Review: Chapter One Cafe, Miri

Jia, Stephen, Lucas and I headed out for late supper after dropping Mom off at the hotel to rest. As Jia and Stephen weren’t so familiar with the coffee scenes in Miri, they asked me for recommendations. To be honest, I was no better than they were but I knew a few which I had been wanting to try. I suggested Chapter One Cafe and Koffee Brick, both of which were located at Marina Square. They chose the former.

I wasn’t sure of the exact location of Chapter One Cafe around Marina Square. I only had a vague memory that it is located at the corner lot. Jia and Stephen made use of Waze and brought us to the cafe. According to Jia, Waze is more accurate with location as compared to Google Map or the Map app of iPhone. Perhaps I should try Waze the next time I am in Miri.

Upon arriving, we thought that the cafe was packed to the brim as the frontal part of the cafe was crowded. It turned out that they have an “inner” section which looked cozier than the outside and it was almost empty aside from a table or two occupied.

We secured a corner area with sofa chairs and low coffee table. You can choose to order straight from the counter upon entering or request to bring the menu to your table to browse what they have. We were spoiled with choices so we brought their menu over to the table to consider what to order.

Iced Mocha | RM12

Hazelnut Latte | RM10

Chai Tea Latte (Prana Chai) | RM13

I was pleased to see that they were serving Chai Latte as it wasn’t easy to find cafe which serves Chai Latte. Before I ordered, I asked if they serve Chai Tea Latte and they did! They had several options for milk – full cream, low fat and soy milk. An additional RM2 chargeable for soy milk. They weren’t using regular soy milk but imported ones. So, I find it reasonable to charge an extra RM2.

To be honest, I was rather disappointed with my Chai Tea Latte. It lacked the spice which I loved and it tasted surprisingly salty to me. Despite so, I do not mind returning to try their regular Chai Latte and Matcha Latte next time.

Beef Lasagna

Stephen ordered this as he was placing order for coffees. He mentioned that the Beef Lasagna was good when it was still hot and but the pasta layers turned soggy when it had cooled down. The portion seems generous to me.

Chicken Mushroom Pie | RM8

Jia ordered this to share. We both decided that we would only order drinks but she caved in the end and ordered this. I didn’t try as I didn’t feel like having supper. I am trying to shed off some fats so midnight supper won’t do me any good. According to Jia, this Chicken Mushroom Pie was a miss. The crust was too thick and the filling was average.

Verdict: I liked the ambiance of Chapter One Cafe. They have a big book shelves with books which you could browse if you are up for a read. However, Jia suggested that they could consider bringing in more board games so that kids could play with rather than playing with their phones while the parents chatted away. I would definitely return next time if I am up for after dinner coffee break.

Chapter One Cafe
Lot 2288, Jalan Marina 2/1,
Marina Square 2,
Marina Parkcity,
98000,
Miri, Sarawak,
Malaysia
Tel: +6-085329939

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Review: Courtyard, Brunei

I am finally on my last episode of The K2. I find the story-line surprisingly better than Healer despite that Sister claiming that the latter was nicer. Now that I am almost finishing with The K2, perhaps I should resume watching The Bride of Habaek?

Anyways, let’s not dwell with that in the mean time and get on moving with what I shall be blogging for today. CY, Jennifer and I tried out Courtyard this evening for dinner. Courtyard has only been around for about two weeks. I got to know about Courtyard through San Diann when he shared the pictures of the restaurant looks from the outside on our Whatsapp group chat.

The entrance to the restaurant is the wooden door on the right side in the picture. Majority patrons might mistook the windows by the side as the entrance into the restaurant. I could be one of them if it wasn’t for the bunch of patrons entering the restaurant before me.

There weren’t much seating available in the restaurant. A group of patrons took up one whole big table as they were celebrating graduation of one of the patrons if I am not wrong. They were so detail oriented to the extent that they even had printed name cards on top of each and every plates so that they will know where to sit.

