Kota Kinabalu: Food places and backpackers lodge 

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May 8, 2016 by Soo Ee

30 April 2016 
I wrote this at 10.32 am. It was not even noon and I was already up to my fourth cup of kopi o kosong. 

Four breakfast morning

Breakfast number one was at this coffee shop called Bertua Fortuna. The only reason I ate here was because it was just beside the hotel and I was too hungry to think or walk any further than 100 m. I ordered toast with butter and a cup of black coffee. I expected the butter in between the slices of bread to come in rectangular chunks but it was spread thin just like the regular buttered toasts at home. I also had to ask the server to retoast the bread for me. The coffee oh kosong was awesome though. Hint of bitterness, fragrant aroma and it was hot enough.

Rating: 4/10. Good coffee alone is not enough to save disappointing toasts. 

Breakfast number two was a bowl of  niang dou fu at the same coffee shop. The selections were handmade and not like the regular ones in Singapore which were of the same factory manufactured size and shape. The only issue I had was that the bits were cold and heavy with gravy.

Rating: 3/10. Cold food is worse than bad toasts. 

Breakfast number three was a bowl of pigs’ innards @Kedai Kopi Melannin. I probably shouldn’t be surprise to find pork sold here. The bowl I ordered consists of pork slices, pork balls, some chewy part of the pig, liver, small intestines. The pork slices were soft and tender, so were the pork balls. The pork balls I ate were not greyish and stiff. I forgot what it was that they added to their pork balls (or was it the way it was cooked), they just were juicy and soft. The unidentified chewy parts that came in the bowl were inedible. I could not swallow them even though I was chewing them for longer than I should be. The liver was nicely medium done cooked. One thing came to my mind. I remember my mother telling me not to eat innards (especially intestines) when I am not at home because she didn’t think they were as clean as the ones prepared at home and could be ridden with parasites.

I ate them anyway.

Rating: 6/10. Soft and tender pork slices. No pork smell.

Breakfast number four was @Fong Ip Cafe. Think, Yakun with an expanded toast menu. Toasts with durian purée, peanut butter, butter, kaya in different combinations. Coffee and tea came in different variations too, with milk, without milk, with condensed milk, and with three layers- milk, beverage of choice.

It was mentioned to me that the sugar that was used in the beverages was home made, which was less sweet and more fragrant than regular white sugar. The boss mentioned he does not use gula Melaka like some other coffee shops do. Gula melaka overwhelmed the taste of the beverage. He also recommended that I try the durian purée with butter toast and the kaya butter toast with a cup of either the 3 layer coffee or tea. I noticed the two he recommended were pricier but I decided to go with his recommendation. I picked tea to go with the fancy toasts because I thought I had too much coffee for one morning and Fong Ip looked like they serve a pretty awesome cup of teh. The guy then went into the ‘kitchen’ and made the tea I ordered, himself! Awesome service!

As mentioned, the cup of teh wasn’t sweet to my taste and it was fragrant and nice to drink even on a warm morning. He then made a sample of the three layer coffee for me to try, adding “this could be sweeter because I made a small portion.” Though I prefer my coffee black and my tea milked, that cup of joe was delicious. I declare Fong Ip a my come to place for breakfast or tea break in Kota Kinabalu.

8/10. For the grand variety of toasts, awesome milk tea, nice ambience for morning breakfast. 

After the four breakfasts, I took a walk from Fong Ip to Suria Sabah. The view from where I sat to write was awesome. The food court here had some pretty decent and economical food here. I bought a packet of chicken rice (with extra chicken) for 8.50 RM, which comes up to about $2.50 SGD. Holy Cow worth it.

I stayed for a while to take in the breathtaking view from the balcony of the food court, my kopi o kosong and write.

Random thought: I will name my next dog ‘Winter’. Just so I can say “Winter is coming!” 

1 May, after the race 

Breakfast: 2 cups of 3 layer tea, one 3 layer coffee, one teh tarik, one durian purée only toast, one butter only toast, one butter+Kayla toast, one peanut butter openly toast, 2 half boiled eggs with biscuits.

All in one seating. 

*Burp* 

List of things I do not want:

1. Fatigued legs from too much shopping. I was ill disciplined and let shopping take precedent over running a good race.

2. Warm room. Turn down the air con. Better to sleep snug under covers than to wake up perspiring in the middle of the night.

3. Not getting enough sleep.

4. Iron deficiency. The curse of the ovulating cycle.

5. Persistent cough. Note to take the cough syrup two days out before a race to completely eradicate any possibility the cough could creep back during the run on a cold morning.

Extra notes: 

Backpackers lodge in Kota Kinabalu 

Fat rhino, Seasons street lodge, Stay in lodge, Summer lodge, Red palm hostel, Beach street lodge, City park lodge

Researched food places at Kota Kinabalu 

Chicken wings@mewic, ikan baker @Lotus restaurant (dinner time), bak kut teh@Yu Lee Restaurant, Yong Tau Fu@Waterfront (dinner time), custard bread@Kedai Kopi Mee Ngar, Pork buns@Sen Chong Wah, Roti Kah Win@Kedai Kopi Fu Yuan, Roasted pork@Lim Kee Restaurant

Cafes at Kota Kinabalu 

Coffee lab, October cafe, Santola coffee, Inch coffee movement

Porridge place with nice red gate.

Font Ip cafe.

The durian puree and anchor butter toast


Other happy people.


The cafe layout 


View from the food court 

Art? 

Bak Kut Teh 

Another place to eat at. I didn’t get to do so because it was crowded both times I wanted to go. Recommended time to visit is early morning when most people are still in bed. 


Creative way to eat and drink a coconut. 

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