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Cafe@Se7en

It's that time of the year again where I was reminded of the 'age is just a number' mantra. Yes people, it's my birthday and it's somewhat a tradition in our family that during our birth dates, we can pick any place for us to have this 'special meal' and this year, I'm 'demanding' (okay, more or less begged) to go to Cafe@Se7en. It's been ages since I've last went to the place so I'm pretty excited when my mom agreed to bring me there. So if you haven't figured out where the cafe is, it's on the 7th floor (obviously) of the Promenade Hotel Tawau, Sabah. Oh and if you entered through the main door of the hotel, proceed to the lifts on your left since the right ones are for their function rooms and car parks.

We decided to try out their semi-buffet dinner line (that has been advertised like nobodies business - the giant billboard in front of the hotel is really hard to ignore). How this works is that you pick one of the 6 main course meals from the menu and then feel free to take as many as side dishes, salads and desserts as you can possibly stuffed yourself from the display tables/islands. All of that costs you RM38 nett per person of course. And as a self-proclaimed dessert queen, that is just the ultimate for me. So for the main courses, I've decided on their Chicken Boxing set (with the intention to maximize the desserts later on) and mom decided on their Roasted Chicken set. Tastes wise both of the dishes are good and very Masterchefy but honestly, I've tastes better dishes somewhere else. But their side dishes was just superb (absolutely loved their mashed potatoes and coleslaws) and mom also preferred their Mee Goreng (I'm not sure whether to call it a side dish but it is available on the counter) over her main course. And their desserts? I'm bowing down to the greatness that is their various desserts (okay, maybe except that weird tasting tiramisu but everything else were marvellous). My personal favourites are the Chocolate Roll Cakes, Mini Chocolate Tarts and Chocolate Mousse (a big shout out to their pastry chef - a job well done!). I'll be very happy if I can have their desserts all day long.

So here we go guys...

Food - 4/5 (this is my rating plus their side dishes & that damn mouth-watering desserts)
Price - 3/5 (as to be expected of a hotel cafe)
Service - 4/5 (very polite and I kid you not when I say that their newbie waiters called the cafe's manager 'sir' all the way)
Decor - 4/5 (very easy on the eyes - loved it!)
Location - 4/5 (go straight up and you'll get there in no time)

** Current status - Still in operation (as of November 2013)








Updated on 17/11/2016 - We'd gone back recently to celebrate my birthday but unfortunately they no longer have the semi buffet. They instead have individual lunch and dinner sets, as well as the 'longest high tea' buffet during the weekends. Below are some of their dinner sets, which includes soup of the day, main course (we had their Nasi Lemak & Nasi Lalap) and a choice of dessert (either a cake or fruits).






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Restoran Wakaf Thai Tom Yam

I've just realized that I haven't done any foodie reviews on the Ba Zhong area of Tawau. Now, the shops near the seaside area are lovely but I haven't gone to that part of town in a while now. Well, not until recently of course! So my partner brought me to this restaurant called Wakaf Thai Tom Yam (yes, it is because they specialized in Tom Yam related food) which we have frequented for a number of years. It's located at the end of Block D (I think), and you'll usually drive pass them if you wanted to go into the Ba Zhong area so no worries about not being able to find the place.

Now on with the food. I have somewhat of a 'beef' with the pricing of the food recently. See that delicious looking Ikan Masak Asam Pedas at the bottom? Well, for one thing, it is delicious. The fish is crisply fried first before being dumped into a non-spicy sauce (yes, despite the intended order of course). It might not be the freshest fish there is, but the taste is pretty good, I give them that. But My Goodness, the price took me aback a bit. This is not one of those big, 5-wok-in-the-kitchen restaurants but they still charged me a hefty sum for it (not going to disclose the price but believe me when I say, it's quite mind-blowing). Kinda turns me off to go there in the future. Oh and I also had their Singapore Fried Rice, which is tasty and I do love the mini chickens on my plate while my partner ate their Nasi Goreng Ayam Kunyit (the rice is just meh but the chicken chunks were pretty good, so my partner said) And I'm being fair here despite the pricing problem. There's limited pictures of food this time around (and slightly shorter review as well) not because of my semi-emotional rants (well, maybe a little) but because my partner decided to have a casual drink due to a late breakfast.

