my heart lies in kota kinabalu

13 February 2016
I visited KK on the 3rd week of January to see my brothers + their kids and Faiz + family. 
I was back for about 5 days. Whenever I'm back for a quick visit, there is only 1 single purpose: eat all the food I can consume ASAP. Anyway, my heart always swells as soon as I land KK airport & hear the local Sabahan dialect. It sounds and feels like.. Well.. Home. 

I love KK with such a fervour intensity, its scary. I love the people. I love the food. I love the beaches. I love the sunsets. I love the way the coastal winds rustle through its trees. 

I'm probably out of loop with the new places. 
So Faiz and I stuck with what we knew and craved for the most. 


Quick one before we head to the airport hehe :)

First meal in KK. EAT ALL THE SEAFOOD!!!! You can find the cheapest and freshest seafood here. 

My 2/3 nephews, Hafiz & Qairish!! Glued to the hip and so hectic. Hahaha.

Hafiz's dimples so cuuuuteeeee!

Bag boy Karlito
I've got a little Karl Lagerfeld dangling from my bag. Hahahaha.

Duck lips once in a while.. Can lah hahahaha.

Family & I stayed in Meridien for the weekend because some of our family friends from KL tagged along for the trip.

Ninaaaa! The eldest grandchild in the family. My first love. She makes me laugh so much and she shares the same affinity for puns as I do. I'll share some really funny ones that she made in the Japan post!


"Nina jadi macam model dulu ok" hahahaha (Nina you be a model first ok).

The ceilings in the hotel. 

Can't believe she's turning 10 this year!!! To think, I became an aunt when I was 12!!

Faiz only came back from Melbourne the day after I landed so I spent the day with my brothers and their kids.

So cheeky 



Not trying to act cute lol the sun was really bright!!! (excuse hahahaha)

I had breakfast here every morning. My favourite spot to have roti kahwin (bread with kaya and butter). Their teh tarik is AWEEESOME too. I had mee rojak & Faiz had nasi lemak.

The best part about their roti kahwin. LITERALLY THICK SLOBS OF BUTTER. 
They mean business.

Butter to kaya ratio is spot on.

My view every morning whenever I left for school

My niece, Nana playing with my hair 

Nana's big sister, Erra. My brother named her after me, Qaisara so this one has an especially special little place in my heart.

Dinner with our parents 

One of my earliest memories (around 3-4) was in Hyatt's Nagisa teppanyaki, with Chef Kenny! After 20 years and this guy still works here. When he first saw me, he noticed the mole on my forehead and said,
 "eh I remember you, last time so small and now so big ahhh."
 "ya uncle. that's growing up for you" 
hahahaha


My skin did not agree with KK's stark humidity. Breaking out left and right like nobody's business. 

Lunch at Faiz's. Homecooked food so yummmmmy

Hey baby the camera is this way............... here.

Faiz's mom, Aunty Emily made my favourite kuih cempiang!!!!! I always ate this in primary school but the one aunty made were tiny bite-sized ones. Damn. Now I'm craving for it!




I like the mood walls


My patient driver who's rarely angry on the road. I on the other hand... Road-rage x99.


His & hers! This was taken a few days before I got another iPhone 6s + so I haven't been using the smaller 6.

 The more pink phones the better lol. I got it because I didn't have to bring the iPad around as often to read! I got a ring holder for the plus too and IT IS LIFE-CHANGER. The only reason I switched over to the smaller 6 last year was because it was too big for my hands. Since I don't have instagram anymore I'm not that fussed about stretched pixels!! 
 I loved the bigger screen for videos and scrolling but I hated the lack of grip. Now with the ring, it has a better grip, no more phone dropping on your face and overall much better experience. If you have a plus or a big phone, go get the ring holder!!

Kah hiong's ngiu cap. Beef brisket noodles. 


Peanut fillings!!!!

Tom yam fish soup from Wan Wan.

Unappealing photo once in a while.. Hehehe

On one of the days, I was overwhelmed with these powerful emotions and wanted to hunt for the best pisang goreng (fried banana fritters) in KK. I went online and did my research and found this little stall in Gaya Street. I am here to confirm... BEST PISANG GORENG I'VE EVER HAD IN MY LIFEEEEE. It was so crunchy and sweet and ahhh damn good lah.

Faiz doesn't even eat/like bananas but he still helped me look for the stall! I feel like I have to talk about this. Banana is at the top of my list for favourite fruits. But Faiz begs to differ. When we first started dating and I found out, I was like 'woah woah, this is a deal breaker right here. Can't date you now..' LOL. Joking!!! But I was really taken aback and shocked lah! I've never met anyone who didn't like bananas. So I asked him why? He said he thought it tasted weird and fruits shouldn't be creamy, it should be fresh and citrusy. Hahahaha. 

Anyway now I appreciate these little differences about us. He doesn't like bananas and durians - but I do. It works out just fine because now when we're at restaurants and there's banana desserts, he just passes the plate over to me to eat. More food for me! Hahaha.

That crissssppppppness 


Gaya Street

We got tired of walking around one day and went to Bella's mom award winning spa, Jari-Jari

Coffee scrub made with Sabah's own Tenom coffee. I can't believe I've only just recently tried tenom coffee (RECENT LIKE THIS YEAR). Now its my staple coffee. I'm going to bring 10kgs back to Melbourne lol.


KK is renown for their sunsets. Look it up here.



Faiz sending me to the airport :'(


"I'm Sabahan." 
"I'm from Sabah."
"I live in KL but my home's in KK."

These are the familiar sentences that reside and leaves the curves of my lips with abandon whenever someone asks me the perfunctory question, 'where are you from?'
 I may not be born in Sabah (that privilege goes to Kuching, Sarawak - where my ibu is from), but I may as well be.
The gravity of home is strongest here. Home. This is home.

Lots of love, 
Sara
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