A new wave of cafes and restaurants has taken over Jalan Dewan, a street that began its humble beginnings as a printer street. The remaining few printer houses have been here for the past 22 years and Lucy’s Backpackers, May Florist, and First Plastic are just a few of that are a living testament to Jalan Dewan’s past. And before they moved in, Australians used the area as a camping spot during World War 2. The most endearing part of Jalan Dewan, in general, is that it has a bit of vintage from its past. Hand drew signages of rubber stamps, number plates and chops still ornament the front and back of these older shops and the old window grills are quite pretty to look at. Jalan Dewan today, is where the old and the new stand side by side. In the right cafes, you’ll enjoy coffee and beautiful plates of food made by a fresh wave of talent that is crafting high standards in cafe culture. Most of these places serve contemporary western food set up by quite a large number of young folks. Various backpacker lodges and Bed and Breakfast places are situated here too.
Discover more of Jalan Dewan and read through these listings of cafes but bear in mind that finding parking can be bad. If there are no parking spaces, park up by the Atkinson clock and walk down.
If you’re a Sabahan you’ll know that some of the best eateries are usually unassuming until you go inside and see the bustling charm happen right before your eyes. Woo, the newest cafe at Jalan Dewan is exciting most locals with their dazzling quality of food and an eye for interior design.
A plate of Salmon Steak with Skin (RM32.00) is served with a variety of salad leaves – it’s a real salad which you can enjoy. Avocado salsa ties all the flavors together. Although delicious, this menu item is sold in a much smaller portion than the others. You might be required to order some sides.
If you’re an enthusiastic eater, the Whole Chicken Thigh (RM 24.00) is where you’ll get more bang for your buck. It’s a very liberal serving of chicken with a nice crispy skin. A portion of sweet potatoes fries is served with the dish and are cooked until crisp. The natural sweetness of the fries is not too concentrated.
Beverages are decent but just to be safe, order what everyone else is having which are Caffe Lattes (RM11.00) or Hot Chocolate (RM12.00).
Serves no pork or alcohol. Moderately priced. Opening Times: Tue-Sun: 9.30AM-11.30PM, tel: 088-211 315
Nook Cafe recently moved to a bigger space across the street. The Eggplant Sandwich (RM16) is ideal for vegetarians.
Pesto Pasta (RM20) is a simple pasta with a nice flavor of chopped walnuts, cherry tomatoes, chicken cubes, made with olive oil and noodles. The pesto is decent but like most pestos, it falters on the garlicky taste. This menu item is also a perfectly good choice for lunch if you prefer to eat light for the day. Coffee is available to take away as well.
Serves no pork or alcohol. Moderately priced. Opening Times: 8.00AM-10.00PM Closed every second Wednesday of the month, tel: 088-277341
Biru Biru Cafe
24, Lorong Dewan, Pusat Bandar, tel: 011-1412 3490
Before Biru Biru Cafe there was Museum Kopitiam a cafe that exhibited artifacts belonging to the Australian soldiers during World War 2. You won’t find these artifacts anymore since Biru Biru took over but Biru Biru is a youthful cafe and bar that serves small plates of Western flavors in a uniquely Sabahan twist. In these two years, the cafe has gone through a change in management and quite possibly a change in chefs. However, their menu has remained the same. Interesting items on the menu are the Tuhau Pasta and Sabah’s traditional fermented rice wine, Lihing. Their liveliest hours are in the evenings on weekends. Serves no pork but they do sell alcohol. Moderately priced. Opening Times: 8AM-11PM Daily
L13, 13, Jalan Dewan, Pusat Bandar, 88400,088-233 323
An enjoyable cafe and less crowded than its main branch at the Peak Vista. October Coffee always gets top marks for their use of premium specialty beans towards preparing it and they make a delicious selection of toasts. This cafe is quite dedicated to roasting premium coffee beans and there is a number that they do. They use coffee beans from different countries (10 countries to be exact) but their most notable ones are the Brazil Noosa Senhora Natural, Ethiopia Yirgacheffe GI Arch Natural, Honduras Omar Bernal and El Salvador COE #11. Be sure to try their French Toast with Fruit (RM 9.35, including GST). Serves no pork or alcohol. Moderately priced. Opening Times: 11AM-12AM Daily. Coffee available to take away.
Damm Good Burger
Lorong Dewan, Pusat Bandar, tel: 012-841 6922
Claim to serves the best burger. Their signature burgers are lamb burger, beef burger and phat daddy. The beef patties are juicy and taste delicious.
Moderate price range.
Opening Times: 12PM-11PM. (closed on Tuesday
No.6, Lorong Dewan, Pusat Bandar, tel: 088-255 492
Chopping Block a modern concept restaurant serving Western food has terrific meat portions and most of their mains are standouts. Their generous slab of Chicken Parmigiana is good (RM 28) but they also offer fish dishes (such as snapper and salmon) too and some salads like the Tuna Tataki (RM 30) which has quinoa in it. Serves no pork but they do serve alcohol. Moderate to higher end price range. Their quality of food merits their price. Opening Times: Tue-Fri: 11.00AM-11.30PM Weekends: 8.30AM-11.30PM