TAMAHA Food Race: Chasing A Food Adventure

What do foodies do besides eating, trying new food haunts and more eating? Join a food race, of course!

 by Tommy Duncan, Carrybeans 

It was a fun-filled Saturday as 104 foodies set off on an exciting food race throughout the city. Held on 10 March, the TAMAHA Food Race was organised by Sri Pelancongan Sabah Sdn Bhd and Sabah Tourism Board (STB) in conjunction with the STB Building’s 100-Year Anniversary this year.

What does tamaha mean?

The word means greedy in the local dialect, and with 26 teams of four it definitely was an eating adventure.  Flagging off the race was Datuk Joniston Bangkuai, Chairman of Sabah Tourism Board, while Suzaini Ghani, General Manager of Sabah Tourism Board and Zachary Mobijohn, General Manager of Sri Pelancongan Sabah Sdn Bhd, were also present.

What are the rules of the game?

  • Be ready to eat
  • No self-driving allowed, participant are only allowed to use UBER or walk
  • Upon completing a challenge (12 pit stops altogether), the team must post a group photo and check-in at the location on Instagram

In orange shirts, participants were seen running around Penampang and KK city in search of clues and challenges leading to local food eateries. The first station was Grandis Hotel: Rosea Cafe. There, participant gorged on a gigantic plate of spaghetti in order to get their next clue.


Contestants certainly needed a big stomach for this race, but some looked full even after the first station!

To complete the race, teams had to hit up Grandis Hotel and Resort, Horizon Hotel, Lava Burger Bakar, Kampung Noodle Fish and Recipe, Jom Penyet, Asia Rasa Cafe, The Hail’s, The Beer Factory, Kadaiku Sabah’s Souvenir & Handicraft, and Tempurung Ice Cream Cafe.

UBER was the official ride for the event, 2more the official drink and ASK Creative the apparel sponsor.

It’s all about the food, food, food

Participant were judged based on the food challenges, Instagram post and check-ins (that’s why it’s good to be a master of social media these days, friends). And of course, it’s not a food race if you don’t eat… a lot. Given the amount of food contestants ate and not forgetting all the running around, it’s not surprising that some threw up during the race.

Jacob Chong, owner of Jom Penyet, said the eatery served their signature ayam goreng as well as their spicy homemade sambal during the fifth pitstop. I gave the sambal a try and must say it’s definitely worth a visit!

Armed with the afro, the H.I.S Travel team ‘enjoys’ the spicy sambal with ayam goreng.

Meanwhile David Chin from Tempurung Cafe said the challenge at his pit stop was eating ice cream blindfolded! This fun and messy challenge was certainly not for the faint-hearted. Who wants sugary goodness on your face and not in your mouth?

A participant cautiously feeds a teammate ice-cream

Who can resist white creamy, juicy, gooey goodness of…

But the last round was definitely the most exciting, as it was a celebration of our very friendly butod! Yes, with each group having to finish four wriggling and very alive sago worms, tourists and STB staff definitely enjoyed seeing participants ‘eww’ their way through the challenge.

Team Gundoot taking the bite

Sharon Julius, Captain for Team Gundoot, said the race is definitely worth waking up for on a Saturday morning.  Even though the team did not land in the top three, they were completely satisfied as they left with their tummies full! Team Gundoot said they would definitely join the race again with new strategies in place.

So who took home the top prize?

After a long day of fun in the sun, eating and throwing up (for some), three teams emerged above the rest. Taking home first place was Team BRRKATAl1, who clinched the RM1,000 prize. The Friendster and Godo’otz won second and third place, taking back RM600 and RM400 cash prizes respectively.

TAMAHA Food Race Champion: BRRKATAl1 / Credit: Sabah Tourism Board

May Salitah Naru Kiob, Publicity & Publication Manager of Sri Pelancongan Sabah, headed the organising team. She said they were inspired to do a food race after participating in a similar competition in Sandakan. Here’s what she has to say:

Our main purpose [of the TAMAHA Food Race] is to boost social media followers for both Sri Pelancongan Sabah Sdn Bhd, Sabah Malaysian Borneo Magazine and Sabah Tourism Board.

Apart from that, it’s to celebrate the 100th year STB building anniversary as well as promote local eateries here in KK.

May Salitah was happy with the event’s success, and participants are already asking when the next race will be!

And that’s a (food) wrap, guys.

It was a tiring day with lots of running (that’s the life of a Carrybeanie!) but it was such a fun event to cover. It was also a big day for me as I finally tried butod. I gobbled up two big ones, so there we go.

Read to know more about Sabah’s buildings and which have been gazetted

Featured Image Credit: Sabah Tourism Board



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