The canteen at Laban Rata resthouse is the only place serving food during the Mount Kinabalu climb. This include simple food such as noodles, buns, rice etc but I can tell you they will taste very good especially after a long and tiring climb to reach here.
Perkasa Hotel also has a good restaurant where you can have a very nice lunch when you are on your way to Mount Kinabalu, or when you just left. The restaurant is situated in Kundasang, a few kilometres to the south, when coming from Kota Kinabalu. Its location is spectacular: on top of a hill, surrounded by beautiful gardens, with great views.
The food is both international, with salad and fries and Asian, with noodles and nice nasi goreng in several different varieties. You get more then enough: you won't leave the table with a hungry feeling!
Right behind the hotel you'll find a good viewpoint to watch the mountain, but of course only when the sky is clear. When I was there the clouds already covered the mountain. Close to this viewpoint there is also a mini-canopy walk. A good preparation for Poring and a nice way to relax after the lunch.
When I was there in Oct 2007, the price of Buffet Dinner was RM33, Buffet Breakfast (Light) was RM16. Buffet looks nice with variety of dishes (about 5 dishes if I remember corretly) to choose from. But don't expect anything like your typical buffet in a hotel. Remember, you are now up in the mountain!
If you don't want buffet, you can order other dishes too. To give you an idea, I had a plate of Chinese Fried Rice for RM15. It is a big plate of fried rice. Can't complain about the taste. It is not that bad. I also ordered a small pot of hot chinese tea for RM4. It was more than enough for me.
Favorite Dish: Chinese Fried Rice - the only thing that I tried
I bet you never see this kind of business hour in any restaurant before. This is the craziest business hour we have ever seen!
Conclusion: never be late for your dinner. You cant imagine how pity you are if you go to the restaurant at 7:30pm and the waiter tell you, sorry mam, we are closed..
When you are at Laban Rata, you really have not much of a choice. Nevertheless, the food is all right. Just make sure you eat according to the timings of the restaurant.
2am - 3.30am is breakfast (RM14). Dinner is served from 5.30pm - 7.30pm (RM22). Breakfast served a second time for those who have come down from the peak 7.30am - 10.30am (RM17).
The restaurant has a verandah with great views. Arrive early and you will get a place there. It's too cold in the late evenings.
Besides the restaurant, there is a grocery counter there where you can get snacks and spares. You can also rent games, towels and jackets from the registration counter.
Favorite Dish: The dinner buffet is not bad, with fried noodles, mixed stir fried vegies and chicken casserole. The cream soup, though somewhat diluted, was a welcome when you're arriving in cold weather. There is plenty to go around, and you can have more than one helping, so you won't starve. And then there is the Sabah tea or Tenom coffee for after the meal, and cut local fruits.
Just don't expect a gourmet fine dining experience, but the food is not bad tasting. Use your imagination, and with the right company, it could seem 5 star dining.
You get a complete meal from soup to dessert. It's all local fare with steamed rice, fried noodles, some meat, stir friend vegies and a soup. You won't starve if you are not picky on food. Just bear in mind that dinner is only served from 5.30pm - 7.30pm. You can also order ala carte dishes.
Some others had soup noodles to combat the cold weather. It would also be less oily, especially for those who prefer a light meal.
From the picture, you can see that there are prices on the walls (English). There are also menus. All the locals speak English and Malay, so you will not have problem with communicating what you need.
This is the only restaurant/ place to eat on the mountain. Imagine, those people carry up the food without using helicopter, to 3000 over meters .. of course they deserved a higher price.
You can have your buffet dinner here on the first evening before your sleep. The price per person is RM20.70. The dishes.. hmm.. let me think..
plain rice, fried noodle, sweet corn soup, coffee, sabah tea, chicken, beef, vege, fried egg.
Buffet actually is a wise choice because other dish on the menu is also expensive. A bowl of noodle soup will cost you around RM12.
Before hiking, take your breakfast at Laban Rata restaurant.
Our memorable milo.. hot drink that malaysian used to drink early in the morning cost us RM4.6 per pot. You can share it among 2 to 3 person. One person probably cannot finish it.
For other drink.. beer?.. a can of Carlsberg costs RM12 and a can of Heineken costs RM16.00.
Well you still can get your late lunch on the 2nd day after your hike if you reach the HQ early. The restaurant is located opposite the HQ.
After a long down-hill trek, all you want could be just a nice meal - regardless of the price.
This restaurant charges most of the dishes at price around RM7 - fried seafood/beef/chicken noodles etc. The chinese tea is cheap and warming- RM0.50!