by Niola Justin
Wondering where all the hype is in Kota Kinabalu? Head over to The Waterfront to enjoy the city’s food and happy hour sensation!
Waterfront, the heartbeat of the city, is filled with dining and entertainment that has been attracting the tourists and the locals over these past years. There are plenty of food outlets to choose from, ranging from North Indian cuisine to fusion food. This area will come to life at night, a popular after-hour hangout and various restaurant and bar to enjoy the happy hour and the good food at. The Waterfront is the must visit place in Kota Kinabalu for night life, foods and entertainment.
Jesselton Pearl Harbour
Jesselton Pearl Harbour, a Seafood, and Dim Sum restaurant is located at the right-end of the waterfront. They are well-known with their variety of fresh live sea creatures picked right from their water tank, such as salmon, lobster, and clams. Every day, tourists will fill up this restaurant to try out what KK has best to offer – the fresh seafood. The locals come here too to dine-in with their family. You can also dip into their hand-crafted dim sum that are made with high quality and fresh ingredients!
Gusto Cucina Italiana, an Italian restaurant that has been awarded as the second best Italian restaurant in KK. The owner, Cristiano, who is an Italian origin is the chef himself! So rest assured that your food will be authentic and original. Tuna carpaccio, norma rigatoni, tuna steak and many more choices of Italian cooking can be found in their menu. To finish your meal, they have a range of wines to choose from. You don’t want to miss a good ol’ wine to fuse in with an Italian meal!
Beernest Mixo – More information at https://www.sabaheats.com/beer-nest-mixo-sabah-first-mixology-bar/
Beernest Mixo is a beer and cocktail bar. They are Sabah’s first mixology bar where Jerald Tsen, the brainchild of the bar, is Malaysia’s Mixologist champion. In this bar, you can request any special cocktails mixed by their mixologist. They love to be challenged! Beers, bottled or can or draught, are also served to quench your thirst. To top that, you can take a bite on their nibbles such as chicken wings, Beernest signature sizzling pork and the local’s, ikan basung while enjoying your drinks!
Toscani’s is a wine and dine café that serves Italian and Spanish fusion cuisine. If you love something that is different, do try out their foods! Pizza, pasta, grilled items, seafood platter, dessert and Vino. Anything Italian-Spanish, you name it! Their mission is ‘Passionate Food, bringing joyful & happiness to all of the guests!’ Everything is served passionately and handmade by their chefs. Their handmade pizzas are topped with fresh seafood and meat with thick cheese underneath! You don’t want to miss their seafood platter too that comes in two layers of appetizing seafood. For dessert, they are well-known with their tiramisu cake that is always sold out.
Mai Yai Thai Orchid
Mai Yai Thai Orchid is an authentic Thai’s restaurant. The owner is a Thai origin who wanted to ‘bring the authentic Thai food and culture to Sabah’. Their menu features traditional Thai favorites such as Tom Yam, curry noodles, Som Tam and pineapple fried rice topped with cashew nut. They have Thai’s favorite dessert too, which is Khao Neeo Mamuang (mango sticky rice)! You can have meat, seafood or just veggie (vegetarian) meals and be served by their ever-so-friendly waiter/waitress.
The Loft is a sports and wine, two stories bar. They have a variety of draught beers, cocktails, and liquor (glass/bottle). Get their cheap happy hour beers! You can enjoy your drinks with their choices of snacks such as fried sausage, fried lekor, fried chicken wing and much more. If you are a red meat person, try out their black pepper lamb cutlet! To spice up your dining, they have a talented live band performing every night. Their waiter and waitress are very friendly too.
The Beer Factory
A famous Bar chain from West Malaysia opens their 11th outlets at Waterfront Kota Kinabalu. The Beer Factory offer snacks and local foods to go with beers and recently introduced the Seafood Fiesta Combo for seafood lovers.
More information about The Beer Factory at: https://www.sabaheats.com/seafood-fiesta-combo-beer-factory-waterfront-kota-kinabalu/
YOLO Gastro bar is the only gastro bar in Waterfront. Gastro bar will concentrate on their quality of food too, not just the quality of their alcoholic drinks. YOLO serves beers, cocktails, and spirits at reasonable prices. For food, they plate up every Asian and Western’s favorites such as their legendary pizzas and freshly caught seafood creations. Their Tom Yam spicy chicken pizza and seafood platter are a must try! If you are drinking and feeling not too hungry, nib on their snacks like chicken wings, that is made for snacking with beers.
