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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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TwinklePan (KK FoodieVenture #76)

After satisfying our craving for sushi at the nearby Sushi King (on the lower ground floor of 1Borneo Hypermall), my tongue was in need of something sweet as we did not have any dessert after our said meal. So as me and my partner were walking just a few paces ahead, we’d come across this particular kiosk that had somehow caught my eyes. A little digging done on the internet showed that this particular brand is actually a franchise of sorts, mostly covering Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei. But what caught my attention was the lovely looking brownies being displayed on their display cases. Obviously I had to give them a try and even requested to add the chocolate sauce on top of it (you can also have it sans the sauce or top it off with some ice-cream) and it tasted reasonably sweet and yummy. Not mind-blowing or anything but still pretty good with the gooey ganache on top. My partner was more interested in their cinnamon rolls and decided to try both their original and the chocolate topping version. I took a bite out of both and discovered that it doesn’t seem to impress me that much. Granted, I did not have that much of an experience eating cinnamon rolls before (probably only once or twice, a number of years back) but their product reminded me of the Kurtos Spiroll's kurtos kalacs for some strange reason.

Nevertheless…

Food – 3/5 (definitely go for the brownies, with the chocolate sauce of course)
Price – 3/5 (mid-range I guess)
Service – 3/5 (pretty smooth despite only one person manning the kiosk)
Décor – 4/5 (it actually took me awhile to figure out their name though – no joke)
Location – 4/5 (they’re not that far off from the KFC franchise, if I’d remember them correctly anyways)  




*Brownies with Chocolate Sauce

*Chocolate Cinnamon Roll

*Original Cinnamon Roll


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Sushi King 1Borneo (KK FoodieVenture #75)

As me and my partner has some errands to do at 1Borneo Hypermall during our short (but frequent) trip to KK, I suddenly got a craving for some sushi so off we went to the Sushi King outlet on the lower ground floor. Every branch has a similar setting so it was quite obvious for us to park ourselves right beside their sushi conveyor belt (as seen on our previous trip to their Centre Point branch) as both of us were fans of sushis (or the act of taking a sushi from the belt to be exact – don’t ask me to elaborate on the why though). This time around we took on their Tuna Mayo, Egg Mayo, Tori Karaage, Salmon Mayo, Kani Tobikko and Tsubukko. All of the sushis tasted fresh but vary in terms of tastes. I personally like their Tori Karaage sushi the best as I like the crispy taste of their chicken chunks but not too fond of their Egg Mayo sushi as it tasted weird to me for some reason (the egg might not be mixed well?). Oh and another reason why we loved eating from the conveyor belt was because you can ‘plan’ your meal by taking the sushis according to their given prices (yup, we’re cheap that way - hahaha).

On another note…

Food – 4/5 (loved them despite the little taste 'setback')
Price – 3/5 (I still think that this is one of the place to get well-priced sushis in KK)
Service – 3/5 (still pretty slow in servicing anything that wasn’t on the conveyor belt)
Décor – 4/5 (I’m somewhat attracted to the lantern like feature on their walls)
Location – 3/5 (their right beside the Chicken Rice Shop if I’m not mistaken)




*I think this is the Tuna Mayo sushi...

*the Kani Tobikko...

* the Egg Mayo...

* the Tsubukko (or Tobikko? I can't differentiate them)

* the Tori Karaage...

* and the Salmon Mayo


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Restoran Sirga Corner (KK FoodieVenture #74)

Now here’s a place that I’ve literally forgotten, even though it was once a favourite place of mine to dine whenever I felt like having a taste of home (since I’ve studied in KK during my yesteryears). A place more suited to have your breakfast, it features several dishes that were well known to Tawaurians such as the Mee Tauhu set as well as the Nasi Kuning. But it is advisable to stop by sometime around brunch time since it might be challenging for you to get a table in the mornings (which happens frequently especially during weekdays due to the working crowd).

I brought my partner to the eatery during our recent trip to KK and was glad to find a table fit for two available. The eatery seems to have undergone some renovations throughout the years, from a humble shack to a more comfortable and cleaner setting. They’re also located at Jalan Bukit Nenas, on the left side of the road leading into the Kompleks Karamunsing. As I was intrigued by their pre-packed Nasi Lemak (as it was not available during my previous visits) I’ve decided to take them on and they tasted satisfactory. And do not underestimate their size (as I did) since one pack was already a hearty meal for me (or maybe because my stomach cannot muster too much food in the mornings?). My partner opted for their Nasi Kuning Ayam and he is an instant fan of said meal. He said that the sambal was just thick, generous and savoury, a major draw to the food. And it’s no wonder since I’d noticed that almost every table has at least one of those ordered and later finished, squeaking cleaned.  

Next we have…

Food – 4/5 (they must be doing something right for customers to be coming back for more all these years right?)
Price – 3/5 (pretty standard stuff here even within the GST era)
Service – 2/5 (they really need to improve on this matter as it’s pretty obvious that they’re lacking staff when we were there)
Décor – 3/5 (getting prettier as the years go by)
Location – 4/5 (they’re also right below the Palace Hotel)







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Fook Yuen Star City Mall (KK FoodieVenture #73)

Now if you’d noticed from the many reviews that I’ve done before (but I hoped you not) the Fook Yuen café branches has been somewhat a go-to place for breakfast every time me and my partner were in KK. So this time around, we’d decided to drop by their Star City Mall branch, as it was the nearest to our accommodation within the Asia City area.

