Buying Seafood in Kota Kinabalu Sabah

Where to buy seafood in Kota Kinabalu Sabah
Buying Seafood in Kota Kinabalu is one of the popular things for Malaysians or Singaporeans visiting Sabah. I often get asked by friends 'Where to buy cheap seafood in Sabah'? and here is my story.

Usually when I visit Kota Kinabalu or KK, I would buy my frozen seafood from Fung Seng Seafood Supplier which is about 10-15 minutes drive from Kota Kinabalu or KK town.

The beauty about this supplier is that you can go in any time of the day and purchase your seafood and they will have it sent to the airport for you before your flight departs. How cool is that? 

Buying Seafood in Kota Kinabalu Sabah

In my case, I usually go to the supplier about three hours before my flight back to Kuala Lumpur. I like taking my time as the place is spacious unlike the one at the KK Airport. Fung Seng Seafood Supplier sells all kinds of fresh frozen seafood and most of the time they are pretty well stocked as they are also in the seafood export business.

One of the highlights here are the frozen lobsters and large prawns sold cheaply. You will never get prices like this over in West Malaysia so if you are a seafood lover, do make a stop at any of the suppliers in KK.

Sabah 7 Star Grouper
7 Star Groupers frozen packed

Among my regular choices, I usually buy Fresh Prawns in the medium sizes which sell about RM45-RM48 RM68 to RM75 for box of 20-25 pieces. They have a variety of sizes ranging from small to extra large. The one in the main picture shows a single jumbo sized prawn at about 13" inches long which retails about RM30-45.

The common yellow sea prawns or tiger prawns (udang harimau) are usually freshly frozen packed and sold in boxes. Each of the items here also have a packaging date to inform you when it was frozen so you know how fresh they were packed.

Kota Kinabalu Seafood Supplier
The huge open fridges at Fung Seng

As Fung Seng Seafood Supplier is fairly large, they have huge fridges all around the shop making it easy for you to choose your items. Open top chillers are placed in the middle of the shop where you find all kinds of frozen fish, prawns, lobsters, shell fish and scallops.

For those who do not like cleaning fish, they company has also frozen fillet of various fishes. You can even get the famous 7 Star Grouper (chat-sing-pan) in fillets while a good selection of Cod, Grouper and Salmon fillets are available for sale. 

KK Fung Seng Seafood
Grouper fillets individually packed for sale

The frozen seafood that you buy are carefully and professionally packed by the staff working here. How they do it? They will line the items you purchase with newspaper a few times and then put them in a box packing it tight.

After sealing the boxes, they then secure it with industrial tape or plastic wire wrap. Boxes come in many sizes so you need not worry. After finishing, they then ask you what flight you are taking, AirAsia or Mas and then for your name and flight number as they have stickers to indicate details.

You can hand carry them on board if they are not too big or you can check it in at the airport if you are buying a lot. They also have a service where your order can be dropped at the airport for you. The packed seafood in the box can last you a good 6-8 hours too.

However, there are a few other ways that people buy frozen seafood from Sabah. One common way is people visit the wet market to buy fresh seafood, then they will buy a Styrofoam Box to pack the items and try to check it in at the airport.

Fresh Seafood Kota Kinabalu
Frozen scallops and giant prawns for sale in Kota Kinabalu
This method is tricky as if you do not pack the seafood properly, it might leak and stink up the plane. Some traders claim they know how to do it but please double check before buying. Some would consider this being lazy, but you need to rethink this method carefully.

How Do They Do It? 

Here is how they do it - They fill a plastic bag with crushed ice, put in the fish/prawns and then tie the bag and put it in the Styrofoam box. Then they fill the box with more crushed ice and tape seal the entire box. 
Another way is when they tape-seal the Styrofoam box, they put it in a slightly larger card box and seal it again. Remember, if they do not seal it correctly, it might break. Especially when the baggage handlers throw your cargo around at the airports.

So please be very careful if you choose to use this method. This is why I choose to go to the professional seafood suppliers.

KK Seafood Supplier Fung Seng Seafood Supplier in Kota Kinabalu

Buying Seafood at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) 

As a last minute option, you can still buy seafood from the airport as there is a shop selling frozen seafood there. Sometimes when you go late there, they are pretty much out of stock so best go before late afternoon.

The frozen seafood shops are located just before you enter the departure area at the airport. Hard to miss them.

Seafood Buying Tip: If you buy whole frozen fishes, be prepared to have them cleaned and scaled before cooking. Also check the packaging date as Fund Seng sticks them once they are packed and frozen.

With this, I will list some of the available frozen seafood that you can get here. Prices are way much cheaper than many places I know and the selection is very fresh. The prices below are based on 2010 prices.
  • 7 Star Grouper / Sunu (Prices are about RM48 per kilo)
  • Grouper - Red and Brown
  • Parrot Fish (Prices vary here)
  • Lobsters in various sizes (Prices start at about RM40-50 a kilo)
  • Yellow Prawns - Sizes in Small, Medium, Large (RM58-60) and Extra Large (RM25-35 per piece)
  • Tiger Prawns - Sizes in S,M,L
  • Prawn Meat in sizes S,M,L (prawns with shell and head removed)
  • Sea Cucumbers - S,M,L Sizes
  • Scallops (RM90 per kilo)
  • Cod Fish Fillets and full cod fish
  • Salmon Fillets and full salmon fish
  • Tengirri / Mackerel 
  • Trout Fish (Rainbow Trout)
  • Tuna Fish
  • White Pomfrets 
  • Squid whole or calamari sizes
  • Shell Fish (Lala, Siput, Bamboo Clams)
Address for Fung Send Seafood in Kota Kinabalu;
No. 7 & 8, Jln Bakau,
Inanam Ind Est,
Jln Tuaran Km 8,
88450 Inanam,
Sabah, Malaysia
Telephone: 088-38 0018 / 088-380013
Website: Fung Seng Seafood
  • They accept payments in Credit Cards and Cash. 
  • Most tour guides know of this place so check with them.
  • Foreigners - Please check with your country customs if you are allowed to bring back frozen seafood as they can only last about 6-8 hours frozen packed. 
Buying seafood in Kota Kinabalu is one of the highlights for most local families or couples visiting this beautiful state of Malaysia. The main reason are the freshness, variety and of course, the cheap prices offered.

For me, it has become a ritual every time I visit this place and just before I leave, I would have bought a number of fresh fish which are neatly packed. If you are a seafood lover, nothing beats buying seafood in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.