The freshest seafood in Kota Kinabalu is in Salut Seafood Restaurant. Any fresher and you would have to catch it yourself. I just couldn’t resist adding that in. The seafood is actually caught and cooked to order. Since the seafood is caught fresh, it makes it taste that much better.
Located close to Jalan Sepangar, it is about mid-way to Tuaran town. This seafood restaurant is very popular with tourist and locals alike. Although it is off the beaten path, it is easy to get to.
Just mention Salut seafood restaurant and almost everyone I know has heard of it. This restaurant takes its name from the Salut River.
Salut Seafood Restaurant
This seafood restaurant is about 30 plus kilometers outside of Kota Kinabalu city. It is located in rural Kota Kinabalu, because they rear some of their own seafood. You can see a number of large ponds in front of the restaurant. The restaurant is an open-air restaurant, and there is nothing fancy about it. The best time to dine there is in the evening, the air temperature is cooler and you get to see a beautiful sunset by the river.
The restaurant is circular-shaped, built of timber, and extends out over the water. The architecture is very simple, functional and in the local style. There is nothing pretentious about it, the seafood is the focus and that is what everyone is there for. Even the recipes are simple, and highlights the natural flavor of the seafood.
Before you go inside the restaurant, you can select the various seafood and vegetables available, and specify how you want your food cooked. Most of the seafood is ordered by weight and priced accordingly. Once you have done that, you walk across a wooden platform built over the water and into the main dining area. Having selected your table, drinks can be ordered. Most of us will choose fresh fruit juice, although beer and wine is available.
The Seafood Available
Where do I start? Prawns, cockles, shellfish, crabs, fishes and so many types of species. Cooked in a variety of ways, with ginger and garlic, in rice wine, hot and spicy, sweet and sour, as a soup, steamed, braised, stir-fried and deep-fried. It is best to try the different flavors and have them recommend how best to cook the dish. You can also order vegetable dishes, as well as noodles and rice to go with your dinner.
The Best Part Is The Price
If you were to eat fresh seafood in Kota Kinabalu city, the tab can run up to many hundreds of Ringgit. In Salut seafood restaurant, you will find the price to be way, way cheaper. The last time we had dinner at Salut, there were 8 adults and 2 kids, and the bill came to about RM 300. Expect to pay RM40 to RM50 per person. This is one of the best deals in town. They also accept credit cards, such as Mastercard and Visa.
If you are going to Salut Seafood Restaurant without a local guide, your best bet is to take a taxi. I don’t know the fare but I’m guessing it is at least RM 70 one-way. Just make sure you arrange for a pick-up as well, and get the taxi-driver’s cellphone number. Otherwise, have the restaurant call you a taxi, and expect to pay a surcharge.
The route to Salut goes through an industrial park, and then into agricultural area. It is out of the way, and although the road is sealed, there are hardly any street lights at night. It is dark at night, until you get to the industrial area, which will only take about 5 minutes from the restaurant. As far as I know, it is a safe place, and locals go there often.
Photo source: Kota Kinabalu Food Reviews (www.KK-Food.Blogspot.com)
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