Restaurants

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There’s a never ending list of restaurants in Kota Kinabalu & Sabah, because thanks to Sabah’s extensive cultural diversity, food to Sabahans are like the weather to the British; they talk about it all the time. And when you realise how many restaurants and varieties of food there are here, you’ll know why.

Eating out in Kota Kinabalu includes local Indian, Chinese and traditional Malay food as well as Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Thai and Filipino food. Western food options are also in no short supply. Restaurants in Sabah can be as casual as a quick bite at a roadside-stall, or as formal as a fine-dining restaurant at one of Kota Kinabalu’s 5-star resorts.

With the list of Kota Kinabalu & Sabah’s eating out opportunities listed below, choosing your next restaurant is a couple of clicks away.

Restaurants in Kota Kinabalu

Displayed traditional Chinese style, you can inspect the chicken, pork and duck for quality.

Type: Chinese

Avg. Meal: RM 10

Open: 10:00 - 20:00

Happy Hour:

WiFi: No

TV: No

5 Star Hainanese Chicken Rice & BBQ Pork

Expect beautiful pork and Chinese dishes.

5 Star Hainanese Chicken Rice & BBQ Pork Restaurant has a branch each in Centrepoint, Gaya Street, City Mall and Suria Sabah, all in Kota Kinabalu.

Ang's Hotel (Fatt Kee Coffee Shop if you would) is a great place for local tastes

Type: Chinese

Avg. Meal: RM 15

Open: 11:00 - 22:00

Happy Hour:

WiFi: No

TV: No

Ang’s Hotel Restaurant

Expect arguably the best oyster-sauce chicken wings in KK.

Ang’s Hotel Restaurant isn’t really Ang’s Hotel Restaurant.

Boon Somtum interior - Also has free WiFi

Type: Thai

Avg. Meal: RM

Open: 10:00 - 22:00

Happy Hour:

WiFi: No

TV: No

Baan Somtum Thai

Expect homestyle and original recipe Thai food.

Baan Somtum Thai Original Recipe House is a new Thai restaurant in Cyber Square Commercial Centre, bordering the Cyber City housing apartments.

Bali Bali Gardens at night

Type: Indonesian

Avg. Meal: RM 20

Open: 17:00 - 22:00

Happy Hour:

WiFi: Yes

TV: No

Bali Bali Gardens

Expect a slice of Bali right here in Kota Kinabalu.

Bali Bali Gardens is clearly visible from Jalan Mat Salleh where it is softly lit, except where its name is trumpeted in bright, neon lights.

Bella Italia Bruchetta

Type: Italian

Avg. Meal: RM 30

Open: 06:30 - 22:00

Happy Hour:

WiFi: Yes

TV: No

Bella Italia Pizzeria & Ristorante

Expect all sorts of Italian, western and local food.

Bella Italia Pizzeria & Ristorante is a quaint Italian restaurant that shares the ground floor with the lobby of the historical Jesselton Hotel in Kota Kinabalu’s Gaya street.

Bomber's Burger Tower. Wonder if this is a normal item on the menu or special request. © EverydayFoodILove.com

Type: Western

Avg. Meal: RM 20

Open: 18:00 - 23:00

Happy Hour:

WiFi: Yes

TV: No

Bomber’s Burger

Expect burgers. Lots of burger.

Bomber's Burger, in Kota Kinabalu's historic Gaya Street, seeks to evoke the 1950s with their retro-style burger joint.

But on of many: Brooklyn Restaurant's Double Juicy Beef Burger.

Type: Western

Avg. Meal: RM 40

Open: 11:00 - 22:00

Happy Hour:

WiFi: Yes

TV: No

Brooklyn Restaurant

Expect the home of the Brooklyn Cyclone Mega-Burger

Brooklyn Restaurant is home to arguably Kota Kinabalu's biggest burger - the 1,1kg Brooklyn Cyclone Burger.

Chilli Vanilla's kitchen. Where the magic happens

Type: Western

Avg. Meal: RM 30

Open: 10:00 - 22:00

Happy Hour:

WiFi: Yes

TV: No

Chilli Vanilla

Expect Hungarian yes, but many other modern delights, sweet and savory.

