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Dunkin Donuts & Marrybrown KKIA 2.0

Okay so here’s a quick update on the Dunkin Donuts and Marrybrown branches located within the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) terminal building. Although their kiosks are still available (click here and here for my previous posts) I just discovered recently that they also have proper sit-down eateries on the far end corner of the departure hall (and I mean waaayy back at gate A10 if I’m not mistaken, near to the gate that usually houses smaller aircraft such as the MAS Wing fleet). Both franchises are facing each other so you can't possibly miss them. We even managed to enjoy Marrybrown's Nasi Ayam MB and Fish 'n' Chips (plus some Mambo Fries) before purchasing some Dunkin Donuts to munch on our journey back. 


** Below are pics of the aforementioned Dunkin Donuts shop...




... as well as the bigger Marrybrown fast food joint








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Crowd 99 Cafe (KK FoodieVenture #99)

As me and my partner were window shopping on the 3rd floor of the Suria Sabah mall, we noticed that this particular kiosk was somewhat crowded with people (no pun intended). So even though we just got our dinner (and was full to our necks – as my partner would always say), I was still attracted to their yummy looking cakes. So I said to myself that maybe there was still some room in my tummy for that Chocolate Moist Cake and eventually bought one back with me. The cake was moist enough and was still delicious but not too memorable I’m afraid. But I wouldn’t mind going back next time to try out their selection of beverages (which includes juices, milk teas and smoothies) as well as soft served yogurt ice-cream. My partner was initially interested in trying the latter out but decided to skip them in the end because they were only promoting the matcha green tea and wildberry flavours at said time (as my partner is not the ‘fruity’ type). 






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Osaka Kitchen (KK FoodieVenture #98)

I admit that my experience with Japanese food so far only revolves around sushis and bento meals. So when me and my partner decided to dine out at the Suria Sabah food court (on the far end of the 2nd floor) one evening, my eyes quickly caught the sight of this newly emerge Japanese food kiosk (well, at least it was new to me since I don’t think I’d seen them the last time I was there), what with its colourfully and appealing array of menu. And since I am curious about the Japanese curry for quite sometime now, I decided to give them a go. And you know what? I ended up ordering their curry rice dishes twice (on separate occasions of course). The first time I was there, I’ve eaten their Chicken Katsu Curry Rice and on the next day I tried their Fried Fish Curry Rice. Needless to say, both dishes impress me so much that I became a bona fide fan now. Both dishes were deliciously marinated with semi sweet sauces and their crispy cutlets also helped in elevating the entire dishes even more. 





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Jolibee Centre Point (KK FoodieVenture #97)

I felt somewhat lucky that during my trip to KK this time around, I got to visit not one but two newly opened fast food joints in Sabah. And in the case of Pinoy originated Jolibee, it was their first branch in Malaysia so it’s obvious that I got to drop by to try them out. Since we entered from a different door, we totally miss the eatery at first (they’re actually located on the ground floor of Centre Point shopping mall, right by the front main entrance to the premise) and had to actually asked a security guard for the exact location.

The menu was not as extensive as I expected them to be but it still has enough variety for you to make your choice. First impression on our orders tells us right away that the portions were on the small side. It was a little disappointing to be honest but taste wise, the food were actually pretty good. My partner absolutely loved the Chicken Burger that he had. He said something about everything just falls into place for him, which I’m not too sure what exactly that meant. My Chickenjoy with Jolly Spaghetti bolognese sauce was spiced well and I do like the beef chunks on my dish. The fried chicken was just so-so tasting at best but quite tender. The ordering line was quite long when we were there but the staff work surprisingly swift in taking the orders and churning out the food so kudos to them for that.









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Domino's Pizza Riverson (KK FoodieVenture #96)

Man, it’s been years since I’ve last had Domino’s Pizza. I remembered that I’ve first tried them out when I was still studying in KL and has had fond memories of eating their food. So when a friend told me that they’re opening several branches in Kota Kinabalu late last year, it’s obvious that I had to drop by again just to relive the experience.


Me and my partner were fortunate enough to arrive at their Riverson Walk branch (I’ve heard that they also opened branches somewhere in Bundusan & Inanam) before lunch time so we took our sweet time at the front counter (because I literally forgot just how to make an order – yup, I’m getting old). We finally decided upon their thinly crusted Tuna Extreme (I think) pizza plus whatever were included within our ‘couple set’ meal (no, I’m not kidding about the name). We also added some Garlic Cheese Onion Rings as our side dishes due to my love for said fast food. Needless to say, the overall meal was okay but for some reason not as good as I’ve remembered them though. Minus the onion rings (which thanks to the ‘cheesy dust’ was good but not exactly superb either) and mushroom soup (I like theirs better than Pizza Hut’s to be honest) our main dishes were somewhat bland and dry. I guess I was expecting more since I do remember that I had a great experience before. Oh well… at least service was quite okay when we were there so at least something positive came out of it. But I do recommend you guys to try them at least once just to see whether you like them or not yourselves. 








