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Japan Boat Takoyaki Tawau

I admit that I was the last person in my household to try out the ever popular Japanese snack takoyaki, due to my dislike over seafood. My initial impression of the snack was that it might have some sort of seafood smell and after taste that I’m so not fond of. But when my curiosity got the best of me one day as my mom presented me with a chicken version of said snack, I was instantly hooked! So ever since then, I’ve tasted a couple of locally produced takoyaki and so far everything was good but nothing too memorable. But unlike the others, I have eluded this particular stand for awhile now (even though they can be considered as the pioneer here) due to its singular flavouring.

This well known franchise has been making its rounds here in Sabah (as I’ve noticed several of them during my trips to KK) and Tawau is no exception. They’re previously located at a prime spot on the ground floor of Eastern Plaza (facing the main open stage) but had since moved a few lots away, to a more secluded area (possibly due to the increasing rent?) near to Servay Parkwell Hypermarket. As they did not offer any other choice other than ‘octopus’, I’d held out from stopping by their place on several occasions. But my eager partner had bought two sets of those yummy looking munchies recently so I figure that I should at least give them a chance. And I was surprise that I found myself not hating them at all. Granted, I’m still not a fan of seafood but the main ingredient pretty much got lost within the thick ball shaped flour and generous amount of toppings. Man, I never thought that I would be happy to taste the overwhelming sauces and tempura scraps before, as I found everything acceptable and to my preferences.  

Other than that…

Food – 3/5 (tasted more premium than the rest)
Price – 3/5 (a bit expensive from the others but I personally think that they’re still affordable)
Service – 4/5 (the sole person manning the stall was courteous and fast)
Décor – 4/5 (their blue-ish décor has caught my attention everywhere I go)
Location – 2/5 (they're hidden from immediate view so you do need to walk around to be able to spot them)

** Current status – Still in operation (as of May 2018) 






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Dozo The Innovative Noodle Lab

While we’re on the subject of new eateries that had mushroomed within the Fajar Complex area in the space of a few months, here’s another one that can be considered as the baby of the bunch. Now it is forgivable should you think that the modern looking café only serve noodles (as I initially did). But I was glad to discover that they also had non-noodles dishes within their menu, such as rice based dishes and some light snacks. They can also be proud of their selection of beverages that includes western, Chinese and locally popular coffees and teas.

Me and my mom made our maiden visit about 2 weeks ago as I had some errands to do nearby. Admittedly I was a bit confuse with their intricate looking menu but I managed to get the hang of it after a while (it was actually pretty simple if you follow the direction of the menu – silly me!) and had ordered their Chicken Chop Gon Lou Men (the chicken were crispy but felt a bit dry while the noodles were evenly marinated with soy sauce) and the Paha Bakar Rice (my mom’s order, which turns out to be a well portioned Roasted Chicken Rice). My mom was thoroughly satisfied with her meal that she insisted that we come back a few days later. This time we had their Fried Fish Fillet Mee Hoon in Pure Tomato Soup (which I loved as it was not overly sour and the fillets doesn’t have that fishy smell that I dislike) as well as their Ayam Berempah Rice (again, my mom is a happy customer). I like the pick-and-match concept that they had with their soupy dishes as you can try out a variety of noodles and ingredients with different flavours of soups.

Next we have…

Food – 4/5 (officially my mom’s favourite ‘new hangout’ right now)
Price – 4/5 (I was surprised that they’re average in terms of pricing, since I thought that they would be more expensive)
Service – 4/5 (very friendly and prompt)
Décor – 4/5 (I love the monochrome look, with the mostly black and white setting)
Location – 3/5 (they’re across the street from Kingston Hotel & the Perdana Sports & Recreation Club)

** Current status – Still in operation (as of May 2018) 











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De'Lova Cafe

These recent months saw a number of eateries suddenly sprang up within the locally popular Fajar Complex area and I for one, am very happy with this development. Other than the one that I've just posted, another eatery that had recently opened was this small café. Visible from the side of CIMB Bank (directly facing the SESB counter), the café boasted an array of local delights as well as several western dishes within their menu. When me and the family decided to stop by recently, we’d tried out their Nasi Goreng Special, Penang Kuey Teow and some Fish and Chips. Both my sister and my mom who’d gobbled up the first 2 items thought that their food were okay but undistinguished in terms of taste. The western dish that I had also tasted good but a bit on the dry side; otherwise its portion was terrific. My little niece and nephew managed to try a few sticks of chicken satay, which was probably the better ones among them all.

So to conclude everything…

Food – 3/5 (I must say that I’m not disappointed thus far and will try something else next time)
Price – 3/5 (your typical average pricing)
Service – 4/5 (pretty good – nothing much to comment)
Décor – 3/5 (I’d always like the idea of a chalkboard like wall)
Location – 4/5 (they’re also right next to this STC ‘toto’ place – the only one within said area)

** Current status – Still in operation (as of May 2018) 







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Restoran Senario 2

It was somewhat ironic that I’ll be doing this review of their recently opened branch first rather than their predecessor. I’m actually very familiar with their original stall called Warung Senario (a humble looking warung located within the Hill Top old commercial area) but the last time I’ve visited that particular place was probably during my early teen years (which was not that long ago mind you – wink wink). So when I noticed that this eatery bears the same name as the latter, it piques my interest to stop by their place within the Fajar Complex area (the exact shop formerly occupied by the Hot Platter Restaurant).

I was pleased to discover that despite their bare outlook (in more ways than one), their variety of food was still top notch, with pre-cooked dishes being fully displayed in their cases as well as yummy looking fried snacks (such as fried samosa, spring rolls and bananas) readily available. They also had cook-to-order local staples available should you want something hot to eat. Either that or you can always try out their multi flavoured steamed ‘pau’ (white bun). I got attracted to their lauk pauk and had their Nasi Campur while my partner opted for their Gado-Gado (he’s a fan of said dish). Both dishes were commendable and evenly flavoured. It was just a shame that the place still lacks customers though. I personally think some of the contributing factors might be that they’re still new within said area and is only open during the day.

Furthermore…

Food – 4/5 (the choices of food was just splendid)
Price – 4/5 (very affordable and reasonable indeed)
Service – 4/5 (I like the fact that they treated their customers in a friendly manner)
Décor – 3/5 (your typical kedai kopi setting so nothing much to comment)
Location – 4/5 (they’re also right in front of the 1Homeware store)

** Current status – Still in operation (as of May 2018) 







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