This is probably one of several posts about Malay food. I am sure I have mentioned before our love for trying local cuisine when we are on holidays, and this time was no different. We headed out into the city of Kotu Kinabalu for lunch to track down the ‘alleged’ best laksa in town.
This is what we found at Yee Fung Laksa. The restaurant itself is very basic with simple stools and fold out tables. It is essentially a street food establishment within a building. For 6 Ringgit (AU$1.83, US$1.91) we got a seafood packed bowl of laksa goodness. It had a mixture of prawn, fried tofu, bean sprouts and chicken atop a bed of thin rice noodles (mai phun) covered in a rich laksa curry. This wasn’t a thick sauce like we have had in Kuala Lumpur, but more like those we have experienced in Singapore (without the clams). The heat was only mild, but a side plate with a generous offering of Sambal helped to ‘heat’ the laksa up. We were all very full after one bowl. I would certainly go back for more. The taste was far superior to any laksa I have had in Hong Kong.
To go with the laksa, some of the people in my group ordered a cold Teh Tarik, otherwise known as a Cold Malaysian Tea. This particular drink should be incredibly frothy on top from being hand shaken (according to those who ordered it). This one certainly was with the froth bubbling up and over the sides of the glass. I didn’t try one, but apparently it was nice.
Despite our full bellies, a couple of people wanted to try Bak Kut Teh – a unique pork dish. Never one to back down from a curiosity of food Titus and I joined them at yet another basic eating establishment a few blocks down from the laska that pretty much only made this one dish. A small bowl with pork ribs, and a second rice bowl full of a brown broth was placed in front of us.
It smelt a little like … medicine – strong aniseed … for want of a better word. I tried a piece of the meat. It was soft, and tender however it tasted bitter and left an aftertaste of cough medicine. That’s the best way I can describe it. I tried a spoonful of the soup as well. It was terribly bitter and very much tasted like one of the nastier medicines a doctor could prescribe. Interestingly enough, this is a medicinal herb-based pork dish, so my description isn’t far from the mark. The herbs and spices used in this dish are claimed to help general health. For women, it is supposed to help raising their temperature. I’m glad I tried it, but it certainly isn’t something I would want to eat again.