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Borneo Ethnic Cuisine Restaurant Sandakan

Sandakan Borneo Ethnic Cuisine Restaurant

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 Restaurant Sandakan

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 the outskirts Sandakan city and to get here from town, it is only 15 to 20 minutes' drive.

Sandakan Traditional Kadazan Food
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 flavours. 

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.

Sandakan Borneo Ethnic Cuisine
Inside the Borneo Ethnic Cuisine Restaurant at Mile 4 in Sandakan

Sabah Ikan Patin Masak Terjun
Ikan Patin Masak Terjun, a well known local dish served at Borneo Ethnic Cuisine for RM8.00

Nasi Linopot with Ikan Basung Pinasakan

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 an 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.

Linopot Ikan Basung Pinasakan
Nasi Linopot with Ikan Basung Pinasakan set which is RM18.00

Linopot Ikan Basung
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 rice is actually made from ground hill rice and brown sugar and some other ingredients, which gives it a purple-coloured 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).

Sabah Hinompuka
Hinompuka, a traditional Kadazan dessert sold at the restaurant here

Where is Borneo Ethnic Cuisine Restaurant?

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 to 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.

Sandakan Ubi Manis
Ubi Manis or Sweet Tapioca which is a popular dessert here

Kadazandusun Decoration
Kadazan decoration is seen around the restaurant making the ambience very local

Mile 4 Borneo Ethnic Cuisine Restaurant
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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