Restoran Sabah Keratang in Kota Kinabalu is actually named after a popular fish. Keratang is the local name for Giant Garupa – the largest bony fish found off Sabah’s shores.
Even the restaurant’s logo makes it pretty clear what the word “Keratong” means. After all, how often do you see a Giant Garupa dressed as a chef flashing a happy grin?
While there’s a misconception that Giant Garupa is merely a standard Garupa but older and bigger, it is actually an entirely separate species of Garupa that can grow to half a tonne in weight if not harvested.
This particular species also has a distinctively thicker skin than its smaller, standard cousin.
Unlike full-fledged seafood restaurants like Welcome Seafood, Salut Seafood, New Gaya, or fish noodle places like Fatt Kee and Taukefish, Sabah Keratang has found it own comfortable niche somewhere smack in the very middle, dishing up mouthwatering fish noodle soups, fried rice and noodles with Garupa.
There is also a rather lavish spread of other seafood and meat dishes that are perfectly paired with rice.
A seafood dinner for two can be a little pricey but only because seafood in general is expensive no matter which part of the country you live in. The Garupa Soup was RM30 for a small bowl, the 3-in-1 seafood dish came in at RM29.50 for a small portion, and the vegetables were priced at RM10.
The Garupa Soup was as good as any you would find in other seafood restaurants, and came with chunks of tomato in a salted-vegetable tofu soup base. This sour-salty-savoury broth perfectly complimented the fatty nature of the Garupa meat and the fish’s thick skin.
Portion size was generous as well especially since this serving was essentially a “small” bowl.
The 3-in-1 seafood dish was visually captivating and equally wondrous on the tastebuds. This dish was a delicious mix of prawns, squid, and of course, giant slices of Garupa.
Hands down, this dish was the favourite as the seafood was fresh and super tasty, and while it was slightly on the saltier side, it was all the more satisfying to enjoy it with a bowl of steamed rice.
The vegetable could stand its ground although it was not remarkable in any particular way.
The overall verdict? Sabah Keratang is definitely a worthy place to stop by for a hearty seafood meal if you’re ever in Kota Kinabalu.
Block J, Sadong Jaya,
74, Jalan Karamunsing,
88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
GPS: 5.969263, 116.072061
Tel: 088-253 718
This article first appeared in kyspeaks.com