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Sabah Chicken Rice

Sometimes I tend to withheld myself from writing up about a place that I have actually been to for awhile, due to certain reasons (it’s usually because that particular place annoys me in some way so I quickly lost interest in putting up a review about them). One such example is this joint; found within the Fajar Complex area (sandwiched between the Secret Recipe and Kurtos Spiroll eateries). Now don’t get me wrong though, I didn’t say that this place is terrible or anything. It’s just that whenever I think back at their service, my mood instantly became sour. I have been to the place quite a few times and all I can say is that their service has always been a pain in my rear end. I won’t go into too much details but suffice to say that I’ve stopped myself from going there for a solid 4 years or so. That is of course, until recently when me and my partner had no other choice since it is one of the only places that had opened during a public holiday. And I’m actually glad to report that the service has somewhat improved. Granted, there might still be a bit of ‘feet-dragging’ action going on but they’re way better than before, trust me on that.

When me and my partner dropped by during said holiday, we’d ordered their Satay Chicken Rice (a bit lacking in terms of seasonings but I like that they’d paired the dish with actual chicken rice instead of regular rice) and their namesake Chicken Rice (my partner says that it’s a bit oily and just blah in terms of taste).

All in all I’d say…

Food – 3/5 (okay but it has seen better days)
Price – 3/5 (your typical average pricing plus GST of course)
Service – 3/5 (at least they’ve improved themselves)
Décor – 2/5 (the place was pleasant enough, just as long as you’re not looking down on their not-too-clean floor)
Location – 4/5 (it’s strategically located and it’s right on the ground floor of Kingston Hotel)

** Current status – Still in operation (as of October 2017) 






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Sedap Corner Bintang Kubota

It’s quite baffling for me (and my mom) to discover that the U & Me Cafe has been replaced by this eatery, as we were making our weekly ‘pilgrimage’ to Giant Hypermarket. Mind you, the latter seems to be doing quite well but hey, times are tough for eateries to stay open nowadays so it’s actually pretty understandable. Just to recap, they’re located within the Bintang Kubota commercial area at Jalan Sin Onn.

But then again, Sedap Corner is not exactly new to the local gastronomic scene either. During their heyday, they’d opened quite a number of branches all over Tawau and its neighbouring districts but has now been reduced to just a handful (one of them is at the shop lots in Batu 3, Jalan Apas on the same row as the Public Bank branch). When me and my mom decided to drop by recently, I’d decided to have a go at their Nasi Goreng Lalap which was flavourful with its sizeable fried chickens. My mom practically made a beeline towards their lauk pauk area and ordered some side dishes for her Nasi Campur. Mom said that the taste was satisfactory but nothing too outstanding.

Moreover…

Food – 4/5 (so far so good)
Price – 3/5 (still within the mid-range variety)
Service – 4/5 (very good since we’re the only ones there at said time)
Décor – 4/5 (they’d retained most of the previous tenant’s decor)
Location – 4/5 (visible from the main road so now worries in spotting them)

** Current status – Still in operation (as of October 2017) 









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Restoran Maskur 2 Giant & 4 Taman Univilla

I’ve previously reviewed the locally popular Restoran Maskur and now it is their branches turn. As I’ve mentioned before, the owner (whom I presumed is named Mr. Maskur) has bestowed upon his children the rights to open said branches in and around Tawau. And two of them happens to be located within strategic areas; directly facing the Giant Hypermarket (for Restoran Maskur 2) and at the shop lot near to the Taman Univilla entrance (for Restoran Maskur 4).

There seems to be only minor differences in terms of their overall menu from their predecessor. But one thing that differentiates them from one another is the quality of said menu. For example, we’d ordered their Nasi Goreng Kampung (too salty for my liking), Nasi Lalap (my mom said that it was too simple and just so-so) and some Sup Tulang (yummy broth but the beef was a bit gamey) from their second branch at Giant Hypermarket. Coincidentally a few days later, my mom decided that she’d like to try out their forth branch in Taman Univilla as well. During that time, we’d tried their Gado-Gado and Nasi Goreng Lalap. My mom said that the ingredients for their Gado-Gado were not fresh hence affecting the overall taste of said dish. But the Nasi Goreng Lalap tasted really flavorous (particularly the fried chickens), albeit a bit undercooked.

