Written by @joehairie (Photos by curiostraveller.com team members)
“To the ruler, the people are heaven; to the people, food is heaven.”-(ancient Chinese proverb)
Silk Garden Chinese Restaurant was featured in Malaysia Tatler’s Best Restaurants list of 2009. Recently (2016), it’s once again in the list. Repeating the same triumph indicates that this particular restaurant is worth visiting and so we did. We had such great moments, eating the best food at this Chinese Restaurant. Located next to the tranquil gardens and landscaped ponds of The Pacific Sutera Hotel, the restaurant enjoys fabulous views of the yachts by the marina, the swimming pool, swaying trees and the South China Sea against a picturesque backdrop of the islands of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. One great restaurant in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, located in within a 5-star resort complex but with affordable prices.
Our Arrival & The Layout
Soon as we came in, two lovely young ladies, Ms Nurul Nasharina and Ms Ivy greeted us and warmly welcomed us. They politely introduced themselves and were more than happy to have their photo shot by our lenses. Our first impression, service is definitely top-notch, not that too formal as in fine dining restaurant but great enough to be served ‘as Kings’. The ambiance of the entrance really reflects total Chinese characteristics. The food? Honestly, we had no expectations when we came in.
We’ve been to so many Chinese Restaurants already and we’re not that sure if this restaurant will be serving us much better Chinese food. We were seated at the rear of the restaurant thus giving us the perfect view of the on-going throughout the restaurant. Then there was Mr.Micheal Ang, the Outlet Manager of Silk Garden. He had no idea that we are food critics and travel writers. All that was in his mind, we’re regular diners and he seemed to tried his very best to suggest great dishes for the two of us. We let him do the explanation in details about each of the sub menu.
We’re pretty much amazed by his suggestion and we then decided to let him chose the best one for us. We told him about our budget and ability to eat large portion of foods. He simply recommended this and that, and all of his suggestions were truly delectable, most importantly in within our budget which is RM200. Ms Yap then came serving us that famous and refreshing Chinese Tea. With a genuine smile, she greeted us and started pouring that tea into our mini Chinese cups. She keep coming back to pour more tea for us, a task that can be done by ourselves actually. She must have the sharpest eyes as she knew the right moment to come to pour tea for us.
While waiting for our food, we revealed our identity to Mr Micheal Ang and he’s obviously delighted to have us dining at Silk Garden. We had to reveal our identity as we need to go around and take some photos of the restaurant. Micheal must have been in pretty much happy as he earlier suggested the best food of Silk Garden for us. We went around to take some photos and we’re amazed with each tiny details being looked into by the Management, across this entire restaurant, be it the interior or exterior. No wonder the restaurant is listed by Tatler’s!
There are some comfy sofas for patrons to either wait for available table(s) or if time is needed to have a look at the menu, deciding which dishes are best to eat!
We were given an opportunity to have a closer look at the prize awarded by Malaysia Tatler’s . Our task had suddenly became huge as we both intend to see if Silk Garden is actually offering great cuisine and service!
This is another typical decoration of Chinese influence in Silk Garden. Such a beautiful design motives and set-up of colorful table and seats.
The Amazing Food!
The condiments served to us were light soy-sauce, vinegar, finely chopped garlic, bird-eye chilies and green chilies. Being typical Malaysians, we both love the condiments so much as it enhanced the taste of the food that we are about to consume. We mixed all of em’ and that to be dipped with the mains. We had a small bowl of white rice for each of us and that was sufficient as we concentrated on the mains. Dipping the mains onto the condiments gave distinct taste of spicy, sour, salty and sweet.
Micheal was indeed right when he suggested Mongolian Style Wok-Fried Lamb with Honey, Sweet Peas, Black Mushrooms, Sliced onion and Black Pepper. This dish was definitely amazing and tasty. The lamb meat were all tender, juicy and sweet. Micheal asked the Chef to prepare a serving for 2 pax and it’s quite big portion. Of all 4 dishes that we tasted, this one was our favorite! Not only the dish was delicious, it’s being presented nicely on the plate as well. The sliced onion gave the dish that extra original sweetness. The combination of Honey and Black Pepper were a perfect match as if it’s the produce from heaven. We emptied the plate, even the sweet peas! Such a lovely dish!
