When we mention Tawau, the first words come to our mind is cocoa. Tawau is the top producer of cocoa in Malaysia. Many are also not aware that Tawau is also famous for their foods. We spend 3 days traveling around Tawau to find out the best foods Tawau got to offer.
Location map of the foods
We stay at Promenade Hotel Tawau which is located conveniently alongside Jalan Kuhara and few minutes drive away from the town center. Promenade Hotel Tawau is located adjacent to Eastern Plaza Shopping Centre, one of the newer shopping center at Tawau. Promenade Hotel Tawau has 180 well-appointed guestrooms and suites; the largest and most comprehensive gym in town; an exclusive Club Floor with a distinctively private lounge; a 24-hour Coffee House (aptly named Café@se7en) with fabulous views at the 7th floor; a happening Fun Pub (named Zsa Zsa Zsu) with live resident band and a Lobby Lounge with a Cigar & Deli Corner; the largest pillar-less Promenade Grand Ballroom with 1,000 persons capacity for a seated banquet and 3-state-of-the-art function rooms namely Belian, Seraya and Agatis.
Fast Check- in service at the reception
Our super king size bed
view from the room
Cafe @ Seven, breakfast and dining area
Comprehensive gym with breathtaking views at 5th Floor.
While there are bus and taxi around the town, the best way to explore Tawau is by renting a car should you arrived by plane. Google for Car rental Tawau and you have few choice to choose from.
Simply key in the eateries name at google map and you can find you way easily as its easy to drive around Tawau.
Dinner : Kam Ling Fresh Seafood
Tawau is renowned for its excellent array of fresh seafood. One of the most famous spots to enjoy this is at Kam Ling Seafood Restaurant located at Sabindo Open Air Food stalls. Kam Ling is highly recommended by the locals and the owner Chef Wong has been in the business for more than 20 years.
Patrons can select the seafood of their choice, fresh from the tanks and it will be prepared to their liking.
The Open-air concept and clean environment make Kam Ling an ideal venue to indulge yourself and enjoy the best seafood the East Coast Sabah has to offer.
Location: Sabindo Open Air Food stalls, Jalan Chen Fook
GPS Location: 4.2426124N 117.889435E
Opening hours: 3.30pm to 11pm
Contact no: 0198832511
Kam Ling Fresh Seafood is located at Sabindo Open air Food Stalls. next to the bus station
Snacks: Indo Cafe
We have Pisang Goreng Cheese in Kota Kinabalu but once you tried the Indo Cafe’s version of Pisang Goreng Cheese, you will fall in love with this snacks. The banana fritter is crispy top with their special cheese and brown sugar. A Simple but must have snacks when in Tawau. Their Mango sago is worth trying too.
Location: They have 3 branches around Tawau Town. The original one located at Jalan Abaca, 2nd branch at Unijaya Commercial Centre and 3rd branch at Bandar Sri Indah.
Contact no: 0142802221
Opening hours: 10am to 10pm
Breakfast / Lunch : Restoran Haji Tamrin
Nasi Kuning (Sabah Yellow Rice) is synonymous with Tawau. Nasi Kuning is cooked with coconut milk and turmeric. One of the best places to try Nasi Kuning is at Restoran Haji Tamrin . The sambal should be dry usually serve with Spicy sambal fish.
Location: 4305, Jalan Sim Hua Seng, 91000
GPS Location: 4.2494814N 117.8947806E
Pasar Besar Tawau/ Pasar Gantung
The older Central Market is also known as Pasar Gantung. You can get a lot of fake items here. You can see a lot of products from Indonesia sold here. There are food stalls at the adjacent building selling local delicacies.
Location: Jalan Ho Hwang Kim
GPS Location: 4.2450946N 117.8866374E
Pasar Tanjung Tawau (New Central Market)
The newer market located just a few minutes walk away from the old central market. The UTC (Urban Transformation center) is also located in the same building. There are three floors that make up the whole building. The ground floor is for those who are looking for food stuff such as fruits, crackers, died crackers and the likes. On the first floor, dried and preserved food is abundant. Dried salted fish, dried anchovies, and dried prawns are some of the examples.
