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Ziremi Delicatessen

When my partner suggested this place for breakfast one day, I was a bit surprised. Quite frankly, this is one of my family’s ‘hot spot’ for breakfast when I was still in school (again folks, it’s not that long ago) and I haven’t been back for a number of years now. But I’m very glad to discover that everything is still somewhat the same as before. The eatery is situated at Fajar Complex, sandwiched between the Richbaby nightclub and the New Millennium Food Lounge.

As you entered the place (especially in the mornings) you could smell freshly baked pastries which were just a delight to see in their very own display shelves. I’m going as far as to say that none of the bakeries in Tawau can compete with their fluffy and delicious baked offerings. But you do need to come early to sample them though since most of their pastries will be out by noon. When we were there, I just can’t stop myself from trying their Chicken Mushroom Bun (which was awesome, it’s a mouthful and the fillings were generous) as well as my all time favourite the Chocolate Cake (a simple cake but still very good). The eatery is also very popular for their Mee Hoon Siam, which has been a staple of the place for years now and is still among the best there is in Tawau (especially when you have it with the accompanied sambal). I also indulged in their Nasi Lemak and it’s tasty, although I do hoped that they will add more sambal in the future.

Next we have…

Food – 4/5 (their buns & pastries are a must try for all)
Price – 3/5 (there’s obviously been a minor hiked from before but it’s not too much)
Service – 4/5 (still exceptional after all these years)
Décor – 3/5 (the place has not changed much from before) 
Location – 3/5 (it’s a bit tricky because it’s not immediately visible from the roadside)

** Current status – Still in operation (as of Dec 2015)  







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Thumbs Up Cafe

If you are like me and is a bit dense sometimes, then you might not immediately pick up the name of this eatery when you finally made your way there. Honest to goodness, I thought the name of this place was something else (please view the pictures below for further proof) when my partner calmly pointed out that their menu board inside the café said something different. That minor confusion aside, the Thumbs Up Café has only been around for a few months now and is located at the brand new Gaya Commercial Centre (next to Taman Gaya B).

I really like the ambience of the eatery, which was a bit rustic and laid back. Waiting period for your order might take longer than expected and the food portion might also disappoint you a bit because you do expect the food to be at least a bit more with the price that you’re paying. We tried out their Grilled Chicken Chop (my partner said that the sauce was very good and the side vegetables were tasty), Fish & Chips (average at best) and we shared an order of Thin Onion Rings (again, it tasted so-so) which turn out to be an order of ‘30% onion rings plus 70% fries’ (no explanation was given though, maybe the order was suppose to look like that)

With that, I think I’ll give them…

Food – 3/5 (it might be so-so now but I’m still rooting for them though)
Price – 3/5 (might be a bit pricy for the average Tawaurians)
Service – 4/5 (pretty good actually, apart from the slow food)
Décor – 4/5 (love the look of the place)
Location – 4/5 (it’s not hard to spot them from the main road)

** Current status – Has been closed (as of June 2016) 






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Restoran Haji Tamrin

Throughout the years, Nasi Kuning Haji Tamrin has been a permanent staple in the lives of Tawaurians. And I’m not kidding here folks, since I remember coming to the restaurant during my secondary school years (which was not too long ago of course, hehehe…). But I’ve also notice that the once huge restaurant has now been reduce in terms of eatery size, probably due to the current economy. But if you want to try them out, you can come to their restaurant at Jalan Budi, near to Fajar Club (or if you’re visiting the Fujimart Ramadan Bazaar, they’re usually the most popular Nasi Kuning stall within the place). You want more proof that this place is practically an institution in Tawau? They’d previously been featured in a popular TV food show not once but twice!

I would like to congratulate the owner however for somehow retaining the same cook for years now, since the food quality is practically as it was in its glorious days. Well, it’s either that or they trained a new cook with the same skills as the previous one, who knows right? The popular Nasi Kuning is still delicious, as evident when my partner tried them recently. Although the condiments might be reduced, thankfully the quality hasn’t been compromised. I on the other hand, decided to try on their Nasi Goreng Kampung (which again, tasted mightily similar to the ones before) and I’m very happy with how it turned out. I am however a bit disappointed that they seldom make more of their previously best selling ‘gogos’ (pulut panggang for everyone else) and assorted ‘pau’ (white buns) as they’d once been my firm favorites.

