Showing posts with label reviews. Show all posts

Kota Kinabalu is home to April's Jazz Club, the finest jazz spot in the state of Sabah. Located at KK Times Square, April's is notable for its roster of bands-in-residence.

Location:
Unit P1/G/41, 1st Floor, Block G, Signature Office, KK Times Square (Right opposite of Orange Convenience Store)

Business Hours:
Sundays to Thursdays - 5pm to 1am
Friday, Saturdays and Eve of Public Holidays - 5pm to 2am

Roster for April's Jazz Club:Tuesdays - Instrumental Jazz Sessions
Wednesdays - Latin Jazz Wednesdays with Joan Jim and Friends
Thursdays - Instrumental Jazz Sessions
Fridays - Rene Barrow and Friends
Saturdays - Saturday Jazz (Contemporary Jazz Sessions) with Joan Jim and Friends
Sundays - Events/Moonbeam Open Mic and Jam Sessions




Kedai Kopi Hilltop (non-halal) features great homestyle Chinese food at affordable prices. It holds the public's seal of approval by always being packed at night.

As you sit around to wait for your meals to arrive, you can smell the heavenly aroma of its famous fried noodles (meehoon, mee, kuay teow) from the main kitchen, where 6-8 chefs cook very efficiently despite the cramped space, and they're definitely the best you can find in Kota Kinabalu. It has what the Chinese would call an intense 'wok flavor', an authentic quality that you won't be able to find at high end restaurants. 

 






The bean curd with gravy with minced meat served on a sizzling hot plate is another one of the raved dishes. The bean curd itself is smooth and it's actually cooked with egg underneath. You can't see it just by looking at it so its a really pleasant surprise and it goes well with the whole dish.

There are also stalls next to the restaurant that sells dumplings and grilled seafood. The seafood is grilled and served with a onion curry sauce, it's not very spicy but so delicious! The grilled 'sotong' is by far the best way anybody has ever cooked cuttlefish. An absolute must try. The dumplings on the other hand, is just nice, with its delightful meat filling and thin skin. 

Be warned though, if you visit at peak hours, you'll have a hard time finding a table. But the wait is totally worthwhile. 










Yamagoya Ramen @ Gaya Street

Although relatively a newcomer in Kota Kinabalu’s food scene, with seasonal and high grade ingredients like char siu (sliced pork), nori (dried seaweed), kamaboko (cured surimi), scallion, corn, kakuni (braised pork), narutomaki (cured fish surimi), boiled egg, menma (condiment made from lactate-fermented bamboo shoots), bean sprout and butter to flavor their handcrafted ramen, this place is not your average low end ramen joint!


Yamagoya Ramen made its debut at its birthplace, Japan, some forty years ago, after many years of experimentation searching for best ingredients and cooking and preparation method. Today, with more than 150 outlets in Japan, China, Thailand, Malaysia and most recently Indonesia, Yamagoya Ramen has garnered what could only be considered as a cult following worldwide. But then again, who doesn’t love a bowl of ramen? We can’t think of anyone who doesn’t and quite frankly it doesn’t matter, because you will love Yamagoya Ramen.

Situated smack in the middle of Gaya Street is where it’s at – a small, cozy place where you can taste the chefs' passion in every bowl. The ramen noodles are made in-house with a machine imported from Japan and most of the ingredients are seasonal and imported from the country of the rising sun. This is not a run-of-the-mill lazy ramen ladled up by drones, but flavorful, savory bowls of goodness created by real chefs who are undoubtedly passionate about cooking and Japanese cuisine in general.




Spicy Tobanjan Ramen
Characterized by its spicy and mildly salty tasted, attributed to Tobanjan itself (fermented broad beans, soybeans, salt, rice and various other spices), Spicy Tobanjan Ramen is particularly popular in Korea albeit also noted as “strange” taste by some.




Black Garlic Ramen
Although many raved its delicious pork tonkatsu soup base, the key note here is the black garlic oil. First fermented at high temperature, producing black cloves that are intense and uniquely flavored – the broth is sweet with a faint balsamic vinegar and tamarind flavors, making the Black Garlic Ramen one of the tastiest ramens available at Yamagoya Ramen.