Nothing much to tell about the dying mall other than that it sits at the edge of Asia City and most probably the only mall in KK that doesn’t provide any ATM service at all (as we’ve sadly learned). I didn’t even think it crossed our minds to visit the mall should the eatery was not situated right in the middle of the building (facing the Asia City Complex to be exact). And unfortunately I have to agree with some of the previous comments made by customers of said branch, for their lack of food choices and below average service. This is the first time that I had to order straight out of their menu because of the lack of food usually available on the other branches. And sadly, it was afterwards that I’d realized that my Set A Breakfast dish were also taken straight from the counter (which I’d initially ‘rejected’ to begin with). It was filling enough for me but definitely nothing to shout about in terms of taste. My partner was probably not as picky as I was, as he was very content with his choice of Fried Kuey Teow and co. 

Furthermore…

Food – 2/5 (definitely not on par with the other branches)
Price – 3/5 (same as the others I guess)
Service – 2/5 (there’s this laziness vibe going on between the staff)
Décor – 3/5 (pretty standard Fook Yuen look)
Location – 3/5 (they’re pretty much one of a handful of places within the near vacant mall to grab a quick meal, so you’ll spot them in no time)  




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Restoran Sri Melaka (KK FoodieVenture #72)

I’m going to (re)start my KK foodie-venture with an eatery nearest to my accommodation at that time, and also one of the many places that was initially on my wish list. I’ve frequently read glowing reviews on Restoran Sri Melaka even before I’d discovered their whereabouts. So it was a no brainer for me to try them out this time around, since my hotel was just around the corner to the restaurant. By the way, they’re located at Jalan Laiman Diki, within the in-famous Kampung Air area.

I admit that the main reason why I was interested in the restaurant was because of their Assam Fish, which was mentioned several times by previous patrons in Tripadvisor. Since I was there with my partner (yup, I practically ‘forced’ him to accompanied me again), we’d ordered their small sized dish (as oppose to the other choices, which were the medium & large sizing) and I must say that I was impressed. I’m not really into seafood (the exact opposite to my partner) so I can’t really comment on the freshness of the fish itself but what I can verify here was that the gravy was just right in terms of taste. It was not overly sour and the spice level just hit the mark for my dear partner not to sweat profusely while eating them. We’d coupled the dish with some Nasi Goreng Kampung which was just okay. The overall pricing were certainly (very) above average for somebody who’s from Tawau like me but probably considered reasonable by others. But do check your bills thoroughly before leaving though, as you might be charge with something that might be err… ‘confusing’ such as the ‘towels’ although we were only given paper tissues to used, that were not even wet for crying out loud. Well, at least that’s what I thought ‘towels’ should be right?

Other than that…

Food – 4/5 (that Assam Fish is definitely a winner!)
Price – 3/5 (everybody else said that it was ‘reasonable’ but let’s just agree to disagree on that okay)
Service – 3/5 (pleasant enough minus the welcoming smiles)
Décor – 3/5 (reminds me of an old fashioned Chinese restaurant)
Location – 4/5 (it’s also not too far off from a hotel called Ruby Hotel)






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Outward Vacay: Cathay Hotel

It’s not too late for me to wish you guys a HAPPY NATIONAL DAY & SELAMAT HARI RAYA AIDILADHA right? And let me just skip the part where I was again in Kota Kinabalu recently (twice in the same month no less) due to some urgent personal matter and go straight for my accommodation review okay? I’ve initially chosen this particular hotel due to some last minute planning and budget constraints. So I was a bit apprehensive going into the hotel as I’d initially had very low expectations, but was pleasantly surprise by them in the end. Another reason was probably because of their location, as it was within the Sedco Complex, right in the middle of the Asia City area and the Kg Air area; an area that was very familiar to me and also a good place to hunt for reasonably priced food. But as luck has it, there’s this bundle carnival (since I was there sometime before the National Day celebration) right in front of the hotel (originally a huge parking area) so finding an available parking was definitely a pain-in-my-rear-end even after midnight.

The room that I was given was unfortunately directly facing the said carnival so I was ‘entertained’ with live music until the wee hours. But the room itself was pretty good. I would say that it was above average overall, as everything seems quite new and clean. I just loved their thick and high bed setting and the open concept of their showers & bathroom, making the area more spacious. And I was a bit surprised to find quite a number of plug outlets available throughout the room, as well as the almost complete toiletries available. The downside for me might be the rather small and limited walking space within the room (but that wasn’t a big deal to me) and the non-existence of the bidet hose inside the bathroom. And I’d also noticed the receptionists (although pleasant enough) were not really that friendly (in fact, they pretty much ignores you unless you initiated a conversation) and were almost always on their ‘all important’ mobile phone. 

All in all I’d say…

Type – Deluxe with Window
Room – 4/5 (comfy even though it might be a bit small)
Price – 4/5 (very reasonable considering the central location)
Service – 2/5 (again, it wouldn’t hurt for them to acknowledge you once in a while)
Décor – 3/5 (new, modern and sleek)
Facilities – 3/5 (they do have a lift for such a small, boutique hotel)
Location – 4/5 (they’re also facing the Centre Point shopping mall)









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