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Buffet Ramadhan 2014 Round Up (Part 2)

And without further ado, here are three more of my Buffet Ramadhan Tawau Edition 2014 Round-ups...

DE CHOICE HOTEL TAWAU








Pros: They have a unique menu of satays, sausages, nuggets etc (fried-and-on-a-stick food). Their hot drinks were also superb in taste. The pricing was also the lowest (in the hotel category) and their staff was really friendly as well. 
Cons: Minor-to-non-existing refills (with not the same quality of food as their first selection). I'm sorry to say but some of the food were suspiciously bought from outside sources (particularly their dessert table). The seats were also not that many so be sure to book early. 
Price: RM28 nett
Where: On the ground floor of the De Choice Hotel, Fajar Complex. 
Recommendation: I would recommend it due to the pricing alone but probably not for food originality. 

SHERVINTON HOTEL TAWAU









Pros: My fave thing with this place was the fact that they provide individual kurmas (dates) for all patrons. It is also worth mentioning that they also had a veggie dal (a dish most commonly found in Indian food). Their desserts and local kuihs were also to die for. 
Cons: Apart from their limited spaces, some of their dishes were somewhat overly salty (but I think it's because the chef was fasting as well). My other pet peeve with this place was the ++ pricing.  
Price: RM38++ (but it'll be around RM45 ish after all those ++ thingies were added up) 
Where: On the 10th floor (and then you do need to go up a floor using the stairs) of Shervinton Hotel, Fajar Complex.
Recommendation: Food were not bad actually but I still can't get over their pricing.


RESTORAN HAFIZAH JALAN UTARA TAWAU








Pros: A friend brought me here and I was really surprise with the wide selection of food. They had this 'themed rice' for the day (for example, Nasi Lemak on Mondays and Nasi Briyani on Wednesdays) system which I found interesting. They also provide different types of local kuihs such as banana fritters, cempedak goreng, ubi goreng etc) 
Cons: Since there's no refills to their food, you do need to be fast when taking the food on the first round. Also, there might be some flies flying around (mainly because of the open air, beside the main road location) but do not worry cause the owners are taking enough precaution when preparing & handling their food. 
Price: RM16 nett (2nd cheapest in the non-hotel category) 
Where: The Restoran Hafizah (Jalan Utara branch), very near to Taman Ria 6
Recommendation: A high recommendation if you're into that whole open air feel 


** Well that's all for this year folks! I'll try and do a round-up of all things buffet again next year (unless my pocket says otherwise - sob sob!). So we'll continue with our regular programming after this okay..


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Buffet Ramadhan 2014 Round Up (Part 1)

Yeah yeah I know, it's already the 1st of Syawal today (by the way, HAPPY HARI RAYA people!) but since I'm ridiculously busy all throughout the Ramadhan fasting month, this is the only time for me to post my so-called 'findings'. Last year, I did a total round-up of almost all of the Ramadhan Buffet hang outs available in Tawau but since this year my pocket aren't as loaded with money as I did before (sob sob!) I've only managed to dragged myself to 5 such buffets.

So in no particular order, I present to you my Buffet Ramadhan Tawau Edition 2014 round-up...

PROMENADE HOTEL TAWAU










Pros: Out of the bat, they provide the widest selection of food. Note worthy dishes includes lemang, roti canai/murtabak, nasi briyani (but this may differ according to the day) laksa as well as assorted local kuihs, desserts and unique blend of drinks. They also were quick to refill any emptied trays and has a vast place to sit.
Cons: It's by far the most expensive one in Tawau (but considering the vast menu, I'm willing to let it go) 
Price: RM68 nett 
Where: On the 7th floor of the Promenade Hotel Tawau. Eastern Plaza. 
Recommendation: Highly recommended for those that had bellies like an elephant.


MARCO POLO HOTEL TAWAU








Pros: The bubur lambuk was pretty tasty. Other than that, they also got some delicious lamb dishes and their 2nd week price reduction did help a lot in filling up the place. 
Cons: Okay so here's the thing. I'm a regular when it comes to their daily lunch buffet (on other months) and I was quite dissappointed to discover that their 'buka puasa menu' was almost similar to the lunch buffet (which was only at RM20 nett). They're also a bit late in preparing the food, as patrons were already waiting around for them at the buffet counters. 
Price: RM45 nett (but reduce their pricing to RM40 nett a week after that)
Where: On the ground floor of the Marco Polo Hotel Tawau
Recommendation: I would recommend their daily lunch buffet but maybe not their Ramadhan version though. 