Mukashi Special Ramen
Eating the Mukashi Special Ramen is a lot like eating a happy, salty snack – except that it’s a whole lot of ramen. It’s a feel good bowl of happy noodle; it’s a great mix of soy sauce, bonito extract, salt, and other secret delicious things. Yum.

Miso Ramen
Rich, tangy and a little nutty, Miso Ramen is famed all over the country for its fun and flavorful toppings; a small dollop of tobanjan, corn, leeks, sesame seeds, garlic, bean sprouts and the usual Japanese seafood combo (kamaboko, narutomaki, seaweed, etc). Boiled with a bunch of secret spices, Yamagoya’s miso broth is oh so, so good! It’s thick but smooth, sweet and zesty, robust and nutty. Overall a very hearty soup, great for breakfast, lunch or even dinner!


Yamagoya Ramen
This one right here is deemed as the “house, must try” ramen at Yamagoya! Served in a large bowl, the toppings include thinly sliced roasted pork, pickled bamboo shoots and soft-boiled egg, all in a creamy broth. What’s special about the Yamagoya Ramen is the soft-boiled itself – it is seasoned using a special blend of spices. The yolk has a very distinct taste! Definitely something everyone must try during your first visit here.





Other dishes at Yamagoya include Pork Katsu, Soy Sauced Egg, Gyoza, Buta Kimchi and many others. The strong flavor from each dish mellows out and blends with the flavors from the other dishes, which indicate that marinade ingredient played a big part this common treat temptingly tasty. The servers are friendly so don’t be shy to ask for suggestions and which dish goes extremely well with which. Like many who have dined here; at Yamagoya Ramen, you get what you paid for.






The Waterfront is one of Kota Kinabalu’s favorite entertainment hub. It is in a class of its own as it is an “all-in-one” esplanade; offering great food, music, spa experience and a boundless sea view of South China Sea. Located at the heart of KK City, The Waterfront can be easily spotted even from a distance thanks to the brilliant eye catching neon restaurants, clubs and bistros signboards! Whether it’s a night out with your family, friends or colleagues, it is definitely worth the while to be creating memories here. Below, you will find a quick review of some of our favorite hangouts at The Waterfront - we don't want to spoil too much, it's always great to experience it yourself!



The Shamrock Irish Bar  offers delicious draught beer and live jazz band; a great place to do some catch-ups with your good ol’ buddies. Card games and darts are also available to stir up some fun for the night!



The  Aussie Barbeque and Bar  lets you do some grilling/barbeque dance… with your food on the sizzling stove!



Baked Cheese Naan, Tandoori, Mango Lassi, and so much more!  Kohinoor North Indian Restaurant  brings you authentic Indian cuisine in KK. Behind the glass doors is a totally different world – the traditional Indian decorations might hypnotize you and make you feel like you are at Little India. Kohinoor North Indian Restaurant upholds the traditional cooking method; their fragrance rice and famous curry dishes served with chicken, fish, mutton, or vegetables are the town’s most talked about drool factor!

Tickle your tastebuds at  Cock & Bull with its fusion cuisine and complete your dining experience dancing with the live resident band - you can even go on stage to show off your karaoke skills! Apart from that, Cock & Bull also offers a selection of great wine!




Want something healthier but no less tasty? Spinoza The Grill Master and Toscani’s offer a variety of grilled and baked goodies. Both establishments are known for their amazing presentation of Italian’s all time favourite – pizza! Spinoza The Grill Master also has the best and the ever so scrumptious seafood platter – have it with your favourite vino and woo lah! Muy delicioso!  If you feel like having something light and refreshing,  Somersby Apple Cider is the perfect choice for you! Thanks to Lord Somersby, a refreshing cider was made from fermented apple juice and natural apple flavour to meet the demands of cider fans. Happy drinking!




Sea Front Café  is a one-stop reflexology centre at The Waterfront. It’s also the first and only of its kind in KK! Wind down with a refreshing fruit juice and enjoy the sunset and sea view while the masseuse pampers you. With such cosy atmosphere and dim lights, it definitely makes you feel extremely relaxed and it could also be a romantic experience for you and your companion to remember for a life time!



