Thanis Lim

All Rounder Chef and Food Journalist

Kota Kinabalu Food Guide For Tourists – walking distance from Centrepoint – Tambayan Filipino Cuisine

Having travelled to Kota Kinabalu on a consistent basis and blessed with great friends – I would always have transport to go to various places outside of town to dine. Locals would stress that most of the good food’s out of town and not within walking distance but I beg to differ – there are definitely good eats to be had within walking distance! This guide is specially for those who are staying around Imperial Boutech Hotel, Warisan SquareCentrepoint, Suria Sabah or Gaya Street areas. All within 20 minutes walking distance (for an average healthy person of course). In this post – we check out Tambayan Filipino Restaurant – a great place if you’re in for some serious fatty goodness! *warning* Sinful meal ahead!

Tambayan is located around API API Centre, which is in between Marina Court Apartments and Asia City. One of the best things about this restaurant is that it opens even at 3 am in the morning! A good place to have a very sinful supper after a late night out clubbing. It’s less than 10 minutes walk from Centrepoint area – to find API API – look out for McDonalds API API.

Tambayan serves good sinful Filipino cuisine and are famous for their pork dishes. Come here for dinner or supper and be ready to stuff yourselves silly.

Their most popular dish is this mixture of minced pork and spare parts – sizzling on a claypot and served with a sunny side up egg. It is a personal favourite of mine – strong porky flavours! Some might baulk at the pork innards mixed into this but I’m loving this. Sisig ~~ a must try dish of Tambayan!

This crispy pata is another of their signatures. Pork Knuckle fried till super crispy on the outside and gelatinous goodness on the inside. Be ready to indulge! This should be enough to feed 2-3 people! After a late night party, this fatty crispy goodness is a very unhealthy delicious munch ~~ but ~~ who can resist?

Beef Bulalo ~~ hmmm simply hearty beef soup Filipino style!

If you still want some more pork ~~ you can order Pork Soup ~~ hmmm …. more pork belly please!

379027_10150432008996417_1799555899_n Stuffed Squid ~~ hmmm ~~

373942_10150431980006417_1201630896_n Gotta have some veggies to counter all the fatty pork ~~ Chop Suey ~~

14569_10151155833646417_917029366_n This grilled eggplant omelet is something new to me as well – I think they grilled the eggplant (butterflied cut ) and then make an omelet out of it ~~ I personally love it!

382117_10151155833161417_1194890610_n Beef Kare Kare – a curry like sauce Filipino style. I personally would had preferred Pork Kare Kare but we ordered too much pork already! Gotta balance it up a bit.

376109_10150431984696417_1984216370_n Their spaghetti reminds me of Jollibee!! A sweeter version of a bolognaise sauce.

Lagonista ~~ Special Sweet Pork Sausage – Filipino style

It’s cheaper usually to get their package meals – which usually includes both Sisig, Crispy Pata and Bulalo ~ so do ask the waiter for options. One thing to consider though about this place is the hygiene factor – it’s not the cleanest and most comfortable place to sit in but I overlook that because the food’s to my liking but if you are very concerned with these comfort and cleanliness – then you might not feel comfortable in this restaurant. Just my two cents worth. For me – this is one of my fav go to places to eat when I visit KK ~~ and it’s less than 5 minutes walk from Imperial Boutec Hotel – and open up till the wee hours in the morning – suitable for having supper after a heavy night of clubbing!


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Tambayan At Kainang Filipino
Blk 3 Ground Flr, Api-api centre,
Kota Kinabalu.
Email :
Tel : 016-8182008

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Kota Kinabalu Food Guide For Tourists – walking distance from Centrepoint – Sin Kee Bah Kut Teh

Bah Kut Teh is a popular food for Sabahans. That delicious herbal soup coupled with that melt in your mouth pork belly – combined with lots of char kueh ~~ oh that’s heaven! The good thing is – the best Bah Kut Teh is within walking distance for those who are staying around Imperial Boutech Hotel, Warisan Square, Centrepoint, Suria Sabah or Gaya Street areas. I present to you ~ SIn Kee Bah Kut Teh.