Chilli Vanilla is not as much a Hungarian Restaurant as it is Hungarian inspired, courtesy of Szilvie, the Hungarian proprietor and her local business partner Shirley.

Chocolate Swirl Cheese Cake and Latte at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Damai

Type: Coffee Shop

Avg. Meal: RM 12

Open: 08:30 - 21:00

Happy Hour:

WiFi: Yes

TV: No

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Expect a comfortable place with coffee and non-coffee drinks.

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, or CBTL for the trendy and hip, has been operational in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah for a handful of years.

Greek grilled chicken salad is plenty tasty at El Centro Cafe

Type: Fusion

Avg. Meal: RM 20

Open: 10:00 - 23:30

Happy Hour: none yet

WiFi: Yes

TV: No

El Centro – Cafe & Bar

Expect an open-air cafe with fresh ingredients and no MSG.

El Centro cafe & bar in Kota Kinabalu places emphasis on delicious food, tasty drinks and a bit of good, old fashioned conversation.

Pork Belly is delicious at Firefly Bar & Restaurant

Type: Western

Avg. Meal: RM 30

Open: 10:00 - 02:00

Happy Hour: 18:00 - 19:00

WiFi: Yes

TV: Yes

FireFly Bar & Grill’s Restaurant

Expect a decent burger and lots of beer.

The grill part of Borneo’s FireFly Bar & Grill is a fully fledge restaurant with an expansive, scrumptious menu.

Pizza on the menu at First Beach Cafe & Bar at Tanjung Aru

Type: Western

Avg. Meal: RM 20

Open: 10:00 - 22:00

Happy Hour: 18:00 - 20:00

WiFi: Yes

TV: Yes

First Beach Café Tanjung Aru

Expect beautiful sunsets, great vibe, reasonable prices.

First Beach Café Tanjung Aru is located at, well, Tanjung Aru’s 1st beach.

Maki Roll at Hana Japanese Restaurant

Type: Japanese

Avg. Meal: RM 30

Open: 17:30 - 22:30

Happy Hour:

WiFi: No

TV: No

Hana Japanese Restaurant

Expect Japanese food and service which can be either good or not so good.

Hana Japanese Restaurant is located in Kota Kinabalu’s City Mall, a little distance away from the city centre.

Pizzas at Little Italy are value for money

Type: Italian

Avg. Meal: RM 30

Open: 12:00 - 23:00

Happy Hour: N/a

WiFi: Yes

TV: No

Little Italy Pizza Pasta Corner

Expect home-made pasta dishes the way mama makes them

It’s difficult not to like Little Italy Italian Restaurant; the food is fresh, consistent and delicious, the portions are large, the service is efficient and on top of all of that, the price is pretty decent too.

More spicy beef noodles at the Thai Restaurant in the Kota Kinabalu Waterfront

Type: Thai

Avg. Meal: RM 30

Open: 11:30 - 23:30

Happy Hour:

WiFi: No

TV: No

Mai Yai Thai Orchid Restaurant

Expect Thai food at Waterfront prices.

Mai Yai Thai Orchid Restaurant is a new edition to KK’s Thai food offerings, situated at The Waterfront Kota Kinabalu.

The spicy potato at Moon Bell Restaurant is a sure-fire, and I mean fire, winner

Type: Chinese

Avg. Meal: RM 20

Open: 11:00 - 21:00

Happy Hour:

WiFi: Yes

TV: No

Moon Bell Restaurant

Expect friendly service and great tasting dishes.

Moon Bell Restaurant is one of those restaurants you pass while wondering how it will be, until the day you decide to try the food; that’s the day you become a regular.

Not the best pic, I'll admit, but this pic of Australian ribs at Mosaic was taken several years ago.

Type: Western

Avg. Meal: RM 50

Open: 10:00 - 23:00

Happy Hour:

WiFi: Yes

TV: No

Mosaic at Hyatt Regency Kinabalu

Expect a comfortable environment with good people-watching.

