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Bintang Food Court

Seriously, if I did not decide to make a shortcut upon entering the newly opened Kubota Sentral commercial area via the backside road of Bintang Kubota (which is exactly where this restaurant is) I would have never notice that the eatery was there. Location plays an important role within the budding commercial area, as seen and proven by previous tenants with similar situation before. It is especially a concern since the restaurant was bold enough not only to take on the rather secluded area, but also rented 3 shop lots at one go. Let us hope that the restaurant will survive and continue to stay open for many years to come.

My mom (being Chinese) is always enthusiastic when it comes to finding and patronizing a Chinese restaurant so we made our way there one evening and ordered some of their individual sized dishes which includes the Thai Chicken Rice and Mix Vegetables Rice. We were satisfied with their food on our first trip that we’d decided to drop by again the following weekend. During our second time there, we were both a bit hungry and had ordered a couple of their main dishes such as the Onion Chicken, Kangkung Belacan and Sliced Fish with Ginger and all of the dishes were nicely done. It wasn’t a total home run for me but nevertheless the dishes were still pretty scrumptious. It’s also good to note that they do have an array of snacks such as buns and pastries available should you have the urge to munch on something light (courtesy of Kurtos Spiroll no less).

Moreover…

Food – 4/5 (tasty Chinese cuisines indeed)
Price – 3/5 (I would say that it is above average)
Service – 3/5 (I blame the pillars that sometimes blocked the waitresses’ view of the customers)
Décor – 3/5 (has the typical big, modern Chinese restaurant feel to it)
Location – 3/5 (again, they’re located at the back row of said commercial area)

** Current status – Still in operation (as of November 2017) 









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Signature By The Licious Beverages

Man, I’m just so happy that Tawau is finally catching up with other more established districts in terms of modern cafes. And like a moth to a flame, I was quickly drawn to this classy looking café ever since they’d first put out their signage (and I’m not even kidding folks). They’re located within the Bintang Kubota Commercial Centre, right beside its immediate rival, the Cakes & Co café (way to stir up some competition there huh?).

Like any other modern cafes, they mainly serve anything that has got to do with coffees as well as some staple western dishes and light snacks. As I was there alone during my maiden visit, I’ve decided to try out their Chicken Pasta and a Belgian Chocolate Cake. And because they did not really specify which type of ‘pasta’ that I will be getting (and they did not ask as well), I was crossing my fingers that they did not give me a carbonara dish (since I’m not a fan of the sauce). Fortunately my prayers had been answered and what came out was a bolognese linguine dish with finely shredded chicken. May I just say that I absolutely love the dish even though the portioning might be on the smaller side. Their cake was moist enough and definitely tasted decadent especially when they’d drizzled a generous amount of ganache plus some caramel sauce on top (a bit of an overkill in terms of sweetness but I’m all in when it comes to anything chocolate). But for a place that prided itself on their coffee, I (personally) found their Mocha Latte to be a bit lacklustre.

In addition…

Food – 4/5 (two thumbs up for their food)
Price – 3/5 (very reasonable indeed)
Service – 5/5 (shout out to their female staff for making extra effort in making you feel welcome)
Décor – 4/5 (lovely modern, laid back place)
Location – 4/5 (they’re also on the same row as the Sedap Corner restaurant)

** Current status – Still in operation (as of November 2017) 







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Restoran Rahmat Taman Univilla

Please don’t mind my very Jalan Utara-Sin Onn centred reviews as of late, since I did mentioned before that I lived nearby right? I was hoping to do more reviews on ‘out-of-my-reach’ areas such as Jalan Apas & Balung but the distance can really be discouraging sometimes. But hey, you’ll never know what the future might bring so fingers crossed people! So for now, I’m reviewing a place that is closer to home, which is situated at the single row shop within the Taman Univilla area.

Me and my parents were at the Indian Muslim eatery early in the evening so we decided to stick to whatever that were available and had their Nasi Campur (for my mom, and she said that the taste was acceptable), Nasi Briyani (I opted for their Ayam Masak Kicap instead of its usual pairing and it was surprisingly yummy – tasted sweet and succulent). My dad was not in the mood for anything heavy, so he’d gone for their Roti Canai. Nothing too spectacular but still pretty good according to him. There are also a number of stalls available right at the backside of the restaurant (a good place to hang out especially at night) and one particular stall that stands out is a burger joint called Crayyon Burger. As you can imagine from their name, they sell burgers with ‘unique’ colouring such as bright red, pink and green (according to the crayon colours I presume). I did not have the chance to try them out yet but I will let you guys know the verdict as soon as I did okay.

