Sandy beach, gentle waves, unobstructed view of the South China Sea, famed Kota Kinabalu sunset; the Grade A equation to an unblemished dining venture. Upon discovery, I knew I had to schedule a dinner here, by hook or by crook. I wasted no time, dialed ‘0’ to reach the Operator and reserved my seats at the private beach dining platform in a swift manner. I emphasized for a seating right by the Sea.
I was there at about 6pm, just in time to soak in the day-time ambience, settle down, take some photos, and witness the graceful setting of the sun. The consistent and persistent sea breeze was so strong it was as though it had engulfed my exposed skin in entirety. But I was a willing soul. I was a happy, willing victim to the smell of salt; sea.
Tasmanian Salmon (RM60++ / SGD24.50++) :: Weighing at 200g, the Salmon was served with a portion of brown rice, with a choice of either the ginger butter sauce or the garlic-infused extra olive oil sauce. Compared to the one we had at Peppino, this sea-side restaurant’s rendition fell short. It was not as powerfully flavored, and the meat didn’t break down and deliquesce as successfully. It was passable, notwithstanding.
Seabass (RM56++ / SGD22.80++) :: Owing to the nature of the sea creature, it came out slightly drier and less appealing as compared to its fish counterpart above. I’d highly recommending paying a buck or two more for the Salmon, if you really have to be a fisherman.
Australian Grain-fed Sirloin Steak (RM82++ / SGD33.50++) :: Even for a 240g piece of red meat, I thought the cut wasn’t prime enough to be worthy for the money paid. It was a brainless decision for me to pick the cracked black pepper sauce (to be served on the side) out of chunky tomato sauce and creamy mushroom sauce. The sauce was prepared impeccably; no shortchanging of the black pepper, and cracked no less. Thus, you can expect a much heavier and distinct pepper taste. It was heaven for me. However, the done medium-rare steak did not capture my attention throughout. The first few bites were good, until it got boring. I’d wished the texture to be smoother.
Stella Artois (Happy Hour 1-for-1) (RM16++ / SGD6.50++) :: For less than SGD4 per can, I thought it was a why-not thing, especially when you are already out here for a holiday. You can go crazy with it as far as anyone else is concerned; your suite is happily waiting for you to crash, just steps away. Happy hour, if I’m not mistaken, starts from 7pm. We only placed our order halfway through our dinner so as to qualify for that. We wanted to be happy, too.
Despite the not-as-impressive dinner, it was still an unforgettable experience. We basically spent 3 hours there, of which only an hour was spent eating. The remainder was spent, basically, backbone-less and slouching like nobody’s business at the cushioned seats. Dress casually, please, and with a pair of slippers, so that you can get your legs up comfortably. That said, I’d still suggest for all guests to dine here at least one.
Photos by Kathleen.
Address: Coco-Joe’s Bar & Grill, 20 Jalan Aru, Tanjung Aru, Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 10pm