Malaysia is known to have its own cuisine though there are similarities between Malaysian and Singaporean food. In Kota Kinabalu, you have to eat seafood. However, visitors must shop around for reasonable price. There are 2 restaurants (open-air) at Api Api Centre where the price is reasonable. There are many others. However, beware of well-known restaurants located near the jetty. If you are into fish, try steamed fish (size is preferable abt 800g and not more). For crab, try sambal crab or sweet chili crab. If you do not mind peeling the shell of the prawns, try boiled prawns and dip it in soya sauce with chili. Or shelled prawns are nice to be fried with flour. You can also order asam fish or asam prawn (asam = tamarind). Asam fish or prawn will increase your appetite. Always check the price per kilo before you place order. For vegetable, try the famous local vegetable which is like a stick and try to have it cooked with shrimp paste. Shrimp paste has a pungent smell but it is very tasty.

Try to eat at the night food stall - walk past fish market, filipino market and KK market. Seafood price is very cheap and you can ask them to cook per your preference - grill, steam etc. Please check the price first before you order but its a lot cheaper than Kuala Lumpur or Penang.