Food is the ingredient that binds foodies together. When the yearning for East Malaysian and Borneo cuisine overwhelms, fret not, as there are great finds in town worth exploring. Here is a handy guide to delicious cuisine that’s distinctively from Borneo.

Tasty East M’sian Eats in Johor Bahru

Thanks to a growing community of East M’sians settling in Johor Bahru, there’s a huge following of local cuisine lovers. In fact, many have set up good eats and shared great recipes with local West M’sians.

1. Restoran Original Sarawak Kolomee

Frontage of Sarawak Kolo Mee

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. For Juliet and Raj, the owners and master chefs of this restaurant, the love for Sarawak cuisine has them cooking with wild abandon.

Owners and chef of restaurant

Just like the restaurant’s name, the delicious Kolomee here comes in 3 original varieties – with plain or BBQ pork (char siu) red sauce or soya sauce. The noodles are prepared ‘al dente’ making it springy to chew and topped with minced meat, spring onion and fried onion. Be prepared for crunchy and savoury flavours created by the original recipe Kolomee. For side dishes, a platter of home-style meat balls, sausages and eggs accompany your Kolomee.

3 bowls of Kolomee with char siu and chicken toppings
Image credit: Restoran Original Sarawak Kolomee | Facebook

For veggies, Chef would whip up, upon request, the Sarawakian delicacies such as stir-fried ‘midin’, ‘paku-pakis’ and stir-fried ‘manicai’ with eggs. To complete your meal, try the all-time favourite 3-Layer Milk Tea (Teh C Ping Special). The 3 layers are made of local Sarawak black tea, palm sugar and evaporated milk. Simply ask to reduce the sugar for a less sweet drink. Better than your regular Boba and more affordable too, Chef’s tea is the perfect ending to every meal.

Another secret at Restoran Original Sarawak Kolomee is Chef’s home-made Tuak, golden in colour and rich in original flavours. A rice wine made from a top-secret recipe is served only on very special occasions and upon availability. So, make every dining adventure at this restaurant a special occasion.

Address: 29, Jalan Bayan 37, Taman Megah Ria, 81750 Masai, Johor, Malaysia


2. Pasar Borneo Johor

Right next to Restoran Original Sarawak Kolomee is Pasar Borneo. It’s the best place to get all the ingredients you need for your favourite Borneo recipes. Should you wish to try some recipes at home, you can pick up the local vegetables, herbs and spices here. After all, you won’t find them in your local supermart.

Vegetables stall at Pasar Borneo with basket of brinjals, midin and paku-pakis

For snacks and desserts, the local market vendors offer a wide array of ‘Kuih Lapis’ or Sarawak layer cake. Further, the famed multi-layer cake in rainbow colours with intricate patterns and a variety of flavours is a sweet treat. Another delicious snack is the Sarawak Kuih Penyaram that’s shaped like a Mexican hat and flavoured with palm sugar.

Containers of live sago worms on table

Other weird and wonderful finds at Pasar Borneo are live sago worms that are roasted as a local delicacy. It’s certainly not for the faint-hearted. In addition, there are live frogs available for kitchen masters to whip the famed frogs’ legs dish. Just be ready for kids to simply want to take the frogs home as pets.

Address: 1, Jalan Bayan 37, Taman Megah Ria, 81750 Masai, Johor

3. Kuching Style Restaurant

Frontage of Kuching Style Restaurant

Just like the name implies, this family-run restaurant makes tasty Kuching style cuisine. Famous for their Sarawak laksa that’s served with thick gravy and generous toppings, this is the main order on most days.

Sarawak Laksa in white bowl with white chopsticks on top
Image credit: Kuching Style Restaurant | Facebook

Exceptionally good is their kolomee, and the regulars here already know where to get their regular fix. Equally tantalising is their home-made rojak and fried ‘manicai’ with eggs, reminiscent of Sarawakian cuisine.

Kolomee in white bowl with chill and chopsticks on side
Image credit: Kuching Style Restaurant | Facebook

Being a family-oriented restaurant, the menu also has ‘nasi lemak’, chicken rice and fave breakfast meals such as toast and eggs. Further, it’s a popular place for family gatherings thanks to affordable prices and the awesome variety of food.

Address: No.15, Jalan Permas 10/5, Bandar Baru Permas Jaya, 81750 Masai, Johor


Borneo Delicacies In Kuala Lumpur

The melting pot of fantastic food begins in Kuala Lumpur. And adding to its flavours is the delights of Borneo delicacies in the heart of the bustling city.

4. Restoran Ah Soon Kor

Frontage of Restoran Ah Soon Kor
Image credit: Restoran Ah Soon Kor | Facebook

It’s not easy to find good Sabahan food in KL. However, the restaurant that many rave about is Restoran Ah Soon Kor sited in SS3 which serves one of the best Tuaran Mee, Beaufort Mee and ‘Sang Nyuk Mee’.

