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Category / Hawkers

Another Kota Kinabalu’s favorite is apparently their beef noodle, and for whatever reasons, it took me quite a while before my first try, I suppose it has to do with beef noodle being quite readily accessible in Klang Valley, unlike some of the other more unique dishes (Tuaran mee, for example)

Kah Hiong Ngiu Chap, Hilltop, Kota Kinabalu
Kah Hiong Ngiu Chap, Hilltop, Kota Kinabalu

And when it comes to beef noodle in Kota Kinabalu, the name I’ve always hear about is Kah Hiong Ngiu Chap. So I made a stop to give it a try just before heading to airport on one of my many KK trips, and it was worth it.

Kah Hiong is located at Hilltop (and quite a few other locations), a stone’s throw away from the popular Fatt Kee seafood noodle, and just around 10+ minutes away from the city center.

Ngau Chap Mee Kan Lao
Ngau Chap Mee Kan Lao

There’s quite a selection of different combinations to be had here, mixed beef soup with rice, with noodle, beef stew, beef balls, sliced meat, or you can pick your ingredients of beef heart, liver, beef balls, tripe, tendon, tongue, and so on.

I ordered the Ngau Chap Mee Kan Lao – mixed beef soup with dry noodle (mee + meehun) as recommended by the server.

tendon, beef ball, innards, what's not to love?
tendon, beef ball, innards, what’s not to love?

I did find that the soup base was perhaps just a tad saltier than I’d have liked, but the ingredients were cooked to perfection. Innards were soft, meat was tender, and those tendon were fantastic. I’d definitely order mine with extra tendon next time around.

While there are some very good beef noodle here in KL, this KK version stands on its own and offer a pretty unique taste. I like it.

map to Kah Hiong Ngiu Chap, Kota Kinabalu

Address:
Kah Hiong Ngiu Chap
2-0-10, Lorong Taman Nosoob Jaya Phase 2,
Kolam Centre, 93450 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
GPS: 5.949061, 116.092101
Tel: 016-826 9699

kah hiong ngiu chap menu

This taiping oyster omelette has a bit of a personal back story. About ten years ago, the then gf of mine and I went on a trip up north, and on the way back to KL we stopped by Taiping for a bit of touristy sightseeing, night safari at the Taiping Zoo (definitely worth it even at 2019), and of course, dinner.

Taman Tasik Food Centre, Taiping
Taman Tasik Food Centre, Taiping

With Taman Tasik Food Centre located a very short distance away from the entrance of Taiping Zoo, it made for a perfect refuel stop for the night.

So that was the last time I had a taste of this version of oyster omelette, until a couple weeks ago when I re-visit, 10 years after the first time.

Needless to stay, I was pretty excited to be able to rekindle with this long lost taste.

prawn omelette or oyster omelette, take your pick
prawn omelette or oyster omelette, take your pick

Oyster omelette in Taiping (or maybe just this particular stall?) is quite different from the version served in Penang or KL. The version on the Pearl of the Orient is usually a little more oily and more runny, while this particular Taiping version has a firmer consistency, almost in 30% prawn fritter, 70% usual oyster omelette.

bitter gourd soup to go with our fried dish
bitter gourd soup to go with our fried dish

If you enjoy a less runny texture, this version should satisfy. While it does not top my favorite oyster omelette in Penang, the different experience it brings definitely makes it a worthy candidate should you look for dinner/supper spot at Taiping.

love its crispy texture, even better if bigger oysters!
love its crispy texture, even better if bigger oysters!

Oh, we also supplement the oh chien with a bowl of bitter gourd soup, supposed to make the whole thing just a tad healthier, no?

map to taman tasik food centre, Taiping

Address:
Taman Tasik Food Centre
22, Jalan Maharajalela,
Taman Tasik Taiping,
34000 Taiping, Perak
GPS: 4.850994, 100.745754

While many restaurants boosts a certain unique selling point that draws customers with fancy dishes, deco, or exciting new tastes, there also exists those that are none of those – a place that is seemingly running in exactly the same way the day it was established, and through various decades, staying on as a sort of time capsule.

Thye Huat at Berkeley, opens from Mon-Sat
Thye Huat at Berkeley, opens from Mon-Sat

A restaurant that brings you back in time with a sense of nostalgia and peace, if you would. In the era of quirky instagrammable cafes and fad based food, this is an increasingly a rare sight.

One of my favorites of such place is Thye Huat at Taman Berkeley.

yam cake anyone?
yam cake anyone?

Located at Lorong Lang, just a few minutes from the old Sungai Rasau toll area, this kopitiam certainly fits the bill. Floor with mosaic laid decades ago, a single stall offering different simple dishes on different days of the week, and even some nyonya kuih to boot.

In addition to the dishes such as curry mee, mee siam, laksa, prawn mee, curry puff and so forth, the half boiled eggs and coffee here is also one not to be missed. Expertly crafted by the old operator, the coffee carries an aroma and body that’s as good as some of the modern cafes.

simple breakfast makes for a great start of the day
simple breakfast makes for a great start of the day

I also never missed ordering those perfectly prepared half boiled eggs whenever I find myself here. They’re also cracked and served in the little old china cups for you.

A breakfast here reminds us of simpler days, one with less distractions and modern constant bombardment of “look at me” culture. Will we ever find those peace again?

map to Thye Huat, Taman Berkeley

Address:
Thye Huat
Lorong Lang, Taman Berkeley,
41150 Klang, Selangor
GPS: 3.056372, 101.464057
Hours: Mon-Sat for breakfast

When it comes to food that represent Malaysia around different embassies all over the world, satay is probably right on top of the list. Not only it is delicious, these meat on stick is also portable, easy to store, simple to cook, and super convenient to eat.

Satay Sri Melaka, Lembah Keramat
Satay Sri Melaka, Lembah Keramat

For most of us, satay usually means chunks of chicken or beef served on skewer that’s not unlike Japanese yakitori, but if you spend some time looking around, there are other varieties available that may surprise some of us – and for those who likes it a little different, take a look at Satay Melaka.

Satay Sri Melaka is located at Lembah Keramat, some 20 mins away from KLCC, closer to Zoo Negara area (makes for a great after-zoo early dinner spot if you ask me). This is a “lesser developed” area of KL, parking is a breeze, and prices aren’t overwhelming.

plenty of peanut sauce with sambal to go around
plenty of peanut sauce with sambal to go around

The selection of satay here should satisfy even the most picky of eaters, there’s beef, chicken, mutton, as well as various different innards – chicken heart, liver, gizzards, and even beef tripe.

I thought the chicken was perhaps a bit dry (would be great to have some chicken skin), but those innards were really lovely, with beef tripe being my favorite. For chicken satay my favorite would be Satay Ampang.

The peanut sauce and sambal was quite top notch and adds to the overall flavor in ways that every satay place should. Spicy, flavorful, and with just enough spice.

meat, chicken, liver, stomach, they've got it all
meat, chicken, liver, stomach, they’ve got it all

If satay is what you long for, this is a worthy place to check out for sure.

map to satay sri melaka

Address:
Satay Sri Melaka
74, 64, Jalan AU 4/6,
54200 Kuala Lumpur, Selangor
GPS: 3.201103, 101.756342
Tel: 011-1157 7115
Hours: 4pm to midnight

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