The second dish that we love so much and still craving for it was Sauteed Fresh Prawns with Salted Egg Yolk. Infusing Salted Egg Yolk into another main is indeed a trend nowadays in Chinese restaurants and this particular dish was the best that we have ever consumed, thanks to the distinct taste of Salted Egg Yolk. The prawns were fresh and all the great taste were inside that prawns. It’s sauteed perfectly and had all that sweet, sour, salty tastes. Dipping it into the condiments that we prepared earlier gave another ‘kick’ to the overall taste, spicy that is. We can eat the whole dish even without rice, and same as the first dish, we emptied the serving!
This is another typical Chinese dish found at Chinese Restaurants all over, Kung Po! Micheal told us that the name of this dish is Kung Po Style Chicken Meat with Dried Chilies, Garlic and Cashew Nuts. It’s sweet and spicy dish and at times nice sweet-salty taste that came from the thick soy-sauce. The cashew nuts were amazingly delicious and crispy! It added another distinct texture to the dish. The presentation was amazing and made us pretty happy seeing all the elements on the plate. Similar to the first 2 dishes, we emptied the plate as well!
Crispy, green, sweet, salty and tangy, that’s how we described this dish. It’s named as Stir Fried French Beans with Minced Chicken, Olive and Scallion. Generous portion we say and the minced chicken were everywhere. Eating this dish using chopsticks was fun and to add more challenging taste, we dipped each French Beans into the chilies condiment before eating it.
We actually finished eating all 4 dishes. All dishes were cooked perfectly! We regret that we didn’t request to meet the Chef in charge. Same type of dishes maybe found in another restaurants all over but we strongly believe none will be able to beat the high quality dishes served to us at Silk Garden! The overall cost of the food that we consumed was under our budget. We had a budget of RM200 and the grand total of the bill was only RM172.09! That price include two great servings of Honey Dew Sago as dessert! What a great way to conclude the already amazing dinner.
There’s not even a tiny micro flaw in both food and service. The staffs were amazingly friendly, polite, helpful, informative, attentive and smiled genuinely. We were pretty amazed how diligent the staffs were that night. From the bottom of our heart, thank you so much for the great service! Thank you again to Mr Micheal Ang and his amazing staffs : Alvin Smith, Nurul Nasharina, Yap Jing, Ivy and Calvin. They truly worked in a team!
We rated our dining experience at Silk Garden, The Pacific Sutera Hotel as : Excellent. Truly a great Chinese Restaurant in Kota Kinabalu City!
We now truly understand why this particular restaurant is listed in the Tatler’s list as one of the best restaurants in Malaysia for 2016. For its exceptional cuisine and service, Silk Garden truly deserve that award! We both truly recommend this restaurant to all of you, come and see for yourself if indeed we have given the correct verdict.
Craving for some Chinese cuisines? if you do, head to:
The Pacific Sutera Hotel
Sutera Harbour Resort
1 Sutera Harbour Boulevard
88100 Kota Kinabalu
Phone: +60 88 318 888
Fax: + 60 88 317 777
Website: Click HERE
About Sutera Harbour Resort
The Resort comprises two five-star hotels – the 500-room Pacific Sutera and the 456-room Magellan Sutera – as well as the Sutera Harbour Marina, Golf & Country Club with its 104-berth marina and an award winning 27-hole championship golf course designed by Graham Marsh. It also has 15 restaurants and bars, two grand ballrooms, 28 meeting rooms and a 100-seat auditorium for meetings, incentive travel, conventions and exhibitions (MICE).
Sutera Harbour Resort is the only destination in Kota Kinabalu that offers a five-star business-class hotel and resort attached to a 27-hole Graham Marsh-designed championship golf course, a state-of-the-art marine and clubhouse. As Borneo’s largest and most extensive convention and banquet facility, the resort is the most sought-after venue for MICE events and is a beautiful mix of luxury, recreation and lifestyle.
The Resort is just 10 minutes by boat from the popular scuba diving destination of Sabah’s Tengku Abdul Rahman Marine National Park. The five islands that make up the Marine Park boast crystal-clear waters, abundant marine life and stunning coral reefs. Expanding into nature and adventure tourism in Sabah, the Resort also operates the North Borneo Railway – a mid-century British steam train that takes visitors on a nostalgic rediscovery of rail travel into the heart of Borneo.