Tag Archives: noodle

Kueh Teow Noodle with Deep-fried Pork

kueh teow noodle

How much can things change in 75 years? Even 20 years can change our look and city a lot. However, there are something that are better left unchanged, because they have become a heritage. I’m talking about a noodle in Sandakan City at East Coast of Sabah. It’s as delicious as 75 years ago, like what our grandparents and parents used to enjoy.

Sandakan Central Market

Sandakan Central Market

The hawker stall which sells this noodle is located in Sandakan Central Market (Pasar Umum Sandakan in local language) of city center (see Location Map). Before World War II, Sandakan was a prosperous capital of North Borneo (now Sabah) and called the Little Hong Kong because many Chinese were living here. They developed the city and also introduced localized version of China food.

top floor of Sandakan Central Market

Only locals know this great place for breakfast

When you walk up to level 3 (top floor) of Sandakan Central Market, you will see many food stalls. The place is quite clean. Though you won’t see many tourists eating there, this market is one of the important stops of traditional food trail for food hunters.

food stall of authentic Kueh Teow with deep-fried pork

Their noodle would be sold out before noon, so be there early

Then look for the stall with sign that reads “家傳正宗炸肉大粉 Since 1940, The Original Homemade Kueh Teow with Deep-Fried Pork”. Also known as Kuy Teav or Kway Teow, Kueh Teow is flat rice noodle that looks like fettuccine, but it’s white, smooth and soft. This Chinese food stall opens from 5am to 11:30am every day, but be there early because the noodles could be sold out before 10am.

Kueh Teow with deep-fried pork (dry and noodle soup)

Kueh Teow with deep-fried pork (dry and noodle soup)

You have two ways to eat this noodle, i.e. noodle soup or dry style. Both taste good so it’s just a personal preference.

Kueh Teow noodle soup topped with deep-fried pork and sliced Chinese fritters

Kueh Teow noodle soup topped with deep-fried pork and sliced Chinese fritters

The Kueh Teow noodle is topped with deep-fried pork, slices of Chinese fritter and minced spring onion. The flat noodle has absorbed the savory soup and I like its smooth texture. The coarse fritters add an interesting contrast.

Kueh Teow noodle soup with deep-fried pork

Kueh Teow noodle soup with deep-fried pork

The pork is well-marinated and deep-fried to have a slightly-burnt, aromatic and crisp outer layer. It has “condense” savory taste of meat, a bit chewy and not as oily as roasted pork.

Kueh Teow with deep-fried pork (dry)

Kueh Teow with deep-fried pork (dry)

Each bowl of noodle costs only RM4.00 (less than US$1.00, no tax, price as of Aug 2015). The serving isn’t much though. I was 73.58% full and wish to have more.

Kueh Teow noodle topped with deep-fried pork and minced spring onion

Kueh Teow noodle topped with deep-fried pork and minced spring onion

So I ordered second bowl, the dry version which has no soup and enhanced with lard. Just kidding. It belongs to my friend.

Hawker stalls on level 3 of Sandakan Central Market

Hawker stalls on level 3 of Sandakan Central Market

Started in 1940, this Kueh Teow food is as old as McDonald’s. Instead of becoming a franchise with fancy shop decor, this stall keeps the setting basic, the way their loyal customers like to enjoy a traditional noodle from the oldest China town of Sabah.

Photos taken in Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

Best Soto Noodle Soup of Sabah

Soto Noodle Soup

The recent rainy days turn Sabah into a cool place, so having a bowl of delicious Soto noodle soup is a delightful way to warm my stomach. Soto is a beef soup served with Mihun (rice vermicelli). It is so common that you can find it in almost every Malay or Muslim restaurant in Malaysia. Though Soto is everywhere, few restaurants offer very good Soto. To save cost, the cook would use beef bouillon cubes for the soup.

Kedai Kopi Yuan Yuan (源源茶餐室)

Kedai Kopi Yuan Yuan (源源茶餐室)
The best Soto I have so far is at Kedai Kopi Yuan Yuan (源源茶餐室 in Chinese) in Tawau, east coast of Sabah. You might be surprised that it’s a Chinese restaurant. Same as traditional Soto, their beef broth is flavorful, but cooked with spices (e.g. pepper, cinnamon, star anise, lemongrass) in Chinese style. Though Yuan Yuan is not a Halal (for Muslim) restaurant, they serve no pork (to some Sabahan Muslims it’s ok).

customers in Kedai Kopi Yuan Yuan
What does the full house photo above tell you? It’s a social proof of excellent food. I had to wait nearly 10 minutes for an empty seat, but I was more than happy to stand behind a long line for the best Soto. The workers there were as busy as bees, to serve the noisy customers who sounded like hungry chicken waiting to be fed.