Location: Jalan Dunlop
GPS Location: 4.2433346N 117.8846955E
Leong’s Porridge House
Leong’s Porridge House has been around for more than 60 years run by the 3rd generation. They serve good quality porridge. One of the Must try dish at Leong’s Porridge House is their “Sashimi”, raw fish slice serves with vinegar and ginger slice. The pork satay stall at Leong’s Porridge House serves one of the best pork satays in Sabah!
Location: TB9153, Taman Dataran Saujana, Jalan Air Panas, Mile 3.5, 91000 Tawau
GPS Location: 4.2796476N 117.8990024E
Opening hours: 5pm to 11.30pm
Contact no: 0163369153
Lunch and Dinner: Thymes Bar & Bistro
A bistro operates from a converted bungalow. Thymes serve creative fusion Asian and Western food.
Location: 4305, Jalan Sim Hua Seng
GPS Location: 4.2497917N 117.8948879E
Breakfast and Lunch: Kedai Kopi Hing Lee
Pork noodle (Sang Nyuk Mian) is originated from Tawau and Kedai Kopi Hing Lee is the first place to serve Pork noodle. They have been around for more than 37 years and run by the 2nd generation.
Location: TB 529, Ground Floor, Bandaran Baru, Fajar Complex
GPS Location: 4.2468065N 117.8904891E
Opening hours: 7am to 2pm
Afternoon tea: 强生茶餐室 Kedai Kopi Keong Sang
Kedai Kopi Keong Sang is one of the favorite spot for the local during tea time. Their “yip zhi mei” big pao is so huge and can feed 8 peoples. They serve dessert, noodle, and pastries.
Location: Jalan Pantai, Hua Dat Industrial Area.
GPS Location: 4.2501447N 117.9130787E
Opening hours: 8am to 5pm
Breakfast and tea time: 友联茶楼 Union Tea House
Union Tea House has been a family business since 1961 and managed to adhere to their motto “Innovation while maintaining tradition, tradition leading innovation”. Their Teh “C” Ping is a must and their egg sandwich is so delicious with their secret mayo sauce.
Location: TB 14891, Mile 3, Jalan Sin Onn, Taman Jambu Tawau.
GPS Location: 4.2646048N 117.9037338E
Opening hours: 7.30 to 5pm (Monday to Friday), 9am to 5pm (Saturday to Sunday)
Contact no: 089-750 976
源源茶餐室 Kedai Kopi Yuan Yuan
Almost every local Tawau we talked to ask us whether we tried the soto at Kedai Kopi Yuan Yuan. The shop is packed with people waiting for seats. Customers can choose from Soto Ayam(chicken), daging(beef) and seafood. My soto seafood come with prawn balls, prawns, and fish slice. The broth is flavourful.
Location: TB10749 Taman Megah Jaya, 3.5 Miles Jalan Apas
GPS Location: 4.2576984N 117.9249474E
Opening hours: 8am to 2pm
Contact no: 6089-761986
No pork served.
Lunch: 老豆茶室-香底米粉 Papa Kopitiam Crispy fried mee hoon
One of Tawau specialty food is crispy fried mee hoon top with fresh seafood. Meehoon is fried till crispy and then soaked in an egg.
Location: Papa Kopitiam老豆香底米粉
Location: Perdana Square Jalan Apas Batu 3 1/2. Tawau
GPS Location: 4.2524638N 117.9196635E
Contact no: 014-875 8000
Cafe @ Seven, Promenade Hotel Tawau
Last but not least, as we are staying at Promenade Hotel Tawau, we also have our meals at Cafe @ 7. Cafe @7 is located at the 7th floor and offer a panoramic view of Tawau Town.
Chef Harol, create a selection of delicious local foods menu.
Oxtail Assam Pedas
Pan Fried Lamb with Coffee sauce
Promenade Cheesecake, delicious and cheesy !