Asia, Malaysia

Malaysia Trip 2022/2023 Day 9: Kota Kinabalu

Baggage status: Baggage status: 1/3 in Tokyo?, 1/3 in Incheon, 1/3 in Toronto?

This morning, we visited an auntie’s house for breakfast. Her beautiful house is a tropical oasis with many different plants and animals. The baby had a good time meeting all the animals and especially enjoyed petting the cat. Here, we had some coffee as well as a few Malaysian sweets.

Frank the turtle

For lunch, we headed over to Gariana’s Vui Vẻ Modern Vietnamese. This restaurant is apparently owned by the singer Gary Chaw and his sister, Ana, hence the name. There was a large written story at the front of the restaurant describing the history of the restaurant. They apparently have Vietnamese cousins who helped them with the conception of the restaurant. The decor is very upscale and appears well thought out. The menu was very extensive and included some of our favourite Vietnamese dishes that are not usually found outside of Vietnam. I had the bun bo hue (spicy beef and pork noodles) with iced Vietnamese coffee. Aaron had the lemongrass chicken with rice. We shared the banh xeo (vietnamese crepe). We also ordered some very perfectly cooked and seasoned roasted pork as well as coi guon for the table to share. The food was all very tasty. The bun bo hue was fully loaded with meat – including sliced beef, pork hock, pork belly and big chunks of cha lua (Vietnamese ham). The banh xeo was also loaded with lots of veggies and roasted pork. It was interesting that all the dishes here had a Malaysia twist. Aaron’s chicken came with a hot/sour sauce that usually comes with chicken rice here. My bun bo hue came with a lime and a sauce on the side. As someone who grew up eating Vietnamese food, I felt tasted really good but instead of the traditional bun bo hue taste to me it was like a Malaysian sambal taste. As someone who grew up Malaysian food, Aaron disagreed and said it wasn’t sambal and was more like the bun bo hue paste taste with the lemongrass. The debate is still open.

After a very filling and delicious late lunch, we headed upstairs to the cute October Coffee House. I was full by then but Aaron enjoyed some drip coffee. We then went over to the nearby City Grocer to do some grocery shopping, especially since we finally have access to a kitchen to cook for the baby. They had a fair selection of items here, but we weren’t able to get everything we wanted. It was getting late, so we went home to make dinner for the baby and tucked her into bed.

After she went to bed, we headed to Imago to pick up some more essentials from the pharmacy and grocery store there. We were able to find the rest of the items we needed here. Most of the food court restaurant were closing by now (9:30pm), so we decided to get some ayam (chicken) flavoured Maggi instant noodles, chicken and veggies and cooked for ourselves instead back at the Airbnb. After this late dinner/late night snack, I finally went to bed after 10pm! This was a miracle as I haven’t been able to stay up past 9pm since we arrived in Malaysia!

Ayam Maggi with chicken, veggies and sambal paste

1 thought on “Malaysia Trip 2022/2023 Day 9: Kota Kinabalu”

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