Eating Naan at the Taliban

Posted on September 30, 2009
Filed Under >Himayun Mirza, Food, Pakistanis Abroad
Total Views: 109120

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. Sajid Khan says:

    The article states Kota Kinabalu as second largest city of Malaysia. Infact Kota Kinabalu is the second largest city of East Malaysia (after Kuching).

    The second largest city of Malaysia is Johor Bahru at the Singapore border.

  2. Riaz Haq says:

    The word taliban is plural for talib or talib-e-ilm, which simply means student. The people now described as “the Taliban” originally came out of the madrassahs established for Afghan refugees along Pak-Afghan border during the 1980s after the Soviet invasion.

    The Taliban movement of Afghanistan received a negative connotation only after they took power and reportedly committed excesses in Afghanistan, including the hosting of UBL and his al Qaeda colleagues prior to 911.

  3. Majid says:

    Himayun perhaps i know this person. this name is not just a coincidence. owner’s son is studyin in Pakistan (in Jamia Ashrafia) and a hardcore taliban fan. please confirm in ur nex visit.

  4. Aslam says:

    Speaking of Naan, I find that whenever and wherever you find taaza naan straight out of the tandoor anywhere outside Pakistan you think it is the world’s best. Because it is so difficult to find this.

    Waisay bhi, there is NO food in the world that can compete with taaza naan out of the tandoor!

  5. Irshad Ali says:

    Seems to be trailer of some “Taliwood” movie.

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