Written by @Lan & edited by @joehairie (Photos by curiostraveller,com team members)
“Your diet is a bank account. Good food choices are good investments.”-Bethenny Frankel
Al Fresco Restaurant is situated by the side of a beautifully landscaped sea-view pool. Al Fresco patrons enjoys outdoor dining with spectacular scenery and a relaxing atmosphere. The extensive selection of pasta and seafood dishes and famous wood-fired pizzas are complemented by a lively cocktail menu. We went here twice, both for lunch, on the first and second day of our stay at Magellan Sutera Resort. Though not that a grand restaurant, it is still worth visiting for its great food and affordable prices. Al Fresco is one of the many restaurants in Magellan Sutera Resort (Sutera Harbour Resort, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah).
There are two main seating/dining area, on the right and on the left hand side. Al Fresco is connected to the pool bar and sunset bar as well, making this place much alive during late afternoon. In the middle of the restaurant is a staircase that leads to the Ferdinand, a high-end Italian restaurant. Service bar is located in the middle as well so that staffs will be able to serve both sides equally especially when it’s peak time. It’s more to casual dining here, no dress code or whatsoever.
On both visits, we chose to be seated on the left hand side, which has the best view of Mandara Spa and the sea. We noticed that many customers opted for the Pizza and for that reason, we ordered some as well as we want to know what’s so great about the Pizza at Al Fresco. This is an outdoor restaurant so smoking and vaping are allowed, great news for the two of us!
Zurini K was the staff that served us on both visits. We were lucky to be served by her as she is so friendly, polite and helpful. She recommended some great choice from the menu. Of all staffs that we observed on both visits, Zurini K seemed to be the most attentive staff as she did her rounds religiously, smiling all the time though it’s almost full house! Honestly, there were some staffs lacking of positive attitude but not for Zurini K, she has the greatest energy and spirit when working! Such a great staff, she can become a role model to her colleagues, we saw that in her inner qualities.
We were extremely hungry when we came into the restaurant and seeing all patrons were having good meals, we intend to do the same and so we ordered some amazing dishes as recommended by Zurini K. She seemed to know what’s best for us. On the 1st visit to Al Fresco, we ordered:
- Laksa Lemak
- Fish Noodle Soup
- Chicken Pizza
- Fresh Watermelon
- Fresh Coconut
Priced at RM 34.00 nett, this dish is among the best that we have ever had all this while. The Laksa Lemak at Al Fresco is big in portion that can be shared by 2 people! Customers may choose between Rice Vermicelli or Yellow Noodle. It’s blanched with Spiced Curry Broth. It is then garnish with Shredded Chicken, Prawns, Fish Cake, Quail Egg, Cucumber and Bean Sprouts. All ingredients were fresh when we tasted the whole dish.
We shared this dish so that both of us know the what it taste like. We kind of liking this dish that we are still craving for it until now! We love the prawns, obviously for its freshness and size. The noodles were so tender and good to go with the curry broth. There is nothing that we don’t like about this dish, we emptied the whole serving. Truly an excellent dish that we rated it a perfect score, 10 out of 10.
Fish Noodle Soup
Same as the first dish, this delicious Fish Noodle Soup is priced at RM 34.00 nett. The dish consists of Rice Vermicelli with Fried Slice Snapper, Tomatoes, Seaweed and Bean Curd and served in Creamy Salted Vegetable Broth. The Snapper was fresh, crispy and delicious. The bird-eyes chili really complement the whole dish as it gave the ‘extra spicy’ taste to the dish. The Bean Curd and Seaweed were fresh as well. We both love the broth, it’s so creamy and delicious! It might not be so great as the Laksa Lemak but we still would be recommending this dish if you come to Al Fresco.
Priced at RM 44.00 this Chicken Pizza is thin and had crispy edge when we tasted it. The toppings were amazingly superb, Smoked Chicken Breast, Mushroom, Pine Nuts, Rocula Salad, Tomato & Mozzarella Cheese. Generous spread of cheese that made the pizza so rich in taste. Since the Pizza that we had was so good, we actually ordered two more from room service. We had the Pizza while enjoying the night view from our balcony, pretty late at night! Such great pizza that we have no doubts in scoring it as : perfect 10! We strongly recommend this Pizza for you, have it at Al Fresco or simply order it from Room Service.
Fresh Watermelon and Fresh Coconut
We ordered 2 beverages, Fresh Watermelon (RM 17.00 nett) and Fresh Coconut ( RM 9.00 nett). Both were fresh. However, we prefer the Fresh Coconut to the Fresh Watermelon. The coconut meat were tender and the juice had that original sweet taste.
Priced at RM 28.00 nett, the Tiramisu was absolutely rich in taste and full of cheese flavor. To be more detailed, it’s Mascarpone Cheese layered with Espresso Finger. We finish the serving as it was so good and we are sure to have more of this when we come again to Al Fresco. That is for sure! Perfect score for this dessert, 10 out of 10.
