Kota Kinabalu’s Groupons Eats
Being in IT, buying online wasn’t something really new to me especially I have been selling my softwares online for the last 14 years. It was early 2011 which I discovered Gmarket (now known as QOO10.com.sg) operating in Singapore and did spend a pretty huge chunk of my income in there. Soon, discovered other “Group Purchase” sites and was dining in places which I never actually knew existed. The experience can be quite addictive to say the list.
It was mid of last year which I discovered Groupon Singapore and like they say the rest was history. The “Group Purchase” concept is indeed an interesting concept. On paper, it probably would benefit all parties involved but I’ve seen some downside to this (but that would be another topic altogether). However, it sure is a great concept for new businesses to acquire its customer base. I realised in Asia that people rely heavily on word of mouth recommendations and are willing to travel the distance to enjoy good eats. Asian are probably people who “eats to live so that they can live to eat”.
In any case, last December prior to visiting Kota Kinabalu, I was browsing through Groupego.com.my and found a great deal offered by Hong Kong Recipe for a Peking Duck done two ways for RM28. This is exceptionally cheap since not long ago, I got 1/4 of a roast duck near the coffeeshop near Ruby Hotel across from Asia City for RM20. Armed with the voucher, a friend and her family, we had a sumptuous meal. I wanted to take pictures of the duck but before I could whip out my camera, they were craving the duck up. We ordered several other dishes and had a great dinner after.
This year, I found out that Groupon Malaysia begin offering deals in Kota Kinabalu and was doubly happy about it. Having experience Groupon in Singapore, I feel right at home. I wasn’t sure that being a Singaporean residing in Singapore does allow me to sign up for a Malaysian account but I entered my credentials and it was accepted. I bought 4 vouchers off Groupon Malaysia for my July/August KK trip. Two for Beijing BBQ Steamboat at Bukit Padang and Two for G Cafe at the Gaya Centre Hotel. I was actually very pleased with my purchases. I want to try new eats each time I visit KK.
The first voucher that I used was for the Western Lunch Deal at Rm15 for 2. We were there at 11:30am which was early and being it was Puasa (The Muslim Holy Month of Fasting), we had the place to ourselves for a while that is. I wanted to take pictures of the food but having all the attentive service staffs ever so ready to assist us, I did not do so. I did however took pictures of Pulau Gaya while there.
Wisma Merdeka on the left
Pulau Gaya in the middle
Suria Sabah on the right
Panoramic view from G Cafe on the 4th floor
Al Fresco Dining at G Cafe
After being ushered to our table and presenting them our vouchers, we were prompted provided with the dining menu and ordered a Lamb Chop and a Chicken Cordon Bleu. The waiter suggested we do the RM3 top-up for the self-serve free flow of orange juice, salad and soup which does sound like a good deal. It was a simple salad with lettuce, onions, cucumber slices and the sweetest tomato I have ever tasted. There were two salad dressings which comes with that. The soup of the day was mushroom soup and it was little on the light side but overall a good deal.
The main course arrived moments after we finished the salad and the soup. The lamp chop was juicy and tasted good but the Chicken Cordon Bleu was probably a little over-fried but nevertheless was a good deal. Overall I paid, RM15 + RM6.95 (Top-up + Taxes) for a grand total of RM21.95 for 2. Certainly a worthwhile deal.
Two days later we were back with the other voucher for the Asian Lunch Special for RM10 for 2. For this, we had the Beef Curry with Rice and the Signature Fried Rice and the quintessential top-up. The Signature Fried Rice was Nasi Goreng with a fried chicken wing. Both dishes were delicious.
The next place I visited was Beijing Buffet BBQ Steamboat. Normally, it would cost RM30++ per head for their buffet but with Groupon, I paid RM55 for 4 and Rm35 for 2 which works out to be RM15 per head (slightly less than half the regular price. I heard a lot about this place but never had the chance to visit it. The Groupon deal with the push.
To get to Beijing BBQ Steamboat, you will need to first enter Kampung Nelayan Floating Seafood Market Restaurant and over the bridge over the pond.
The Bejing Buffet BBQ Steamboat entrance
The water theme park as the backdrop to this famous eatery
Since the Beijing BBQ Steamboat is for dinner, the place did get a bit crowded especially on the weekend and reservation was a must. As I was on holiday, I was there on a weekday evening right when the place opened.
As this is a Halal certified eatery, there were many muslim families were able to break fast there. They do offer cooked dishes including fried noodles, rice, braised chicken feet (which you find at dimsum places), fruits, sushi and other dishes which I could not remember. You get free flow of the chilled chinese tea which is served to you or if you want, you could top it up yourself.
There were quite a number of marinated meat dishes from chicken, beef and lamb, a spread of seafood including prawns, crabs and squids. Of course, fresh vegetables were being offered too.
My food cooking away
The prawns are ready and looking yummy
After the first set of food were cooked, I got my hands dirty so I had to put the camera away. I guess it would be easy to imagine what happens next. I went from hungry and could eat a horse to feeling so full that I could not really get out of my seat.
The seafood was really fresh but I cannot really say much about the cook (pointing finger at myself) as I did got some of the meats burnt. Nice environment which a good selection of food thus making it a great deal.
Overall, I am really please with the quality of service and food being served at these two restaurants and I would certainly recommend them to anyone. I enjoyed myself a lot and so did my guests and did saved a bundle while at it.
If you have not experience “extreme couponing”, the Groupon Experience is certainly a great way to start. It may not be extreme but you would be surprise at the good deals that there is out there which would allow you to experience new places and reconnect with familiar ones.