Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Being Millennials - Simply KK: A Sojourn in Sabah’s Capital

The thing about The Mainstays’ friendship is that we have this unspoken rule that we should be on-call 24/7. There’s no contract, no peer pressure to do so—it’s just that we’ve become our own constants over the years.

We have this thread, which has been housed in several messaging apps already (we’ve been on Facebook Messenger, Viber, and WhatsApp, but we’re happily using LINE now), and notifications can go from 10 to 200+ on our peak hours daily.

It’s in our everyday conversations that we find out what’s happening among our circle—work frustrations, upcoming interesting events, life updates, friendly chika, and cheap air fares that are up for grabs.

Usually, it’s Claire (and sometimes, Alex) who does that, so when she asked who wants to go to Kota Kinabalu and back for some PhP2,000++ late last year, I couldn’t say no… even if I have no idea what the Malaysian coastal city has to offer. Because clearly, how could you pass up on seats that cheap?

Fast forward to March 2016, Claire and I find ourselves exploring the city simply called KK.

Love at First Bite

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from binging on TLC’s travel shows, it’s that you will only truly know a country through feasting on its cuisine.

Malaysian food is somehow close to what we have here in the Philippines. Variations of mee look like our pansit, while satay appears to be similar to what is collectively called “barbecue” that’s practically sold in every kanto in any Filipino neighborhood.

What sets KK eats apart, however, is the explosion of flavor its food leaves in your mouth, right after the moment it touches your tongue.

I haven’t tried Malaysian cuisine prior to our visit to KK, making our food crawl of sorts a pleasant surprise to the palate.

The food in KK (and probably the whole of Malaysia) appears to be a fusion of Malay, Indian, and Chinese cuisine—there’s just something for everyone.

It was love at first bite when I had mee goreng (fried noodles) paired with hot teh tarik (pulled tea) in a restoran near our hostel for my first meal.

The moment I took a bite and sip of my order, I knew KK was going to be one heck of a gastronomic adventure.