Next we have…

Food – 3/5 (not disappointing at all)
Price – 3/5 (mid-range)
Service – 4/5 (pretty swift so no worries)
Décor – 3/5 (your typical Indian Muslim restaurant I guess)
Location – 4/5 (they’re also just a few feet from Restoran Maskur 4)

** Current status – Still in operation (as of November 2017)







(Updated on 16/11/2017 - I've recently stopped by the eatery again. This time I made a point of trying the Crayyon Burgers and tastewise, both were commendable)

**Crayyon Beef burger (left) and Crayyon Special Chicken burger (right)

**A close-up of the Crayyon Special Chicken burger



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Moko Cafe

The Korean pop phenomenon has not shown any signs of waning anytime soon and that effect can also be seen in this small town of ours. And although this might hold true for their endless stream of music and dramas, their food however is a whole different story all together. As far as I know, there is only one Korean restaurant (or at least a fusion one at best) available in Tawau before this so I was pretty excited to discover this eatery from the local social media. The Moko Café is located within the Ba Zhong commercial area, right next to another eatery called Wakaf Thai Tomyam

Me and my partner arrived at said place on a rainy evening so we were the only ones there at that time. So it was a bit irritating when we had to waive like some starving third world country people to get their attention. Do note that the preparation for our food took equally as long so patience is definitely a virtue while you are dining here. I was hoping to show you guys some of their (more authentic) Korean food but my initial choices were unfortunately unavailable. So I ended up ordering their Gimbap (surprisingly very bland and the portioning for their fillings were quite small) and their Spicy Ramyeon (very ‘maggi goreng’ with a high spice level so I do not recommend this dish to those that cannot take the heat). My partner was not really a fan of Korean food (he was mainly there because I dragged him with me – hehehe) so he’d opted for their Nasi Ayam Pangkep (which turned out to be a version of ‘nasi lalap’ but with an acceptable tasting sambal). I admit that I was a bit disappointed, probably because I was hyped up by their online promos. But it’s good to see that the variety of their Korean food is slightly more extensive than its nearest rival, so you can get your fix of those Tteokbokki, Kimchi, Jjajangmyeon and Bibimbap at affordable rates. They also provide Indonesian and Malaysian dishes should you’re just tagging along for the ride just like my ever patient partner.

Besides that…

Food – 3/5 (not what I’ve expected them to be)
Price – 3/5 (quite fair actually)
Service – 3/5 (they really should look into this matter)
Décor – 3/5 (what is up with the curtains at the duduk bersila area though?)
Location – 3/5 (it’s right next to a bundle store as well, facing the Kg Titingan area)

** Current status – Still in operation (as of November 2017)







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Arteasan

With the much expected departure of the Cafe BBQ from its former spot at the 1Arena BDC Commercial Centre, comes this beverage centred café in its place. And with the competitiveness of the food business within the area are currently at an all time high, I was a bit surprise to see that this new establishment has garnered customers by the loads daily. So obviously that got me curious enough to drag my mom along during one of our weekly stops at the Giant Hypermarket (which was just steps away from the eatery).

I was half-expecting the place to cater to cold beverages only (judging by the numerous promos of their multiple flavoured milk teas & juices) but was very glad to discover that they’d also provided food. Even though it might not be extensive, they do still offer hearty food such as the Grilled Chicken Burger that I’ve ordered and the Hainanese Chicken Rice that my mom had. The former was definitely juicy, what with its marinated chucks of chicken and well charred buns that were simply delicious. My mom also gave a favourable comment on their chicken rice but said that the portioning of the chicken should be added. But our love for their food might not extend to that of its drinks though. I had their Peach Oolong tea and it tasted rather milky than anything peachy or tea (it was also a bit surprising on my part to get a milk added oolong tea drink, but then again it was probably my fault for not reading the menu carefully). Oh and I almost forgot that I’d actually tried out their ‘cake of the day’ as well, which was the Chocolate Chiffon Cake. Nothing too exciting about it though, just your average tasting cake (which is why I’d initially forgot to include it here).