Enjoy a pint of Stout in the company of great music with a bunch of friends along the esplanade at  Bar Tzar Bistro & Bar, or choose one of Bar Tzar’s many appetizers. It’s a great night hangout joint after a long day of walking around the city. It’s not unlike what we always say, “Nothing beats completing the day with some beer.”

Gusto Food & Wine  specialises in Italian wine. Grab your favourite spot and enjoy the taste of finely fermented wine; free yourself from a busy, tiring day, take a break and indulge in the good things Gusto Food & Wine has to offer! 



One more to tick off on your bucket list – dining at  Grand Port View Seafood Village ! This place offers fresh seafood and the venue is huge enough to accommodate more than 100 diners at a time. Sink your teeth into the freshest seafood dishes, from fresh clams to fishes to prawns, crabs etc!



BED (Best Entertainment Destination) is one of the largest and hottest clubs in KK; featuring great live bands (changes every few month so variety is guaranteed) and award winning DJ (“Choons Award Malaysia’s Best New DJ 2009/2010”) DJ Jerone draws even the timidest to fire up the dance floor! With DJ Jerone on the decks, clubbers can be sure they will have an adrenaline pumping night!


Written by Jaclyn Yau.

Consumers today have an abundance of restaurant choices, and to stay competitive, quick-service operators must develop innovative strategies to remain profitable – but The Retro Club, the latest resto-bar to open at KK Times Square, isn’t just about making profits. Aptly named The Retro Bar to celebrate the fashionably outdated mode from the postmodern past and seats approximately 40 diners and split between two levels, the retro themed resto-bar is decorated to resemble old movie scenes from the 70s – well dressed with retro memorabilia, the  carbon filament lights are dim giving the dining space a soft, romantic glow. The Retro Club may not be the first to adopt the resto-bar concept, but they are probably one of the few that really get the whole idea. A full-fledged family-friendly restaurant on the ground floor and an American retro bar on the first floor, The Retro Club cleverly separates the two; giving diners a tranquil dining experience at restaurant, while the cozy and intimate bar upstairs – decorated in a chic contemporary-retro manner – much like those found in America, has class but is not pretentious, so you can either dress up or dress down.

But enough talking about the décor, let’s talk about food now. The à la carte menu – all reasonably priced – is perfect if you want to sample a little of everything. There is such an emphasis on fresh ingredients at The Retro Club; diners are guaranteed to be served only value for money, authentic American food, fine wine, and a romantic evening with your loved one, and if you like, a long night of good retro music right after.


DIRTY RICE
Why is it that so much great food comes out of Louisiana? Case in point, the Dirty Rice. This Cajun classic, made from white rice cooked with small pieces of chicken liver or giblets, green bell pepper, celery and onion perfectly complements many different meat main courses. The Dirty Rice gets its “dirty” color from an abundance of antioxidant rich spices, which gives this filling and satisfying dish a mild toasty taste and a distinctive and evenly distributed flavor. Our Dirth Rice experience was one we can’t quite put our finger on – it was one of those “OMG” food epiphanies for us.


HICKORY CHEDDAR BURGER
The Hickory Cheddar Burger isn’t as pretty as a stuffed cheese burger you’d get from your favorite fast food chains, but you’ll get a great dose of tangy cheddar cheese flavor with every bite – both a great way to fill up while watching football, KK foodies are all about burgers these days. The fresh, hand-formed patties are cooked to order on the flat grill behind the counter – think about it; grilled beef patty with melted cheddar cheese, and slathered with a special gravy, tomato slices, diced onions, and spicy mustard.. Hard to resist – the Hickory Cheddar Burger is the real thing! The patty, being homemade, isn’t too tightly packed, which makes the patty and cheese melt into each other, while the perfectly toasted buns are soft on top and just crisp enough to hold everything together. If you’re in the habit of snapping up photos of your food, I would advice you against it when ordering the Hickory Cheddar Burger as it is best devoured while it’s still hot.