And so for ratings…

Food – 3/5 (not really that consistent I’m afraid)
Price – 3/5 (has become somewhat pricey as time went by)
Service – 3/5 (no complaints here)
Décor – 3/5 (your typical kedai kopi setting, nothing to extra ordinary)
Location – 4/5 (both restaurants are situated within strategic locations)

** Current status – Still in operation (as of October 2017)

* This is the Giant Hypermarket branch





 *And this is the Taman Univilla branch




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Kubota Food Court

I’ve actually been to this so-called ‘food court’ a few times now and it amuses me to find out that each time I’d dropped by with my partner, there seems to be multiple stalls coming in or out of said vicinity. I do not know whether or not it has something to do with the rent (the place only provided drinks – the food were entirely depended on the stalls, a concept similar to any other food court) but some stalls barely made their presence known within the vicinity before being replaced by other, new stalls. The first time we were there, there’s this grilled chicken stall and fried food stall that did caught our attention. They were notably missing from our second visit, but with the sudden emergence of a burger stall and a roti canai stall in their places. And if that wasn’t enough, our most recent visit saw the latter has now gone MIA. Man, I just can’t seem to be keeping up with the place! So please do not blame me should some of the stalls that I’ll be mentioning below had also move out during your visit.

As per our very recent visit, the stalls that were available were the Gerai D’licious (coto/soup/nasi lalap etc), Ali’s Fried Chicken (western dishes), Mama’s Roasted Chicken (obviously a chicken rice stall), Aisa Burger (duh!), Rahman Char Kuey Teow (double duh!), Gerai Syasha (yong tau fu stall), Pisang Goreng Elyn (everything that has got to do with banana fritters) and Little Chef (light snacks plus some kon lo mee dishes). We’ve tried some of the stalls, mainly their Chicken Rice (just so-so), Fried Char Kuey Teow (a stand out among the others but I’ve tasted better), Nasi Ayam Penyet (the sambal was pretty spicy) and some Fried Chicken Wings (too greasy and so not worth the price that you’re paying). We’ve also tried some of the food from their previous tenants such as Nasi Goreng Kampung (pretty good but portion might be a bit small) and Grilled Chicken Wings (sadly one of the better ones that had moved out).

Next we have…

Food – 3/5 (it depends on which stall that you’re ordering from)
Price – 3/5 (still acceptable I guess)
Service – 2/5 (a bit chaotic at times due to the different orders)
Décor – 3/5 (pretty simple – but I do think that their big screen+projector is one of their main draw)
Location – 4/5 (strategically located at the far end corner of Kubota Square, on the same row as the Maybank branch)

** Current status – Still in operation (as of October 2017)   






*Fried Kuey Teow (from Rahman Char Kuey Teow)

*Chicken Rice (from Mama's Roasted Chicken)

*Nasi Ayam Penyet (from Gerai D'licious)

*And some (tiny) fried bishop's nose & chicken wings (from Gerai Syasha)

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DD Bear Cafe

I had set my sights on this particular place for awhile now but never got to the chance to actually stop by, until recently of course. As far as I know, they are currently the only themed café in existence here in Tawau (after the surprising closure of the Hello Kitty’s 25.9c Cafe and excluding the Chiffonade as they’re too ‘manly’ for this category) and I for one am glad that they’d managed to stayed open until now. And just so you guys know, they’re situated within the Taman Da Hua 3 single row of shops.  

It’s kind of obvious just by looking through my pictures below (and from their name of course) that they’re into all things teddy bears. And even though you might started out as a non-fan of the kumas, you’ll definitely change your mind (and heart) by the time your meal has finished (especially if you happen to be sitting right next to one that’s as large as you – creepy but very kawaii). You can’t just get over the overflowing cuteness being displayed all over the place. Even my mom could not resist a couple of selfies with those teddies. But what about their food you asked? I admit that I initially had high hopes for them but what transpired was quite the opposite. Me and my mom were not really in the mood for their western selections so we’d each ordered their Chicken Fried Rice and Fried Egg Noodles. The dishes were huge in terms of portion and very satisfying. But taste wise, both tasted just so-so for us (and somewhat dry, even though they did provide sambal with said dishes). But that did not deter us from sharing their Chocolate Pancake afterwards and that faired better than its predecessors (it’s just delicate and not too sweet). Another thing that I do need to address here is the fact that they did took quite some time in preparing our food (by that I mean more than 30 minutes), which wouldn’t be such an issue should we’re not the first (and only) customers at that time.  