Next we have…

Food – 3/5 (I’m sorry to say this but I do like their food better than their beverages)
Price – 3/5 (I would say that it’s still within the medium range)
Service – 4/5 (kudos to this Chinese waiter who went all out on serving his customers)
Décor – 4/5 (pretty pleasant but I did noticed some minor décor from its former tenant still being used)
Location – 4/5 (they’re at the far end corner of the area, nearest to the Giant Hypermarket)

** Current status – Still in operation (as of November 2017) 








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Outward Vacay: Heritage Hotel

Since I had multiple trips to Kota Kinabalu this year, I had somewhat forgotten about my personal ‘me time’ that I actually had back in June. It got somewhat overshadowed by my other KK hotel posts that I’d totally forgot to post this earlier. Well, better late than never right?

So this time around, I’ve decided to try out a hotel that is nearer to the town area (due to my laziness in driving around). Although this wasn’t actually my first time patronizing the hotel over the years, it was however the first time that I’ve taken some pictures of said premise. The location is as central as it can get, being right in the middle of the ‘hotel row’ in Fajar Complex and just a few steps from various banks, convenient stores, laundrette, eateries and even a Milimewa Superstore. My check-in was uneventful and I was quickly assigned a room on the second floor, overlooking the back side of the area. The room was spacious (even more spacious than most rooms that I've been given before) but it was fully tiled (so it's strictly no carpets people). The air-conditioner might have taken its sweet time to cool off but other than that, I think everything else was fine. It was pretty telling that the hotel had passed its prime (what with the not-so-new furnishings) but then again, you are in Tawau (where the quality of accommodation might not be up to par). Nothing notable about their showers and bathroom other than it also took sometime for the hot water to finally be well… hot enough. But honestly, the comfort level for this place was higher (in my humble opinion) than some of the hotels within the same row (which I’ll probably feature in the near future).

For ratings however…

Type – Superior Room
Room – 4/5 (spacious even for a ‘superior’ room)
Price – 3/5 (pretty reasonable in my books)
Service – 3/5 (the staff during check out was friendlier than during check in)
Décor – 3/5 (I actually like the wooden based furnishings)
Facilities – 3/5 (there was this seminar going on about the same time as my stay so…)
Location – 4/5 (it’s the classier looking hotel sandwiched between Prince Hotel and Monaco Hotel)











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Sabah Chicken Rice

Sometimes I tend to withheld myself from writing up about a place that I have actually been to for awhile, due to certain reasons (it’s usually because that particular place annoys me in some way so I quickly lost interest in putting up a review about them). One such example is this joint; found within the Fajar Complex area (sandwiched between the Secret Recipe and Kurtos Spiroll eateries). Now don’t get me wrong though, I didn’t say that this place is terrible or anything. It’s just that whenever I think back at their service, my mood instantly became sour. I have been to the place quite a few times and all I can say is that their service has always been a pain in my rear end. I won’t go into too much details but suffice to say that I’ve stopped myself from going there for a solid 4 years or so. That is of course, until recently when me and my partner had no other choice since it is one of the only places that had opened during a public holiday. And I’m actually glad to report that the service has somewhat improved. Granted, there might still be a bit of ‘feet-dragging’ action going on but they’re way better than before, trust me on that.

When me and my partner dropped by during said holiday, we’d ordered their Satay Chicken Rice (a bit lacking in terms of seasonings but I like that they’d paired the dish with actual chicken rice instead of regular rice) and their namesake Chicken Rice (my partner says that it’s a bit oily and just blah in terms of taste).

All in all I’d say…

Food – 3/5 (okay but it has seen better days)
Price – 3/5 (your typical average pricing plus GST of course)
Service – 3/5 (at least they’ve improved themselves)
Décor – 2/5 (the place was pleasant enough, just as long as you’re not looking down on their not-too-clean floor)
Location – 4/5 (it’s strategically located and it’s right on the ground floor of Kingston Hotel)

** Current status – Still in operation (as of October 2017) 






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