Food - 4/5 (to be honest, I give their taste ratings a two thumbs up)
Price - 1/5 (really, really bad experience on this part)
Service - 3/5 (well, it depends on when you're going there but usually you'll find them in front of the telly)
Decor - 3/5 (it's average I guess, but they did renovated the place a bit sometime last year)
Location - 4/5 (pretty easy to spot, as long as you drive around a bit)

** Current status - Still in operation (as of November 2013)







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New Millennium Food Lounge

Back-to-back reviews only means one thing in my world = I have serious time to kill. So off we got to another family favourite, the New Millennium Food Lounge. "Lounge ah? So... where exactly is this lounge?" was what sprouted out of my mom's mouth when we first came to this restaurant (yes, I'm refusing to called it a 'lounge') several years back. And up until now, I'm also struggling to connect the 'lounge' part of the place, since nothing in the restaurant remotely resembles a typical lounge. But then again maybe I'm the slow one who did not get what they're trying to convey here (feel free to tell me all about it). The location is central enough (Fajar Complex, Tawau) although you do need to dig a little deeper since the shop is tucked away in a somewhat remote area of the complex. But it's easily found if you search for the recently closed pub called Richbaby in that area because it's in the same row as said establishment.

So lets brush off my confusions aside for a while and focus on the most important part of any review, the food. Among the eateries in Tawau, this place is probably one of the most underrated places that I've been to. I remember a friend recommended this restaurant to me and from what I've seen (since my family and I are regular patrons for several years now) the place manage to maintain a stable and very loyal following by using this word-of-mouth method. And boy, this place is almost always packed, no matter what day it is. The food might be a big part of that of course, since hats of to the cook for some simply delicious dishes. This time around we had Sambal Nasi Goreng (my favourite), Mixed Vegetable Rice (one guess who ordered that one) and dad had a Spicy Prawns with Rice. We also added a Sweet & Sour Sliced Fish and I'm very happy to report that all of the dishes mentioned got glowing reviews from all of us. Another plus point for them is their very generous portion of the food despite a recent hiked in their prices (again). I'm trying to think of other positive points for this place because there's a huge negative with it (which sadly is still showing no improvement). Although they do have efficient waitresses, their kitchen staff is another matter. Oh My God (this place warrants a full OMG).....  This place won the slowest kitchen service award hands down. Snails might even be enjoying a laugh at their expense. If you really wanted to try out this restaurant, make sure that you had a lot of time on your hands and prepare to wait for a very long time. And I mean, a very long time, even if you're the first ones there.

But it does say something about their food if people kept coming back for more despite the 'setback'...

Food - 4/5 (gotta hand it to them - people actually waited patiently for their food)
Price - 3/5 (there's a few price hiked over the years but it's understandable)
Service - 1/5 (argghh... I just realized that I'm one of those devotees that actually are willing to wait for them!)
Decor - 2/5 (again, I'm not sure about the 'lounge' part though)
Location - 3/5 (as long as you find the BP Clinic, you should be fine)

** Current status - Still in operation (as of November 2013)







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Wukka Cafe

I admit that I'm a chocolate cake and ice-cream demon. You see, my 'well-developed' body maintains an average of at least 3 cakes or ice-creams intake per week. And if my cravings are not fulfilled, things can go flying in my room. Yup, not scary at all. Har har har... So after scaring you a bit, I actually wanted to review a place that has all these sweet nothings in one place. Kind of like a one-stop center for all things sugary (excluding bakeries because I'm thinking of putting them in a new category). And here in Tawau, we have a place called Wukka Cafe for just that. Specifically located at CTV Junction (or Jalan Chong Thien Vun if you like), the cafe is right in the middle of a single row building very close to Sabah Chinese High School and Cynthia Chinese Restaurant. The place is formerly known as Vedablu (yup, that famous ice-cream heaven) but after a while, the cafe was converted fully into what it is now. And yes, there's also another Wukka Cafe in the heart of Fajar Complex so no worries about not being able to go to this one.

So like I've mentioned before, the food are mainly those delicious desserts that we love so much and other popular lightweight dishes such as sandwiches, fries, waffles and pancakes (and most of them are awesome!). But don't worry if you are thinking of eating something heavier as the cafe also provide various Western food such as pasta dishes, with several typical Malay cuisines like fried rice and fried kuey teow and a hint of Korean food as well. When we had a visit recently, my tummy was aching for more than a cake so me and my dear partner ended up ordering a Turkey Ham Fried Rice and Wukka Nasi Lemak (good but unfortunately nothing to shout about), aside from having my favourites Mocha Cheese Cake and Chocolate Caramel Cake (looooovveee their cakes). On another visit, we'd also tried out their Ice Cream set (forgot the actual name) and the flavours for said ice-creams were one of the best in town. My partner ate their Brownies and despite the less than pretty outlook, the taste was commendable. Their decor is also one of the prettiest that I've ever seen. I mean, the place not only looks great and prettily decorated with colourful ornaments and little decorations, but it feels comfortable and relaxing as well.

And so without further ado... 

