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My Top 5 Bakeries in Tawau

Now if you guys notice, I haven't been featuring any bakeries and delis inside my blog. And trust me, it's not because I do not like them. It's maybe because I LOVED pastries and cakes so much that I usually overlooked them. But I'm determined to make it up to you guys and here I present to you this special list of my favourite bakeries in Tawau. Check them out guys!

MY TOP 5 BAKERIES

1. Q Bread Bakery
I have lots of respect for bakers (or should I say pastry chef?) who personally bake their goods and oversee their business at the same time. You just know that the quality of their products will be superb. The bakery is currently the it bakery for their really nice cakes and very adventurous themes & seasonal treats. I mean, where else can you get Halloween or World Cup themed pastries in Tawau right?

Where - Fajar Complex (next to Body Shop) 
Specialties - Cakes (both ready-made & to-order), muffins, cupcakes, pastries, cookies, breads 
Favourites - Chocolate Mousse Cake, Chocolate Muffin, Chicken Cheese Bun








2. Sweet Secret Bakery
I discover this bakery by mistake a few years ago, when I got lost trying to find another bakery. But I think fate has brought me here. Now don't be surprise to find very unique blend of cakes & pastries being sold here. I admit that I can't even remember most of the names of the goods since they're definitely one of a kind (both in name and their combination of flavours)

Where - Taman Mega (inside the commercial area) 
Specialties - Cakes (both ready-made & to-order - and lots of it) pastries, breads 
Favourites - Lava Cupcake, Chocolate Truffle, Chocolate Cappuccino Cake, Chocolate Peel & Nuts bun







3. Blend & Shake
Okay, this place might not be your traditional typed of bakery. In fact, I don't even know what to call them (err, neither a cafe nor deli.. stall maybe?) But they do have a very good selection of tasty pastries and a wider range of cakes on display. And I do recommend their Hari Raya specialty cookies since those babies were simply marvellous in tastes.

Where - Inside of Giant Hypermarket building 
Specialties - Mostly cakes & cookies
Favourites - Red Velvet Cake, Chocolate Moist Cake, Chocolate Swiss Roll





4. Cheese Cake House
I usually don't favour chained bakeries (due to multiple bad experiences from such places) but I'll make an exception on these two. One of two bakeries with multiple chains on this list, this family-run bakery made sure that their goodies are equal in terms of textures and tastes, in each of their branches (there's 3 so far).

Where - Lower ground floor of Eastern Plaza, near Servay Parkwell Supermarket in town & mile 4 of the Apas road.
Specialties - Cakes, breads, cookies and pastries. 
Favourites - Belgium Chocolate Mousse, Tuna Bun, Egg Sausage Bun  



5. Red Apple Cake House

Another local chained bakery that had caught my eye (and stomach) is this particular bakery. More popular with the Chinese customers, the first time I was introduce to this bakery was at the grand opening of a convenient store in town. Every customer was given a goodie box that contains a few cakes and pastries and I’m hooked ever since. I think it helps that they only have 2 branches in Tawau so they manage to retain they quality as well. Another plus? If you like things in mini sizes, then this is the bakery for you as they regularly produce mini versions of muffin, cupcakes and even burgers. 

Where – Shoplot at Jalan Sin Onn and near the Fujimart building
Specialties – Cakes, breads and pastries (shout out to their selection of macarons) 
Favourites – Brownie Cheese Cake, Mini Chocolate Muffin, Mini Burgers, Macarons








Well that’s it for today. I’ll also be posting about my Top 5 Delis/Cafes as well as Top 5 Places to Get Cakes sometime in the future (hopefully not too distant) so do wait for it okay guys!
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Pizza Hut Fajar

Yeah yeah.. I tried to avoid giving reviews on chained restaurants and eateries, mainly because almost everyone knows them so it hardly needed any introduction. So I'll try to make this post as simple as possible. Currently there are only one PH restaurant available in Tawau, specifically within the busy Fajar Commercial Complex, right next to a popular mobile devices store and a well-known pharmacy.

During our recent visit to the eatery, me and my partner had ordered one of their heavily advertised pizza (shame on me for not being able to remember the name though) but the taste was just so-so. I think the main problem with PH pizzas is that their names might be creatively thought out and toppings may vary but the taste remains blend and ended up disappointing their customers, who originally has high hopes for them (yeah.. it's obvious that I'm talking about me). But that's just my personal two cents though as my partner preferred their pizzas over others. I do however loved their side dishes, such as their BBQ wings (the sauce was just superb) and their Sharing Platter (a platter of various yummy goodness).