All in all I say…

Food – 3/5 (thank goodness for that cook!)
Price – 3/5 (getting pricier by the minute)
Service – 3/5 (depending on the moods of its waitresses)
Décor – 3/5 (same old same old)
Location – 3/5 (if you can find the Fajar Club than it’ll be a breeze)

** Current status – Still in operation (as of Dec 2015) 




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Kadir's Family Restaurant

I think I have mentioned before that the Taipan Commercial Centre is currently one of the most popular hangouts in Tawau. I cannot remember passing through the area and not seeing cars just lining up the place like sardines, especially during the evenings. And mind you, it’s a tiny commercial area to begin with. So one of my theories is that the place was practically a food heaven (it’s either that or that massive gym that just opened right on the top floors of said place and a dental spa nearby - yup I repeat, a dental spa). And one such eatery within the area is this place called Kadir’s Family Restaurant. I also found out later on that the place was actually owned and managed by a colleague of mine (together with his family members of course, hence the name). 

We fortunately visited the eatery during a public holiday so most of the other shops nearby were closed and hence, easier for me and my family to get some parking space. The Malay establishment caters to mostly Indonesian cuisine such as Coto Makassar (dad tried that and gave them a thumbs up), Mee Hoon Sup (obviously mom’s choice and pretty tasty too according to her) and their version of Nasi Ayam Penyet (I just the love the platting of the food).

Now let’s talk about their ratings…

Food – 4/5 (I’m pretty impressed)
Price – 4/5 (still within the medium range)
Service – 3/5 (in their defense, it was during a holiday so they’re lacking waitresses)
Décor – 3/5 (have seen better but still pretty comfortable)
Location – 3/5 (it may be a bit hidden from immediate view but trust me you’ll spot them eventually)

** Current status – Still in operation (as of Dec 2015) 






Updated on 23/12/2016 - We'd recently came back and tried out their Nasi Campur selections with a friend of mine. Nothing to shout about but still pretty acceptable.



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Onebucks Cafe (Version 2.0)

I was contemplating for sometime now, whether or not I should do a re-review of a place that I’ve visited before and after some thought, I said ‘yeah, what the heck.” So here I am revisiting the ever popular hangout for Tawau youngsters, especially if they’re ‘lepaking’ in and around Eastern Plaza shopping mall. Just to recap, it is located at the lower ground floor of said mall (click HERE to view my previous review).

The eatery has undergone a transformation as of late, what with its expansion from a single shop to a more comfortable two shops sized café. Which is just as well since their café was just too small and crowded for all those teens that enjoyed hanging out while munching on some light snacks. Their menu had also expanded to heavy duty food such as a slew of typical local dishes and even some Buginese specialty like the berobok and kapurung (but both are only available during the weekend). I was a bit hungry when me and my partner dropped by recently and had tried their Nasi Lalap Ayam (which sadly tasted not so good, everything about it was just not tasty in my opinion) but my partner stuck with their popular snacks like chocolate waffles, cheesy wedges and fried wonton (which I can assure you, are all way better tasting than their main courses). For drinks, I do recommend their newly added Oreo Chocolate Ice Blended drink as well as their Teh C Special (very refreshing and very tasty).

Other than that…

Food – 3/5 (they should stick to what they know best)
Price – 3/5 (still quite affordable especially to youngsters)
Service – 3/5 (it’s somewhat self-service now so err... not exactly made it better though)
Décor – 4/5 (but it’s very spacious now so kudos for that)
Location – 4/5 (trust me, you only needed to go down the LG floor via the elevator and voila!)

