What To Eat In Kota Kinabalu

One of the most exciting part about traveling is eating local food. When in comes to Asian Cuisine, Malaysia is definitely one of the best. You can see the influence of Indian, Chinese and Malay on their dishes so you can just imagine how rich the food culture is.

The food here are mostly seasoned with curries and chilis  Kota Kinabalu in particular is also dominated by Chinese cuisine. You’ll be able to notice a lot of restaurants owned by Chinese immigrants in this city. If you are a seafood lover, this place is definitely for you. So let me give you our top list of food to eat when you are in KK.


Laksa is a spicy noodle soup rich in curry with coconut milk. It consist of rice noodle, prawn, chicken or fish. You can find the best served Laksa at Yee Fung Restaurant located in Jalan Gaya. (Gaya Street)


Nasi Goreng is a stir fried rice with Indonesian origin and is also widely eaten in Brunei, Singapore and other parts of Thailand. Main ingredients of course is a pre-cooked rice mixed with egg, meat, prawns, vegetables and spices.  It is best seasoned with sweet soy sauce.


Satay is a seasoned, skewered and grilled chicken, mutton, beef, goat or pork served with soy or peanut sauce.  You can find a number of grilled chicken wings and satay stalls at Kota Kinabalu Central Market and also in Pondok Pantai (Tanjung Aru Hawker Centre).


Roti Canai is a type of flatbread that is Indian-influenced and is not only found in Malaysia but also in its neighboring countries such as Brunei, Indonesia and Singapore. This dish originated in Malaysia and usually served with Dal (Lentil Curry) with different levels of spiciness.

Roti Telur is a type of Roti Canai recipe, the only difference is that it is mixed with egg. The word telur means egg in Malay.

You can try assorted Roti Canai Recipes at CHOICE RESTAURANT NORTH AND SOUTH INDIAN CUISINE located in Jalan Pantai, kota Kinabalu.


Buttered Garlic Prawns, Sweet and Sour Red Snapper and various seafood dishes is a must try when you visit Kota Kinabalu and the best place to feast with these dishes is at TODAK WATERFRONT AND HAWKER CENTRE. In this market you can pick any seafood you want and have them cook it for you.


Nasi Ayam (Chicken Rice) and Nasi Telur (Egg Rice) is a popular meal among Malay community. Typically served during breakfast and you can find one of the best Nasi Ayam, Nasi Telur and any other sumptuous meal at RESTORAN NURYANA and 5 STAR HAINANESE CHICKEN RICE & BBQ PORK both located in Jalan Gaya (Gaya Street).



Nasi Lemak is our new personal favorite. Its main ingredients are coconut flavored rice topped with sambal, chicken, small fried anchovies, sliced cucumber and either boiled or fried egg.

The first time we have tried it is when we were at Jesselton Point normally served and wrapped in banana leaves. Even the frozen Nasi Lemak you find in the convenience stores (as pictured above) tastes amazing. You can easily find Nasi Lemak in food stalls all around Kota Kinabalu.


***Featured Photo is a lady selling steamed peanuts and corn at the Tanjung Aru Hawker Centre.***


Happy eating while traveling!

Photo Credits: Kaye & Yowi Zablan

©2017 Trece Viajero





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