I went back to Old Town White Coffee at City Mall to try out the food there, as on a previous occasion we had arrived after the kitchen had closed.
Besides, the last time we went to City Mall for Big Apple Donuts and not so much for the Old Town experience (although we ended up there regardless), so on Thursday we went back to sample a random selection from their full menu.
This time the esteemed panel of foodies consisted of myself, John, Julia and Phyllis, so we were able to try more items. We arrived there at a time that appeared not too busy, because we managed to get a table without much fuss. It was, however, when we had to call over the waitering staff, who previously magically appeared, that we realised they may look busier than they are.
We tottered through the menus, eventually decided what we wanted, filled out the little order sheet and tried to get somebody’s attention. It took a while and eventually Julia flagged a waiter who otherwise wouldn’t have bothered. He ran though our selection to confirm them and disappeared into the kitchen.
After what felt like half an hour, but was probably closer to 20 minutes, we were still without our drinks and food. Eventually somebody’s food arrived, and then somebody’s drink. What was supposed to be hot was luke warm and what was supposed to be cold was cool. Clearly the kitchen was producing the food faster than what the waiters could distribute them, the curse of success. After another 10 minutes or so, everybody had all their orders.
In Kota Kinabalu there are very few places that produces everyone’s food at the same time. In most restaurants in other places, it’s a standard that the entire table’s order arrives either at the same time, or in very close succession. What’s worse than having to eat your meal while other’s sit and drool, or having to wait and then eat your cold food after everything else has arrived? Old Town White Coffee didn’t impress on this front, but just brings them on par with most other outfits in Kota Kinabalu.
Anyway, on to the food. Between the four of us we ordered Ipoh Chicken Hor Fun, Curry Mee (Noodles), Nasi Rendang Chicken and Curry Chicken Rice.
Ipoh Chicken Hor Fun
I fancied a bit of a soup noodle as it was a cold evening. The Hor Fun came out luke warm and I was instantly unimpressed. Towards the bottom of the bowl it became a little warmer, a clear sign that the food sat on the counter for a while before it was moved.
The noodles were delicious and the soup was tasty though and in the end the meal was filling, but light – just what I was hoping for.
Julia had the curry mee (noodles). I got my food shortly before she did hers, and we both waited for it for a while, so by the time her food had arrived, I was already chowing down hard on my noodles and forgot to take a nice, fresh picture of her;s.
Her verdict was that it was very standard and nothing special. She pledged to not return to have that again.
Nasi Rendang Chicken
Phyllis was the lucky one who got her food first and she started eating, at our instance. With her eating we could pick, and so we did. The Rendang was nice and spicy and the fishy taste is what makes it popular. The portion was generous, but it was the most expensive of the four dishes at RM7.80 – apparently it’s the big piece of chicken that was the cause for that, but all in all, it seemed worth it.
Curry Chicken Rice
John opted for the curry chicken rice, which featured curry very similar, if not identical, to Julia’s Curry Mee. In taste it didn’t lack, but the portion I think was a little stingy. His food also came out slightly luke-warm and he summarized it as “alright, la“.
For drinks I had the cold NanYang Memorably, which came out actually looking like the picture. I had ordered this one before, but subconsciously ordered the hot instead of the cold, and the taste difference is vast. Most notably, because the cold version features a substantial amount of ice, the coffee is strong enough to eat through teaspoons.
I was bright eyed and busy tailed after this excursion, so after dinner Phyllis, John and I bounced through the shopping mall, while Julia left to go play in some or other futsal tournament.