Cafe 5 @ Hotel N°5 Kota Kinabalu: The Dining Experience

(Photos by @joehairie)


The team members are avid food hunters. We just love to visit cafes/restaurants and eat some good foods, slurping the best beverages and chill out, relaxing, enjoying the atmosphere and admiring the ambiance. Recently we stayed at Hotel N°5 (click HERE to read the entry about our 1 night stay in that Hotel). Hotel N°5 does have its own café named as Café 5. We decided to have our lunch and dinner at this café on the same day we checked in. What were our thoughts about this café? Read our review and discover the uniqueness of this café.

About Café 5

Café 5 is located inside the Hotel N°5 building right after the Lobby/Front Desk and Café Bar. The café offers international and local a la carte delights to customers who wanted to experience an exciting gastronomic adventure. All foods are skillfully prepared by the expert Kitchen Team. Café 5 has 2 dining areas, indoor and outdoor. It opens daily from 6.30 A.M to 10.30 PM. Breakfast buffet is from 6.30 A.M to 10.30 A.M. Hotel guests are entitled for free breakfast while walk in customers will be charged RM25 per person. Customers may also opt for the a la carte breakfast menu.


Outdoor Dining/Seating Area of Café 5


Indoor Dining/Seating Area of Café 5


Indoor Dining/Seating Area of Café 5


View of Café 5 in the evening

Our Experience


For lunch, we ordered Nasi Goreng Café 5 (Café 5 Fried Rice) and Ayam Masak Merah (Chicken cooked in tomato puree). We ordered one Appetizer as well, The Classic Caesar Salad. For beverages, we opted for Teh Tarik (Pulled Tea) and Iced Fresh Lime. Below are the images of Foods and Beverages that we ordered.


The Classic Caesar Salad- RM14.00

The Caesar Salad by Café 5 is a combination of crispy romaine lettuce dressed with parmesan cheese and crouton tossed in Caesar dressing with a garlic prawn. We always have Caesar Salad wherever possible and the Café 5 version resembles almost the same as what we had previously (somewhere else). The original Caesar salad is a salad of romaine lettuce and croutons dressed with parmesan cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, egg, Worcestershire sauce, anchovies, garlic, and black pepper. However, we were actually satisfied and happy with this version by Café 5. The taste of sweet, salty and freshness of the lettuce as well as the prawns really delighted us and definitely an appetizing starter. We love this Caesar Salad by Café 5!


Ayam Masak Merah- RM22.00

Generally, Ayam Masak Merah is a Malay/Indonesian dish which is spicy and sweet at the same time. Pieces of chicken are first pan-fried to a golden brown then slowly simmered in a spicy tomato sauce. This popular Malay dish is especially scrumptious with Nasi Tomato (tomato rice), Nasi Jagung or Nasi Briani. I am a big fan of Ayam Masak Merah and I saw this option in the Café 5 menu. Without thinking twice, I opted for this dish.

The Ayam Masak Merah by Café 5 is by far the best that I have ever consumed. The Chef cooked the chicken in red style intoxicating of tomato puree and Malay Spices. This dish is served with steamed white rice and vegetable pickles. There’s combination of sweet, salty and sour in this dish. It’s not spicy but that’s fine for me. The Chicken tasted so good with the Sauce, although topped with generous gravy, I was still able to taste the crispiness outside and tenderness inside. A perfect dish!


Nasi Goreng/Fried Rice Café- RM15.00

@joehairie opted for this dish. I was tempted to order too. The picture in the menu looks so good especially when the dish is accompanied by Satay. We love Satay! This dish by Café 5 is Malaysian county style of fried rice with chili paste served with fried egg, satay, fried chicken wings, Papadom/ Crackers and vegetable pickles. According to @joehairie, the Satay meat was tender and easy to be pulled out from the skewer. The Peanut Gravy/Sauce (Kuah Kacang) tasted so delicious and peanut and most importantly, not being served in watery state.

Vegetable pickles were okay, according to him. The Fried Chicken Wings tasted delicious and was still hot when being brought to the table, crispy on the outside and tender inside. The spices being used to marinate the Chicken Wing can be detected easily by @joehairie, one of the best that he ever consumed. Fried egg was okay, the usual fried egg that can be found anywhere else but the combination of all the condiments really made him happy. He rated this dish as among the best he ever consumed. There were better versions, he said, but he’s extremely satisfied with this selection.


The Beverages that we both had- Iced Fresh Lime (RM 5) and Hot Teh Tarik (RM 5)

The Iced Fresh Lime tasted good with no added sugar, which I like. @joehairie had the Teh Tarik and he said that the Teh Tarik tasted creamy and delicious with not too much condensed milk hence making the Tea less sweet, to which he always prefers.