We ordered different items for our lunch on the 2nd day. Again, it was Zurini K who served us and she recommended two great mains for us.
- Chicken Kebab
- Chicken Chop with young Mango Salad
This option is priced at RM 55.00 nett. Alternatively, you may choose Beef Kebab (RM 72.00 nett), Mixed Kebab (RM72.00 nett) or Seafood Skewer at RM 78.00 nett. It’s more to Portuguese Kebab as suggested by the menu and served on a skewer said to be Dee-Lish to the last drop! The Chicken Kebab that we had was delicious Marinated Boneless Chicken Skewer with onions & bell peppers.
All kebabs are served with a choice of grilled garden vegetables or garden salad and a choice of Lyonnaise Potato, Fried Potato Wedges or Cumin Pilaf Rice. We chose Grilled Garden Vegetables and Fried Potato Wedges.
When ordering, there’s a choice of sauce selection which are Honey Lemon Mustard Mayo, Spicy Tomato Salsa, Black Pepper, Harisa or Bearnaise Sauce. We opted for the Salsa as we need some spicy taste for the Kebab. Overall, it was one great choice, a perfect recommendation by Zurini. We wouldn’t know about this Kebab if she did not mention it. On the next visit to Al Fresco, we will try that Seafood Skewer! This dish received perfect score from us, 10 out of 10. The taste and presentation were absolutely amazing, worth the price and
Chicken Chop with Young Mango Salad
This particular dish is about Deep-Fried Boneless Chicken Leg with Hot Sour Sauce and Young Mango Salad. It is served with Vegetables, Soup of the day, Garlic Fried Rice or Steamed Fragrant Rice. We opted for Garlic Fried Rice. This dish is priced at RM 36.00 nett.
The Garlic Fried Rice was great and really complement the Deep-Fried Boneless Chicken. The rice was fluffy and tasted delicious.
The Deep-Fried Boneless Chicken was amazing in both taste and presentation. The meat were tender and crispy on the outside. The Hot Sour Sauce gave distinct taste to the already delicious deep-fried chicken. The Young Mango Salad was our favorite. It had all that sweet, sour and spicy tastes that pretty much reminded us of Thai Mango Salad.
The Vegetable, Kailan to be precise was delicious too! It’s fresh and that oyster sauce gave that much needed salty taste to it. Sprinkle of fried garlic on top of the vegetable and it gave that crispy texture.
The soup was all right, not the best but not worst either. It’s a common serving that can be found in another eateries. However, it did complement the whole dish.
Overall, we regard our experience at Al Fresco as excellent. We love how Zurini works from her heart and soul, putting everything else behind and keep prioritizing the customers. She has the best knowledge of whatever inside the menu. Se seemed to know what’s best for customers as all her recommendations suited our palate. We do hope to see her again when we come to Al Fresco in the near future.
Some other staffs looked pretty much disoriented perhaps due to the humid as it was sunny days when we visited Al Fresco, we saw that twice. However, Zurini performed pretty well and it was her positive attitude that contributed to the perfect score in the service segment. Perfect 10 to the overall service by staffs at Al Fresco.
The food were all great with the exception of that Soup of the day. However, since the soup was only complementing the dish and since the Garlic Fried Rice with the deep fried Chicken tastes so great, it later became a small issue. Below were the scores of each item that we tasted. It is kind of guide for you should you come to Al Fresco and in need of recommendations.
Laksa Lemak : 10/10
Pizza Chicken : 10/10
Portuguese Kebab/Chicken Kebab : 10/10
Tiramisu : 10/10
Fish Noodle Soup : 9.5/10
Chicken Chop with Young Mango Salad : 9/10
Of course there are more choices in the menu itself. We leave that for you to decide which you want to have. We believe that the team in the Kitchen is working hard to ensure guests satisfaction. The ambiance cum environment at Al fresco was inviting and interesting as well. We love how things are casually done here by both staffs and customers. There’s no need for any protocol when it comes to dining. Less is more and we love that simplicity.
With a little bit more attention to the details, we do believe that the management is ably to make this restaurant as one of the best in the city, be it for its food/beverages or its ambiance. A little more attention to staff training will surely contribute to the success of this restaurant. Get Zurini as the role-model for other staffs and soon customers will surely to have that total satisfaction.
Need to have the same experience? Head to:
Al Fresco Restaurant
The Magellan Sutera Resort
Sutera Harbour Resort
1 Sutera Harbour Boulevard
88100 Kota Kinabalu
Phone: +60 88 318 888 / 308 431
Fax: + 60 88 317 777 / 310 118
Website: Click HERE
Opening Hours :11.00am – 11.00pm
Location : Level 1, The Magellan Sutera Resort
Capacity : 80
Cuisine : Mediterranean
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.