Mee Tuaran on white plate with red background
Image credit: Restoran Ah Soon Kor | Facebook

Serving delicacies popular in Sabah, their infamous Tuaran Mee has an egg-tastic aroma combined with springy noodles. Further, this dish is best served fried and topped with egg roll slices, roast pork slices (char siu) and local green veggies.

Just as scrumptious is their Beaufort Mee served with thick, rich and gooey gravy that’s slurp-licious. Home cooked noodles simmering within plus toppings of pork slices and local veggies make it a great tasting dish.

Dishes on table at Restoran Ah Soon Kor with hand holding chopsticks on side
Image credit: Restoran Ah Soon Kor | Facebook

Not to be missed is their Sang Nyuk Mee (pork noodles) served with generous portion of soup. What makes this special is the fresh pork slices served rare or medium-rare atop the noodle soup. The meat tastes soft and tender with every chew.

Further, the restaurant features a wide menu of dishes for families who prefer traditional Chinese cuisine. However, it’s their Sabahan delights that keep customers coming back for more.

Address: 42, Jalan SS 3/31, Taman Universiti, 47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor


5. 101 Sabah Pork Noodle

Shop frontage of 101 Sabah Pork Noodle by night
Image credit: 101 Sabah Pork Noodle | Facebook

When the carnivore in you needs to be satisfied, then, head for 101 Sabah Pork Noodle. Not your average style pork noodle, the Sabah version is a master chef creation. Further, this restaurant uses pork tendon in their dish, giving it a crunchy outside, chewy inside texture.

Bowl of dried pork noodle in black sauce with soup and chinese tea on side
Image credit: 101 Sabah Pork Noodle | Facebook

In addition, the soup is clear white as the chef has removed the fatty bits from the pork and marinated it with his special recipe. Better yet, it is served with generous portions of pork and local veggies. Best of all, this hearty meal comes at affordable prices.

Address: 101 Jalan 34/154, Taman Dahlia, 56100 Cheras, Kuala Lumpur


6. Restoran Dapur Sarawak

Shop frontage of Restoran Dapur Sarawak
Image credit: Restoran Dapur Sarawak | Facebook

In search of authentic Sarawakian food in the Klang Valley?  Then, search no further than Restoran Dapur Sarawak. Better yet, the place is Halal certified so feast without fear. Top pick on the menu is their Kolomee in special recipe sauce and topped with shredded chicken or beef slices.

Sarawak Laksa in thick gravy with prawns on top
Image credit: Restoran Dapur Sarawak | Facebook

Equally delicious is the Sarawak Laksa Special served with thick, creamy laksa gravy. Further, it’s topped with shredded chicken slices, large prawns and egg. Highly recommended on the menu, it’s a must-eat for patrons who love laksa.

Tall glass of 3 layer milk tea with green ferns in background
Image credit: aranprime | Unsplash

Finally, the 3-Layer Tea that’s popular in Sarawak is the perfect accompaniment to all meals at this restaurant.

2 crew preparing dishes on table of Restoran Dapur Sarawak
Image credit: Restoran Dapur Sarawak | Facebook

Address: Jalan Sarikei, Off Jalan Pahang Barat, 53000 Kuala Lumpur


7. Dayang Sarawak Corner Cafe

Shop frontage of Dayang Sarawak Corner Cafe
Image credit: Dayang Sarawak Corner Cafe | Facebook

For more halal Sarawakian cuisine, Dayang Sarawak Corner Cafe offers a mouth-watering menu of local, authentic food.

Regulars usually order the Mee Kolok Special and Laksa Sarawak Special served in generous portions. So, what makes them outstanding? The Mee Kolok is available in 4 varieties, with beef, chicken, prawns or all 3 ingredients.

9 varieties of dishes on menu from mains to desserts
Image credit: Dayang Sarawak Corner Cafe | Facebook

Moreover, the menu features a wide choice of noodle and rice dishes for customers who prefer non-Borneo meals. Finally, the simple yet elegant settings create a comfortable ambience in the airy, spacious cafe.

Address: No 2, Ground Floor, Jalan Perak. P15 Precinct Diplomatik, 62050 Kuala Lumpur


Special Food Delivery From Borneo

Hand holding smart phone and ordering food delivery
Image credit: Gabrielle Henderson | Unsplash

Why visit Borneo when the best of Borneo cuisine can be delivered to you? Simply find your fave restaurants on SmartBite Malaysia, the easy and efficient online food order and delivery across Malaysia. It’s so much easier now to order curated dishes from the best local restaurants. Take advantage of SmartBite promo code and enjoy smart savings with every bite. Go ahead and go through ShopBack to gain up to 4% cashback with every order.


Know more restaurants that celebrate the best of East M’sian and Borneo cuisine? Do share them with us.

*Featured image credit: Stacey Doyle | Unsplash

Note: The information presented in this article is correct at time of publishing and may be subject to change without prior notice. All images are credited to the article author unless stated so.