RETRO NAUGHTY NACHOS
Nachos are generally considered more “Tex Mex” than Mexican, but at The Retro Club we bet you wouldn’t give a dam* anyway. Served on a generous bed of chili con carne and topped with sour cream and grated cheddar AND parmesan cheese, Retro Naughty Nachoes are all about the ingredients – using only the best tortilla chips, fried pinto beans, jalapeño peppers, salsa, guacamole and fresh cilantro, the Retro Naughty Nachos are flavorsome and smokey. Delicious and crunchy, it is indeed a naughty serving guaranteed to delight!

OLD SCHOOL GRILLED CHICKEN
The Old School Grilled Chicken is a Southern-style grilled chicken served with a special beurre blanc sauce. Literally translated from French as "white butter", the beurre blanc at The Retro Club is is surprisingly delicate – one taste of this smooth, supple butter sauce and you'll understand why it’s a classic favorite for many who have dined at The Retro Club. Its neutral flavor responds well to the other seasonings and flavorings and enhances the taste of herbs and spices used to prepare the Old School Grilled Chicken – lemon juice is used in place of vinegar and the wine only adds to the smoothness of the beurre blanc sauce. Although many would argue that the beurre blanc sauce is best coupled with seafood, the Old School Grilled Chicken is deliciously luxurious!

These are just four of the highlights at The Retro Club; Grilled Chicken Caesar, Gambo, Tune In Tune Out Tuna Steak, Street Car and all time favorites, Buffalo Wings, Lamb Shank and Big Bad Barbecue are equally fabulous too! We could go on and on raving about each item on the menu but we thought it’d be best for you to experience it yourself.
With global coffeehouse chains taking over the local landscape, it’s easy to miss some of the impressive independent Sabahan chains around town. But Kopi Ping Café @ Damai isn’t about to let itself fade into the background! With over 20 dishes on their menu, ranging from light breakfast toasts to filling lunch and dinner servings as well as its own beverage brand, EZ Fizzy, Kopi Ping Café is well on its way to world domination - worth trying out if you find yourself in the area.


Although the choice of menu at Kopi Ping Cafe is vast, you must not miss the Seafood Tom Yam! Popular among lunchers and night diners, the evident lemon grass and coconut milk flavor brought out the best out of its main ingredient – fresh prawns – enhanced the mildly sweet and sour taste of the soup and the chili flavor more pronounced. There is a definite piquancy to this fragrant Thai inspired dish, but it doesn’t overwhelm – perfect for those who don’t usually take spicy soups or broth.


Buttermilk Chicken Chop Rice
Make way for this batter-fried wonder! Lightly soaked with Kopi Ping Café’s homemade buttermilk gravy on the outside but not without the crispy bits (all thanks to Kopi Ping Café’s secret seasoned flour!) and pleasantly tender within. It might come as a surprise to first time diners but this plate of crusted dish is flavorsome inside out – if you’re big on southern cuisine, this might just be your next southwest/southern-flavored comfort food.


Black Bean Hor Fun Beef
Fermented black beans is famous for lending its special taste and flavor to practically everything they coat, especially so to beef. To a lot of people, it’s a bit of an acquired taste but Kopi Ping Café is doing everything right – beginning from the preparation of the beef down to the last bit; serving the dish to their diners. The chili paste mixed into the fermented black beans broth added an extra combo of rich taste and texture and balanced the saltiness pretty well. The hor fun is not without its special taste either – soaked in the fermented black bean broth, it also absorbed the taste from the beef as well as ginger, garlic, chilli and spring onions used to whip up this dish.


Fish Sauce Meehoon Seafood
Satisfy your sudden afternoon craving for some sort of Asian Fusion dish at Kopi Ping Café; well seasoned with fish sauce, salt, and pepper, this stringy dish is aromatic and slightly peppery in taste – which makes it a great for a quick lunch with your workmates. According to Hadi, all of the recipes at Kopi Ping Café was put together by Bill and Aaron Chang – using only the best (secret) ingredients, it comes as no surprise that the Fish Sauce Meehoon Seafood is quite a visual feast with toppings of prawn, fish chunks, pepper and sweet veggies; delicious and fragrant, two words to describe it!


