Eating Naan at the Taliban

Posted on September 30, 2009
Filed Under >Himayun Mirza, Food, Pakistanis Abroad
Total Views: 116258

Himayun Mirza

This is the story of how I had some of the best naans I have ever had in my life at the Taliban Food Center, a small local restaurant in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. The name has got nothing at all to do with the Taliban as we know them in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere.

The name may be worth a chuckle for some – even though it has nothing to do with what you are chuckling about. The food, however, is worth much more more. Its worth eating, worth enjoying and worth talking about!

Since ATP has its running series on the Best Pakistani Food Outside Pakistan and I have read here about eating daal roti in Taiwan, I though I would share with you the story of the Taliban Restaurant in Malaysia.

Last year I went to the second largest city of Malaysia called Kota Kinabalu, in Sabah province. Obviously I was looking for a nice desi place to eat. Most of the local and Indian restaurants there have some sugar in their meat dishes even though they are spicy. I do not like any hint of sugar in my meat dishes.

However, I found a wonderful restaurant with the best naans I ever ate in my life. They had piping hot naan coming out of the oven and we could order from simple to garlic to cheese naan. The whole lunch can be as cheap as 1 or 2 U.S. dollars (Pak Rs. 80-160).

Yes, this is not a misprint!

Initially I was afraid to go to a place called “Taliban Food Center” but the rave reviews and the desire to eat desi food got the better of me. You cannot find better food in this price even in Pakistan and India.

I found more information on the restaurant at the website RaveJoint: Food Matters. It defines teh food ‘type’ as “Indian/Pakistani,” location is described as being “Beside Honda Boon Siew, Inanam,” and average dish price as “RM 3.00” which is slightly under US$ 1. Of the three comments posted there, two are about the naan. One says: “Yeah…. seriously the best naan i’ve eaten here in Sabah. Comes wid lots of stuff.. and u can never get tired of the name of this Restaurant :P,” and teh second one says, “This was my first time eating naan and it was pretty good. Supposedly this is a very famous restaurant for naan. It’s served with kima and chutney. I think the potato curry thing was pretty nice and the naan is great too. There’s a lot of different naan combo sets too.”

If any of you ever go to Brunei then Kota Kinabalu is only a 3-4 hours ferry ride.

15 responses to “Eating Naan at the Taliban”

  1. Momin ansari says:

    In Malaysia — yes Food is very Cheap and always fresh and Delicious i spend 6 Months there and tasted almost every Local dish … But the most memorable one for me is the Pakistani Chapli Kabab and Karhai at MASJID JAMIK … Chapli Kabab with One Big Nan Only 3RM … … Then i remember Coconut Chutni at Meru …and Cocont Curry Cooked in Palm Oil. with Nasi (Rice)…Malaysian’s are fond of eating Fried Rices …

    some fried rices name as.

    Nasi Goreng Ayam
    Nasi Lempak
    Nasi goreng pattaya
    Nasi kandar
    Nasi Campur
    Nasi Padang

    Malaysian Food at its Best..

  2. Daud says:


    Still not sure that if this has nothing to do with Taliban as we know them, then what is teh meaning of Taliban in this name?

  3. Binna says:

    What a great find.

    Both for the photos and for the naan.

    Strange world indeed. But worth it if the naan was really as good as you say!

  4. Razi says:

    Aslam: You are so right….nothing beats the taste of garam garam Naan/Tandoor Ki Roti right out of the Tandoor (has to be wrapped in a newspaper). Whenever I was asked to run out to the Tandoor and get the roti….I would make sure I would order one extra so that by the I walked back home, there was at least half a roti additional left rather than half a roti missing from the original order :)

    Miss those since I moved to the US…

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