It's also good to note that there will be a new branch of PH opening soon within the Tawau area, specifically at the newly construct commercial area at Jalan Sin Onn called Taipan Commercial Center (hey who knows, I might be posting about them in the future as well).

So next up we have...

Food - 4/5 (mostly for their side dishes)
Price - 3/5 (as expected from a chained restaurant, plus taxes of course!)
Service - 4/5 (pretty good in terms of waiters, the kitchen staff might need to step it up a bit though)
Decor - 4/5 (pretty standard, comfortable PH restaurant look and feel)
Location - 3/5 (the main problem has got to be their parking spaces, as the Fajar area are notorious for their impossible parkings)

** Current status - Still in operation (as of Nov 2014) 






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Warung Jawa

I admit that I'm not much of a 'cooking person' (but that obviously didn't stop me from being a foodie) so normally whenever my laziness gets the best of me, I tend to stop by the eateries near my house. And another one of those is this place. The now popular restaurant was once a humble (shabby even) stall selling a couple of best selling dishes within the housing area of Taman Semarak, Tawau. People always said that with patience comes great rewards and so after many years, they managed to open a bigger, improved version of their stall in the commercial area of the same housing estate. They're pretty popular amongst patrons within the immediate area (there are several other housing areas nearby - mine being one of them) as well as office working people during weekdays.

I have been a patron of said restaurant for a few years now and while they have expand their previous stall into a more comfortable place, the size of their menu however remains the same. As the name implies, the menu consist of several Indonesian-turned-local dishes and since their hay days, they pretty much sell the same limited items such as Nasi Lalap, Mee Hoon Sup, Gado-Gado and a variety of kuihs. But I am pleased to see that with my recent visit, comes also a few more addition to the existing menu. I've recently tried their new venture the Chicken Burger (might not be the best but the taste was sill satisfying) as well as the usuals such as Mee Goreng (my partner swears by it) Nasi Goreng Ayam (so-so but the portion was generous enough) and Mee Hoon Sup (my mom's favourite but somehow it got smaller in portion unlike the others). It's also good to mention that their kuihs manage to remain at the same pricing at it was before, at only 20 cents per piece. They're also closed every Friday so do take note of that as well.

All in all I say...

Food - 3/5 (food quality might vary but there's no doubt about their quantity though)
Price - 4/5 (can be considered cheap)
Service - 3/5 (I love the makciks to death but really, it's a waiting game with them)
Decor - 3/5 (typical ordinary looking kedai kopi feel)
Location - 4/5 (it's easy to spot them once you entered the Taman Semarak main junction)

** Current status - Still in operation (as of November 2014) 








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Restoran Al-Mubaraq

This post might be a bit short since I'm actually in a hurry (and yet here I am with my 2nd post for the day). So this time around we’re heading to Bandar Hotspring (yes people, this is a first) at Jalan Air Panas to visit Restoran Al-Mubaraq, an Indian Muslim restaurant that had caught my eye for sometime now. It’s been awhile since I visited an Indian restaurant (depending on my mood of course) so I’m pretty excited about it.

So obviously this establishment caters to Indian Muslim staple food. Me and my partner decided to try on their Nasi Goreng Mamak (this is the first time I’d actually tried such menu – and it’s quite finger-licking as well. It’s close to Nasi Beriyani in taste rather than the actual Mee Goreng Mamak) and their Roti Canai (one of the crispiest that I’ve ever tasted). Would I go back for seconds? Definitely!

So we’re moving on…

Food – 4/5 (surprisingly pretty good)
Price – 4/5 (nothing much to comment here)
Service – 4/5 (pretty fast on their feet)
D├ęcor – 3/5 (a typical Indian Muslim restaurant setting)
Location – 3/5 (it’s actually not that hard to spot them if you’re using the main Sin Onn road)

** Current status - Still in operation (as of Nov 2014)






Updated on 03/03/2016 - We'd came back recently and tried out their Roti Cobra (yes, I know what you're thinking) and the beef curry was pretty tasty

Updated (again) on 12/12/2016 - My dad brought us here recently & I'm impressed to see that not only that the place has expanded (they're 3 shops long now) so is the variety of their food. Mom & dad tried out their Fried Mee Hoon and Singapore Mee Hoon and both said that the food were delicious.





