(Photos by @joehairie unless stated otherwise)
“Eating is sensorial. More than that, it’s about interpreting the information that your senses give you”- Chef Andoni Luiz Aduriz
“The information that your senses give you (as mentioned by Chef Andoni) will tell you if the food that you are consuming is cook from the heart or otherwise”-curiostraveller.com
We are in the midst of looking for the best Cafe in Kota Kinabalu City and we do hope that by 30 November 2016, we will be able to nominate the Best Cafe/Restaurants in Kota Kinabalu City. Having completed the task we will then move to the other districts in Sabah such as Tawau, Sandakan, Kudat, Beaufort, Sipitang, Keningau and many more. We are looking forward to have the ultimate list of Best Cafes/Restaurant in the whole of Sabah state. Such list will help us to line up the best of the best in Sabah for our readers and followers in this blog, Facebook and Instagram. Recently, we read about some promotions by the Dreamtel Cafe at Dreamtel Kota Kinabalu. We decided that we want to see and experience for ourselves the offerings by Dreamtel Cafe. Are foods and beverages as well as service by staffs in Dreamtel Cafe on par with the other great cafes that we have been to in Kota Kinabalu? This is the main question that will be answered in our review for Dreamtel Cafe.
Dreamtel Kota Kinabalu is conveniently located within the centre of Kota Kinabalu city. Local tourist attractions are within walking distance such as the Atkinson Clock Tower, the famous Sunday Market at Gaya Street, handicraft market and shopping malls like Wisma Merdeka, Suria and Centre Point. Most banks and ATMs are located at Gaya Street. Dining facilities include the Dreamtel Café and 24-hours in-room dining service. Other services include meeting facility, concierge service and laundry or dry cleaning.With 160 guestrooms, the Hotel has a wide selection of room types to suit varying guest requirements including Twin, Double and Triple. Whether you are travelling for business or on holidays with friends and family, Dreamtel has just the room for you.
Dreamtel according to TripAdvisor
As at June 1, 2016, Dreamtel has been reviewed by 304 travellers from the TripAdvisor Community. 122 travellers rated Dreamtel as Very Good while 51 travellers rated it as Excellent. Click HERE to read all the reviews from 304 travellers. Dreamtel is the winner for 2015 Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor.
About Dreamtel Cafe
Café Dreamtel is a 100-seat restaurant featuring local and international dishes using Sabah’s fresh produce daily. There are 2 seating/dining areas, indoor and outdoor. The operation hours are from 6.30 am to 10.30 pm. Buffet breakfast is served from 6.30 am to 10.30 am. A la carte menu is offered to guests for all day dining options. From time to time and normally according to festivals/celebrations in Sabah (Malaysia), Dreamtel offers unbeatable dining promotion to guests. Not only it is among the cheapest in the city (by hotel standard), the Chef ensure that the foods and beverages are of high quality in both taste and presentation. The Head Chef of Dreamtel Cafe is Chef Guy Alden Peter.
Ramadhan Month Promotion
Locals and visitors in Kota Kinabalu city may take the opportunity to indulge themselves in the coming Daily Buffet Dinner scheduled to start from June 11, 2016 to July 3, 2016. We were made to understand that the Buffet Dinner in conjunction with the Ramadhan Month is to give diners in Kota Kinabalu city the opportunity to dine with medium range price (among the lowest for hotel category buffet option) but with amazing selections from the traditional Malay cuisines to grilled/barbecued items. Do refer to the banner below or call the Hotel for more information.
The dining experience
“These days, gastronomy is so ambiguous and abstract, genuine foodies, writers and journalists are moving more and more from critiquing to describing experiences”-Chef Andoni Luiz Aduriz
The amazing Staffs that we met..
We came here on June 3, 2016 for dinner. Upon entering the cafe, we were immediately acknowledged by one of the staff, Helmie. We chose to be seated indoor and he invited us to choose our own table. In less than 15 seconds, he came back with the Menu(s) and started explaining in details the available selections in the menu(s). He was very informative and managed to answer all our inquiries. We told him that we need few minutes to decide our options. He came instantly when we were ready with our selections and he took the initiative not only to suggest the best but describing his recommendations in great details. We were extremely amazed by his positive working attitude.
