As far as Chinese restaurants go, Equatorial remains one of the least publicized banquet restaurants when compared to the big names like Supertanker, Mayflower, and Royal China. They have been opened for almost as long as Tanjung Aru Plaza has been around, but this was my first time there.
Jumbo Prawns and Glass Noodles in Claypot
Usually, GOURMETSAILOR likes to have fried tanghoon with big prawns, but the captain said they don’t use big prawns for their fried noodle dishes. However, they do have a claypot tanghoon dish that has big prawns, so that’s what we ended up ordering.
The flavor of the noodles were peppery and tasted of fragrant prawns. It was pretty tasty, and a welcome change from how we usually have glass noodles. It’s definitely a dish that can cause cravings!
Spinach Stew with Century Eggs and Salted Duck Eggs
To be honest, this was just so-so. Actually, it could be a lot better. The greens were a little rough, they battered and fried the century eggs, which was totally unnecessary. It took away the pungent beautiful taste of the black egg.
Also, the salted egg were flattened and made into thin triangular sheets, which really didn’t work at all for me. The thing about salted eggs is that it tastes best when the yolk is freshly cooked prior to serving. It just seemed liked the salted-egg thins were pre-made as a side topping.
Stir-fried Romaine Lettuce with Garlic
This was decent. The lettuce were crisp and it came with half cloves of garlic. The sauce was good but I think it needed a little bit more salt and umami factor.
That can only happen with a stock base for the gravy, or flavor enhancers, which I think was lacking in this plate of lettuce.
Organic Corn-Fed “Choy Yan” Chicken
This was pretty tasty, though I have found the one at Supertanker more memorable in terms of taste, and the one at Mayflower presented better.
It’s a good thing to order if you don’t mind the price, since, Choy Yan chicken tends to be be pricier than the other dishes.
Steamed Canadian Snow Cod
Lovely. A good alternative to the other Chinese restaurants, if you love the simplicity of steamed cod fish. I think this is more affordable than Wong Kwok or Royal China.
So we heard that the pork knuckle here was good. It was definitely good. The pork skin was crispy, and the meat was soft and flavorful. I’d definitely come here for the knuckles if that’s what I craved.
I’m not generally one of those people who get crazy over this, but it was possibly the best pork knuckles I’ve ever had in KK. Admittedly the dipping sauce could be better, but the pork? Ohhhh… 🙂
We heard that this place gets pretty packed, but the night that we went was rather quiet.
It was a clean setting with air-conditioning, and the restaurant was comfortable as far as temperature and lighting goes.
If you don’t like it too chaotic, this would be a nice place to have dinner and be able to chit-chat and dine in peace with your company.
I heard that they serve some decent duck here, but we didn’t order it that night.
Overall, the food was good. The pork shoulder was especially good! Equatorial is a dependable place, if you want good food, a comfortable ambiance and some standard of service. As far as Chinese banquet-style restaurants go, they are definitely in the Top 10 in Kota Kinabalu. Out of 17 criteria, I’ve rated it with a score of 70/100.
The damage? I gave it 3.5/5 on value for money. It is more affordable than some restaurants in KK, but not so cheap that anyone can waltz in there and order like the Empress Dowager.
How to Get There
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Address : Lot C-G8, C-G7,
Ground Floor, Block C,
Plaza Tanjung Aru,
Jalan Mat Salleh.
Phone : +6088 313399 / 313166 / 225166