Without further ado, let’s get started …

Fresh Lemon & Mint | B$7

fresh lemon juice, fresh mint, sugar syrup

Hummus & Chicken | B$11

hummus topped with Courtyard’s chicken slices, served with a basket of pita bread

The main purpose of our visit to Courtyard is to try their Hummus. Hummus is a puree of boiled chickpeas, tahini, lemon and garlic. I had never tasted any Hummus before but I liked what I had just now. The texture was smooth and I liked the lemony taste in it.

Chicken Alfredo | B$14

classic cream sauce pasta with chicken and mushroom tossed with fettuccine and topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese

I did not try much of this pasta dish but they went slightly overboard with the salt on the chicken. They were salty. However, the amount of the cream sauce was just perfect for the pasta.

Döner & Rice | B$14

Courtyard’s chicken slices, butter rice, hummus, mix salad, Tzatziki sauce

Their Döner sets can be served with either flour tortillas wrap or pita pockets and with a choice of side salad or fries. I don’t remember that we got to choose between side salad or fries. But thankfully, we were being served with side salad. Hummus alone can be filling as it is made of pureed chickpeas.

The chicken slices were not as salty as the ones from Chicken Alfredo. The sauces were served separately in two small bowls. According to the waitress, their spicy sauce can be very spicy. She rated the spiciness level as 9 on the scale of 10 but Jennifer and I agreed it was only a 6.

Verdict: Customer service was good in my opinion. The staffs were all smiles and cheery. I am not much of a fan for their pasta. I liked the Hummus despite this was my first time trying it. I do not mind returning but it will be for their wraps next time.

Courtyard
A5, Setia Kenangan 2,
Simpang: 150-17-20,
Kampung Kiulap,
Bandar Seri Begawan,
Negara Brunei Darussalam
Tel: +673-2444424

Review: COCO Cafe

I finally got to try out COCO Cafe this evening with San Diann and Clara. Both of them were there yesterday evening to celebrate a belated birthday of another friend. They were both nice enough to agree to return to the cafe with me despite they had only been there the night before.

They arrived before me as I got held up in the office trying to finish up some last minute paperwork. They ordered drinks but waited for me to order the main courses. As I mentioned earlier, both San Diann and Clara had been to COCO Cafe the night before and they were both greeted enthusiastically by the staffs as they entered the cafe this evening. LOL!

Without further ado, let me show you what we had for dinner this evening …

We ordered food which San Diann and Clara did not get to try the night before. I was intrigued to try their Apple Cinnamon Chips but San Diann wasn’t so keen about it. I think it was the cinnamon taste which he didn’t like.

Sweet Sunrise | B$6.00

raspberries, orange, banana, mango

Berry Blast | B$6.00

raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, spinach

Green Monster | B$6.00

lemon, banana, pineapple, spinach

I ordered this as it sounded the healthiest among all the smoothies they have on the menu. I chose this as the ingredients contained cleansing and detox components. It was good with a distinctive taste of bananas.

Prawn Guacamole Bites | B$8.90

This was my most anticipated dish of the day. Unfortunately, it turned out to be my least favorite in comparison to the other two which we ordered. I had never tasted any Guacamole before this so I do not know how this fared as compared to the real deal. All I know is that Guacamole is made with mashed up avocados.

The Guacamole tasted salty and tad bit spicy at the same time. The prawns were served on toasted bread with Guacamole sandwiched between the toast and prawn. All in all, this particular dish did not leave me with a favorable impression.

Tuna Kimchi Rice | B$9.90

kimchi fried mixed grains rice with sunny side up

This turned out to be San Diann and Clara’s favorite food of the day. I on the other hand thought that the dish was slightly greasy for my liking. The sunny side-up was nicely done and it well complimented the tuna Kimchi fried rice. The Kimchi fried rice was well seasoned. Instead of the usual white rice, they used mixed grains rice for a healthier touch.

Cuban Baked Salmon | B$14.90

tomato salsa & seasoned pasta

This was my favorite dish as compared to the other two. I liked the baked salmon. It was nicely done and the salmon flesh was tender and juicy at the same time. The baked salmon was topped with tomato salsa which they both didn’t like.

