Best. Food. Ever. After the last episode of Derek Eats That! featuring the worst food ever — cockroach — it seems only fitting that this week I indulge in something delicious. And Babi Hutan, also known as Sinalau Bakas, might just be the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten in my life.
Sabah in East Malaysia is known for its seafood, and don’t get me wrong, the seafood here is nothing short of amazing. But I’ve been eating a lot of seafood. And I’m a sucker for pork. It’s my weakness, my kryptonite.
So when I heard about Sabahan roast wild boar, a traditional dish of the Dusun people, my stomach started rumbling.
What is Babi Hutan?
If you’ve ever been to Bali then you’ve heard of Babi Guling, the famous Balinese Hindu pork dish. Babi Hutan can be considered the Sabahan equivalent. The name translates as “pig of the forest” (much like orangutan aka orang hutan translates to “person of the forest”).
The boar is cooked fresh on the roadside. Pick your preferred cut of meat then watch it get seasoned and cooked right in front of your eyes. The finishing touch is a mixture of barbecue sauce and chili sauce. The smell alone will drive you crazy. First time I had babi hutan I was forced to speed eat the entire kilo on the roadside because my driver was Muslim and couldn’t even be around the smell of pork. (Time lapse in the video below.)
Where to find Sinalau Bakas
As Sinabalu Bakas is a Dusun dish, it can be found in Sabah wherever there is a large Dusun population. However the most well-known location — and easiest to reach from Kota Kinabalu — is the stretch of road from Tamparuli to Kundasang. It’s also conveniently located on the way to Mount Kinabalu, which means most tourists to Sabah are going to drive right past this place anyway 🙂
There are several different babi hutan vendors on this stretch of road but you want this shop:
The lady who runs this restaurant is a top-notch chef and knows how to cook a mean boar. Never in my life have I eaten 500 grams of meat in one setting, let alone a whole kilo in less than 10 minutes. But enough typing. Let’s get down to some eating.