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Jesselton Point Food Stalls (KK FoodieVenture #95)

So since we’re staying at the Mercure Kota Kinabalu during our recent trip to KK, one of the nearest places to get a bite was none other than Jesselton Point. Yup, KK’s main port when it comes to travelling to the nearby tourist islands also provides some affordable eats for budget conscious traveller such as myself.


We tried two different stalls (on different nights of course) and the verdict was… just average I’m afraid. Granted, we’re mostly there for the breezy nightly views but the dishes that we’ve tried were mostly okay but nothing too distinguished. On one night, we tried out their Nasi Goreng Lalap and Nasi Goreng Thai (which looks suspiciously similar to the latter minus the sambal) while on another night we went with their simpler dishes; their Nasi Goreng Kampung and Nasi Goreng Nenas. Even though they do have a cleaner & a more comfortable environment than the other by-the-ocean food meccas in KK, patrons were few and far between. Personally, I think the lack of variety when it comes to their stalls contributed to the lack of customers. And this is something that the main operator needs to look into as the place has a lot of potential, especially with a few other commercial constructions going on nearby at the moment. 

**P/S: I need to apologize beforehand for the poor quality of the photos below as I have yet to upgrade my pre-historic smartphone...



*By the way this is their Nasi Lalap Ayam..

... the Nasi Goreng Thai (which doesn't look anything Thai at all)...

... their Nasi Goreng Kampung...

... and Nasi Goreng Nenas



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Outward Vacay: Mercure Kota Kinabalu City Centre

My annual ‘pilgrimage’ to Kota Kinabalu last year (for my much needed end-of-the-year vacation) has brought me to this relatively new hotel. Barely a year from its opening, the new hotel is located at the far end of KK city, but near to the likes of Suria Sabah mall, the not-yet-opened Jesselton Mall & Residence as well as Jesselton Point, where all ferries to the nearby islands converge.

During check-in, I was initially shocked by their somewhat hefty deposit (apparently they imposed a deposit of RM100 per night – a first for me since the hotels that I’ve been to usually had a fixed rate regardless of the duration of your stay) since I will be staying there for almost a week. But thankfully, the receptionist took pity upon my unprepared & panic state and was considerate enough to lower the amount. In fact, the hotel’s overall staffs were quite friendly and nice so I do feel at ease during my stay. Now I’ve read numerous comments regarding the weird layout of their rooms as well as the size of it being a bit small. But I think it is a matter of personal preferences since I found my room to be spacious enough despite being windowless and the bathroom design to be very unique. My partner even joked that we can finally do our ‘morning businesses’ at the same time now since both the toilet and shower were separated by different glass doors. But light sleepers do beware (such as moi). They do have an extremely thin wall (since I could clearly hear our neighbour’s conversation as if they were right next to me, at 3am no less) and that very noisy piping system (my partner legit thought that it was the sound of airplanes repeatedly passing by overhead).

Also, the hotel does have a small swimming pool on the 25th floor with a tiny portion of it dedicated to kids (and I mean hilariously tiny). And since our booking doesn’t come with a free breakfast, I can’t really comment on their dining facilities but it’s good to note that they have several eateries within its premise – the Fratini’s Pasta & Pizza café on the ground floor, the main restaurant on the 2nd floor and a bar of sorts’ right by the poolside. Overall, a convenient place to stay despite the sound proofing problem.

Next we have…

Type – Superior Room with 1 King Size Bed
Room – 4/5 (I actually loved the unique layout of the room)
Price – 3/5 (I still think they’re reasonable despite the hefty deposit policy)
Service – 5/5 (very courteous and friendly staff – kudos to them)
Décor – 4/5 (very modern and vibrant – definitely a cheerful looking place)
Facilities – 4/5 (they also have several meeting halls if I’m not mistaken)
Location – 4/5 (they’re also on the same row/ street as Tong Hing Supermarket)

*These are the outer look of the hotel & the lobby area...

(Mercure is on the left while the right one is the Jesselton Mall & Residence)



*These are pictures of our room...





*And last but not least, the views of the 25th floor (which includes the pool, gym & a bar/cafe)...




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