I think it was partly because they didn’t like raw red onions. I on the other hand liked the tomato salsa. So, I got to have the tomato salsa all to myself. The pasta was cooked just fine with well balanced seasoning.

Banoffee Cake | B$5.90

We contemplated whether we should go for dessert but caved in the end. Both left me with the task of cake ordering and I went ahead with this Banoffee Cake instead of Onde-Onde Cake. Banoffee Cake is a combination of banana and coffee as per the Cashier.

I liked the sponge layers. They were soft and spongy. They are detail oriented in handling the cakes. The cakes were wrapped with plastic wrapper around them to prevent them from drying out in the display fridge. As you can see from the picture above, they were not skimpy with the ingredients, especially the frosting.

We had the entire area to ourselves as majority patrons preferred to stay indoor with air-cond. Despite that this is not an air-cond covered area, they installed two huge standing fans so that the place would still be cool even without the air-cond.

And they have this paging device installed on the tables so that it would not be hard for patrons to get the attention of the staff for orders, service and bill.

Verdict: I liked the ambiance of the cafe. It was cozy and spacious. Despite the big size, they only have limited seating. You need to make table reservation prior to arriving if you wish to order hot food off the menu. According to the owner of the cafe, they are currently short staffed in the kitchen. However, no table reservation is required if you only need your coffee or dessert fix.

Customer service was impeccable in my opinion. They were friendly and cheerful with smiles plastered on their faces. Food wise, I think they were hit and miss. A bit of disclaimer here, preferences are entirely subjective to each individual. As you can see above, my choice of favorite dish was different as compared to San Diann and Clara’s. However, we agreed that our least favorite was Prawn Guacamole Bites.

All in all, I personally think COCO Cafe is worth visiting if you wanted to try something different than what we usually get from other cafes and I definitely would not mind returning again.

COCO Cafe
Unit 1, Block E,
Sempurna Complex,
Batu Bersurat,
Bandar Seri Begawan,
Negara Brunei Darussalam
Tel: +673-2424566

Review: All Time Delights

I had wanted to bring parents for breakfast at All Time Delights this morning but Dad decided that he wanted to stay in. So, he had breakfast at home instead while Mom and I headed out for breakfast.

All Time Delights is one of the latest launch of eatery in Brunei in collaboration with Paddington House of Pancakes. In short, you can enjoy Halal Kolo Mee with Western touch of breakfasts at the same time. If you are wondering where is this All Time Delights, it is located in the same premise as Paddington House of Pancakes of Berakas branch.

Without further ado, let me show you what both Mom and I had for breakfast this morning …

All Time Delights is currently on soft opening stage. I am pretty sure they will come with an extensive menu in due time.

Trio Chiffon Cake | B$3.00

I am not someone who would go for old school cakes whenever having desserts outside. I used to bake chiffon cakes at home but this combination fascinated me. The sponge layers were soft and spongy but sweet. The layers of chiffon cakes were sandwiched with fruit jam, making the entire cake even sweeter.

Nasi Panggang | B$0.70

Nasi Panggang is also known as Pulut Panggang. Pulut in English was glutinous rice. It is a Malay or Nonya cuisine, filled with chili shrimp paste as fillings wrapped in banana leaves and grilled.

I over ordered and we ended up not able to finish. So, we brought this back home as takeaway and I only managed to get a bite. The filling was pretty good but slightly spicy.

Kolo Mee Special | B$5.00

kolo mee, charsiu sauce, minced chicken, charsiu & chicken crackling

This was for Mom. When I first asked her how she likes her Kolo Mee Special, she mentioned that the charsiu and noodle were good. According to her, the charsiu weren’t dry for chicken breast.

When she found out that it was 5 bucks per bowl, she commented that it was ordinary bowl of Kolo Mee. LOL! But all in all, I can say that it was a good as my colleagues said the same thing too.

Kolo Mee Special | B$6.00

kolo mee, original sauce & chicken chop

I on the other hand went for original sauce instead of charsiu sauce with chicken chop as topping. I liked the noodles but maybe not so much for the chicken chop. The chicken chop were okay but I think they were a little bit heavy to go with the noodles. I am very likely to go for their minced chicken next time.