We came for dinner around 8 P.M and we were immediately acknowledged by the staffs on duty that night. They invited us to choose our table and in less than 20 seconds the waitress came again with the menu. We love it when staffs really know what their duties are, taking care of customers needs and satisfaction. We took a while choosing our meals for the dinner and the minute we were ready with our selections, the waiter came to take our orders. This is what I mean by the term of “Appear almost immediately when needed”. We hate waving hands to get attention from staff, at the Café 5, the staff are always on the spot and will come to you when you need them most. For dinner, we chose to order:

  1. Cantonese Fried Flat Noodles in Egg Gravy-Consumed by Lan
  2. Spaghetti Bolognese-Consumed by @joehairie
  3. Coke and Pulled Necafe/Nescafe Tarik


Cantonese Fried Flat Noodles in Egg Gravy-RM18.00

This is a special dish for me. It reminds me a lot during I was hired as the Executive Chef in one big restaurant in Kota Kinabalu, years ago. I started my first day teaching the junior chefs to cook this dish the proper way. One distinct character of this dish is the Flat Noodles must be sauté in a pretty hot wok until there are slight burnt here and there (just a little bit) but the ‘burnt’ taste can be detected when eating the whole thing, only then the Egg Gravy being poured on the already sauté Flat Noodles.

Did this dish cooked to perfection and up to my standard? Yes and actually better than my cooking. Kudos Chef!! 2 Thumbs up!! Apart from the sauté Flat Noodles, the Egg Gravy must be a little bit thick and not that too watery, that’s another rule for this dish. The Chef at Café 5 managed to get the right consistency in the Egg Gravy. Awesome! Was this the best Cantonese Fried Noodles that I had? Honestly, no. I have tasted better somewhere else (Outside Malaysia). Perhaps the best Cantonese Fried Flat Noodles that I tasted in Kota Kinabalu? Honestly, Yes. There you go Chef! That’s a compliment for you actually.


Spaghetti Bolognese- RM16.00

@joehairie loves this type of dish. He will always opt for Spaghetti Bolognese if he wants to eat western food. He’s happy to see the generous portion of the Pasta and Bolognese. According to him, the taste of the Bolognese was definitely superb and awesome. I did taste a bit of that Bolognese and I was satisfied too. The only thing that was missing is the Tabasco Sauce. The waitress told us that Café 5 ran out of Tabasco Sauce. That was a bit disappointing as Spaghetti Bolognese and Tabasco are ‘husband & Wife’. Both completed each other. So, @joehairie ate his spaghetti without that tangy and spiciness that should have come from the Tabasco sauce. Overall, he liked the Spaghetti Bolognese but he did not like the fact that there’s no Tabasco Sauce available. The Pasta cooked/boiled to perfection.


Coke (RM5) & Nescafe Tarik (RM4)

Coke is coke, nothing much too talk about it. The Nescafe Tarik was definitely among the best that I had. I like the fact that it’s not too sweet. It’s pulled to perfection and I like it.

Our Thoughts

All in all, what things need to be improved in Café 5?

  1. Tabasco Sauce is a must. Always get it ready in stock.
  2. The file Menu needs to be arranged in a nicer file/folder. Currently the file Menu looks like a file being brought by applicants attending job interviews. Sorry about that. Make it look a little bit classier.
  3. Hopefully, one day the Hotel Management will introduce 24 hours Kitchen service, if not for dine in perhaps at least for room service. I was hungry at 3 A.M and unfortunately room service is not available at that hour.

Date Visited: May 7, 2016 (Saturday) 

Next time you are in Kota Kinabalu, drop by at this cafe and experience the highest level of service and products being offered by Café 5.

Cafe 5 @ HOTEL N°5
NO.1 Jalan Pintas
89500 Penampang, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
TEL: +60 88 307 555
FAX: +60 88 307 557

Please note that prices and menu items might be changed from time to time. 






2 thoughts on “Cafe 5 @ Hotel N°5 Kota Kinabalu: The Dining Experience

  1. The food looks good and from your rating it must be a good place to say if I do visit KK if I get my lazy ass there!

    1. Thank you so much for the comment Kyzrael. This is a 3 star hotel with a cafe inside it, however the products and services especially in Cafe 5 equals to the 5 star restaurant. The secret is, they work from their heart. Amazing team in the Kitchen with awesome front staffs, a good combination for the success 9.6 score. If you come to KK, do give this hotel and its cafe a try. Oh! you must inform me as I love to host guests/friends. Thank you again so much.

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