Bah Kut Teh – to those who don’t know about it – is a pork based stock that is infused with Chinese Herbs or Tea to create a unique delicious herby tasting soup. It usually consists of pork ribs, sliced pork, pork belly, pork intestines and all sorts of porky goodness.

Although most people would say You Kee Bah Kut Teh is the to go place for bah kut teh but in my opinion I prefer Sin Kee Bah Kut Teh 新记肉骨茶 located at Gaya Street. It is just opposite the famous Ang’s hotell and is the same shop as Kedai Kopi Kwong Tung Chai which happens to serve good roasted duck!

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Zoom into the map and look for the green arrow. Located along Jalan Pantai, Gaya Street

Once you see this sign – you’re in the right place!

Oh hello there – Sin Kee Bah Kut Teh Uncle scooping up the bah kut teh.

I never knew Malaysia got a Facebook like sign ~~ lol ~~ Certificate of recognition de ~~ I should make a Thanis Lim certificate of recognition~~ hahaha ~~ they probably hang at toilet door got la~ haha

Oh sweet delicious bah kut teh ~~ so much stuff to choose from ~~ eat with rice with soy sauce and lots of garlic please!

For those who don’t like to eat pork spare parts – the pork balls (made from minced pork) are a favourite.

Pork intestines ~~ spare part lovers galore!!

Pork belly slices are my personal favourite! I personally can finish 2-3 bowls of this …. unless my health conscious girlfriend is around (who will pinch my thigh really hard under the table, with a very sweet smile)

Another specials is their delicious pork tail! Kinda like oxtail but from oink oink land~~ gelatinous goodness.

DSCF5574 Their tofu pok soup is also quite nice ~~ great soft texture which soaks up the soup really well.

DSCF5575 Another reason to eat bah kut teh is  this deep fried dough (sorta like Asian Churros), which will soak up the soup’s awesome flavours! Oh sweet Char Kueh!

DSCF5582I also recommend their pork kidney cooked in yellow wine ginger soup ~~ simply delicious ~~ especially for those who dig the kidney taste!

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The Bah Kut Teh place is less than 15 minutes walk from Imperial Boutec Hotel. Follow the map for directions!

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Buttery melt in your mouth Scones with Mascarpone Cream

Who can resist good classic scones – fresh out of the oven and eaten with clotted cream and good quality strawberry jam? Simply heaven and they’re actually pretty easy to make if you got a food processor. It’s just simply throwing the ingredients into the food processor and slowly give few pulses, then knead a few times, cut using a cookie cutter and then bake. An easy yet delicious recipe!

For my scones, I love to make mascarpone cream as a replacement for the iconic clotted cream (which is pretty difficult to find in Malaysia). It’s a heavenly sinful pair to the scones~ and you should have some good quality Earl Grey tea while eating scones! That’s the way to enjoy them!


2 cups cake flour (to ensure less gluten formation) , more as needed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
80g cold butter, frozen and then shaved (to ensure easier mix with flour)
1 egg
1/2 to 3/4 cup evaporated milk, more for brushing.


1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees F or 230 degrees C. Put the flour, salt, baking powder and 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles cornmeal or coarse flour.

2. Add the egg and just enough evaporated milk to form a slightly sticky dough. If it’s too sticky, add a little flour, but very little; it should still stick a little to your hands.

3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead once or twice, then press it into a 3/4-inch-thick circle and cut into 2-inch rounds with a biscuit cutter (I use heart shapes!). Put the rounds (or hearts)on an ungreased baking sheet. Gently reshape the leftover dough and cut again. Brush the top of each scone with a bit of evaporated milk and sprinkle with a little of the remaining sugar.


4. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until the scones are a beautiful golden brown.