Food - 4/5 (more towards their cakes & ice creams)
Price - 3/5 (depending on what you've ordered)
Service - 3/5 (a bit under-staff during peak days - aka. weekends)
Decor - 5/5 (yup, my very first full marks - hoorah!)
Location - 4/5 (easily spotted if you passed through Jalan Sin Onn)

** Current status - Still in operation (as of November 2013)












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Lover Kopitiam

After going through my previous posts, I've noticed a pattern in terms of the places that I usually go for to get a bite. And this next one is no exception. This cafe called Lover Kopitiam (at least the name's memorable right?) can be considered as the sister of that infamous Lover Cake House franchise all over Tawau. And just how I figured all of this out? One, I've seen the Lover Cake House van sending their freshly baked goodies to the cafe several times now and two, by looking at the name of the place (duh! - I am such a 'genius'). Yes I know, I am so proud of myself, har har har...

Now the place itself is located at (one of my favourite spots in town) that single row building right in front of LA Hotel and overlooking the St Patrick's Church, Tawau. Diving into the food head first, I would say that overall there has been some inconsistencies in terms of tastes but around 90% of the time they actually got it correct. For our most recent visit, me and my partner ordered ourselves a Nasi Lemak Special and Sambal Fried Rice (and yes, despite the unappealing look of the fried rice, it's actually quite tasty and somewhat spicy). They usually offered a variety of ready-to-be-eaten food out of the food counter up front but when we got there they're all sold out so I can't give you guys a look (just to give you guys some ideas - it's has similar menus as that very popular kopitiam franchise in KK called Fook Yuen).

Like a typical (modernized) kopitiam, they also catered a variety of delicious looking buns and tarts (which are also available via their cake houses mentioned before) as well as other side snacks such as the white buns (aka 'pau') and waffles in assorted flavourings. And as far as I'm concern, they're all delicious (yes, I have personally tasted them throughout my previous visits). The environment of the cafe is also quite comfortable but do watch out for the tables outside of the cafe (the ones facing the main road, not the one facing St Patrick's Church) as it is actually situated next to the toilet so if you're one of those that goes 'eww..' at the mere thought of that (guilty!) than avoid it at all costs.

So let us move on...

Food - 4/5 (it's pretty good.. most of the time)
Price - 3/5 (my favourite phrase = it's mid-ranged)
Service - 4/5 (it's semi self-service so I have no complaints here)
Decor - 3/5 (is it just me or is this place a little smaller than the ones next door?)
Location - 3/5 (again, you can't possibly missed it if you manage to find LA Hotel)

** Current status - Still in operation (as of November 2013)










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Soon Yee Bingo House

Yeah yeah, I know what you're thinking when you read the name of the place (cause it did crossed my mind every time I drove passed the place). So aside from all bingo jokes that you could think of, this place has got nothing to do with that kind of bingo. Situated neatly in front of Giant Hypermarket (yes, I admit that I went to the area almost every other week) at the infamous Perdana Jaya area Tawau, the cafe is somewhat a health freak heaven. And I said 'somewhat' because only around half of the menu are truly healthy food. I must say that I'm impressed that they at least attempted to create a healthier versions of the otherwise very high calorie (guilty of counting my calorie intake, whenever I felt like it) dishes such as Fried Rice and Chicken Rice. So when my mom and I tried the place for the first time, we ordered quite a few dishes because we were pretty starving (hahaha.. trust our empty stomachs to guide the way). I ordered both their Fried Mee Hoon (less salt, which is as expected from a healthy cafe) and Nasi Lemak (average, but the anchovies are crispy) while mom got herself some Homemade Soy Sauce Chicken Rice (direct quote from my mom "...okay la" - not that convincing mom!) and their version of Ko Chung (pretty similar to the Malay's pulut). I've tasted the latter and I actually loved it. Reminds me of my early childhood. So overall the taste varied here and there. The food is mainly Chinese based health food so don't be 'scuurred' by their names as the place is pork free. They also have an assorted of those healthy Chinese drinks and jellies (which I assured you will make its way into my plate pretty soon).

I don't have any complaints on service as we're the only ones there during that time (but I've passed the place several times before and it's usually packed during the day) so it's obviously going to be swift. Food are also served swiftly so we're quite happy with that.

Now on to the most important thing...

Food - 3/5 (all in all, the food is pretty good. And side benefit - you can be healthy too)
Price - 4/5 (don't worry, it won't hurt your wallet even a bit)
Service - 4/5 (even the boss is on deck - I'm really impressed)
Decor - 3/5 (I appreciate that they're keeping it simple)
Location - 4/5 (very, very blind-proof location)

** Current status - Still in operation (as of November 2013)









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