Now onto their ratings…

Food – 3/5 (I guess I was expecting more from them)
Price – 3/5 (mid-range without the GSTs but they do implemented other tax charges)
Service – 3/5 (very warm and friendly, befitting the place of course – except maybe for the kitchen staff)
Décor – 5/5 (I want that huge teddy!!)
Location – 3/5 (they’re quite hidden from the main road so you do need to enter the residential area first in order to spot them)

** Current status – Still in operation (as of October 2017)










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De' Lava The Dessert Lab

Since we’re on the subject of pastries and what not, I might as well add this post as well. A colleague of mine had casually mentioned this specialty pastry shop as we were having our lunch one day. She was raving on and on about their tarts that it piqued my interest to visit them the next day. I admit that I initially did not notice the shop (even though I went passed the road leading up to the area almost every weekend) as it was tucked away on the far corners of the Unijaya commercial area (and was overshadowed by bigger eateries within the premise).

The tiny but pretty looking store is actually a franchise of sorts originated from the Peninsular Malaysia and they specializes in producing cheese tarts. I admit that it was the first time that I’ve ever heard about them so I had no idea what to expect as I went into the store. Every single one of the tarts looked yummy inside their display cases. So after some thoughtful consideration (or whatever that looks the most appealing to me) I’d decided upon their Dreamy Durian, Pick Me Up Tiramisu and Choconutz flavours and may I say that they were just luscious. Even though the tarts might be a bit smaller in size (as compared to their other, more prominent competitions out there) the quality of the tarts were quite good, as the crust tasted buttery and solid, while the fillings were simply rich without them overdoing it. Other tarts that were also available includes the Classic and Matcha Deluxe. They did mentioned (on their official FB page) that they served other types of snacks and desserts but I’m not too sure about their Tawau branch though, as I did not see any other promotions going on during my said visit.

Other than that…

Food – 4/5 (recommended for you to try them out at least once)
Price – 3/5 (although I personally think that it’s okay but other Tawaurians might consider them to be a bit pricey)
Service – 4/5 (pretty smooth service)
Décor – 4/5 (very pleasing to the eyes with the modern, blackish decor)
Location – 3/5 (they’re also very near to the Ling’s Fresh mini market)

** Current status – Still in operation (as of September 2017) 





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Bumblebee Bakery

So now we’re back to our regular programming yes? Normally I wouldn’t do a review on a bakery (even though I do love baked goods and pastries to death) because for some reason I do not consider them as an eatery (get it?). But I do have to make an exception to this place since they also provide seating area and offers to-order drinks for their patrons (which is a rarity in Tawau… so far only the Multibake branches as well as the Kurtos Spiroll store has this facility). This relatively new bakery is located smack in the middle of the Gaya Commercial Centre (the commercial area beside Taman Gaya B). 

What’s interesting to me about this place was the classy looking décor that resembles that of a modern café. I initially thought that it was a new coffee-and-tea type of café but upon stepping into the vicinity, discover that it was actually a bakery with various types of sweet and savoury offerings. Obviously the owner had some moolah to spare eh? After ogling at their goodies for a while, I’ve decided to take away some Pandan Peanut Crepes, Choco Mexico Bun and Peanut Piang (the latter being one of my favourite munchies during my childhood years). All tasted above average but there’s still room for improvement. Among the drinks that are available includes the usual suspects; coffees, lattes, mochas, teas and ice blended drinks. I didn’t have a chance to try them out yet (since I was pressed for time) but I’ll probably be coming back to do so later so do stay tune folks. 

(Side note: Just discovered that the bakery might indeed be related to the Multibake franchise since their pastries & cakes looked identical, as well as the similarities in the name of the company that owned both bakeries)

Other than that…

Food – 3/5 (have the potential to be better)
Price – 4/5 (very reasonable despite the implementation of the GSTs)
Service – 3/5 (they do look a bit apprehensive as I was snapping pictures of the place – hardly their fault of course, hahaha…)
Décor – 4/5 (loving the whole classy café vibe)
Location – 4/5 (there’s only a row of shops there so you can’t possibly miss them)

** Current status – Still in operation (as of September 2017) 











(Updated on 04/10/2017 - Have stopped by recently for a quick bunch due to having business nearby. I had finally tried out their Chocolate Indulgence Cake, a Mini Pizza Bun as well as a cup of Hot Chocolate. The pastries were just so-so in taste but what disappointed me was their drink, as it was quite obvious that it was some sort of an instant chocolate drink only) 




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