Another staff, Asrizan came and started to arrange our table accordingly with such a proper manner. He triggered a hilarious conversation with us, which delighted us so much that we actually had good laughs while consuming our selections. We can’t blame him for being such a nice and humble staff in fact we might consider him as the funniest waiter that we have ever met (in a good way of course!). He worked joyfully that evening and kept smiling genuinely the entire time we were at the cafe. He did came back from time to time to check on our satisfactions and needs and so did Helmie.
Most of our selections were brought over to the table by Angela. This non stop smiling waitress kept us well informed of ALL the on going promotions and even invited us to fill in the lucky draw forms. She kept coming back to tell us this and that and ensuring that we were satisfied with the foods and beverages. We love the way she arranged our food on the table. @curiostraveller gave her a small test. While she was passing by, @curiostaveller purposely took one small plate from another table to placed used spoon as he intended to use it again for next serving. She saw this and immediately she took another small plate from another table and placed it on our table for @joehairie. How thoughtful! She must have noticed that we wanted to have our used spoons/forks placed on a proper side small plate rather than placing it directly on the table surface (we hate doing that, its gross).
Chef Guy Alden Peter came out of the Kitchen right after we had our dessert and he did his usual routine checking on everything in the Cafe perimeter. We both managed to meet him and he explained to us some of the menu(s) planned for the coming Buffet Dinner during Ramadhan Month. It was an educational conversation as we learnt so many new things from him. We only introduced ourselves (as bloggers) to the Chef and other staffs right after we had that last feed of our dessert(s). We did this as we wanted to ensure that the front staffs and the team in the Kitchen delivered products and service to us in the most original state without being altered and tailored for editorial purpose. We wanted to have the same ‘thing’ as other normal guests received that evening.
There was not a single thing that they can change or alter as our evaluation has ended when we introduced ourselves. Whatever that we saw after the dessert(s) were not accounted for in our rating for this cafe. How did they performed in terms of score? Read further to find out.
“We were able to remember all names of the Dreamtel Cafe Staffs as they have performed their duties extremely well thus enabling us to described our experiences at Dreamtel Cafe, inch to inch”-curiostraveller.com
The Food and Beverages that we consumed
“Instead of consuming foods, it normally consume both of us and so as the foods and beverages at Dreamtel Cafe”-@joehairie
@curiostraveller opted for the Set Meal as shown below..
We were made to understand that this particular set menu will be available throughout the month of June 2016 . It will be then be replaced by another set menu. The price for this set menu is RM 23 (nett) and that is reasonable and acceptable by our standard.
Garden Salad-Combination of greens and juicy sliced tomatoes. Fresh, crunchy and tasted amazingly delicious with the dressing.
Mushroom soup with french toast bread. The bread was crunchy but tender at the same time especially after dipped into the mushroom soup. The soup itself tasted heavenly delicious, fine texture with adequate mushroom taste.
Chicken Chop in BBQ Sauce served with chips and coleslaw. The chips/fries tasted delicious and had enough salt. Coleslaw was the best that @curiostraveller had, he will surely be happy if the portion of coleslaw is a bit bigger. Chicken was delicious, crunchy on the outside and tender inside. It was easy to rip apart the chicken meat as it was not too heavily coated with flour and crumbs. It had enough taste and the dipping sauce really gave that extra umpph. A classic option but maintained high quality in terms of presentation and taste.
Crème brûlée is definitely @curiostraveller favorite. Crème brûlée is also known as burnt cream, crema catalana, or Trinity cream. It is a dessert consisting of a rich custard base topped with a contrasting layer of hard caramel. @curiostraveller was happy to know that the dessert in the set menu is none other than Crème brûlée. Perfect 10 for this dessert!!
@joehairie opted for the selections from a la carte menu as he wanted only 1 main and 1 dessert.
Tuaran Fried Noodles (RM14) -local favorite fried noodles served with chicken, prawns, egg and vegetables. @jeohairie’s plate was totally clean when he finished eating. If in dining session his plate is clean, it means only one thing, that dish is superb and amazingly delicious. Though a little bit less salty as he claimed, the overall taste and presentation were actually good enough for him. He scored this dish, perfect 10!
Lychee Panna Cotta- Obviously with the lychees on top, it is an Italian dessert of layered cream flavoured with vanilla and a twist of mango. We both tasted this dessert and same as Crème brûlée , we rated it perfect 10. For beverages we ordered Iced Calamansi for @curiostraveller and Watermelon Juice for @joehairie.
