Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Eating Out in Sabah - Seri Selera

By Anna Vivienne

RECENTLY a friend from West Malaysia called to ask me where he and his family could dine on good and fresh seafood.

I immediately recommended Seri Selera located at Kg Air in Kota Kinabalu, The food there is served in time, it is fresh as to be almost still kicking and the waiters promptly arrive to present the bills upon request. That is the epitome of efficiency, the desires of most diners, be it in posh glitzy restaurants or in backstreet coffee shops. And of course sampling delicious grilled seafood and dumplings, oyster omelets and sushi, all served in one location is the dream of gourmands.

Seri Selera offers a wide selection of seafood from six restaurants, offering Chinese, Malay and other Asian seafood cuisines. This means you can choose your seafood from six shops. The number of shops also ensures that customers get what they want. Since not everyone agrees on one type of food items or cooking, they can opt to order something else besides the main dish.

Customers can choose their food live from the glass tanks located around the shops; fish, lobsters, clams and prawns as well as crabs. Choose your vice and you will get it fresh from the tank onto the wok, literally speaking. This ensures that the crustaceans do not have a chance to start decaying. From the tank to the wok, literally. They could not be fresher.

Besides the six seafood restaurants, there are 21 hawker stalls offering a wide variety of other food. From these stalls you can pick char kway teow, prawn noodles, fried noodles curry laksa, satay, dumbplings barbecued chicken wings, oyster omelets and rice as well as a personal favourite, grilled seafood. And of course there is the veritable sushi.

While dining, patrons can enjoy music and cultural performances. From Monday to Saturday starting fr5om 7.30pm, there are live cultural performances held on the stage situated in the middle of the centre. And every Wednesday the Bamboo Orchestra will serenade diners.

The other feature of the whole set up is the central cashier system. This means that you don’t have to wave or call the waiters from the respective restaurants for the bill. You will pay your bill in one area and this ensures efficiency and speed.

The most irritating thing to occur after having a good meal is the lackadaisical attitude of waiters who seem not to see you waving, nor hear you calling to ‘kira!’. Personally I think these types of waiters should be trained intensively and if they are un-trainable give them something else to do, like wash the dishes. They give the food outlet a bad name.

Anyway, in Seri Selera they solved this problem with the central cashier system.

The other irritating feature of some eateries is the clusters of tables. They are so close together that you cannot help but jostle your neighbors as you dine. And of course the waiters have to keep on saying ‘panas-panas’ (hot hot) when they pass you for fear of you jostling them and upsetting whatever it is they are carrying.

There is no fear of this happening at the centre, as it is quite spacious and therefore comfortable to dine in. It is able to accommodate 1200 diners at any one time. It can also be turned into an open air dining area as a retractable roof has been installed. On good clear nights, you will actually dine under the stars.

Some diners may like to watch television while eating. They will not be disappointed as the centre has a perfectly good Astro service. No chances of it being interrupted through power disruption either as there is a stand by generator available.

By the way, the security there is excellent. You will not be bugged by peddlers selling watches, sun-shades and the likes.

Getting interrupted in mid chew by these salespeople can disrupt one’s appetite, especially when even vigorous shakes of the head are not a deterrent.

Overall the centre is a fabulous place to dine as almost all the needs of patrons have been taken into considerations. It is a commendable place to bring tourists who love seafood, as they will not only enjoy the food and the ambience but also the cultural performances.

The director of the centre’s management, Sebumi Magnetik Sdn Bhd, Alex Yong stated that this centre is the largest live seafood venue in Kota Kinabalu and he may well be right.

So if you are at the vicinity at the moment, drop by for food; bring your guests, family and friends there.

Courtesy of: New Sabah Times 'In' Sites - Sabah Travel and Leisure Guide

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