Soto Seafood
The Soto of Yuan Yuan comes with a few flavors such as Daging (Beef), Ayam (Chicken) and Seafood. As there were many customers, I had to wait another 10 minutes for my Soto Seafood. My mouth was dripping just by smelling and looking at it.

close-up of Soto Seafood
My Soto Seafood noodle soup has fish balls, prawns and egg, with fried garlic and sliced green onion as condiment. Tawau is abundant with seafood, and from the taste, I can tell they use fresh seafood (instead of frozen one). Their beef soup is richer and darker than other Soto. The soup also has strong pepper flavor, with mild spicy taste and very appetizing.

fish and prawns
The soup is not oily, and I give A+ to their fish and prawn balls as they are springy, and without heavy use of flour. I notice they don’t use cucumber slices, which are used a lot in other Soto (because it’s cheap).

If I live in Tawau, I will have Soto here as breakfast every day. Too bad I have only one mouth, or I’ll try all flavors at a time. Anyway, I took a few photos of other Soto, as shown below:

Soto Ayam
Pic: Soto Ayam (Chicken)

Soto Daging
Pic: Soto Daging (Beef)

Soto Campur
Pic: Soto Campur (Mixed), if you like to have beef, chicken and seafood in one serving.

chili sauce
Pic: minced chili
Personally I think you must add a bit of minced chili made by Yuan Yuan. Unlike the sharp hotness of red chili that attacks only tongue, you can feel heat spreads in your whole mouth as if it’s fire inside, quite potent in a pleasant way. It tastes more like pepper though.

Yuan Yuan Restaurant (源源茶餐室)
Pic: the best time to drop by Yuan Yuan is after meal hours in weekday, when there are less people.

Kedai Kopi Yuan Yuan is open from 8am to 1:30pm/2pm every day (rest 1 day every fortnight). The shop is located at:
TB10749 Taman Megah Jaya, 3.5 Miles Jalan Apas, 91000 Tawau, Sabah, Malaysia (near to SJK(C) Kung Ming Chinese school) (See location map in Google)
Tel: +60 89-761986

food menu and price
Pic: the food menu and prices of Yuan Yuan. The price of Soto ranges from RM5.00 – RM7.00 (≈USD1.50 – 2.10) *as of Apr 2013

Restoran Happy Muslim (Happy Muslim Restaurant)

Another nice place for Soto noodle soup is Restoran Happy Muslim (non-Muslim is also welcomed) in Kota Kinabalu city center. It is a Halal restaurant that serves true Malay style Soto. The soup is clear and it tastes slightly bland, but highly recommended by many. Sometimes I saw tourists tried the Soto there too.

Happy Muslim Restaurant
Address: Lot No.9, Block H, Ground Floor, Sinsuran Complex, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia (See location map)
Tel (Mobile): +60 14 6555516 (Mr. Wau)
Opening Hours: 7am – 5pm daily

Soto Daging
Pic: Soto Daging of Restoran Happy Muslim, RM4 per bowl (≈USD1.20) *as of May 2013

Soto Daging noodle soup
Besides Soto Daging (Beef) and Ayam (Chicken), they have other varieties such as Soto Tulang (bone), Soto Perut (Beef Tripes and Omasum) and Soto Urat (Beef Tendon), each costs about RM5.50 per bowl (≈USD1.70) *as of May 2013

Other Types of Soto

There are many types of Soto that bears different names and getting popular. You can find the following Indonesian-style Soto in Sabah too.

Coto Makasar
Pic: Coto Makassar
Coto Makassar originates from South Sulawesi. I tried this Coto in Restoran Sri Mandahan next to the road near to Bongawan town. Coto has grinded peanut in the beef soup so the taste is sweet. Instead of noodle (rice vermicelli), you eats it with rice cubes (Ketupat).

Coto Makassar
Pic: beef meat, tendon, liver, intestine and tripes in Coto Makassar

Pic: Bakso (means meatball)

Bakso is Soto in Bugis style actually. The highlight is the meatball, which is commonly made from beef or chicken.

By the way, I was told more than once that Soto can relieve hangover. Now is the month of Kaamatan (Harvest Festival) and everyone will be drinking a lot. Hope this tip will help you, haha.

Do you know any other Sabah restaurants that serve excellent Soto? Please share with me in comment section below. 🙂

Photos taken in Tawau and Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo