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Marrybrown KKIA (KK FoodieVenture #90)

To sum up my final KK foodie quest this time around, I’ll be featuring an eatery that is located within the Kota Kinabalu International Airport itself, or more specifically their departure hall/ floor. This fast food joint has previously opened several branches around the KK area but has since closed them all down (maybe bowing down to the stiff competition within the area?) except for their Penampang branch. So I was glad to spot them as me and my partner was making our way to our departure gate. And thank God that we had an hour or so to spare so we wasted no time in stopping by.

Occupying only a small space within the area, the tiny branch had to outsource their food from the Penampang branch (I presume) since there was no kitchen onsite (or even a pantry for that matter). So it will be quite a problem for the solo staff managing the eatery should their supply of food ran out mid day, as we’d discovered while making our order. After making several non-existent choices, we eventually settled down with their Chicken Burger (which looked and tasted exactly like the KFC’s Colonel Burger) and their Hotouch Burger (a rendition of KFC’s more popular Zinger Burger, but with less spice and average taste). But Marrybrown lovers need not to be dismayed as their stock of food will be replenished during the evening (or so the friendly guy in charge of the tiny fast food kingdom said).  

In addition…

Food – 3/5 (still my 3rd favourite fast food joint in Sabah)
Price – 3/5 (your standard fast food pricing so no comment)
Service – 4/5 (friendly and honest – two thumbs up from me)
Décor – 3/5 (your typical Marrybrown setting plus some very limited seating)

Location – 4/5 (they’re facing the wall-less departure gate if I’m not mistaken)





** By the way, this is the Chicken Burger...

**... and this is the Hotouch Burger

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Haijoox CowDung Tart (KK FoodieVenture #89)

Let us now switch gears and focus more on places that I’ve been to, that was not within the Imago Shopping Mall proximity. Although I only went to one other place (since my business was mostly within the latter and due to time constraints), this place was probably the most memorable one for me this time around. The franchise kiosk features the many flavours of the ‘cow dung tarts’ (appropriately named after the unique shape that resembles… err, you know what I mean) so obviously that attracted my attention straight away. 

I admit that I have noticed this place as I was making my way in and around Suria Sabah mall prior to this (they’re on the 1st floor). Unfortunately, since I’m currently on a no-cheese diet (due to this health problem that I had develop several months ago) it was a no-go for me to try out their namesake tart (although they did looked drool worthy). But this time around my eyes caught sight of their eggettes, another pastry which I was dying to try out but never got the chance to do so (yup, even in Tawau). And since they had this chocolate flavour that did not have any cheese in it (or at least not that I know of) I wasted no time in ordering them. Man, I fell in love with the munchies straight away, as it was crispy (a ‘sensitive’ word as of late - hahaha) and fluffy, with a generous amount of chocolate rice and thick sauce. There are also a slew of other beverages for those that are not in the mood for eating.

Moving on shall we…

Food – 4/5 (if only I can have their delicious looking tarts as well)
Price – 3/5 (definitely above average but it was worth it)
Service – 4/5 (swift and friendly as can be)
Décor – 4/5 (I like the idea of a TV that showcases their product)
Location – 4/5 (they’re also facing the Bata shoe store)






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CFC City Food Corner Imago (KK FoodieVenture #88)

Since the hotel that we'd stayed at recently did not provide any breakfast (which me and my partner did not expect anyway since its sort of like a boutique hotel) we had no choice but to go to the lower ground floor of Imago Shopping Mall to fill our tummies up. One of the limited breakfast options available within the mall is this local franchise eatery. And even though it might rhyme with KFC, the joint fortunately is more of a full fledged restaurant rather than a fast food outlet.

Initially, we had actually forgotten that they’d existed because they were somewhat overshadowed by other fancier sounding names that surrounds them. The restaurant is widely known for their vast choices of food but the taste of said food might not be up to par with their quantity. And like the other branches that we’ve visited before, the typical Malaysian breakfast staples were ever present within their menu (via pre-cooked or to-order dishes) which includes the fried mee hoon, fried rice, fried eggs and sausages, as well as several other side dishes that we've had. Even though the tastes might be unremarkable and average, at least it was able to keep us from going hungry until lunchtime. There was also a selection of pastries available should you prefer a lighter breakfast.

