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Cafe 99

Now that we’re back to our regular programming, I would like to bring forward this review since it has actually been sitting inside my pc for a while now. I could practically see cobwebs surrounding it by now (if that were ever possible). Located at Jalan Hotspring (they’re on the single row of shops directly facing the Jabatan Penjara Tawau & right by the entrance to Taman Ehsan) the Chinese run eatery has quite a list of local cuisine as well as popular desserts within their menu. When me and my partner were there (twice if I’m not mistaken) we had tried their Thai Style Fried Rice, Nasi Ikan Kam Heong (I think), Mee Hoon Goreng Lalap, Fried Kuey Teow and Watermelon Shaved Ice. Their food were well seasoned and delicious as far as I can remember but might take longer than expected to arrive on your table especially during dinner time (and there were a lot of customers around). But it is quite understandable since the cook did almost all of the preparation and cooking of their dishes. Their shaved ice was refreshing but not too noteworthy I’m afraid.

** Current status – Still in operation (as of Jan 2020) 









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Gen.Z Karamunsing Kompleks (KK FoodieVenture #132)

After having our lunch at the Karamunsing Kompleks during our most recent visit to KK, I can’t help but noticed another bubble tea brand that was familiar to me as we went past their main entrance. This locally born and bred franchise has been featured in several Sabahan food reviews so I was pretty happy to find a branch on the far corner on the ground floor of said mall. Even more thrilling was the fact that they have more than one chocolate choices for me to choose from (which lets be honest… is a rarity on its own). After taking some time ogling at their menu, I finally decided upon their unique Charcoal Chocolate milk tea and despite my initial scepticism over the charcoal part, I found them to be yummy with a perfect blend of all its ingredients. I also like the fact that the staff were among the friendliest that I’ve encountered and a bit… too diligent I guess especially when they insisted upon seeing and taking my receipt when collecting said drink. But hey… no biggie as the drink was definitely worth it. 

Oh and by the way, HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR everyone! Hopefully the year of the rat will bring us more good fortune & everlasting happiness... 






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White Whalet Tea (KK FoodieVenture #131)

I’m not implying anything here but as I was trying to find more info on the background of this bubble tea store (which points to them being produced locally), I did noticed that their name and menu items bore some resemblance to another well-known franchise originating from Taiwan. But then again, it might be all just happen to a big coincidence so I reserved my judgement until I’ve actually tasted the latter.

It was a rarity for both me and my partner to descend upon the City Mall at Jalan Lintas so as we were walking along & checking out the place, we spotted their store and my legs just automatically walked into them. They were having a promotion (at said time) where you’ll get a free drink should you liked and shared their FB post. I did just that and was presented with the free Brown Sugar Whale Tea and surprisingly found myself actually liking it (which was huge for someone who doesn’t like regular bubble milk tea that much). My actual order was their Brown Sugar Whale Cacao and I found them to be very tasty, slightly creamy and sweet; one of my personal favourites so far. 






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Xing Fu Tang Suria Sabah (KK FoodieVenture #130)

After a less-than-thrilling experience with The Alley, I was again taken by surprise when I spotted this kiosk moments after finishing the latter’s drink. I mean really now, are they trying to drown me with all of these bubble tea franchises (that they know I can’t resist)? What is more ironic is the fact that they are just around the corner from their arch rival, on the 1st floor of Suria Sabah shopping mall. But thankfully my wise and non-bubble-tea-enthusiast partner persuaded me to come back the next day and that was exactly what we did. Unfortunately I was let down yet again at the realization that their already limited menu does not include a chocolate option; a surprise for such a big name in the Taiwanese bubble tea business. I did debated with myself whether to try their other options and since it did pique my interest in seeing their famous brown sugar ridden tapioca pearls being stirred right in front of me (in a golden wok no less) I decided to take a chance at their numero uno drink, the Brown Sugar Boba Milk.

I wouldn’t say that I was a fan after having it but I must say they do lived up to their status as one of the top dogs in the bubble tea industry (despite the 'he said-she said' feud going on between their Taiwanese HQ vs Malaysian master franchisee - Chatime 2.0 anyone?). I usually do not like milk but theirs was pretty acceptable to me & not as strong as I've heard. Most importantly, I admit that the caramelized boba was good, as it was very flavourful and softly chewable. But the price was among the most expensive that I’ve encountered so far, even for a popular & internationally known brand such as theirs. Oh and do be warn though; do stir clear of the place if you're in a hurry since it may take some time for them to prepare said stir fried boba as it is freshly made on the spot. 