Mosaic is attached to the Hyatt Regency Kinabalu in the centre of Kota Kinabalu city that brings a bit of quasi-sidewalk cafe culture to our fine city.

Krapow Gai - chilli friend beef mince, a favourite from Thailand

Type: Thai

Avg. Meal: RM 15

Open: 11:00 - 22:30

Happy Hour:

WiFi: No

TV: No

Nok Thai

Expect authentic Thai flavours at non-tourist prices.

Nok Thai restaurant is located in Damai, about 15 minutes from the Kota Kinabalu city centre, meaning it's not quite on the path of most tourist, but the effort to get there will certainly be rewarded.

Party Play Gaya Street exterior at night

Type: Western

Avg. Meal: RM 30

Open: 11:00 - 01:00

Happy Hour: 17:00 - 20:00

WiFi: Yes

TV: No

Party Play / Playground

Expect a fun place with good food and drink.

Party Play (aka Party Play Lifestyle Cafe) were pioneers amongst the wave of themed restaurants that hit Kota Kinabalu some years back, proving that good food doesn't have to be served in bland surroundings.

Restaurant Exterior

Type: Chinese, Malay, Thai

Avg. Meal: RM 25

Open: 17:00 - 22:00

Happy Hour: None

WiFi: Yes

TV: Yes

Restoran Puteri Hang Li Po

Expect Halaal Asian food.

Restoran Puter Hang Li Po is an unusual restaurant the marries the best of Asian cuisine at a restaruant where everybody can eat everything.

sailors-cafe-interior-left

Type: Western

Avg. Meal: RM 25

Open: 15:00 - 22:30

Happy Hour:

WiFi: Yes

TV: No

Sailors’ Cafe

Expect an interesting environment, good prices and a creative menu.

Sailors’ Cafe is a restaurant in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, which opened its doors to much fan-fair in Millennium Plaza off Jalan Pintas.

Steamed prawns. The healthier alternative to Seri Selera Kg Air's butter prawns.

Type: Seafood

Avg. Meal: RM 50

Open: 17:00 - 22:00

Happy Hour:

WiFi: No

TV: No

Seri Selera Kg Air

Expect seafood, seafood and more seafood. Also beer.

Seri Selera Kampung (Kg) Air is food-court of sorts that specialises in seafood dishes.

Just one of the delectable dishes at Spice Garden. More to follow shortly.

Type: Indian

Avg. Meal: RM 30

Open: -

Happy Hour:

WiFi: No

TV: No

Spice Garden North Indian Cuisine

Expect it to be closed down. Sorry :(

Update 17-Aug-12: Unfortunately this restaurant has closed down.

The Chub's Grill, Karamunsing Capital, Kota Kinabalu

Type: Steak House

Avg. Meal: RM 25

Open: 12:00 - 22:00

Happy Hour:

WiFi: Yes

TV: No

The Chub’s Grill

Expect BBQ pork, beef, chicken and lamb.

The Chub’s Grill is a steak house with American BBQ flavours that serves grilled meats, fast and delicious.

Upperstar. Not sure what it was supposed to mean, but it has been absorbed in the KK vernacular

Type: Steak House

Avg. Meal: RM 20

Open: 12:00 - 01:00

Happy Hour:

WiFi: Yes

TV: Yes

Upperstar

Expect cheap food, beer and Internet access.

Upperstar appeals to the masses of KK and why not? Its diner-style concept has people coming back for cheap-&-cheerful western food, drink beer and maybe surf the Internet while eating.

Yu Kee Bak Kut Teh: mushrooms int he foreground, intestines on the right, pork meat on the left and the tofu top right

Type: Chinese

Avg. Meal: RM 15

Open: 14:00 - 22:00

Happy Hour:

WiFi: No

TV: No

Yu Kee Restaurant – Bak Kut Teh

Expect porky goodness in a warming herbal soup.

Yu Kee restaurant is a speciality restaurant in Kota Kinabalu's Gaya Street that serves a local, Chinese favourite called bak kut teh, which literally translates as pork tea.