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!
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
Kota Kinabalu has always been known for their seafood, undoubtedly due to its location as well as the local’s preference in how they get their protein. Since I’m a fan of fish noodle in general, I do make it a mission to try the various offerings they have on this North Borneo town.
One of the latest places I got a chance to check out was Mdm Ing Fish Noodle at Jalan Penampang.
Madam Ing fish noodle, Kota Kinabalu
The restaurant is located about 15 minutes away from town by car, so you would definitely need a ride to get there. Parking isn’t an overly complex exercise at the area, much like most places at KK. However, on weekends, there’s usually a crowd so locating a table may require a bit of patience.
Mdm Ing offers quite a variety of ingredients and choices revolving around fish, you can have it with fish slice, fish innards, fish stomach, roe, skin, fish head, fish tail, fish face, mouth, and more.. yes, fish face! The prices range from RM 10 to RM 26 and up, if you go crazy with it.
They serve garupa, red snapper, tabong, and kakap fish. As for soup base, you get to choose between tomato with salted vege and tofu, bitter gourd, with milk, or clear soup. Then of course there’s yur choice of mee, meehun, mee suah, or kuih teow.
mdm Ing fish noodle with salted vege and tofu soup
I had mine with fish slices in salted vegetable and tofu soup. The bowl comes with quite a generous amount of fish and a couple slices of fish cake soaked in the soup base that reminds me of salted vege/tofu soup that mom used to make.
The seafood was fresh, but the thing that stood out from other such outlets in KK was the sambal at Mdm Ing. It carries quite a bit more kick, and with a squeeze of limau kasturi it was also very refreshing.
garupa fish fillet, and their “sambal”
I think I do owe it to myself to try some of the more exotic ingredients when this place has to offer on my next visit.
Thanks Yann May for being my ride there!
You can also check out Fatt Kee and TaukeFish if you’re into fish noodle at Kota Kinabalu.
On my previous trip to Kota Kinabalu, I was feeling a little bit under the weather due to a bout of not entirely moderate case of flu. My KK buddy was kind enough to take me to some comforting food fit for my condition – Seafood Porridge at Foh Sang.
How Lee Coffee Shop Seafood Porridge
The operation is located at How Lee Coffee Shop by the shop lots at Foh Sang that’s packed with quite a few other restaurants that aren’t short of customers during dinner time. After a couple rounds of circling the premise, we found a parking spot, and another few minutes of waiting, we finally landed on a table for two.
At this place, the star is their seafood porridge, but you can also have them with chicken, pork, scallop, crab, fish fillet, or prawns. Additionally, this is also a full fledge “tai chao” operation, so you get to order a pretty good selection of accompanying side dishes, or even have rice or noodle if porridge isn’t your calling for the night.
seafood porridge, choi sum, asam chicken, salted egg
For dinner, we ordered a standard bowl of seafood porridge with a salted egg, a plate of deep fried asam chicken, and a portion of choi sam for fiber and vitamin.
The porridge was certainly top notch, and as expected of any seafood dishes, the quality was top notch and super fresh. The vegetable was probably produce from kundasang, crunchy and sweet. However, the asam chicken was perhaps a little too over fried for my liking, the slight bitter after taste didn’t really do it for me.
wholesome dinner especially when you’re under the weather
Overall dinner came to about RM 60+ for the two of us, I’d say that’s decent value for the quality of seafood we got. Will not hesitate to go again.
Address: Seafood Porridge How Lee Coffee Shop No. S-26, Lorong Mawas 1, Jalan Kolam, Taman Foh Sang, Luyang, Kota Kinabalu 88300 Sabah GPS: 5.957661, 116.088143 Tel: 016-839 1938
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