota Kinabalu
Kedai Kopi Wah Juan, Kota Kinabalu

During my last visit, I had to go offshore for a short stint. For Sabah, that meant using the old Terminal 2 at BKI airport (who has flown Air Asia flight via this side before?). On my return trip, my friend Yann May picked me up and we decided to stopped by this rather busy looking kopitiam located by Tanjung Aru, between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 of the airport.

As it turned out, this was the famous Kedai Kopi Wah Juan that offers mixed pork (or pork offal) noodle which if I remember correctly, is an addiction of a friend who claimed to eat clean otherwise.

our lunch spread for two
our lunch spread for two

We ended up ordering a plate of noodle with roast &  bbq pork (as the lady doesn’t eat pork offal, WHYY!?), a bowl of beef ball soup, a plate of noodle with pork offal, and an additional small plate of pork offal.

Well, the result? It was awesome!

Can’t say much about those BBQ & roast pork, but the pork offal was on point, soft, flavorful, and properly braised to perfection. In addition, the home made noodle were superb as well, subtle in taste which compliments the other ingredients, and soaks up those sauce just nice. The beef ball soup too did not disappoint, and would be something I order again.

If I had to nitpick, they could do with slightly better chili paste, that’s about it.

pork offal noodle, roast/bbq pork, beef balls, pork offal (small)
pork offal noodle, roast/bbq pork, beef balls, pork offal (small)

If you’re at Kota Kinabalu and does eat pork innards, this is surely a place to check out.

map to Kedai Kopi Wah Juan, Kota Kinabalu

Address:
Kedai Kopi Wah Juan
Jalan Lee Thau Sang, Pekan Tanjung Aru,
88100 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
GPS: 5.952751, 116.056229
Tel: 016-830 6160

I think I’ve just found my favorite restaurant at Kota Kinabalu for dinner, and yes, it does have seafood like any other “tai chao” places in Sabah, but no, it’s not one of your typical big seafood restaurants in North Borneo.

Of course, we’re talking about Tung Fong Seafood at Inanam.

steamed garupa, fish lips, paku pakis with sambal
steamed garupa, fish lips, paku pakis with sambal

For those who aren’t familiar with this area, Inanam is located about 10 km away from KK city center, and you’ll be right to say that this area is mostly frequented by only by locals, Chinese or Korean tourists can’t be found here.

One of my favorite Tuaran mee is also found at this suburb – Tuaran Mee Restaurant.

The restaurant is pork free, and they have their menu hooked up on the wall ala billboard style for your convenience (see below). While carrying a variety of typical Chinese taichao dishes, the claim of fame for Tung Fong is their fish dishes.

You basically pick the type of fish/seafood you want – from garupa, green wrasse, giant garupa, sea carp, to fish lips, innards, and sea cucumber; then pair it with the preparation method of  your choice – braised, onion ginger, scallion oil, rice wine, or black bean.

braised, steamed, or lips?
braised, steamed, or lips?

I’ve already been to this place three times on the past three trips to the city.

Had two different types of garupa as well as the rather interesting fish lips. The fish here are so, so, so good! Fresh, flavorful, and prepared with seasoning that doesn’t take away the natural flavor of these seafood. They’re simply addictive.

the other accompanying dishes were good too
the other accompanying dishes were good too

The vegetable dish here are typical of Sabah standard, sweet, crunchy, and fresh. They also serve a side of tomato soup as standard, and these tasted pretty much like Fatt Kee’s fish noodle soup.

If you’re at Sabah, do yourself a favor and check this place out. Expect to spend some RM 30-40 per pax for some good seafood.

Tung Fong Seafood Restaurant map, Kota Kinabalu

menu at tung fong seafood restaurant, KK

Address:
Tung Fong Seafood Restaurant
Mile 6, Jalan Tuaran, Inanam,
88400 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
GPS: 5.991707, 116.132074
Tel: 012-801 1336

Following my only dive trip at Pulau Kapas back in 2017, I actually managed another underwater excursion in October 2018 while on a work trip to Kota Kinabalu that involved staying over the weekends.

Since this is still a blog documenting my travel & food adventures, here’s the short entry to serve as sort of an online dive-log of mine. Do check out the short video I made using the Olympus TG-Trekker, which since died after that trip for reasons unknown (I gotta call the service center, been weeks!)

Anyway, back to the trip.

Kota Kinabalu is a great city to live in if you love to go underwater. The jetty heading out to the islands is conveniently located just a few minute’s drive from the city center. In fact, you can realistically walk there.

a lousy day out diving is better than any day at the office!
a lousy day out diving is better than any day at the office!

The dive trip itself was arranged by Yann May with the local guide (Johny), and during this trip we were the only two divers, which made for a relaxing trip that doesn’t involved being hurried or having to wait for others.

You can get a 3-dive package for RM 250-300 or so around here, usually with a meal thrown in.

star fish, shrimp manicure, angry puffer, clown fish

While visibility wasn’t the best during our dives, they were relaxing, and we did see a few eagle rays (first minute of first dive!), some clown fish, cleaning shrimps, starfish, pencil fish, lion fish, puffer fish, and more, mostly documented in the video.

I should plan for a few more dive trips for 2019!

While Sarawakian street food has been making its way to Klang Valley, Sabah hawker fair is still largely confined to Northern Borneo. So if you find yourself at Sabah, one of the dishes you should definitely try is Tuaran Mee.

Kentin Bakut, Sabah
Kentin Bakut, Sabah 

Tuaran mee is a type of noodle originated from Tuaran, located some 30 kilometers away from Kota Kinabalu. While the original version that comes with chicken, meat, or seafood is plenty good, my favorite has got to be the version served up at Kentin Bakut – specifically their Fried Tomyam Tuaran Mee.

Kentin Bakut is some 25 or so kilometers from town, but conveniently it is situated along Jalan Tuaran Bypass, the road that you would take going from KK town to Kundasang, and if you’re going to KK, you should visit Kundasang anyway, so this place makes a good natural food/rest stop.

Fried Tomyam Tuaran Mee
fried tomyam Tuaran mee

Kentin Bakut actually serves quite a number of different dishes, they have fried rice, hor fun, mee hun soup, kon lou mee, and even bitter gourd soup with fish fillet.

But if you have only space for one meal, make it the fried tomyam tuaran mee. Yeap, it is as you would expect, the unique springy texture and flavor of tuaran mee packed with  spicy tomyam paste, expertly fried with charred bits plus those prawns and deep fried fish filet makes for a plate of rather unique goodness I’ve never had from anywhere else. Remember to squeeze the lime for that extra kick as well, it’s good! So good I would drive that distance just to have it.

seafood tomyam meehun
seafood tomyam meehun

I also tried their seafood tomyam meehun, which did not disappoint either. Spicy tomyam with fresh Sabah seafood, you can’t really go wrong here.

The dishes cost RM 7.50 and RM 8 each, and yes, I’m going to go over again when I have a chance. This place is pork free and you fit for Muslim friends.

map to kentin bakut, Sabah

Address:
Kentin Bakut
KM28.7, Jalan Tuaran,
Kampung Bakut,
89208 Tuaran, Sabah
GPS: 6.133141, 116.215213
Tel088-788 593
Hours: 6:30 am – 3 pm