5. Slice into half, spread some mascarpone cream on one side and good quality jam on the other side. Hmmm…. Heavenly!


Mascarpone Cream
Mix ¼ cup of mascarpone cheese with ¾ cup of cream and mix well until no lumps. If you have a sweet tooth, you can add some vanilla essence and sugar – I usually just mix mascarpone cheese with cream alone.

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Borneo Bloggers Conference B2.0

It was really exciting to be invited as a guest speakers along with Mr Reedz Anak Brunei for this year’s Borneo Blogger’s Conference B2.0, in the great city of Kota Kinabalu (love their food, beautiful beaches and of course the people!)


This annual event which started 2 years ago was initiated by, Borneo's largest community  portal, at Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Organized by in collaboration with M.E Malaysia, the third B2.0 took place on Saturday, 1st December at Wisma Bandaraya from 9am onwards and was attended by 60 professionals.

The third B2.0 is proudly presented by Acer Sales & Services Sdn Bhd, the first company to launch the full suite of Windows 8 product with touch capability and DiGi Telecommunications. It is supported by Ministry of Resource Development & Information Technology, Nuffnang Malaysia, Canon, Bombers Burger, Film Production of Sabah, Creative Lasso and Imperial Boutec Hotel.


Mr Daniel Doughty – the man who started Borneo Bloggers Conference 2 years ago.

I must say I was very excited to meet many other active figures in the social media sphere across Borneo. Bloggers, Tweets , Facebook, Instagrammers, Youtubers, Techies, Marketing and Media personalities, all gathered in one conference.


Must resist not to nom nom the marshmallow

The events opened up with an ice breaking activity involving sticks of spaghetti and well .. a marshmallow … unfortunately it’s not a cooking activity – I would had conjured some yummy dessert style spaghetti …. the activity involved creating a free standing tower with the marsmallow at the top ~ an interesting activity and Micheal Hiew got a good idea to use the marshmallow to bundle them up together. We put up quite a fight but didn’t win … another team had more creative ideas but it’s a fun way to break the ice!


Jack looks super pro on the stage – charming and lively MC

The first session was a panel where we discuss issues with the current social media. In the panel were famous blogger and also from Sabah Tourism, Murphy Ng who aims to explore the whole of Sabah and showing the world through his lens, Twitter expert @KKcity who has about 9000+ followers and growing, Thanis Lim (me me me) the food blogger and our moderator Jack from Everyday Food I Love – a great food blog from Sabah and KL.

b2 murphy thanis kkcity

Murhphy Ng, Thanis Lim (seemed like I am thinking about what to eat) and @KKcity

The issues raised were self moderation and censorship – whether we should focus on money making – and how to raise your influence in the social media. Murphy gave a very good point on how companies should not be afraid of the social media – and in fact use social media when they face problems. A company with good PR and social media can not only promote their business but also repair the damage done through good social media strategy. On how to increase traffic – building connections especially through conferences like these, being disciplined and consistent with your content, making use of proper internet promoting techniques such as search engine optimization, hash tagging and social tagging were discussed.

b2 reeda

Inspiring speaker Reeda Malik

Mr Anak Brunei Reeda gave a very informative and entertaining talk on the sharing of pictures from the historical perspective to the modern day image sharing. A funny moment came when Friendster was mentioned and the whole room erupted in laughter. One of the interesting video shown was the Stolen Scream – where one man’s image became a sensation and used many times without his consent, he even saw his picture on Tshirts, posters and walls – they’re everywhere! It’s interesting how our images can be easily shared through the social media but could also be stolen and used without our permission for commercial purposes. Reedah also shared many useful tools on image sharing and also on the potential for images to spread through the net ~~ viral levels.

b2 speaker nuffnang

Sue Ann speaking like a boss at the podium – support NuffnangX!

Nuffnang Malaysia was also present at the event and showed us the growth of mobile apps – and the number of users at a very fast rate. Sue Ann from Nuffnang introduced their new app for bloggers to keep track and search for blogs of their interests – much like twitter or instagram but in your timeline – you see blog updates from the blogs you follow! They also have a management system where you can manage, communicate with your followers or bloggers you follow – all from your mobile phone! Be sure to download it from the App Store or Google Play – search for nuffnangX and start following!

b2 sprocket

Tristan, sporting a fashionable yellow top and luscious hair – talking about fashio.. erm I mean video games~

Team Sprocket, a video game developer based in Sabah highlighted the use of social media for the video game industry and I must agree there’s a strong usage of social media to promote video games in the modern era. Popular video game social media players can elicit interest and promote sales big time. Tristan, also mentioned the ethics of the social media, on how certain social media figures promote games for special privileges, spurring a lot of backlash from the social media.


There was also a surprise birthday cake for one of the team members, John. Awww


Tai from KL, with his poker face and very very entertaining talk

Next came my favourite talk of the day. The talk from Tai from Kuala Lumpur. His talk on DIGI’s successful campaigns using the social media was very entertaining and an eye opener to how useful social media can be to develop your brand image and influence. I had so much fun, especially since I am not from Malaysia and had not seen those videos – laughed out loud and also touched by the various videos – highlighting the powerful marketing skills of DIGI. The talk kept me wanting for more – even screaming for Tai not to skip the videos when he was running out of time! Thumbs up and really gave me a new found respect for DIGI.

This video really made us laugh out loud and just because as social media and the modern obsession with sharing our lives with the world. Brilliant to Digi for coming up with this video! Best part? You can to choose his DESTINY! It’s a story mode play! Do it! Watch this now!


Kathleen excited to show us the Windows 8

Kathleen Lee from Microsoft also gave a talk on the use of the Windows 8, and Acer being one of the touch screen laptops to utilize them. Highlighting the uses of the Windows 8 and its ease of use, especially for the active social media community. But I have to say that if you don’t have a touch screen laptop, you can’t really enjoy the full value of the Windows 8, which was brought up in the talk.


Moses (FPS) and Jared (Grim Films - gotta love those red pants) – Those glasses must be the new trend for budding video directors~

The final session: Last but not least – is a talk by two goliath figures in the Malaysian Youtube community. Jared from Grim Film and Moses from Film Production Sabah (FPS – which I initially thought was First Person Shooter). I got the chance to watch a few of Grim Film videos and were almost moved to tears (gotta control myself in such a big crowd – might actually cry if watching alone! lol). Moses also showed his Hakka Sabah style – a Sabah parody to the famous Oppa Gangnam style, which I feel is ultra hilarious and to me – a must watch video – pretty models, delicious Sabahan food, drifting cars from Sabah – you name it! They also showed how making videos involved lots of hard work and stress, but also showed how social media can inspire and help one promote their great work.


The winning drawing – great abstract art!

Another interesting activity was drawing on a green card to show why you should win the Acer Iconia W510Ooooh how I would love to own one of those! Can act as a tablet and when you attach it to the keyboard – it’s also a laptop. Each person was also given a facebook like sticker to stick on their favourite drawing – this was the winner!


The winner Hin Ching ~~ ahhhh how I wish I can have this!!

An important aspect of the conference was of course to meet and connect with fellow social media and exchange vital contacts. It was a very fruitful event which I learned many things and of course made many friends!


I took the chance to shoot this sunset picture after the final session.


Me with Jack from Everyday Food I Love


Calista – Model and Events Planner -


Not sure if the camera is gigantic … or Calista is … well …. microscopic ~~


Singing Coconut Nathalie (who was tweeting and instagramming with dedication the whole event and Charlotte Fong)


Mr Anak Brunei


Sue Ann and Charissa from Nuffnang Malaysia


Jared from Grim Films and Moses from Film Productions Sabah


Group picture of organizers and guest speakers! Till we meet again next conference!

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