Taste of Discovery at Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu


We always get this question a lot, what is the traditional food for the people of Sabah? As a chinese, we can think of few hakka dishes but for the other communities such as Kadazandusun peoples in Sabah, we didn’t really know anything about their traditional dishes.

During a gathering with fellow foodies, they were talking about Hinava and other Kadazandusun dishes and I ask them what is hinava. They all look at me and ask “are you Sabahan? how could you know nothing about Hinava? I really want to try Hinava but the problem is where to get it ? I was informed that Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu serve traditional food and Hinava is in the menu. Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu is kind enough to invite us over for Taste of Discovery session and finally I able to try the traditional dishes of Kadazandusun people.

The dishes serve by Taste of Discovery aim to stimulate your tastebud, and it is certainly challenge our tastebud with the flavours of salt, vinegar, spicy and sweet through such traditional gastronomic creations as the Hinava, Pinasakan, Tiger Prawn in Banana Leaf, Ayam Bambangan, Tampatan Trio and Sago Special.


our appetiser of the day, Hinava! Marinated mackerel with lime, ginger, chili and garnished with local salad

tampatan trio

Timpatan Trio,g combination of  Hinava, Tiger Prawn in Banana Leaf  & Ayam Bambangan Served with steamed hill rice and discovery condiments

bambangan ayam

bambangan ayam

Ayam Bambangan, Baked spring chicken marinated in bambangan lemongrass gravy, served with steamed hill rice and stir fried wild fern shoot

tuhau, bambangam chili sauce

All dishes are served with discovery condiments which made up of Tuhau, marinated bambangan and hot chilli sauce. Tuhau is from the root of plant which relate to the ginger family. Tuhau is favourite prickle for the native Kadazandusun and usually served with dishes and rice. Bambangan is a type of wild mango and rich with fiber. It is not usually eaten fresh because of its fiber and usually made into prickle. Tuhau is something of an acquire taste as it has stringent and strong smells which is similar to taste of roots and insects.

tuhau, bambangam chili sauce taste of discovery le meridien kota kinabalu

Taste of Discovery with Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu

sago discovery

Sago DiscoveryChilled sago served with palm sugar, coconut milk and Haagen Dazs vanilla ice cream. love the texture of the sago and the brown sugar brings flavours to the sago.

Taste of Discovery are available a la carte at Circle Restaurant, Le Meridien Hotel Kota Kinabalu. While the price is on the high side, the food quality was certainly top notch and one of the most convenient location for traditional food discovery.

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Joanne Lee

Chief Eater Extraordinaire of Sabaheats
I cook, I eat and I always looking for good food!


  1. […] Not exactly everyday food for the locals but Circus Restaurant at Le Meridien Hotel is the only place in Kota Kinabalu city serve local traditional Kadazan cuisine. Taste of Discovery bring you the cuisine of Kadazandusun peoples. You can choose from Hinava, Bambangam chicken and Pinasakan Sada. More information about Taste of Discovery at Taste of Discovery at Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu […]


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