Explore Sabah Culture and Food

Peta Sabah

Sabah, Malaysia is a great place to experience an adventure of a unique culture, beautiful beaches, and great tasting food. While being treated with nice Sabahan hospitality, you get to explore the tradition of Sabah. From seeing Sabah’s national treasures to finding the world’s largest flower, you get to see many beautiful things in Sabah that will give you lots of unforgettable memories. Let’s not forget the delicious foods you get to taste in Sabah!

The People of Sabah
Sabahans speak a variety of languages. Bahasa Malaysia (their national language), English, Mandarin, and Chinese languages are widely spoken. They greet people by saying “Selamat datang” meaning welcome. They will sometimes say thank you, “Terima kasih”, with a smile. However, due to religious reasons, physical contact is to be cautioned. Sabahan people are very mild, quiet, and proud. A handshake is preferred when introducing yourself.


Sabah Cuisine
Before you eat in Sabah, remember: For Sabahans, it’s a custom to burp or belch after you are done eating.

There are six famous traditional food in Sabah you must try that are very well known to any Sabahan:


  • Bangbahan- a type of wild mango


  • Pinasakan- braised basung fish mixed with a tangy fruit


  • Ambuyat- similar to tapioca starch that is great with spicy, tangy, or salty foods</li>Hinava- mackeral fish mixed with sliced chili, onion, ginger and a few other ingredients. It is served with rice or by itself.


  • Tuhau- wild ginger mixed with chili, scallion, salt and vinegar. It is great as a side dish to accompany any dish.


  • Nonsom- preserved raw fish mixed with rice, salt, and herb. It goes with rice.

The best western restaurants that you can find in Sabah are in Kota Kinabalu. Many Kota Kinabalu restaurants have western food that Americans are very familiar with.

Toscani’s Wine and Dine Cafe
This place offers a fusion of Italian and Spanish cuisines. You will find foods like Chili Mussels, Spaghetti Bolognese, and- everybody’s favourite- Pizza!
California Grill
With the ambiance enough to draw people in, this place offers a unique Asian twist on western food. There are dishes like Red Curry Oyster, Linguine Prawn, Braised Lamb Shank on the menu.
Country Grill
This is one of the rare restaurants you will find that does not serve pork. This place serves Chinese and Western cuisine. Their menu includes Sweet and Sour Prawn Rice, Fried Bee Hoon with Seafood and Grilled Chicken Chop with Cheese.
Upperstar Pepper Grill Bar
This popular place caters simple western food and delights. You can find familiar foods like Grilled Salmon, Potato Salad, and Spaghetti Carbonara

Sabah is a beautiful place full of quiet and respectful people. They have many traditions and customs to follow and some come after eating their delicious food. They have dishes that you never heard of and, if you fancy some food that you are familiar with, they have western restaurants. So what are you waiting for? Explore the unique culture and yummy foods Sabah has to offer!


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