Next we have…

Food – 3/5 (nothing too outstanding I’m afraid)
Price – 4/5 (pretty reasonable despite being in a high end mall)
Service – 4/5 (it was mostly self-service so…)
Décor – 3/5 (your ordinary but clean looking restaurant)
Location – 3/5 (they’re at the far end of the ‘food mecca’, right next to Lucy's Kitchen)







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Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul (KK FoodieVenture #87)

Okay so let’s be honest. I’m a die-hard fan of the Malaysian shaved ice sensation, the cendol. And instead of being bias towards the dessert, I’m actually fussier when it comes to them.  So even though I went passed the eatery numerous times especially whenever I went to the MBO Cinemas (which was right in front of said eatery, on the 2nd floor of Imago Shopping Mall), I was still sceptical to stop my tracks. I mean… how can a cendol from a shopping mall be any good in terms of taste right (even though it did say that it was quite well known in Penang)?

But my curiosity got the best of me one day so I decided to finally have a go at their version of the cendol. Me and my partner wasted no time in ordering their Chocolate Chendul and Cempedak Chendul respectively, in a self-service manner no less. Our first bites were not that mind-blowing but we did notice that we can’t seem to stop putting those chilled goodness into our mouths. The tastes doesn’t hit your taste buds right off the bat but after a while, it gets very addictive! My chocolate version of the dessert was yummy; with a hint of cocoa taste and goes surprisingly well with the beans. My partner’s cempedak variety was your typical gula Melaka based cendol but with a helping of cempedak chunks. Again, the cempedak’s taste was supple but the sweetness from the gula Melaka will motivate you to finish it. I initially thought that they only sell the cendol but has since discovered a slew of other hearty meals and beverages after looking through their menu.

Besides that…

Food – 4/5 (I’ll definitely be dropping by again in the future)
Price – 3/5 (still average considering their prime placement)
Service – 4/5 (friendly staff with very swift feet)
Décor – 4/5 (I dig the whole modern ‘kedai kopi’ vibe)
Location – 4/5 (they are also right next to the Food Street)







(Updated on 01/08/2018 - Went back recently to try out their Ice Kacang (aka Ais Batu Campur ABC) and it tasted okay although I still prefer their Chocolate Chendul better)



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DubuYo (KK FoodieVenture #86)

Now here’s the thing. I have sampled some staple Korean dishes before but have yet to try out a complete meal set until very recently. And yes, I have had my eyes set on visiting DubuYo for the longest time so I shamelessly dragged my unwilling partner into trying them out. Just to get their location out of the way, they are located on the lower ground floor of Imago Shopping Mall, right next to the Chicken Rice Shop.

As I was a bit clueless as to how to make my order, I just pointed out a set meal for 2 persons and proceed to make several choices according to the menu. Needless to say, I had mixed feelings by the time I finished my meal. You see, I did not expected the rice to taste plain (I thought that it would have some sort of flavourings judging by the colour). Their refillable banchan was also just average tasting (I liked the kimchi & pickled cucumber but not the kangkung). I also opted for a non-spicy Chicken Soondubu Jigae, which was a mistake since the end product had only a slight taste of chicken broth. Definitely should’ve added a least a bit spice into said dish. The only saving grace was probably their Honey Mustard Chicken Wings (which tasted similar to that of its Pizzahut counterpart) and the bean curd dessert (which tasted refreshing and fruity). This was definitely a new experience for me and although I personally find the food to be below my expectations, I do recommend you guys (especially Korean food lovers) to at least try them out.

Other than that…

Food – 3/5 (I just discovered that I might not have the tongue for them)
Price – 3/5 (a bit expensive in my humble opinion)
Service – 4/5 (thumbs up to their swift & courteous team)
Décor – 4/5 (I just love staring at their mock display of food all around the restaurant)
Location – 4/5 (they are also situated beside the entrance to the food kiosks)









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Chicken Rice Shop Imago (KK FoodieVenture #85)

I’ve just realized (after going through my blog recently) that I have yet to include the Imago Shopping Mall chapter of the Chicken Rice Shop here – which pretty much shows just how absent minded I can be sometimes. I have eaten at this particular branch several times now (located on the lower ground floor of the popular mall) and had managed to exclude them from my blog…until now of course.

Nothing much to comment about their food since we’d ordered practically the same dishes that we had before, regardless of which branch that we’ve gone to (click here and here for my previous entries of CRS). Both me and my partner were creatures of habit so we’d asked for our ‘usuals’ – which consist of their Crispy Roast Chicken Rice and Prime Honey BBQ Chicken Rice with some Nyonya Pai Tee. And yes, service seems to be an ongoing issue with the franchise no matter where we went, especially during peak hours. They seem to be understaffed most of the time and it can get a bit hectic and confusing during these times. Case in point – we’d tried to order a side dish from a waiter and he’d flat out said that they’d run out of the latter. Which was fine to us, until we noticed that several other tables around us were served said dish. Later we asked another staff (this time a waitress) and she confirmed what we’d suspected, that the dish was actually available. Maybe the absent minded syndrome has strike again in CRS?

Anyways…

Food – 4/5 (at least their food tasted consistently good to me)
Price – 3/5 (definitely an above average pricing)
Service – 2/5 (avoid chaotic hours – mainly during lunch and dinner)
Décor – 3/5 (your typical yellow, green and red CRS set up)
Location – 4/5 (they’re among the first shop that you’ll see coming down the front door escalators)








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Nasi Kandar Anak Mami (KK FoodieVenture #84)

So let us restart our foodie adventure in Kota Kinabalu (yet again) in chronological order, shall we? Since we’d checked in quite late to our hotel (around 10-ish due to a flight delay) I was already in a sour mood as me and my partner stopped by this restaurant (which was located just behind our hotel). And my mood most definitely did not improve when I saw just how untidy their floors were. But since they were literally the only restaurant nearest to the hotel that was still open during said time, I just have to toughen myself up as I was famished.

My night however turned from bad to worse the moment we’d sat down. Service was really bad especially their cook who’d mixed several orders and had prompted a couple of customers to walk out and leave. Mine did not fair any better as it was still non-existent after 30 minutes of waiting. My partner inquired about my order and they insisted that they were following ‘turns’ – which was crap since a few customers that came after us has gotten theirs first. Granted, my initial choice for their namesake dish was unavailable (their food trays were practically empty by that time) so I got no choice but to ordered their Fried Mee Hoon instead. So when the dish eventually made its way onto my table, I was so not in the mood that I’d barely finished it. Now to be fair, the dish was fairly good in terms of taste albeit a bit undercooked. My partner has had his Roti Canai and a (cold) Ayam Berempah beforehand and he also thought that the food were just so-so tasting.

Nevertheless…

Food – 3/5 (sadly got overshadowed by ‘other stuff’)
Price – 3/5 (mid-range and up)
Service – 1/5 (Grrr… I don't know... Maybe we came at the wrong time?)
Décor – 3/5 (ever heard of ‘cleanliness is next to godliness’?)
Location – 4/5 (they’re within the KK Times Square commercial area, on the same row as Manja Hotel)







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Outward Vacay: KK Times Square Hotel

During a 5 days ‘vacation’ (well, it’s mainly for work but still…) to my favourite city in Sabah recently, me and my partner decided to stay at this hotel since I have been eyeing them for awhile now. And because we’d flown there this time around, we decided that it’s best for us to stay near a mall since we were immobile most of the time (thank God for Uber/Grab of course). Location wise, this hotel is the only hotel visible from the side entrance of Imago Shopping Mall, making our lives even more convenient and easier.

Among the positive things that I’d discovered while staying at the hotel was its spacious room. The décor might be a bit dated but (thankfully) the room works well despite numerous complaints that I’ve previously read from a couple of travel sites. A first timer’s luck perhaps? We’d checked in late but the front desk works smoothly even though they might be lacking in terms of smiles and warmth. And we’d also noticed that the hotel seems to be very popular with Bruneian tourists (hence you’ll see quite a number of Bruneian plate numbers within the proximity).  

With the good come the not so good things I reckon right? Their lift is not attached to the main lobby (yup, it is on the outside and in a very public area, just like another hotel located right at their backside called Manja Hotel). But I still feel somewhat safe since it was pretty well-lit within said area. Another thing that seems to be an ongoing problem with the hotel was their parking (or the lack of them). There are only 4 designated parking available (on a ‘first come first serve’ basis) and you do need to pay quite a hefty sum for other parking within the immediate area. You can also try parking within the Imago mall itself (because they only cost RM3 per entry) but the golden rule of ‘park at your own risk’ applies there so err… fingers crossed?

Next we have…

Type – Deluxe King Room
Room – 4/5 (I’m satisfied even though they gave me a room with the backside view)
Price – 4/5 (I would say that they’re still mid-range, considering the place)
Service – 3/5 (the day shift people were a lot nicer than the night ones)
Décor – 3/5 (it would be even better if they refurbish their dated looking rooms)
Facilities – 3/5 (your basic 2 (or was it 3?) stars accommodation I guess)
Location – 5/5 (couldn’t get any better than being steps away from one of the most popular malls in KK right)









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