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Cafe Sri Melaka (Semporna FoodieVenture #3)

A short work-related course brought me back to the good old, tiny town of Semporna recently. Now since this time around the course was only a couple of hours, me and some colleagues decided to just drive to and fro (because it's only around an hour or so from Tawau) and so we did have some spare time to try out a restaurant that catches our eyes. So while walking around the old town of Semporna (the one nearest to the jetty) we found ourselves going into this establishment. Now since I'm not that familiar with Semporna, all I can tell you about the location is that it's within the town area but maybe nested a bit far from the main attractions. But there's a Sipadan Inn hotel very close to the restaurant so hopefully that helps.

Now onto the food yes? Generally their dishes consist of popular local and Indonesian staples. Unfortunately since our choices of food are almost all the same, I can only give you comments on two of their dishes; the Nasi Goreng Daging (which a friend said was pretty tasty despite the simple look) and Nasi Goreng Lalap (I would say the 'sambal' was up there on my chart but the chicken might be a tad salty. But then again I like salty things so...). Another friend actually ordered their Sup Tulang but I forgot to take a photo of it (and it doesn't help that said friend was the fastest eater among us). But we do wanted to give a shout out to their drink maker (does that even exist?) for his superb drinks. Cheers dude!

Let us now look at their ratings...  

Food - 4/5 (actually not that bad)
Price - 3/5 (pretty much the same as Tawau's pricing)
Service - 4/5 (I would say good, since we're the only ones there)
Decor - 3/5 (at least it's pretty eye catching from afar)
Location - 3/5 (you might have to do a bit of a walking, but I can assure you that you'll find it in no time - since the town was not that big at all)






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BFTP: Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu

I came up with this special segment called BFTP = Blast From The Past (which will popped up from time to time) to feature some of the hotels/ eateries that I've previously been to (especially outside of Tawau but not strictly to that), that I also haven't done any reviews on (particularly because most of them were during my pre-blogging days, and I probably won't be going back any time soon). And no, I'm not doing this to show off (puh-lease!). It's more or less my way of going down my own memory lane since I had lots of fond memories on such places. And it will be a shame not to share some of those memories with y'all (wink wink). I'll only highlight some key points so ready or not, here's my first entry...

Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu Hotel 

When - I have been to this hotel several times but the most recent one being on Dec 2012
Where - It's located just in front of Kota Kinabalu's popular Filipino Market.
Room(s) that I've stayed in - Classic Room, Deluxe Seaview Room & Club Junior Suite
Reason for staying -Mostly due to the holidays (because the place was very strategic)
Pros:
* Definitely one of those high end hotels in KK, with spacious rooms and even your personal DVD player on every room (which is not common for hotels in Malaysia)
* Do choose or upgrade to the Deluxe Seaview room for a spectacular view of the sea and the Filipino Market especially at night
* Free parking spaces (just bring along the ticket to be stamped at the reception counter)
* Love the fact that their suite also comes with its own (again, very spacious) living area as well as 2 separate bathrooms.
* Superb service at their in-house restaurant Circle, as well as pretty extensive dinner buffet selection
 Cons:
* The price has recently been revised and hiked up so do expect a heftier price for your favorite rooms
* The decor might be a bit dated (but still pretty classy in my book)
* Do be extra careful when using the bathroom since the tiles can be pretty slippery (as evident with my personal experience of tripping and spraining my foot during a stay there - but that is entirely my fault)
* Swimming pool was great but there can be some 'fishy' smells coming from the nearby fish market
Memorable Event(s) - People still did not believe me when I tell them about this (but I swear to God that it is true). It was my stay back in 2011 when I was woken up by a banging on my door at around 3am. I peeped through the peephole and lo and behold, there's a naked Caucasian dude banging on my door like there's no tomorrow. Upon close inspection (hey, not that type of inspection okay..) the dude probably had a little too much fun and got himself drunk and locked out of his own room, which apparently was beside ours. A quick call to the front desk quickly solved the problem and I pretty much continued on with my slumber, as if nothing had happen (as if).
Overall rating:  * * * * (it's still one of my preferred choice due to its very strategic location)

(P/S: Pictures below are mostly 'borrowed' from Tripadvisor.com so credit goes to them)


Outer look plus a view of the Filipino Market

A fabulous view of the pool & the sea

An example of a spacious classic room

A similar bathroom which I'd sprained my foot (my bad!)

Notice the DVD player at the bottom of the TV?

The entry/hallway for the club junior suite

The suite bedroom is on a separate room

An original view from the deluxe seaview room (from my personal collection)

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