About travel, holidays and hotels in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
Monday January 2nd 2012

Old Town White Coffee Tawau

One of my favorite place in Tawau is Kubota Square, along Jalan Apas (Apas Road), 2 miles out of Tawau centre. One of the best coffee shop in Tawau, Yummy Yummy serves Soto and Noodles there.

On this trip, I saw Old Town White Coffee outlet and decided to have brunch there. Chatting with the staff, they told me it was only recently opened in November 2010. Judging from the number of patrons, it seems to be well received. It is more upmarket than your typically coffee shop but if you like Nasi Lemak or Beef Rendang, this is the place to go to.

Old Town White Coffee
Old Town White Coffee, Kubota Square, Tawau.

Old Town White Coffee is the same concept as their outlets in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, and I guess throughout Malaysia as well. It is an open concept coffee house, with ceiling fans, so it was quite airy and cool. The decor is dark and warm, which I find to be very inviting. Given the choice, I like open air coffee houses with modern decor and an interesting menu.

Old Town Coffee House
Brunch on the sidewalk.

Foodies Think Menus Are More Exciting Than A Paperback Novel
Anyone who loves Malaysian food will love the food at Old Town White Coffee. Just looking at the tantalizing photos in the menu will make your mouth water. Curry rice, beef rendang, nasi lemak, curry noodles – these are traditional Malay food and they are true to the original flavors.

A note to restaurant owners: Make sure your menu showcase your dishes in brilliant lovely photos and printed on quality paper. Get someone to write a mouth-watering description of your dishes, and always highlight your specialties.

It Is Always Mayhem
Most of my trips to Tawau has a certain amount of mayhem. We are trying to meet as many friends and relatives as we can, and I like to go talk to prospects and market websites. So while trying to fit all this in, I also want to spend quality time with my kids. This time we spent a week in Tawau, so I managed to get some time off alone to chill out.

Start Your Day Right
The best way to start your day is with a well-brewed cup of coffee. Try the Nan Yang coffee, it is aromatic and good enough to have it black. But it should really come in a small pot instead of a small cup. At the very least, offer your patrons a refill.

Nan Yang Coffee
Nan Yang Coffee, black.

I ordered the Nasi Lemak Special, this is rice cooked in coconut milk, with chilli paste, fried anchovies, peanuts and a slice of hard-boiled egg on the side. The Special came with a piece of fried chicken and some corn chips. I was glad to find that their nasi lemak is consistently good, regardless of where you order it.

Nasi Lemak
Old Town Nasi Lemak Special.

It is not easy to find delicious Nasi Lemak anywhere in Sabah. Nasi Lemak looks like a deceptively simple dish to make, and there are many variations of the chilli paste. I always felt that it is the chilli paste that makes this dish special, by giving it that extra dimension of taste, aroma and heat.

The Service Did Their Job Well
Their waiting staff did an exceptional job, attentive and efficient. I did not have to repeat the order and the food was delivered to the table fast. As it should be since this is Malaysian fast food. I did ask about breakfast, but since this was during the Chinese New Year, it was temporarily unavailable.

Old Town White Coffee has an air-conditioned section, and I could see Chinese and Malay patrons there along with their family. I think a modern coffee house like this is much needed in Tawau.

The total tab for one person came out to be RM15.80, which is what you would expect to spend in a comfortable coffee house. If the food is of consistent quality, and service is efficient, you will not hear anyone complain about the price.

Old Town White Coffee Versus KFC
The story does not end there. In the evening, I had a mini date with my Princess and the two of us ended up in KFC in Giant Hypermarket. She wanted to try the Fish Donuts after she had seen it on television. Since donuts are one of her favorite food group, she ordered the Fish Donut and I had the Zinger burger. While the Fish Donut went down easy, the burger on the other hand was hard, literally. How many times did they toast the buns? It was almost rock hard.

I did not intend to compare two distinctly different fast food restaurants but I could not help it. Since both meals came out to around RM16.00, it made the difference even more obvious. My point is, when it comes to food, the price is of secondary consideration. Maybe this was a one off incident, still if you have not been to Old Town White Coffee, you should give it a try.

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