Can we put equal sign between “New” and “Better”? Probably not everything, especially for traditional food by Leong Wing Hua Restaurant in Papar town, which is famous for their roasted pork prepared in original way for over 80 years.
Papar is 37 Km away from Kota Kinabalu City. The old wooden shophouses there would be the first thing that grabs your attention. Outsiders may think that it’s a sign of under-development and ought to be replaced.
However, the locals may not agree, as they appreciate these old building as a heritage. You will understand their sentiment, after you have a meal at Leong Wing Hua Restaurant (Other names: Restoran Liang Yun Hua, Kedai Makan Liang Yung Hua; 梁荣华饭店 in Chinese). The authentic taste of their roasted pork brings you back to the era when taste and quality matter more than profit.
The interior of Leong Wing Hua Restaurant is quite basic. No fancy theme, no air-conditioning, and no music, but it’s always crowded with people who want great food.
Leong Wing Hua Restaurant serves excellent roasted duck, Chinese sausages, and roasted pork (烧鸭、叉烧、烧腊、脆皮烧肉 in Chinese). You better be there early before everything is sold out. Normally we eat these with noodle or rice.
Their noodle is also handmade, which tastes better, less oily and more chewy. Another must try is their Vinegar / Sour Pork Trotter (猪脚醋 in Chinese). Each dish costs about RM6.50 (≈US$1.60). Please see food menu above (prices as of Mar 2016).
This restaurant was started by Liang family in 1937 and is passed down to 4th generation now. The founder learned the “secret” recipe of making delicious roasted pork from a Hong Kong chef who worked for a wealthy family. Even after 80 years, the restaurant insists to grill the pork in traditional way with charcoal.
The slow and mild grilling process by charcoal can keep the meat juicy and smoke it with nice aroma. In contrast, most restaurants today order roasted pork from distributors, who usually use “shortcut” method, i.e. by gas or electric oven, to mass-produce mediocre roasted pork to save time and cost.
FYI, Leong Wing Hua Restaurant also makes Hakka Pork Belly With Yam (客家扣肉) during Chinese New Year by special order.
The following is the location and contact of the restaurant:
Cellphone: +60 16-5366971 (Ah Lun)
Address: P. O. Box 158, 89608 Papar, Jalan Masjid Papar, Sabah, Malaysia
(Next to SJK Cheng Hwa Primary School; 吧巴正华小学 in Chinese)
Opening Hours: 7am – 2pm (may close earlier if items sold out) (closed on Monday)
GPS: 5.735573, 115.932982 (see Location Map or Street View)
Photos taken in Papar, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo