Thanis Lim

All Rounder Chef and Food Journalist

Kota Kinabalu Food Guide: King Hu Restaurant, Tanjung Aru

One of my favourite and best Chinese restaurants in Kota Kinabalu is the famous King Hu restaurant; an old school style Chinese restaurant, not a fancy place, but a simple down to earth restaurant – don’t expect to be wowed by their service and their d├ęcor – the place is so old school that the lady boss still uses the Chinese Abacus to calculate your bills. You can hear the click cacking as she used the abacus when paying.



I must say that I’ve eaten in King Hu almost every trip to Kota Kinabalu and I’m loving it despite the ambience and meh service. Must always thank Dinoza, Sherina, Charlotte and Calista for always bringing me to this yummy joint~~



King Hu is famous for their ‘Peking duck’ or roasted duck. I would say it’s different from the traditional Peking duck, which has crisp skin and fat trimmed while the meat and bones would be used in two other dishes. The King Hu style if you noticed resembles a boneless roasted duck and the skin is not crispy.

As you can see from this second picture I took – it’s a meaty boneless kind of ‘Peking' duck’ – that Sabahans are proud of, enjoying family dinners and recommended to visitors. Peking duck purists might complain and said in a snobbish tone – “This is NOT Peking Duck!” (this actually happened when I uploaded a delicious picture of King Hu’s Peking Duck on facebook. I for one – really enjoyed my dining experiences here ( of course – disregard the service and ambience! )



They provide their home made popiah skin and plum sauce along with spring onions and cucumber/celery. My blogger friend Calista, the petite model will literally request for extra plum sauce and spread a thick layer to make a delicious plum sauce loaded duck pancake, while I prefer just a little bit. I love to enjoy the flavour of the duck more. Some just eat the duck without the carbs/skin ~~



The fun part of creating your own duck pancake – I like to put two three slices of of the duck with additional ingredients from the Chinese dishes King Hu are popular for ~~



Such as this special stir fried Sam See (three shredded) long bean, consisting of long beans, firm tofu and pork sliced into sticks and stir fried. I love to add this when wrapping the duck! Yummy!



Now here’s my biggest reason to dine at King Hu and order their ‘Peking duck’ – this delicious milky looking soup that uses the roasted bones of the duck. It’s simply breathtaking! The flavours of the roasted duck melds perfectly with the spring onions of this soup - I can simply drink a whole big bowl of this! *NOT ASHAMED OF IT AT ALL* – I personally would go with Calista as she’s too busy nomming the plum sauce and duck – and will be too full to have the soup – which means MORE FOR Yours truly ~~ *slurps* --- my mouth is watering as I’m typing this post! I want this NOW!



My friends usually would order their freshly baked homemade mantao (Chinese style buns) which can be eaten on it’s own – dipped in soup or mop up the sauces of other Chinese dishes.



King Hu is also famous for their pot stickers/Guo Tie/Pan Fried Dumplings as well as the steamed version. Pretty good and I never fail to order dish simply because I am a sucker for these. As you can see, not flat and pathetic like some of the ‘Guo Tie’ I’ve seen in certain restaurants – plump fatty ones ~~ hmmm … Calista would dip these in Plum sauce as well (she’s awesome in a plump…. I mean plum sauce kinda way – *she is so gonna kill me for this)



This Cold Cut Pork is another one of King Hu’s specialties. Kinda like a thick cut of ham ~~ supposed to eat with a warm soup or sauce.



For your daily dose of fiber, Sabahans recommend this simple steamed cabbage. A simple dish for those who love veggies – I have friends who absolutely loved this but I prefer the long beans dish. Give this a try though – for a person who doesn’t care for cabbage – this is one of the better ones.



Tofu with minced pork and mushrooms King Hu style ~~



Another dish my friends raved about is this Sweet and Sour Pork (Ku Lou Yok) – I have to say it’s pretty good but Thiam Hock in Brunei is better. The bill is pretty reasonable for the quality of food and if you’re from Brunei or Singapore, the exchange rate is simply delicious when you look at the bill ~~ pretty good value!


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King Hu is located in downtown of Tanjung Aru, famous for it’s beautiful beaches and also sunset bar. Look out for the supermarket, and King Hu should be nearby, since Tanjung Aru is on the way to the airport – it’s a good spot to have dinner for tourists if you arrive or departing. Click on the map above for driving directions from Imperial Boutec Warisan Square.



You need to grab a taxi here as it’s not within walking distance from the town – what I usually do is to enjoy the sunset at Sunset Bar, Shangri La hotel, sip some cocktails or beers in Tanjung Aru, then pop over to King Hu for dinner.


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Click on the map above if you’re driving from Sunset Bar, Shangri-La to King Hu restaurant!


Yes – the sunset is simply amazing at Sunset bar – weather permitted of course! Dinoza’s favourite spot! Thanks for always taking me here to relax bro!


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Click on this map above for directions from King Hu Restaurant to KKIA (Airport) – notice that it’s less than 10 minutes drive!

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