A few months ago, we saw Nestor Suan of Sailors’ Cafe post some pictures of his friend’s new restaurant called Aubergine. So in the spirit of being an adventurous foodie cum supportive friend of friends of friends, we went there to enjoy their not-too shabby little bistro and to sample their food!
This bistro occupies a corner lot facing the highway, on the 1st floor (Same block as Lucy’s Kitchen). Our first impression was that it was a no-nonsense cozy bistro, perfect mostly for evening meals with people you feel comfortable enough to chat about your life with. As long as you don’t mind other people eavesdropping too.
Business dinners may work if yours is the kind that can hack a relaxed, casual, yet mood-filled setting. It also works well for small young families, even the elderly with adult children.
The furniture’s not too shabby, with rubber-wood tables and chairs, and also a couch area near the entrance. The casual cozy bistro with mood-lighting would be a hit with the younger crowd.
On to the food…
Chicken Caesar Salad
This was fresh, but not your classic Caesar salad. I just think Caesar salad should be Caesar salad. Plus, because I’m a bit of a raw fanatic a.k.a. salad snob, my expectations tend to be a little higher than most people. (I eat salads almost everyday).
The salad is decent compared to most places in KK, but they need to consider a name change or go back to the classic Caesar recipe.
Didn’t taste as great as it looked in my opinion. I thought the bread was too dry, and that the eggplant needed a twist of something. It would have been great if the eggplant was dipped in a shallot-balsamic dressing prior to toasting.
Just my preference!
Fried Chicken Wings
Ok-lah. Still can’t beat the chicken wings at Kinabalu Yacht Club. The wings need to be bigger, fatter, juicier, and lightly crispy to float my boat. These are fine if you don’t care about size.
I like my wings plump.
Salmon Creamy Pasta
That’s not the actual name of the dish, but that’s what CBQueen had. I honestly don’t remember if I digged into her plate, because I generally don’t ask to try creamy pastas unless the dairy sauce looks especially interesting.
I do think it’s probably a decent plate of pasta but I’m more of a red sauce or pesto kind of gal. CBQueen said it was fine.
AussieHousewife ordered something most unusual; beef-tripe spaghetti with capers. She later shared that it’s something you can actually find in Italy (she’s had it in Italy before), and gave this a stamp of approval. I took a bite and was delighted.
If I didn’t know it was an Italian dish, I might have had to get used to the fact that I got ngiu chap bits in my pasta. But since I was told it’s legitimately Italian, I enjoyed it like an exquisite dish. It was tasty!
Last but not least, I ordred fish tacos for my main. The menu didn’t specify what type of fish it is, so I had expected it to be some kind of white fish. It wasn’t, it was salmon.
I love salmon as much as the next salmon-loving person, but I didn’t think it worked in the fish tacos. Fried salmon is just too greasy to have with salsa bits tossed in a creamy dressing. It was rich, and fishy like fried-salmon fishy. I did tell the chefs about the wrong choice of fish, so hopefully they sorted this dish out.
Was a little slow coming out with the dishes. They did apologize about the service speed and hiccups, stating that they’ve been open for a mere few days, and that they will improve as they go along. Saving grace customer service and I like their attitude! A+ for effort!
Overall, our visit to Aubergine was satisfactory with some room for improvement in their first week of operation. They definitely do not lack passion or creativity, and ingredients were fresh which is most important to us. It’s been three months since, so we’re due to go back for another sampling of their more stable menu.
What a wonderful bunch of young people living their dream. They are eager to please their customers. Go support them!
How to Get There
AUBERGINE RESTAURANT & BAR
Lot10, Block G, 1st Floor, 88 MarketPlace,
Lrg. Pusat Komersil 88/1, Jln. Pintas,
88300 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.
Telephone: 0149515647, 0149522033, 088-210580
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/AubergineBarBistro