Garage Kafe @ Penampang Bypass

(Photos and Map by @joehairie)

Nasi Lemak Garage Kafe with Fried Marinated Chicken

We found out about this Cafe yesterday through Instagram feed and we felt that it’s necessary to see for ourselves the uniqueness of this place. This cafe is relatively new and just started operation few days ago. Owned and managed by husband and wife team along with dedicated employees, this cafe offers Fusion, Western and Malaysian cuisine. The concept is similar to the Garage Cafe(s) that can be found elsewhere outside Sabah. The owner said that the concept will be applied gradually to give a new spin to the abundant hipster cafe(s) around Kota Kinabalu. Read to the end to find out details of this cafe and our rating for the quality of services and products offered during our visit.

The Signboard

The main theme of this cafe is Eat, Stay/Chill and Race…. and that really suited the name of the cafe itself, Garage Kafe. Next to the cafe is sort of warehouse or shall I say a place where you can find some cool stuff for your car. It is owned by the same owner of the cafe. According to the owner, there will be some interesting plan to combine the function of that 2 outlets which in the end reflect the name and the concept of the cafe. Awesome!!

The Interior


At the front, there is this kinda bar seating area where you can actually monitor your car from the inside through the large glass window. The cafe is air conditioned so the temperature inside will surely make you way comfortable that you want to stay a little bit longer than what you have plan earlier!!


Plenty of dining table for 2-4 persons and if you come in a large group, the tables can be combined. The lights are cool feature of this cafe as it brightens the entire space but not to a point that will annoy you. Few wall fans are installed to add breeze to the already nice cool temperature. Some parts of the cafe’s wall and floor are left unfinished to fit the garage and hipster concepts. Brilliant!!


The picture above shows the open kitchen and drinks station. You get to see staffs working on your order. The aroma from the cooking will certainly makes you crave for more food. It must be interesting to see how the staffs work during peak hours, must be pretty pretty busy inside there.


Above (on the left hand side) is the Cashier counter. Look at the electric guitar. According to the owner, in the near future, there will be some busking by buskers. Interesting!!


We love how the owner arranged wall decorations using some woods and also plate numbers. Wall framed posters are arranged nicely, here and there. For the curious patrons, you are more than welcome to go around and read each of the wording of the frames.

Wall Decoration
View of the cafe from the open kitchen area
The 3 words that best described the inner soul of the owner and staffs
Nice wall decoration-@curiostraveller was tempted to ‘snatch’ that bag
More customers came in to the Cafe to enjoy the super yummy food & beverages

The Exterior

This is how the Cafe looks like from the outside. In the near future, the owner will add more tables, outside the cafe, good news for smokers & vapers!!
View of the cafe from the roadside (Evening)

The Food/Beverages

Since the cafe have just started operation, the menu is still in its initial adjustment to best suited the needs of new customers. It will be changed at a later date by adding more exciting selections. For a new cafe, we felt that the menu below is actually more than enough (for the time being). Simple is better, much easier to choose from a single page rather than having to choose food from a very thick file.

Mains/Entrees and Sides

Prices for both food and beverage are acceptable by our standard. Simply put, the portion of the food that we ordered speaks for the prices.


Beverages are almost the same choices as what you can find in another cafes/restaurants but here, we do think that the taste and presentation is much way better. Pictures below shows the item that we ordered. @joehairie consumed the Lemon Chicken and Iced Red Tea. @curiostraveller opted for the Nasi Lemak Garage Kafe and Iced Lemon Tea. According to @joehairie, the lemon chicken tasted just right, not too salty and not too sweet, tender and he was able to detect the lemony taste, outside and inside the chicken fillets.

@curiostraveller thinks that the portion for sambal must be added a little bit more. The sambal tasted delicious, not that spicy. Rice and other condiments were good enough while the Fried Chicken is crispy on the outside and tender inside. The ingredients being used for the marinating process can be identified easily. The Cheezy fries was the highlight for us. The portion, way big enough to be shared by 3 people or more. Luv the cheese and meat sauce, both are great combination and gave distinct taste to the smokey fries. Both drinks tasted just nice, not that sweet (our preference).

Lemon Chicken With Rice (RM 8.90)
Smokey Cheezy Fries Topped With Meat Sauce (RM 7.90)
Nasi Lemak Garage Kafe served with Fried Marinated Chicken (RM 10.90)
Iced Lemon Tea (RM 4.50)
Iced Thai Red Tea (RM 4.50)
Untitled_-_27[1] team members combined meals-Awesome!!

The Verdict

Untitled_-_30[1] team members, @curiostraveller & @ joehairie giving the thumbs up

Overall, we both, without any hesitation, rated the visit to Garage Kafe as an exceptional one. We’re definitely satisfied with the quality of the products and services offered to us during the visit. We monitored the way they treated other customers and for sure they did treat all equally. The owner and all staff smiled genuinely, work from their heart, polite, friendly, helpful and attentive. The food that we ordered tasted delicious and presented well and so were the beverages. We wish them all the best in booming up the cafe’s business and we are sure to come back, especially to taste the soon to be introduced menu, Laksa Sarawak. Kudos, 2 thumbs up from each of us.

Having the urge to come and satisfy your craving? Head on to:

Garage Kafe
Jalan Pintas Penampang/Penampang Bypass
(Before the junction going to Grand Plaza Millenium)
Instagram: Click HERE
Facebook: Click HERE

Operation Hours
Tuesday-Friday – 1000 HRS – 1100 HRS
Saturday-Sunday– 0900 HRS – 1100 HRS

The Location-How To Get to this Cafe

Since this is a brand new cafe, it is essential to pinpoint the exact location otherwise you might miss seeing it. Drive towards the Grand Plaza Millenium using the Jalan Pintas Penampang (Penampang bypass) towards Donggongon (if you are from Kota Kinabalu). Just before reaching Grand Plaza Millenium, look at your left hand side. The landmark is RMT hardware Trading which is located on the opposite of the road.



Simply park your car on the road side wherever you think it is fit to do that but please be considerate towards other cars/drivers parking nearby. The pictures above shows certain landmarks of the cafe’s surrounding area. It will be easy to see your car from inside the cafe as it has large glass window.