Tau Fu Fa
Douhua, or Tau Fu Fa in Cantonese, is a Chinese dessert made with soft tofu – sometimes it also referred to as tofu pudding or soybean pudding. Served with three different syrups on the side (sugar syrup, palm sugar and evaporated milk), diners are free to mix their favorite Tau Fu Fa concoction, although it actually tastes good on its own too. Homemade and void of preservatives, this bowl of goodness is less sweet (without additional syrup) but richer in taste. Sink your teeth into this healthy dessert and let the wholesome goodness fill you up!


Conclude your mealtime with specially brewed coffee by Kopi Ping Café (of the same name) or freshen up with its home brand, EZ Fizzy (choice of EZ Soda Lime or EZ One Isotonic Drink). Whatever tickles your fancy, Kopi Ping Café pretty much has it all – check out more photos and have a peek at their menu on Facebook and Instagram (@kopipingcafe). Kopi Ping Café is open everyday from 9AM to 12AM at Damai and its newly opened branch at Warisan Square. 






If you’ve been looking for an eatery with both an excellent food and drinks menu in addition to a breezy, “chillax” ambiance and an atmosphere of excitement, Bar Tzar Bistro & Bar is the place to go. Located at The Waterfront, Bar Tzar Bistro & Bar is a gorgeous seaside joint well known for its nightlife and bar scene (happy hours start as early as 11AM).

Featuring an extensive Wester-Filipino menu, Bar Tzar Bistro & Bar has a little bit of everything; a vermillion cozy lounge, social bar area, decorated in chic, contemporary “retro” vibe and a pation with outdoor seating for those who enjoy seaside breeze. Already a popular choice for happy hours, partly because of the great deals and fun location; Bar Tzar Bistro & Bar offers eclectic dishes with rice flavors, which include all time favorites; Deep Fried Pork Knuckle, BLT Pork Burger, Cripsy Pork Belly and BBQ Pork Pizza, as well as Rib Eye Steak, Chicken Chop and Lamb Chop.

It’s a great spot for a fancy meal, dinner out, fun date night or just to simmer down with your favorite persons after a long day at work. Call Bar Tzar at 088-260211 for bookings and reservations (open from 11AM-12AM daily).

 

BBQ Pork Pizza

You might be distracted by the myriad of toppings, but the BBQ Pork Pizza at Bar Tzar Bistro & Bar is notably marked for its aroma, distinctive flavor and delightful smoke taste aftertaste. This plate of wonder is barbecued first before it is baked to perfection and later smeared with a thick layer of tangy, lip smacking homemade sauce and melted cheese.


BLT Pork Burger

Set between the usual sweet baked burger buns is a smattering wonder of homemade pork and chicken patty, mushroom, pork bacon and melted cheddar cheese. Each mouthful bite is a burst of flavor, owing to a secret patty marinade by the chef, which gives diners a “melt-in-your-mouth” sensation. The bacon strips and ratatouille salad stand as a great complement to the BLT Pork Burger.


Crispy Pork Belly

This simple yet highly addictive serving of delicious pork belly chunks is noted for its crispy exterior and tender flesh; which makes it the ultimate night-out guilty pleasure! The Crispy Pork Belly owes its raspy, caramelized taste to the chef’s homemade Chinese herbs, giving the deep fried dish a complexity of a traditional wonder that pleases any diner’s sense of taste. Perfect munchies for drinking nights.


Deep Fried Pork Knuckle

“Smitten: is the best word that sums up our experience with the esteemed Deep Fried Pork Knuckle at Bar Tzar Bistro & Bar; the outer layer is extremely crunchy but the meat and layer of fat itself is succulent; thick and fleshy. This sweet aromatic dish is so flavorsome it hardly needs a condiment, but it is accompanied with slices of fresh lime, hot soy sauce and a tantalizing homemade barbecue sauce if you need an extra kick to go with your favorite beer.




