Hard Rock Cafe @ Kota Kinabalu, Sabah


Signboard outside The Oceanus Waterfront Mall

Both me and @joehairie are big fans of Hard Rock Cafe brand. We both have been to almost all Hard Rock Cafe(s) in Asia and Australia. A visit to at least the Rock Shop of Hard Rock Cafe(s) is mandatory and if possible, we will chill out and dine at the cafe. Recently, we had this amazing opportunity to chill out at The Hard Rock Cafe, this time around, in Kota Kinabalu, our own hometown.

The Small Rock Shop in 2013-Photo by  http://lilyrianitravelholic.blogspot.my (Check out her awesome blog)

The Kota Kinabalu outlet started their operation by erecting a small merchandise shop outside Oceanus Waterfront Mall (At that time, the Mall was under construction). It’s meant to be temporary as in April 2015, Hard Rock Cafe moved its operation into the mall. The brand occupies 2 floors, ground floor for the Rock Shop and on the 1st floor (with direct access from the shop) is the cafe itself.

The Cafe/Bar. Photo by www.hardrock.com. Check out the Official Website of Hard Rock Cafe Kota Kinabalu (click the link).

Do we actually like this place? Read until the end to find out. Personally, if we want to compare and evaluate each of the brand’s outlet that we have visited all around the world (especially in Asia), it will be based on 3 main factors. #1 The level of Service by the staffs (Rock Shop and Cafe). #2 F&B presentation and taste. #3 The entertainment factor-The Band. We don’t actually care about the size of the entire outlet. Nor do we look at the menu as it will be basically almost the same in each outlet, the only thing that is gonna make a big difference IS whether the outlet is able to honor its own menu, simply said each item mentioned, is available when requested by customers.

Rock Shop @ Hard Rock Cafe Kota Kinabalu. Photo by www.hardrock.com. Check out the Official Website of Hard Rock Kota Kinabalu (click the link).

By far (according to own evaluation/opinion), the Hard Rock Cafe in Kota Kinabalu is actually the second best from all of the outlet that we have been in Asia/Australia. The best, (according to our own evaluation/opinion) is the Jakarta outlet. It all came down to the level of service. Friendly, polite, helpful, informative, attentive, smiled genuinely, no long faces, appear almost immediately when needed, are all the key factors. Jakarta and Kota Kinabalu staffs will immediately regard customers as friends. They will engage with customers by simply converse in a friendly manner as if they have known the customers for years. Now, that will make one sit for hours and come back again next time.

Friendly Staffs of Hard Rock Cafe Kota Kinabalu. Photo taken from the outlet official Instagram (Follow @hardrockcafekk for cool updates)

Lets have a look at the pictures of the Hard Rock Kota Kinabalu starting with the Shop followed by the Cafe and what we both have experienced during the recent visit. (Photos by @joehairie).

The front of the Rock Shop. This section is located on the Ground Floor.
Some cool Window Exhibits
T Shirts for the Gents
Typical Print of Hard Rock Cafe T Shirts
All Rock Shops do have these collections for sale, the difference is the name of the location (printed on the small glasses)…
More glasses for the Avid Collector..
Our must have item especially for @joehairie.. he have one from each country that have Hard Rock Cafe.
For the Ladies….pick your fav..
More T Shirts…and the Teddy Bears as well!!
A section of the Rock Shop
This is another entrance of the Rock Shop. An easy access for those in the Waterfront area.
Another view of the Rock Shop from the Waterfront Area
Teddy Bears ‘playing hide and seek’.
From the Rock Shop, there is an access going up to the Cafe/Bar area (on the first floor)
Guns and Roses…
This is how the entrance of the Cafe/Bar looks like. You get to browse the F & B menu if you just wondering what the cafe is offering..
The Band in action…

We are truly sorry as some images cannot be uploaded as we think that showing customers faces without their consent is not a wise thing to do. There is this term called privacy and we want to stay in the safe zone. It is not so cool taking pictures (even though the intention is to show the layout) with some faces inside it. There are some people who wish their faces are not shown anywhere in the Internet. Therefore we can’t really show the entire layout of the Cafe/Bar. No worries, get yourself here…


