We read an article on Tiara Jacquelina's Borneo Rainforest Cafe and decided to give it a try. The cafe is located right opposite the main entrance of the Sunway Hotel & Spa, next to an open space parking lot, basically at the same spot once occupied by a mamak "fine" dining" establishment back in the 90's. The mamak "fine dining" closed shop after a short run due to unreasonable excessive pricing. Hey, who would want to pay RM3.00 for a piece fo roti canai or RM4.00 for a glass of teh tarik...
We arrived at the destination on a cold drizzling night and had to opt for the covered dining area. If weather permits, we would love to dine alfresco as we could gaze at the stars and heaven (yeah right, hahaha) while enjoying each other's company and the meal, of course.
The cafe serves noodles, rice, grilled dishes, pasta and pizza. Most of the dishes fall within the affordable range (RM5 - RM20 per serving) except for grilled dishes which are slightly pricey (between RM20 - RM50). The selections are rather usual - mee bandung, mee hailam, laksa sarawak (the cafe's specialty), nasi lemak, nasi ayam, nasi kerabu, nasi dagang, satay, chicken chop, spaghetti and pizza. The most expensive meal would be the herbal chicken at RM50.00.
I ordered nasi ayam and Naz ordered spaghetti. To my dismay, none of the supplementary vegetable dishes were available. So I had to order satay as our side dish. The taste is acceptable (nothing to shout about) but the serving portion is unforgivable. Due to small serving portion, we finished our individual main dish in no time. The succulent satay gravy basically saved the night, everything else thumbs down. I paid RM37.00 for the meal (inclusive of an ice milo and 2 glasses of ice water). So go figure whether the food is worth the price... But if you take the environment into account, then RM37.00 COULD be a fair price...
The cafe was rather packed on that Sunday night and I noticed that most of the Chinese families already had their dinner by 8.00pm while the Malay families would throng the cafe after Isyak prayer. Cafe opens only for dinner.
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A YEAR ago, a 'themed' food court-styled restaurant opened opposite Sunway Lagoon Resort Hotel. Called Borneo Rainforest Cafe, it became popular due to the variety of food which were reasonably priced, and particularly for its setting. The dining areas, be it under the attap roofs or stars, were surrounded by palms and other lush foliage.
EXOTIC: The lively atmosphere at Borneo Rainforest Cafe.
There were also ponds all around, fed by cascading waterfalls. Recently, a bistro section was added. Inspired by the Iban long house, its decor sports various elements of Iban culture. The high attap ceilings and carved pillars are enhanced with large hanging lights made from rattan fish traps and teak wood furniture. With its subdued lighting, Sarawak artefacts and sounds of cascading water in the background, the atmosphere is unlike any other bar / restaurant / night spot.
The menu offers western (including pasta and pizza) as well as Nyonya, and Thai, and Malay BBQ cuisine. Each cuisine is prepared by chefs specialising in that particular style of cooking. The Thai homok talay, deliciously aromatic and bursting with fresh seafood and chicken kapitan, is cooked in a creamy rich sauce that is spicy yet not dominated by chilli. The butter prawns are also large. Talking of seafood, do not miss the signature dish, salt baked fish. Moist, tender, succulent and meaty, it is very good.
YUMMY: The delicious salt baked fish.
Most dishes can be ordered in small or large portions with prices ranging from RM13 to RM40 a dish. One can order smaller meals and snacks from the ‘Kit Kat’ kitchen at RM9 for a laksa and RM11 for a plate of nasi lemak. Children’s portions start from RM6.
The bistro also houses a bar called Ruai which offers a full range of cocktails from RM20 to RM28.The wines are priced from RM80 a bottle (house wine). A happy hour deal is on until 9.30pm with beer at RM35 per jug.
The bistro also features live music every night from the resident musicians, Big Band. If you crave privacy, there are three air-conditioned rooms on the top floor which offers a view of the band and dance floor. Diners have the option of listening to the music through speakers.
Whether you just want to take the family out for a meal, watch the sports channel on the wide-screen TV or simply enjoy the exotic surroundings, Borneo Rainforest will not disappoint. Open from 6pm till late (after 3am), Borneo Rainforest is at Persiaran Lagoon, Bandar Sunway, Petaling Jaya.
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Borneo Rainforest Cafe
Persiaran Lagoon, Bandar Sunway,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Daily: 6.00pm to 3.00am
Cuisine: Local + Western
Rating: Food = C, Ambience = B
A = Recommended
B = Worth A Visit
C = Average
D = Below Average
E = Waste Of "Hard-Earned" Money. Seriously, I'm Not Kidding!