** Current status – Still in operation (as of Nov 2015) 









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Estrella's Homemade Cafe

It’s no secret within my circle of friends and family that I absolutely love chocolate and cakes (particular both of that combined of course). So it does excite me to discover this place right at the lower ground floor of Eastern Plaza (right in front of Cafe 3 Puteri). It’s a cute looking shop dedicated to all things cakes and cookies, with homemade touches (as oppose to bakery quantity-versus-quality goods). It just happens to be my birthday recently so my partner decided to surprise me with a cake from the latter. The Dark Chocolate Kit Kat Cake was pretty good in taste but I’m a bit disappointed to discover that there’s no middle ganache or cream filled layer within the actual cake itself. But I’ve also tried out their Chocolate Keduts (due to the somewhat ‘wrinkled’ texture on top of the goodie) Brownie which tasted just nice and even moist (on different occasions of course – I’m not that gluttonous okay). There are other types of cakes, cookies, brownies and even homemade ice-creams for you to choose from so do give them a try. And you don’t have to worry if you’re not that into sweet things since the café also provides other savoury evening snacks such as keropok lekor and pisang cheese.

For their ratings, I’m giving them…

Food – 4/5 (it’s getting there albeit very slowly)
Price – 3/5 (a bit on the expensive side but still affordable)
Service – 4/5 (pretty prompt so two thumbs up)
Décor – 3/5 (very cosy and ‘blue-ish’ so to speak)
Location – 3/5 (it’s almost at the end of the floor so do walk a bit)

** Current status – Still in operation (Nov 2015)








Updated on 02/02/2016 - I've also recently tried out their homemade ice-cream, which was a bit too sweet to my liking but delicious nevertheless




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Kedai Kopi Hafizah 2

I admit that I have frequented this particular ‘kedai kopi’ for sometime now, mainly because it’s not that far off from my house. But it was only recently that it dawn to me that I haven’t done a review of the place yet. Now this is only the branch of the pretty well-known eatery (located right at the road side of Jalan Utara, leading up to the Tawau Sports Complex), as the main ‘kedai kopi’ is situated within the main Sabindo town area. The place offers a variety of local food (like you would expect from such places), and will only start business during the evenings up until late at night.

When we were there recently, me and my family decided on trying out their Roti Canai (pretty crispy, just the way I prefer them), Nasi Udang Sambal (my dad said that it’s good and not too spicy) and some Mee Hoon Sup (mom was less impressed though). But do be warn though that although the tastes of their food were satisfying, the portions however were another matter all together, as it got smaller and smaller as time goes.

Moving on…

Food – 3/5 (it has seen better days)
Price – 3/5 (has somewhat become more expensive as of late)
Service – 3/5 (depending on the waiters & waitresses ‘moods’)
Décor – 3/5 (the typical open air ‘kedai kopi’ feel)
Location – 4/5 (it’s by the roadside so you’ll definitely spot them, what with the glaring neon lights)

** Current status – Still in operation (as of Nov 2015) 







Updated on 13/11/2016 - The quality of their food has been further downgraded during our recent visit. We had some light snacks such as Nasi Goreng Lalap, Gado-Gado and Fries and all three tasted mediocre to me.







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Oh My Chicken

Chicken Rice has been a staple in the Malaysian community for years now. Started off as a Chinese cuisine, several versions of the dish have since been spawned over the years. So even in Tawau, the dish is one of the most popular ones out there. And one such place that specifically caters to the latter is this place called Oh My Chicken (somebody is a fan of Oh My English maybe?)

Opened quite recently (maybe in the past 2 years or so) the eatery can be considered as the baby of the bunch. Situated on the lower ground (LG) floor of the locally famous Eastern Plaza mall, the place really does cater mainly to its namesake dish. So if you’re not that into the chicken rice, then I advise you to walk several paces towards your left (or right – depending on which way you just walk into the area) and visit their Sabah Spoon restaurant instead (both establishments are owned and managed by a lovely Korean elderly couple) for a variety of food outside of the said dish. Taste wise, there’s definitely room for improvement as the dish tasted so-so, with average ingredients. My mother decided to have a bite at their Nasi Goreng Ikan Masin and again, the taste was nothing to shout about.

All in all I give them…

Food – 3/5 (can do much better)
Price – 3/5 (on the average side of things)
Service – 3/5 (at least they did provide a prompt service)
Décor – 4/5 (pleasing to the eyes and clean looking)
Location – 4/5 (it’s right in front of the escalator so you won’t miss it)

** Current status – Has been closed (as of Nov 2016)






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