The Rock Box Coupon

We got this from the Waiter, Mr. Jerry. He told us that this is the current promotion by Hard Rock Cafe whereby customers get the chance to win some awesome prizes. According to him, from April 4 to May 15, customers have the chance to win a Rock Box every time they visit a participating Hard Rock Cafe and get a Rock Box code — or when they tweet #IWantARockBox to @HardRock. And whether or not you win one that day, your code will be entered for the chance to win a Legendary Rock Box — which includes a trip to any Hard Rock Hotel destination in the world. Truly legendary. So we did as he told us, entered the code, but we did not win.. perhaps not our lucky day.. To know more about this awesome Rock Box Campaign, click HERE.  What did we have for dinner? Here it is..

Jumbo Combo

I had this gigantic selection, Jumbo Combo. According to the menu it is a collection of Hard Rock Cafe most popular appetizers: Signature Wings, Onion Rings, Tupelo Chicken Tenders, Spinach Artichoke Dip with Parmesan flatbread and bruschetta, served with honey mustard, hickory barbecue and blue cheese dressing.


@joehairie opted for the Famous Fajitas selection and specified for the Grilled Chicken. According to the menu Famous Fajitas is choice of grilled chicken or beef, served with pico de gallo, Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese, fresh guacamole, sour cream and warm tortillas.It is available for Duo Combo, Grilled Beef or Grilled Chicken.

@curiostraveller-having hard time finishing the gigantic selection (which is actually a starter that is meant for sharing awwww greedyyy)
@joehairie- Taking his time to finish the Half Grilled Chicken. In Nandos, we always opt for the Quarter so Half Chicken is a bit of hard work in finishing actually…

We were delighted to have the opportunity to see some awesome and cool performances by the Sky High band. They sang from the their heart and they are such beautiful, talented and nice people I have ever met in a stage show (of a pub-By our standard, they actually pushed the Jakarta Band to the 2nd spot-bands that we enjoyed pretty much in Hard Rock Cafes all over). 2 Thumbs Up Sky High!!!

Sky High band being featured in the poster. Pic taken from Hard Rock Cafe Kota Kinabalu Official Instagram (Follow @hardrockcafekk for cool updates)
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Members of Sky High band. Pic taken from the Hard Rock Cafe Kota Kinabalu  Official Instagram (Follow @hardrockcafekk for cool updates)

Check out this videos that we recorded…the awesome Sky High in action…!!

So, overall, how do we think of this outlet?

If we are to compare this outlet to all of the Hard Rock Cafes that we have been to (in Asia/Australia)..this the 2nd best in terms of services and products. Perhaps the staffs need to be a bit more creative in engaging with the customers as what the staffs in Jakarta are doing. However, for us, the Band, Sky High..by far, they are the best performers in a stage performance,of all Hard Rock Cafes that we have been to. Overall, we enjoyed our time here. Thank you so much.

Now, as usual, we do evaluate all F & B outlets that we visited in Sabah. How’s the verdict like? Whats our verdict?

(Bar/Club-Seaside/Pool Category/Entertainment Spot) (Score: 9.2/10 )

Ambiance & Overall Concept: 9.5/10

Food-Menu, Presentation and Taste: 10/10

Beverages-Menu, Presentation and Taste: 9/10

Service/Wifi/All other ‘Extras’: 9.5/10

Price: 8/10

You may also read some reviews of this outlet in TripAdvisor. Click HERE.

Want to have the same experience? Wait no more and head on to:

Hard Rock Cafe
Unit G-26/F-28
Oceanus Waterfront Mall
Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens
88000 Kota Kinabalu
Sabah, Malaysia
Phone: +60 88 273 952

Website: http://www.hardrock.com/cafes/kota-kinabalu/
Facebook: Hard Rock Cafe Kota Kinabalu Sabah
Instagram: @hardrockcafekk