(Photos by @joehairie unless stated otherwise)
“There is no love sincerer than the love of food.” – George Bernard Shaw
“Have your first bite, if you like it, you go for second. Bite the food again, if you adore it, you will visit again for more..”- @joehairie
Both of us have been invited by the General Manager of Dreamtel Kota Kinabalu, Ms Evon Foo and the Management team, to indulge in their spectacular buffet dinner at Dreamtel Cafe in conjunction with the Ramadhan month. We did write up our experience at Dreamtel Cafe before, click HERE to read the review. We were also definitely delighted having to meet another blogger cum Creative Director of Eleventh Avenue and Meja Rasa KK, Mr Alfred Allen Ginsos. Check out his awesome Facebook page (Click HERE) and blog (Click HERE). It was a lovely Buka Puasa dinner and not only that we enjoyed the foods and beverages lined up at various buffet stations, we also learnt so many new things from the fun but educational casual talk with all the amazing dinner mates. Although we have been formally invited, there’s a need for us to write up and rate our Buka Puasa Dinner experience at Dreamtel Cafe.
Dinner Mates! Bloggers, Dreamtel General Manager, Executives, Head Chef and Dreamtel Cafe Staffs. Thank you Alfred Allen Ginsos for the picture/image.
The Buffet Stations (June 13, 2016)
For the Dreamtel Cafe interior, you may refer to our previous review, here is the LINK again. For this review, we will show to you ALL the buffet stations at Dreamtel Cafe (For Buka Puasa Dinner-June 2016). It might help you to get clearer picture and build up your own expectation(s) prior coming to this cafe. Altogether, there were 4 stations when we came in the evening of June 13, 2016. If you come at a later date, some dishes might be rotated. This is just a guide for you..
1st Station- Grilled/BBQ Items (Mostly) at the Outdoor Dining Area
The Traditional Warung, showcasing delectable foods! What an effort by the management, injecting the Malay Culture into the Buffet concept. The Bamboo and Attap Dwelling/Atap Nipah resembling the Malay Traditional Houses and at the same time showcasing Sabah Traditional Culture. Cool feature!
Satay– There were 2 choices of Sate/Satay, Beef and Chicken. Tasted so good, tender and easy to bite off from the skewer. Grilled to perfection with slight burnt and that added extra ‘kick’ to the already amazing taste of Nusantara spices being used for marinating.
Awesome feature! It made us curious to take a peek of what’s inside! Again, Nusantara element in the presentation side and we love it so much!
Peanut Gravy-Those 4 bowls in the earlier image, contained the condiments for the Satay (Sate). The amazing peanut gravy, cucumber, Nasi Himpit and sliced shallots. All complement each other.
Ikan Bakar/Grilled Fish. Best to eat with white rice.
The ‘Sambal‘-Spicy but goes well with the Grilled Fish. It’s the Malaysian style of eating Grilled Fish, without it, definitely incomplete meal. It gives a ‘kick’ and ‘umphh’ to any type of dish actually.
Beef Striploin and Lamb Shoulder, grilled to perfection and for the beef, customers may ask the cook to grill according to preference. The Beef were tender and so were the Lamb and we love these items too!
The Black Pepper Sauce meant for the Grilled Beef Striploin and Lamb Shoulder! What an amazing sauce. Not that watery and not that spicy.
Roti John-This is among the must have menu during Iftar. There is a legend about this dish. According to the legend, roti John first appeared in the 60s. An Englishman asked for a hamburger to a hawker in Sembawang, Singapore. Having no hamburger to offer, the hawker had the ingenious idea to fry minced mutton and onions with eggs into a loaf. Roti John was born… well, almost… as it still didn’t have a name. The street vendor gave the sandwich to the Englishman and said “Silakan makan roti, John,” which translates to “Please eat this bread, John”. John is the name given to Westerners in the region. Numerous roti John variants have been created since with chicken, beef, cheese or sardines. The end result should give a crusty bread to the outside with a soft mixture of egg and meat and crunchy onions.
Martabak Sayur– Murtabak or martabak, also mutabbaq is a stuffed pancake or pan-fried bread which is commonly found in Saudi Arabia , Yemen, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Thailand. Depending on the location, the name and ingredients can significantly vary. The name mutabbaq (or sometimes mutabbag) in Arabic means “folded”. In Malaysia, where it is called “murtabak”, it was originally sold in Indian Muslim restaurants and stalls, and usually includes minced meat (beef or chicken, sometimes mutton ) along with gralic, egg and onion, and is eaten with curry or gravy, sliced cucumber, syrup-pickled onions or tomato sauce. The dish is sold throughout the country, with diverse variations in ingredients or cooking styles and has been adopted by Malay Muslim sellers as well. In Yemen, murtabak also usually includes mutton. Dreamtel Cafe features the Vegetarian version, Vegetables Martabak or Martabak Sayur.