Nasi Lemak | B$6.00

As Dad did not tag along for breakfast, I ordered a Nasi Lemak for him and he had it for lunch. I did managed to have a small spoonful of the rice before heading out to meet San Diann and Shew Hiang for lunch at Sarang Korean Restaurant.

The Nasi Lemak came with a piece of deep fried chicken wing, peanuts, anchovies, crackers, sambal paste, sunny side up, few slices of cucumbers and coconut rice. The crackers weren’t crispy anymore as per Mom and the coconut rice had a distinctive taste of lemongrass.

All Time Delights
Unit 3 & 4, Simpang: 58,
Jalan Berakas, Kampung Serusop,
Bandar Seri Begawan,
Negara 9Brunei Darussalam
Tel: +673-2331668

Review: BAKE 250°C

We are starting to have new food eateries in town again after slowing down for quite some time. I had just found out that a new cafe – Coco Cafe is soft opening today. I had heard of it from my hairstylist last Sunday. As I am drinking less coffees nowadays, my choices of beverage are limited to hot chocolate and Chai Tea Latte whenever cafe hopping.

Anyways, Jennifer and I tried out BAKE 250°C yesterday evening after our unsuccessful attempt last Sunday afternoon. We intended to go there for high tea after our pampering session at the salon but we changed our mind after the embarrassing incident which Jennifer had earlier. LOL! BAKE 250°C is located on the exact unit as the previous The Frenz Café in Kiulap or the same row as Little Audrey’s Café.

The place looked more spacious in layout as compared to when it was still occupied by The Frenz Café. The place was brightly lit which makes photography easier. Without further ado, let’s get started with the food pictures!

Fresh Orange & Carrot Juice | B$3.50

As I was trying to eat as clean as possible, I resorted to getting myself a fruit juice since it was stated fresh on the menu. I expected their juice to be freshly squeezed kind so I asked if they could get me Orange & Carrot Juice instead. They agreed but at an additional cost of 50 cents which was fine by me.

The moment when I took the first sip of my Fresh Orange & Carrot Juice, I was instantly surprised that it tasted so sweet for a freshly squeezed juice. I thought they must have added some sugar syrup. However, they tasted more like canned fresh orange juice after a few more sips and I did not taste anything carrot in it either. I only had a few sips in total before giving up completely.

Rose Tea | B$3

Grilled Chicken Wrap | B$6.90

Both Jennifer and I agreed that we will each order ourselves a main course so that we can share. She ordered this while I ordered the following. We were contemplating between this or Mexican Chicken Wrap. We resorted to Grilled Chicken Wrap in the end. It was surprisingly good but the filling was slightly wet though. The fries were seasoned but soggy.

Baked Vegetable Pesto Penne | B$8.90

If you had been following my food entries regularly, you might have caught up that I am a fan of pesto dishes. And of course, I would not miss this and moreover it was baked with vegetables. The pesto sauce was strong in taste, unsuitable for those who do not like basil leaves.

The sauce was sautéed with garlic to give more flavoring which I personally thought was customized to local preferences. However, the only downside of this dish was the penne. They were overcooked. The entire dish would be perfect if the penne were not overcooked.

Verdict: The customer service was good in my opinion. However, I do think that their staffs were rather inexperienced with their menu. As mentioned earlier, both Jennifer and I were contemplating between Grilled Chicken Wrap and Mexican Chicken Wrap. So, we asked the waiter who attended to us the difference between both. He was unable to give us a straight answer so he went back to consult his colleagues.

Another guy whom I presumed to be one of their chefs based on his work attire took over our orders from the waiter. We prodded the same question again and only to be left with no answer of the difference between Grilled Chicken Wrap and Mexican Chicken Wrap. To be honest, I have no complaint about their customer service at all. They were polite and friendly. I just thought that they should be well knowledgeable of the food which they have on their menu. However, I do not mind returning to try out their other dishes.

BAKE 250°C
Unit 13, Block A,
Ground Floor, Kiulap Complex,
Simpang: 88,
Bandar Seri Begawan,
Negara Brunei Darussalam
Tel: +673-2233441