(English) Sampling the sweet and savory of Sandakan cuisine

By most accounts, the city ofSandakanis a sleepy place that seems more town than city even though it is the second largest town inSabah, Malaysian Borneo. While you’ll find small but bustling markets during the day, things begin to shut down after the evening Muslim call to prayer.

You’ll find no flashy central business district or lively clubs to grab a drink at night, but what you will find is good food.


Honeyed chicken and rice washed down with a refreshing fruit shake makes for a perfect lunch in Sandakan.

The Sandakan Harbour Front is a haven for food lovers, especially those who favor Malaysian cuisine or are feeling adventurous. ThewaterfrontHarbourBistro Café sets the standard for this unique restaurant row. A nice place to go with your significant other, or for a nice meal out, Harbour Bistro Café offers delicious, well-prepared Malaysian cuisine, though there are some Western meals on offer as well.

The best is the bamboo rice, steamed in a bamboo dish and served with all manner of fresh seafood. Also excellent is the creamy crab and corn soup, a flavorful blend of ingredients that sets the tone for the meal.

Also along the waterfront is a series of small restaurants who provide quick, authentic and dirty vacation eats. Here you can get anything from a savory pile of fried rice to more fresh seafood, and a range of chicken dishes that include a ginger that pops on your tongue and a honeyed chicken that will melt in your mouth.


Mee Sizzling Chicken is just one of the tasty dishes served along the Sandakan Harbour Front.

The best part of these waterfront eateries is that you get to indulge in the best Malaysian food this small city has to offer while enjoying the lovely views.

If you’re craving a sweet after the savory and you happen to be up before noon, a small market behind the waterfront serves up donuts that will knock your socks off. Thick yet tasty, these treats have just the right amount of sugar in the dough and could well be a meal in themselves.

WhileSandakanis a great base for traveling to some of Sabah’s best attractions, like the rainforests along theSukauRiver, it’s also the perfect spot to enjoy some downtime and refuel for your travels by sampling the local cuisine.

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