Traditional food is an important tourism product that ensure tourists have a better insight of the host country. Food as an identity of the people is usually connected to the rural area or homestay programmes, but the Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu has taken traditional food to a new heights.
They have brought increased tourists awareness on the local food heritage which strengthen local identity that would otherwise be ordinary food for the local community.
The food served by the hotel includes the ‘Hinava” which is a very popular Kadazandusun delicacy, served by the people since time immemorial. This fish dish is pickled in lime juice with onions and chilli. This dish is best served as accompaniment with vegetable dish among others.
Also on their menu is the Pinasakan Sada which is mackerel fish in sour soup cooked with Bambangan and lime as well as chilli. This is usually eaten with rice.
Next on the menu is the Tiger Prawn in Banana Leaf. This is an innovation of the traditional way of cooking, where the prawns are wrapped in leaves and cooked in chili shrimp paste.
Chicken is not left out in the menu, and they serve it baked with lemon grass gravy, serve it with hill rice and fern leaves.
Perhaps the tastiest of them all is the Sago starch dish, famously called ‘Nantung’ in Kadzandusun language and Ambuyat in Bajau.
This dish is served with sweet and sour fish as well as a variety of hot dips.
All these dishes are innovations of Chef Rondi, a local talent that is a passionate advocate of traditional cuisine. This young man who has 25 years of experience in the kitchen says he is very interested in cooking all sorts of innovation especially in traditional cuisines even though he started in contemporary fusion food.
Presently, he is displaying his skills in the menu dubbed a Taste of Discovery specialties at Circle Restaurant.- Sayangsabah.