     
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The Alley Suria Sabah (KK FoodieVenture #129)

Let us continue on with my current obsession in trying out various bubble tea brands, particularly in KK where the choices were abundant. I swear that every time I went to KK, another one seems to pop up out of nowhere. This one included of course as I wasn’t expecting to find The Alley kiosk on the 1st floor of Suria Sabah shopping mall. I would be lying if I say that I haven’t heard of this very popular Taiwanese bubble tea franchise before as they’re practically everywhere now. So obviously I wasted no time in scanning their menu and was pretty happy to find the chocolate counterpart of their signature drink (also known as the Brown Sugar Deerioca Dark Chocolate). But I have to admit that I was somewhat disappointed with said drink as it was not what I've expected it to be. I would blame it partly on the hype surrounding the brand as my expectation was pretty high going into it. Their tapioca pearls were sweet & nicely taste but their actual drink was bland to me. It was a let down but then again maybe it will be different if I’d tried their go-to Brown Sugar Deerioca Milk drink instead (which might not be happening any time soon due to my personal dislike over non-choco milk teas). Nevetheless, I do love their sit down area, especially the far off ones that directly faced the entrance to the Padini Concept Store. A good way to relax while your partner takes their (seriously slow & sweet) time shopping.  






  
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Nasi Ayam Nur (KK FoodieVenture #128)

The last place that we had our meals (before flying home that day) was this eatery which was located within the KK Times Square commercial area. Since we were in a hurry to catch our flight, we were looking for a place that opened earlier that the standard 10am and up KK timing, on a public holiday no less (which automatically limit our choice to less than a handful). Thankfully we found this place and yes… even though the eatery might not look that appealing at a glance, as least their food were acceptably taste. We had their pre-cooked dishes as we were pressed for time and both of us agreed that it was still delicious and filling. Pricing was also very affordable considering the eatery is surrounded by fancy restaurants and cafes. But I am curious about their namesake dish though; I mean it must be pretty decent to have it named as your main dish right? Oh well, maybe some other time. 






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Karamunsing Kompleks Food Court (KK FoodieVenture #127)

The last time I visited the Karamunsing Kompleks mall itself was probably 5 years ago (no joke) so I was surprise to find that their main food court (on the lower ground floor of the aforementioned OG mall) has been renovated; with the stalls being neatly line up and is now a more comfortable place to have a meal. Available food choices were also pretty impressive and after going through each stalls; I finally decided to order a Fish Sauce Fried Mee Hoon from a stall called Kak In while my partner was more interested in the pre-cooked Nasi Campur dishes from the Sri Normidah stall. And we were even more delighted to find out that our meals were very flavourful and delectable. Although in my excitement to eat said dish, I totally forgot to snap a picture of my food so I do apologize for the lack of ‘evidence’. But hey, at least now I got an excuse to go back and try some more food right? 







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Kopi Ping Cafe (KK FoodieVenture #126)

Yup, I’m on a roll here folks so please bear with this ‘I’ll-probably-be-busy-later-so-I-might-as-well-post-as-many-posts-as-I-can-now’ food enthusiast okay✌️. While me and my partner were staying at the Klagan @ Riverson Hotel & Residence within The Soho Riverson area, we realized that we haven’t really explored The Walk (the shopping mall-like section of the huge Riverson building) before. Even though the plush looking mall was somewhat empty, we were genuinely impressed by the amount of eateries (mostly) available on the ground floor of said place. Among all of them, we decided to try out the Kopi Ping CafĂ© since I remember passing by their Gaya Street branch often but never actually stopped by. My partner had their Maggi Goreng only since he previously had some light snacks while I’d gone for their signature Fish Sauce Mee Hoon. The meal was surprisingly delicious and palatable especially when you had the latter with some of their pre-made sambal /chillies. Guess I should’ve tried them out sooner huh? Well, better late than never. 

*Btw, the cafe actually occupied 2 shoplots... The 1st is their main air-conditioned seating area...

... while the one just across them houses their main kitchen & some more al fresco seats







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Hailam Kopitiam (KK FoodieVenture #125)

So I did mentioned in the post before this one that I was already full when my partner decided that his stomach still has some room for a burger and the reason for that is this place. We had actually taken an early dinner at this upper class looking kopitiam franchise as we were walking around the lower ground floor of the Imago shopping mall. Both of us were curious when we saw the big crowd that always seems to be present inside the eatery so we decided that it was time for us to try them as well. After going through their pretty extensive menu, we opted for their Crispy Roti Canai with Curry, Sambal Sandwich Special and Mee Hoon Siam and all of the foods were pretty good and appetizing. Couple those foods with some Chrysanthemum Tea and Ice Cincau Longan and we have ourselves a satisfying modern day kopitiam experience; at an affordable price no less. 








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