I don’t know where you can get a better taste of traditional, native Sabah foods than at one of my favorite eateries in Kota Kinabalu.
Punya Sadap, which translates to something like “Have A Good Taste,” is located in the Asquare Container Night Market, where food stalls are built from recycled shipping containers.
The popular outdoor market is located downtown across from the waterfront on a busy commercial avenue where locals and visitors alike enjoy a festive atmosphere.
I’ve been there several times now, this being my second time in KK. These are some of my favorite dishes from this past Saturday night that can be seen in the photo above.
Bintorung Linugu: Eggplant, skin removed, grilled with lime juice, salt, chiles, and red onion.
Lembiding: A popular native dish made of a wild fiddlehead fern native to Eastern Malaysia. The leaves and fiddleheads are stir-fried with shallots, garlic, anchovies and salt, then water is added and it’s let to sit until boiling.
Hinava: This traditional native dish of the Kadazan-Dusun people of Sabah is much like ceviche, fresh fish mixed with lime juice, birds-eye chili, sliced shallots, salt and grated ginger.
It's served with a scoop of red rice.
Don’t forget the "Happy Water," a healthy mix of juices, Papaya and Roselle, spiked with local rice wine if you’d like the optional kick of montoku (alcohol).
Also above you see lovely owner/chef Angela with a plate in one hand and a tarap in the other. Tarap is a local favorite grown in the wild that looks like a cross between a durian and breadfuit. It's not on the menu but one of her regular customers brought it to share.
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Who Am I?
I'm a retired journalist from Hawaii who tired quickly of retirement and hit the road as a slow, solo world traveler in August 2016. I've spent time in 20 countries on four continents. Currently I'm in sunny Merida, Mexico, waiting out developments in the coronavirus crisis before moving on. Meanwhile, learn more about me and my travels at Nomadic Matt, and Expat Focus, and in a great story by veteran Borneo newsman and prolific author James Ritchie, about our memorable meeting in Malaysia, A Confluence of Adventure Writers .
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