PALM CAFE, RM6.50
(Served with 2 bowls of rice)
4th floor @ Center Point


If you crave for a thicker and creamier, santan (coconut milk) based laksa, the curry laksa at Palm Cafe is your best bet. The curry laksa at comes in a generous serving of fresh prawns, fish cake slices, chunks of chicken meat, freshly cut celeries, fresh tofu cubes and half a boiled egg. There’s a distinc richness and texture with the curry laksa here - it is slightly sweet and full bodied altogether. It also comes with two complimentary sambal and if you’d rather have your laksa with rice instead of having it with the usual white rice flour noodles, all you have to do is request for it.


MEE & CAKE HOUSE, RM5
6th floor @ Wisma Merdeka Phase 2


There’s something tantalizingly special about Aunty’s asam laksa. Broth for Aunty’s asam laksa is dense (thanks to her secret tamarind paste) and bursts with hints of spiciness, served with generous amount of shredded mackerel, and freshly sliced vegetables including cucumber, onions, red chillies, pineapple, and pink bunga kantan (ginger buds). You can also choose which noodle for your asam laksa - choose from rice noodle, thin rice noodle (vermicelli), kuay teow noodle or a mix of both. If you’re a vegetarian who loves asam laksa, you can also request for a vegetarian serving.

If you enjoy barbecue, you’ll fall in love with The Chubs Grill – serving only the freshest and uniquely prepared meats with rich flavors. The lengthy menu features something for everyone; flame grilled lamb shoulder, pork belly, pork ribs and loin, beef t-bone, beef sirloin and salmon; all marinated using the finest herbs and spices, then flame grilled to perfection. 

The grilled items are crafted by Chef Michael himself; using a creative blend of traditional and contemporary marinating technique – herbs and spices are fundamental to all of the grilled items at The Chubs Grill (aged-ginger, garlic, turmeric, cardamom and tons others). together with all these, the meats are then marinated for at least 24 hours, together with their secret sauce until the flavor goes right through the bones.



Grilled Lamb Shoulder
The grilled lamb shoulder at The Chubs Grill is probably the most extravagant of meals you can get from a non-high end restaurant! Sweet and savory, it bears the characteristic taste of lamb satay – smokey and fragrant. The lamb, grilled to medium well, is tender and juicy – the combination of flavors will make those who do not favor lamb come back for more, and those already a fan will surely love the flavorsome taste!





Grilled Pork Loin, Ribs and Belly
The key ingredient for the bold and delightful grilled pork loin, ribs and belly served at The Chubs Grill lies in the five spices used in the marinade – star-anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper-corn and fennel seeds – giving every delightful bite a distinct rich, warm, spicy-sweet aromatic flavor. Although already great as it is, the seasoned gravy proved to be the perfect complement for the “wonder powder” – the grilled pork loin, ribs and belly at The Chubs Grill are absolutely divine, many said that it's "Love at first bite!" when asked about their dining experience at The Chubs Grill. 







Grilled Pork Loin




Grilled Salmon
The grilled salmon is soft and flaky with nice grilled marks – Chef Michael’s traditional marinade adds a delightful tang of sweet, peppery taste to the salmon and a very appealing aroma. The grilled salmon is so tender that it was right on the line of falling apart but did not quite cross it – we can’t even begin to describe the way those little bits of heaven melt in our mouth – flawless!


Grilled Beef Sirloin
Moist, soft and slightly sweet from the overnight marinade and Chef Michael's special homemade seasoning blend, this succulent treat boasts wonderful flavor – the traditional preparation adds a jolt of contrasting but harmonious flavor to an otherwise Western dish, leaving a pleasant tingle after each mouthful. Absolutely scrumptious!

If you love grilled meat, The Chubs Grill has all the good stuff; Chef Michael serves only “..real food, no nonsense!”

The exquisite grilled delicacies at The Chubs Grill are some of the best we’ve ever had – cooked to perfection; each grilled meat is moist and tender. 

Call ‘em up at 088-448728/ 448678 or visit them tonight for dinner! They are located at B-0-7, Block B, Ground Floor, Karamunsing Capital. Log on to their official website for more information or LIKE them on Facebook.