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Sandakan Food Festival Review

Food Festival in Sandakan

The Sandakan Food Festival is scheduled to take place in the coastal city of Sandakan in East Coast Sabah from 26 August to 2nd September.

This years theme will be Oceans, Land and Forest and during this 9-day unique food event, you will be able to find some of the best local east coast Sabah food.

This culinary event is also aimed at promoting the local food scene in Sandakan where the place is well known for its nature and adventure. People who seek flora and fauna will find Sandakan has some of the best that Sabah has to offer.

Sandakan Food Festival Review

Sandakan is located in the east coast of Sabah where it is accessible via flights from Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur where several flights fly directly here via AirAsia or Malaysia Airlines.

Those wanting a little extra adventure can even rent a car from Kota Kinabalu and drive overland for about six hours to Sandakan.

Makanan Sandakan
Traditional Sabah Food in Sandakan - Kadazan Cuisine
For the Sandakan Food Festival, food travellers or foodies will be in for a treat as there is much to explore, especially the seafood here where many claim it is much fresher and cheaper than in other parts of Sabah.

Sandakan is also a barter trading and fishing sector, and the city is a morning type of city where it gets extremely lively from as early as six in the morning till after lunch.

As I have been here many times over the last ten years or so, I have tried quite a variety of the local Sandakan food which ranges from Chinese to Malay and even some of the ethnic local favourites and for foodies, the best place to start exploring is of course around the main Sandakan city area.

Food Festival in Sabah
Dim Sum in Sandakan
To fully explore the Sandakan food culture, you need to also move around from the city outwards and the way the areas are measured are using miles, therefore Mile One all the way to Mile 32 and a popular area out of the city is no other than Mile Four where you can find lots of restaurants, coffee shops and cafes.

Sandakan Food Festival 2017
Date: 26 Aug to 2 Sept 2017
Venue: Sandakan City
SFF2017 Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/sandakanfoodfest/

The Sandakan Food Festival is brought to you by the Sandakan Food Project (SFP) and the Sandakan Tourism Association.

The SFP is a very small group of Sandakan citizens with a passion for preserving and advancing the local food heritage in this east coast city of Sabah, Borneo.

Photos of Sandakan, Sabah
Steamboat in Sandakan at Restoran 1Malaysia on Trig Hill (No Pork)
Seafood Bak Kut Teh Sandakan
Seafood Bak Kut Teh in Sandakan, one of the best in Malaysia
For Bak Kut Teh lovers, the famous Seafood Bak Kut Teh in Sandakan is something you should try. It's probably the best in Malaysia or even the world.

They have been doing this for years and have perfected the combination of seafood and the Bak Kut Teh herbs and soup.

Ikan Bakar Mama Resepi at Pasar Sim Sim
Ikan Bakar Mama Resepi at Pasar Sim Sim, Sandakan
For those who love grilled fish, Mama Resepi at Pasar Sim Sim is the place to try it. No one does it better than Mama herself.

All the seafood here is delivered fresh daily and you can choose from fish, crabs, prawns and squid to be grilled.

Photo of Sandakan City
Sandakan City before sunset
If you visit the Ba Lin Roof Top Bar of Nak Hotel in Sandakan, this is the amazing view of Sandakan City. Truly one of the best places to catch the beautiful Sandakan Sunset with a cocktail in hand.

Sandakan view from the Four Points Sheraton Hotel
What are Must-East Foods in Sandakan?

Through my many visits to this fascinating east coast city in Sabah, I have pretty much eaten at many places around here over the years.

I finally compiled a list of must-eat food in Sandakan where it will provide more information for the food traveller.

Just take note that all of these places are best visited in the mornings or lunch as the places will close by 2.00 PM. The trick is to sample the foods versus stuffing your face at the beginning. This way, you can really eat more.

Where to Stay in Sandakan?

There are a few notable hotels found in Sandakan city area, and depending on your budget, you can choose from the Four Points Sheraton Sandakan, Sabah Hotel, Nak Hotel, Sandakan Styles Hotel or the many other budget hotels here.

You can also check this list from Google for hotels in Sandakan if you need more information about the many places to stay here.

If you are exploring Borneo, you can also read about where to go in Sabah for 2017 as I have highlighted the best places to visit around here. This guide would also help you to select the interesting places which include Sandakan.


For the Sandakan Food Festival, I believe it will be held in the main town area due to accessibility and also the infrastructure plus all the main hotels are located around here too.

For anyone wanting to experience the east coast Sabah food culture, be sure to check out Sandakan City as it is one of the best places to try some of the unique foods from North Borneo.


audrey said...

Just a little detail to add - the bar at NAK Hotel is called 'Ba Lin Rooftop Bar & Restaurant'. A favourite place in Sandakan for many people who have been there.

Malaysia Asia said...

Thanks Audrey, I have amended that :)