Monday, October 31, 2016

Borneo Ethnic Cuisine Restaurant Sandakan

If you love Kadazan traditional food, there is a new place called Borneo Ethnic Cuisine Restaurant in Sandakan that opened in early October 2016. This Sabah ethnic food restaurant has created a hype in the city as there has never been a restaurant serving authentic Kadazan food here before and now, locals are heading here to try the many different choices of Kadazan cuisine being offered here. 

Borneo Ethnic Cuisine, or BEC is also the brainchild of three friends who have come together to make this ethnic restaurant a reality and after months of planning, they have opened Sandakan's first Kadazan Restaurant which is located at Mile 4 in Sandakan. Mile 4 or Batu Empat is also known as Bandar Indah and is one of the developed areas of outskirt Sandakan city and to get here from town, it is only 15 to 20 minutes drive. 
Traditional Kadazan Food in Sandakan
When I visited this place based on a recommendation, they had just opened for a week and the place was pretty crowded for dinner on a weekday. Speaking to Rosaline Pinso, who is one of the partners, she had informed me that it was high time that the east coast of Sabah had a proper Kadazan restaurant as there was none available over the years. In terms of the menu, you will see a lot of ethnic Kadazan dishes being sold where some of them are even fusioned with local flavors. 

Even her son, who is a culinary graduate, is also hands on in the business where he plans to introduce a very local Kadazan Nasi Lemak among many other dishes in the near future. By the time this article is published, some of the dishes will be available for lunch too. 
Inside the Borneo Ethnic Cuisine Restaurant at Mile 4 in Sandakan
Ikan Patin Masak Terjun, a well known local dish served at Borneo Ethnic Cuisine for RM8.00
For first timers trying the Kadazan food in Sandakan, it is highly recommended that you try their local set called Nasi Linopot with Ikan Basung Pinasakan, which comes with Hinava, Bambangan, Sambal Tuhau, salted fish, Sabah vegetables, salted egg and a traditional drink. This interesting menu is also priced at RM18.00 which is a very reasonable deal, considering that this is a pure ethnic dish and time consuming to prepare. 

Alternatively, you can also try the other popular Kadazan food set which is Nasi Linopot with Ikan Basung Goreng Kacang Hitam or black bean. This comes with the Linopot rice and the same condiments as above set and also priced at RM18.00. As for me, I have been a huge fan of Kadazan food where over the years, I have tried a number of them and I have to say that the Kadazan food at Borneo Ethnic Cuisine is probably one of the best I have tried in years. 
Nasi Linopot with Ikan Basung Pinasakan set which is RM18.00
Nasi Linopot with Ikan Basung Goreng Kacang Hitam set which is also RM18.00
For desserts, the Hinompuka is definitely a must try at RM0.50 per piece. This sticky rich is actually made from grinded hill rice and brown sugar and some other ingredients, which gives it a purple colored finish. One glance and it looks like pulut (sticky rice) wrapped in a banana leaf, but it is actually very interesting, as it not too sweet and has a nice mild taste. Another dessert to try here is the Ubi Manis or Sweet Tapioca which is served with Coconut Milk (Santan). 

Previously, this end shop lot in Bandar Indah was known as Taro's Sushi but the Japanese Restaurant here closed and the new owners took over the end corner lot which is very spacious. An average of 80-100 people can be seated in the restaurant with additional outdoor space as an option for special events or parties. Another landmark is a restaurant next to it called Jom Lepak or directly opposite is the famous Kenalanmu Seafood Restaurant in Sandakan. 
Hinompuka, a traditional Kadazan dessert sold at the restaurant here
Ubi Manis or Sweet Tapioca which is a popular dessert here
Kadazan decoration is seen around the restaurant making the ambiance very local
Borneo Ethnic Cuisine Restaurant at Mile 4, Sandakan
Borneo Ethnic Cuisine Restaurant Review Video

Check out this video done by MakanSabah when they visited Sandakan for a food hunt. It shows an overview of Borneo Ethnic Cuisine Restaurant, which features the local Kadazan food and desserts found here at Mile 4, Sandakan. For more food photos and videos from around Sabah, follow MakanSabah on Instagram.

Borneo Ethnic Cuisine Restaurant
Business hours at Borneo Ethnic Cuisine in Sandakan
Open: Mon, Wed to Sunday
Closed: Every Tuesday
Opening Hours: 10.00 AM to 3.00 PM, 5.00  PM to 10.00 PM
Parking: Available outside
No Pork Served
Borneo Ethnic Cuisine
Corner End of Block 5, 
Jalan Bandar Indah 1, 
Bandar Indah, Mile 4,
Sandakan, Sabah
Rosaline Pinso - +6019 883 3842
Stephanie Rose - +6019 582 0077
Borneo Ethnic Cuisine sign and decoration inside the shop showing some Kadazan attire and items
There are a number of must eat food in Sandakan which is found in the main city area right till Mile 7 and this is one of the unique cuisines that totally made my food hunt in Sandakan worthwhile. Overall, the seafood in Sandakan is known to be one of the best in Sabah, but when you dig deeper, there are many other local types of food to be discovered. For anyone heading to the east coast of Sabah, do make a stop at the Borneo Ethnic Cuisine Restaurant in Sandakan to sample some authentic Kadazan food. 

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