Chicken Curry-Thick gravy and taste so good!
Sayap Ayam Panggang/Grilled Chicken Wings
End of tour of the Outdoor Buffet Station, let’s take a rest by looking at the outdoor dining area being set up for the Buka Puasa Buffet Dinner.
Below is the image showing the Outdoor Buffet Station viewed from the indoor dining area. Nice yeah?
2nd Station- International/Nusantara Dishes
The Hari Raya Aidilfitri Decorations displayed on the top of the buffet counter. Lovely!
Nasi Goreng Kampung- Malay style fried rice.
Ginger Rice- Rice cooked with blended and sliced gingers of course, giving it the ultimate aromatic, pungent and spicy taste.
Pasta Napolitana– this amazing pasta use the Neapolitan sauce, also called Napoli sauce or Napoletana sauce. It is the collective name given (outside Italy) to various basic tomato-based sauces derived from Italian cuisine, often served over or alongside pasta. In Naples, Neapolitan sauce is simply referred to as la salsa, which literally translates to the sauce.
Udang Goreng Masak Sambal– Crunchy but tender inside, the Sambal can be tasted right into the flesh of the fresh prawns. Awesome dish!
Ikan Masak Kerabu Mangga- A dish of Thai influence/origin, it use the finely sliced mango for garnish on top of the fried fish fillets. The use of extra sliced Chili and Shallots gives the pungent taste to this amazing dish. We rated this dish as excellent as it had all taste-from sweet to sour.
Ayam Masak Gulai-Another amazing dish that has the Indonesia influence. What an amazing gravy!
For the Beef fans-Beef Stew
Buttered Mixed Vegetables– Saute with Butter, the vegetables tasted so good and maintained its freshness and sweetness.
The Salad Bar-with condiments and dressing. Awesome!
Healthy choices: The Nusantara Salad– Kerabu Mangga, Beef Salad, Acar Mentah and Ulam-ulaman.
End of tour for the 2nd station-before we move on to the 3rd station, have a look at the gigantic replica of Ketupat (Image below). Ketupat, Kupat or Tipat is a type of dumpling made from rice packed inside a diamond-shaped container of woven palm leaf pouch. It is commonly found in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, and the Philippines.
3rd Station-Malaysian Dessert
Ice Kacang– choose your own favorite fillings, go as you prefer, it’s buffet concept anyway!
Line up of Bubur Pengat Pisang and selections of Malaysian Kuih-Muih
Curry Puff (Karipap), Kuih Lenggang and Kuih Lapis. Among Malaysian most favorite items for all day dining actually! Be it from breakfast to tea time and sometimes even supper!
4th Station-International Dessert
Kurma/Dates– A must for those breaking fast.
Green Tea Panna Cota
Coffee & Tea
We were extremely satisfied with the dishes offered to guests. The price for this Buka Puasa Buffet Dinner is RM70. That is an acceptable price by curiostraveller.com standard. Simply put, worth it. We both agreed that the Satay sauce/Peanut Gravy was the best that we ever had. The gravy tasted so extremely good with the right consistency, not that watery and not too thick. Most importantly, it’s between not spicy and spicy.. you get both which is the right combination for all type of customers.
This time around, we failed to see any flaw be it in the products offered or staffs appearance/attitude. It means that the Dreamtel Cafe have improved a lot since our last visit. There was microscopic issue with the Green Tea Panna Cota as highlighted by one person but we think that’s a small issue that can be fixed for the next buffet line up. It’s not a real flaw, just a small technical mistake.
The healthy section highlighted one amazing dish and it was an excellent menu in both taste and presentation. @joehairie tried the Ulam-ulaman and he enjoyed so much the sambal. It’s close to the Sambal made by his mom. That’s how he described it. The Ayam Masak Gulai and Udang Goreng Masak sambal are 2 @curiostraveller favorite dishes. Both tasted so good. The Udang/Prawns were fresh and the Sambal penetrated right into the flesh. The Ayam Masak Gulai was so of Nusantara taste. Love it!
This is not a Cafe in a 5 star hotel. This is a 3 star hotel. We will be honest with that fact. However, regardless of the star, we actually looked into 5 key factors as mentioned below. Again, we’re truly plus extremely satisfied with every aspect evaluated during our visit.
Our score/rating? (Modern Cafe Category in a Hotel/Resort)
(Overall Score: 10/10)
Ambiance & Overall Concept: 10/10
Food-Buffet : Menu, Presentation and Taste: 10/10
Beverages-Buffet : Menu, Presentation and Taste: 10/10
Service/WIFI/All other ‘Extras’: 10/10
Price-Worth the experience: 10/10
Date Visited: June 13, 2016 (Monday)
Craving for the Buka Puasa Feast? Head to:
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
About Dreamtel Kota Kinabalu
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.