**Want to see more? Then continue on to the next post please....
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Wrapped (Sandakan FoodieVenture #5)

As I've mentioned before, I had a severe sweet tooth and it gets worse whenever I travelled somewhere. And my supposed work trip to Sandakan does nothing to hinder my appetite for sweet things, especially when it's right in front of me. The hotel that I've been staying at (the Four Points by Sheraton Sandakan) also boosted not one but three fabulous eateries within the premise. While I did not get a chance to try out the classy looking main restaurant (called The Eatery on the 13th floor) and the chilled out looking bar on the 1st floor (the Best Brew), I did however stopped by their more relaxed looking cafe called Wrapped. The deli-styled cafe caught my eyes for several reasons. The first was the fact that it was located on the ground floor, the same floor as the main entrance and the elevators so you can't possibly missed it. And the other was that OMG looking cakes and pastries displayed on the glass counter. I notice myself staring at those lovely looking cakes one to many times until one point when my partner was like 'okay, enough of that drooling, hungry puppy look' and practically dragged me into the place.

Initially I decided to dined in and had my pastries right there and then but my ever trusty partner reminded me that I had to report back to my business course in half an hour so with a very heavy heart, I decided to tapau the food back to my room. So I'd ordered their Double Chocolate Cake and Chocolate Cupcakes (I probably bought more if my partner did not stopped me after the second order - he doesn't had the sweet tooth syndrome like I do - hmmphh!) and true to my prediction, the pastries were rich in chocolate taste and pretty awesome all around. So glad that I give it a try before I went back to Tawau the very next day.

Even though I only ate their pastries, I'm still giving them my ratings...

Food - 4/5 (I also saw some delicious looking sandwiches and a couple more cakes selection)
Price - 3/5 (I'm not gonna lie though - it's pretty expensive than your average bakery price)
Service - 4/5 (there's only 2 staff manning the counter but both were very attentive)
Decor - 4/5 (very laid back and cosy - in other words very 'Starbucks like' atmosphere)
Location - 4/5 (you can enter from the hotel's main entrance or just use their own entrance next door)







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Harbour Bistro Cafe (Sandakan FoodieVenture #4)

Now we proceed to our next destination in the areas of Sandakan Harbour, that is the Harbour Bistro Cafe. Located at the far side of the Sandakan Harbour Mall (but the nearest to the local marine port nearby), this joint was by far the best restaurant/cafe that we'd been throughout our brief stay at Sandakan. Mind you, this cafe also seems to be the numero uno place for foreign tourists to chill and hang out, as they do served alcohol in the premises (and from what I've been told, at a reasonable price as well). Obviously me and my partner did not dropped by for their booze selection. We're there mainly because we're curious about the food (what else right?). Both of us had a pretty low expectation of the place since our previous 'foodieventure' at several restaurants nearby were so-so at best. But lo and behold, apparently it is indeed the case of 'save the best for last' with this place.

Their food was just superb and delicious. We'd ordered their Indon Sambal Fish with Rice (my partner's menu - he's raving about it up until now) and their Indonesian Fried Rice (the chicken was pretty awesome). The venue also includes separate stalls that sell keropok lekor (which we'd ordered twice the same night - which said a lot about their flavours) and satay, which are the preferred light snacks for those boozing away.

So for this place, we're giving them...

Food - 4/5 (love every single thing on our table that night)
Price - 3/5 (actually a bit mid-range to a bit expensive)
Service - 4/5 (always appreciate waiters that are fast on their feet)
Decor - 4/5 (much livelier and cleaner than a couple of places nearby)
Location - 4/5 (beside the marine port and on the same row as the other restaurants that I've mentioned before - gosh I'm really bad at this)








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Harbour Garden Cafe (Sandakan FoodieVenture #3)

Yup I'm on a roll tonight folks! And before I go MIA again, I might as well post as many things as I can right? Trust me, it doesn't help that we're currently in the Ramadhan fasting month. Too many temptations of course ;-)

On my second day in Sandakan (and right after a somewhat gruelling 6 hours of uninterrupted and headache induced course) I really do need a break since my stomach has been acting up. So I rang up my partner to meet me downstairs and we continued our foodie adventure at the Sandakan harbour. And we both agreed that we wish that we had a harbour just like the ones in Sandakan, as it's definitely the place for people to hang out during the evenings and weekends (yes I'm looking at you Traulsen Highway).

Our next stop was the Harbour Garden Cafe, which was situated right next to the restaurant we'd previously posted. And if you'd notice, a majority of the restaurants here had 'harbour' somewhere in their names, somewhat like a theme going on there. Now this cafe has a more laid back feel, as oppose to the previous ones (which was more 'open restaurant' feel) as a lot of young people preferred to stop here and have a drink or two while chatting away. We decided on their Mee Goreng Mamak (for my partner - I only heard murmured as he was eating so I assume that that's a good sign) and their Honey Chicken Set plus Rice (which was nothing to shout about but not disappointing either). It was a pretty hot day while we were there so that probably clouded my personal judgement. Yes, I'm thinking of clever ways to disguise by bad comments here. Huhuhuhu...

So anyways...

Food - 3/5 (okay I guess - nothing more worth noting here)
Price - 3/5 (again no comment here - it's in a similar price range as the previous restaurant)
Service - 3/5 (much better than it's neighbour though)
Decor - 4/5 (more laid back and comfortable)
Location - 4/5 (it's also at the Sandakan harbour so no chance of missing it)









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