The curiostraveller.com thoughts
The missing sweet taste (Watermelon juice)
We scored the beverage element : 9.75 out of 10. The missing 0.25 marks came from the Watermelon Juice that @joehairie had. @curiostraveller did taste the juice as well and we both actually agreed that the juice was lacking the taste of sweetness. While we both do prefer less sugary beverages, we thought that this particular beverage was in need of that ‘sugar’. Reason: It is all about the fundamentals … when serving fruit juices there are 2 things that can be opted by restaurateurs/owners/managers/supervisors.
Instruct the staffs to use more watermelon to produce that original sweetness OR use appropriate and economical portion of watermelon and add some sugar syrup to get that right sweet taste (Everyone knows this). However, for the Watermelon Juice that @joehairie had, neither of that extra watermelon portion nor sugar detected by him. Simply put: Reddish Juice but tasteless. The amazing and tasty Iced Calamansi contributed to the high marks in Beverages aspect.
The missing brand “Dreamtel Cafe”
We do understand that the amazing people from management of Dreamtel are doing their best to re decorate the cafe. Chef Guy Alden Peter told us that previously the cafe served Indonesian cuisine ( The cafe name was Raja Kuring). For both of us, that Raja Kuring characteristics can still be seen in the overall current concept. This cafe was later renamed to Dreamtel Cafe and now serves some western and Malaysian/Asian favorite dishes. We both failed to see and feel completely of that transformation. We gave 9.82/10 for the overall concept. A small number of 0.18 deducted as we did not feel that we were in the new brand of ‘Dreamtel Cafe’. Not a single thing highlighted the current brand, ‘Dreamtel Cafe‘.
We were satisfied with the furniture layout, the overall atmosphere and things related but we failed to see the name or the brand being shown, big enough for our eyes to see, we have to be honest about this, the ‘Dreamtel Cafe’ brand is not even printed on the front cover of the menu. Chef Guy Alden Peter told us that soon enough the name/brand will be displayed on the wall. That, we hope to see pretty soon. It will tell us that this cafe is Dreamtel Cafe. Pardon us, but we both believe in brands, we both are addicted to see clearly the name/brand of an outlet. It will tell and remind both of us, the location we are at…
The Rating For Dreamtel Cafe
The first Restaurant in Kota Kinabalu city that we scored perfect 10 out of 10 is Mashawi Grill (Click HERE to read the review). The main reason that we gave such a perfect score was because we were extremely satisfied with the quality of foods and service. We visited Mashawi twice. That 2nd visit concluded the average score. For Dreamtel Cafe, this recent visit was our first. Therefore, to be fair with all other cafes/restaurants that we have already visited, we plan to re visit Dreamtel Cafe soon and re consider our rating based on the experiences gained from the total 2 visits. For the time being (while waiting for that second visit), this is our rating for Dreamtel Cafe. Do note that this is the average score from both of us, scored individually (with no discussions) and then averaged.
What’s our score/rating? (Modern Cafe Category in a Hotel/Resort)
(Overall Score: 9.914/10)
Ambiance & Overall Concept: 9.82/10
Food-Menu, Presentation and Taste: 10/10
Beverages-Menu, Presentation and Taste: 9.75/10
Service/WIFI/All other ‘Extras’: 10/10
Date Visited: June 3, 2016 (Friday)
We were both actually surprised with the final score as we thought the average is going to be under 9.5. The score needed to achieve the perfect 10 is.. 0.086 and we do hope that the management of Dreamtel Cafe will be able to read thoroughly our thoughts in order to achieve the perfect score when we re visit soon. This score (as at June 6, 2016) will be changed to the final score right after the 2nd visit.
Our main concern..
Now that we have already introduced ourselves to the staffs of Dreamtel Cafe, will it be a fair and valid evaluation when we come for the 2nd visit? Of course the evaluation will be fair and valid as the staffs will not be able to alter anything presented to us as we will be looking into some other details, mainly the 2 aspects that were not scored perfectly during the 1st visit and while doing that we will still be observing the other perfect elements. They do not know when is the next visit so there is this probability that both of us will be served by another team (they all work in shifts). We will sure to come without giving any advance notice or perhaps inviting 1-2 guests with us to get different input.
Next time you are in Kota Kinabalu, drop by at this cafe and experience the highest level of service and products being offered by Dreamtel Cafe.
Dreamtel Cafe @ Dreamtel
5 Jalan Padang, 88000
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Telephone: +60 88 240 333
Fax: +60 88 248 333
Facebook: Click HERE
Dreamtel Kota Kinabalu is the winner of TripAdvisor 2015 Certificate of Excellence