Kuta Bistro serves Indonesian, Malaysian and Western fusion cuisine. Their bar concept is modern Bali, where Kuta is a name of a famous beach in Bali. The bar’s surrounding is decorated with wooden furniture and fresh plants; to have that ‘Bali’ vacation and chill vibe. They too, have a live band every night to enliven your night! Drink in their various choices of beers, liquor, wine, and cocktails. Look out for their promotions! You can get a taste of their local menus such as ayam penyet, nasi lemak and ikan bakar.
Novus is a karaoke room lounge and restaurant, owned by Kuta’s owner. They provide karaoke set to those who love to sing their heart out! To top it, there is a karaoke stage with two sets of microphones to the daring ones too. Here, it is flexible where you can order foods from Kuta, Santan, Shamrock and The Inns menus as they are all owned by the same owner. Novus specifically serve alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to those who love to karaoke.
Santan is the only ASEAN restaurant here in Waterfront. They serve food from within ASEAN region that highlights each area with its most famous and tastiest dishes. Venture in their ASEAN region oriented-food such as kampung fried rice, Pattaya fried rice, nasi lemak and Singapore fried mee hoon. You can also call them to cater! They do private function, birthday and anniversaries.
The Shamrock Irish Bar
The Shamrock Irish Bar in Waterfront, KK is the one and only Shamrock Bar in Borneo! This bar is an Irish themed bar with East Malaysia twist. Try out their draught lager and stout such as Guinness, Kilkenny, Heineken, Tiger! Their kitchen knocks up some rustic home-cooked food too. Dine in their famous Irish Sunday Roast (roast lamb, chicken, vegetable, and potatoes), Cottage pie, Fish and Chips and Lambchop. Uniquely, to those who have never tried local Sabah cocktails, you can get a sip of them at Shamrock! Such as Borneo Mojito and Tuaktini. Don’t miss out their live band too that starts at 9 pm.
The Inns serves dinner and drinks starting at 4pm to 1am. They dish up fresh high-quality western seafood cuisine and draught beers freshly from the barrels. Their seafood is a must-try such as Seared sea bass with honey mustard glazed and Grilled salmon with baby spinach and sautes mushroom. Their pizza is popular too, such as The inns’ tuna pizza and The Inn pepperoni pizza. Look out for their alcoholic drinks promotion especially during any festive season! Dine in and drink up; accompanied by their local live band.
Kohinoor is uniquely the only North Indian restaurant in Waterfront, “Great taste of India”! If you love Indian cuisine this is a must-go restaurant to satisfy your craving! It is an Indian-Pakistani restaurant that serves lunch, dinner, coffee and drinks that infused with North Indian recipe. Think rich aromatic gravies, spicy vegetable stir-fries, moist and tender slow-cooked meat, and sinful desserts. Their kitchen offers all-you-name-it North Indian authentic cuisine such as kebab roll (chicken mutton) and spicy chicken wings.
Cock and Bull Bistro
Cock and Bull Bistro in Waterfront won the Best Entertainment Spot Award in the Sabah state in the year 2005 and 2007. Its warm hospitality makes it the spot to those that want to ease out and relax. Unwind yourself with their talented live band accompany with their various choices of alcoholic drinks such as draught beers and wine. They cook up Western cuisine like Chicken chop fever and Asian cuisine too such as Nasi goreng ayam goreng.
Silk restaurant and bar
Silk restaurant and bar is a local Dusun owned by Arthur. You can choose any different types of alcoholic drinks from their menu and be served by their friendly waiter! They are famous for their handmade thin crust pizza too such as seafood and shrimp pizza. They topped it with fresh shrimps and crab meats that will satisfy your tongue! Also, they cook up teriyaki salmon, chicken chop, seafood platter, nasi goreng and much more.
Buga is the only Korean restaurant, bar, and café in Waterfront. It operates 24/7. If you love Korean cuisine, this is a place for you to enjoy their food by the sea. They serve Koreans’ favorite dishes such as Bulgogi (bulgogi hot pot), Samgyepsal (grilled pork belly), Japchae (stir-fried glass noodles and vegetables) and much more. Don’t miss out their local drinks too such as Soju which is best suited with their cuisine. They provide free Wi-Fi too if you ever ran out of mobile data or to the tourists’ that don’t have any data plan. To jazz up your dining, they provide a karaoke set with various songs to sing your heart out!