by: Cassey Ashley Sua
If it’s noodles you’re craving, look no further because the Malaysian Bornean state of Sabah has got you covered. Whilst Sabah is known for being culturally rich accompanied by panoramic sights, it also offers a wide variety of unique noodle dishes which will leave you spoiled for choice.
With Chinese migration into Sabah (previously North Borneo) dating back to the 14th Century, 20% of the current population is made up of the Hakka and Cantonese from Guangdong, China and Hong Kong. Aside from building strong trading relationships with China, intermarriages among the native people of Borneo with Chinese traders became a very common occurrence by the 15th Century.
The love Sabahans have for their noodles stems from the heavy influence of the first Chinese migrants to Sabah. Having brought over their cuisine from Guangdong and Hong Kong, the Bornean locals wasted no time incorporating their own flare to these dishes and thus, creating the endless variety of noodles we know today.
The noodle dishes in Sabah, although unique in their own way, are reminiscent of dishes common in Guangdong and Hong Kong. Egg noodles are a staple used in many “kon lau” (dry mix) dishes as noodles in Guangdong are usually similar.
Examples of egg noodle dishes in Sabah include:
Ngiu Chap Beef Noodles
Ngiu Chap (beef mix) typically consists of mee hoon (rice vermicelli noodles) in a beef broth soup accompanied by a generous amount of beef parts. Kedai Kopi Loi Kee serves excellent Ngiu Chap which never disappoints. For those craving something spicy, head on over to Kedai Kopi Yii Siang and try their Hainan Laksa Ngiu Chap. The combined flavors of beef and laksa soup create a very distinctive taste.
Kedai Kopi Loi Kee Price: RM7 Address: 5, Lorong Kijang 1, Taman Luyang Phase 3, 88300 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Operating Hours: Daily (6AM – 2PM) Kedai Kopi Yii Siang Price: RM7 Address: 36, Ground Floor, Block C, Nountun Industrial, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Operating Hours: Daily (6.30AM – 3PM)
Kedai Kopi Yii Siang Price: RM7 Address: 36, Ground Floor, Block C, Nountun Industrial, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Operating Hours: Daily (6.30AM – 3PM)
Sang Nyuk Mee
What’s an article on noodles without Sang Nyuk Mee? Particularly Jia Siang’s Sang Nyuk Mee which is widely popular among tourists. Having been featured on multiple food shows and articles, Jia Siang holds its firm place as one of KK’s top choices for Sang Nyuk Mee. Simplicity is key when it comes to Sang Nyuk Mee; egg noodles coated in a rich dark sauce served with sliced pork, pork meatballs and a variety of pork intestines in pork soup. Kedai Kopi Melanian (within the Lintas Plaza area as well) is another shop worth considering as they have recently extended their open hours from 2.30PM to 11PM! Rather than having to rush there during lunch hour, you can now enjoy their Sang Nyuk Mee for dinner and supper too.
Kedai Kopi Jia Siang Price: Address: Lot 1-0, Lintas Plaza, Lorong 3, Lintas Plaza Ring Road, 88300 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Operating Hours: Daily (8AM – Late)
Kedai Kopi Melanian Price: Address: Lot 7-0, Lintas Plaza, Lorong Lintas Plaza 1, Lintas Plaza, 88300 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Operating Hours: Daily (6.30AM – 11PM)
Tamparuli / Tuaran Mee
Ever caught yourself in a debate with your friends and family about whether the noodles on your plate are either Tuaran Mee or Tamparuli Mee? It’s time to clear up the confusion for everyone once and for all! The reason why “Tuaran Mee” and “Tamparuli Mee” look and taste similar is simply because it is the same dish! First established in Tuaran in 1978, the family-owned business was originally based there prior to relocating to Tamparuli where the famous Restoran Wun Chiap is currently located. Having started their business selling Tuaran Mee, they made their handmade noodles available for purchase soon after. This could explain why Tuaran Mee is so widely available in most eateries nowadays. This dish features a simple mixture of stir-friend springy egg yolk noodles, sau nyuk, and scrambled eggs. Have it with your choice of either chilli or tomato sauce. Alternatively, you can choose to enjoy it in all its glory without any additional sauce.
Restoran Wun Chiap Price: RM7 Address: Lot 9, Jalan Berjaya, Pekan Tamparuli, 89257 Tamparuli, Sabah.
Mee Sup Kota Belud
Copious amounts of chicken and anchovies are boiled to create the base of this hearty meal. Although originally served with pork, halal chicken-only versions are available. Don’t miss out on a chance to take a trip to Kota Belud where the dish originated from. If you’re not up for a road trip, a short drive to Taman Khidmat will satisfy your cravings all the same.
Mee Sup K.B. Price: RM5 Address: Behind UMNO Kota Belud building, beside the Kota Belud Community Hall Operating Hours: N/A
Mee Sup Kota Belud, Taman Khidmat Price: RM7 Address: Lot D2, Jalan Khidmat, Kolombong, 88300 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Operating Hours: Daily (7.30AM – 2.30PM)
Both Apiwon and Fatt Kee serve similar tomato-based fish noodle soup. But head on over to Fatt Kee if you like a creamy taste to your dish as they offer the option to add milk into your soup.
Restoran Apiwon, Luyang Price: RM10.50 Address: Lorong Nibung 1, Luyang, 88300, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Operating Hours: Daily (6AM – 3PM)
Fatt Kee Mixed Fish Price: Price varies depending on what you order Address: Lot 6, Ground Floor, 1-0-3, Kolam Centre, Phase 3, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Operating Hours: Daily (7AM – 3PM)
Aside from Tenom coffee, Tenom has also birthed their own noodles! The pork lard-ladened dish is simple yet flavourful, making it a quick and easy meal for anyone who is on the go. It pairs perfectly with a plate of fried dumplings. You can choose to have it alone or with your choice of meat which are usually char siu, sau nyuk and chun kien (Hakka egg rolls). These noodles are commonly served dry however, wet options are available too whereby the noodles are served in either a thick gravy or soup. Popular eateries for Tenom Mee are either Kedai Kopi How Lee and Kedai Kopi Kheng Hin. Both are located in Foh Sang area.
Kedai Kopi Kheng Hin Price: RM7.50 Address: Lot 9, Ground Floor, Foh Sang Shop Office, Off Jalan Kolam, Luyang, 88300, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Operating Hours: Daily (7PM – Late) Mondays (CLOSED)
Kedai Kopi How Lee Address: No. S-26, Lorong Mawas 1, Jalan Kolam, Taman Foh Sang, Luyang, 88300, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Operating Hours: Daily (6AM – 3AM)
In order to produce its unique flavor, the noodles are stir-fried to achieve a slightly charred wok taste which blends beautifully with thinly sliced pork, sau nyuk (roasted pork belly), char siew (barbecued pork), and an abundance of choy sum in a bath of thick, savory gravy. A seafood variation is available served with fish slices and prawns. Two recommended places to get your Beaufort Mee fix are Restoran Beaufort and Restoran Yu Hing. Although the restaurants tie for taste, extra points go to Restoran Beaufort for the value for their flavorful dish
Restoran Beaufort Price: RM7.50 Address: Lot C-9, Lorong Bunga Inai, Kepayan Ridge, 88200 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Operating Hours: Daily (8AM – 2PM, 6PM – 9PM) Mondays (CLOSED)
Restoran Yu Hing, Hilltop Price: RM9.70 Address: Ground Floor, Lot 16, Kolam Luyang Commercial Centre, 88300 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Operating Hours: Daily (9AM – 2.3PM, 6PM – 9.30PM)