Saturday, September 21, 2013

Sabah Dining: Lucy’s Kitchen at Market 88

Purported as the place to go for desserts but having the reputation of so-so savory dishes, the KKMOI team decided to go have lunch at the popular Lucy’s Kitchen at Market 88 to see if what we heard was true.

So without further ado, let us tell you a bit about our experience.


When we arrived, the entire air-conditioned area was occupied, so we headed out to the outdoor area at the back. In spite of it being a hot day, the outside area was breezy, so we were quite happy to be there. Moreover, two of the team members were smokers and they liked the “outdoor” option.


The scene is a good mix of families with small children, friends, and folks in business-attire. By the time we were 70% through our lunch, more people started to pour in, all tables were occupied, and there were folks waiting around for tables to be vacated. Regardless of whether you are going there for lunch or dinner, our advice to you is to arrive early.



Prawn Fritters

At first glance, this dish looks like any Chinese prawn fritter dish, but it doesn’t feel quite as oily. Biting into them was lovely. The dish however came with commercial mayonnaise, so the sauce didn’t have the character that would have made this better by our standards.

Oxtail Soup (Malaysian Style)

This wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t the kind that gave me a Malay food-gasm. I know how wrong that sounds, but there’s no better way to describe it.

The meat was tender, the soup was flavorful, but I guess what I was looking for was a knockout oxtail soup. It had the punch power of a kampung rustic pot, but what we want is for it to taste like a makcik made it. It didn’t taste like that. :( Still something worth eating if you like a) oxtail and b) the Malay sup bumbu taste.

Caesar Salad

Being served fresh salad leaves is the single most important aspect in the sweltering heat of the tropics. Why? Bacteria and germs populate a lot faster in hot and humid conditions. The lettuce looked nice and fresh, but I would have liked the tomatoes to be cut right in front of me if I had a choice (but let’s be practical here).

The dressing however tastes like packed commercial stuff. If you’re okay with that, then that’s fine, but I’m a “Salad Nazi” (I make salads all the time) and unless the dressings are freshly made, I’m going to get on every salad-maker’s case. Why? If ultra-busy KKMOI can toss a fresh dressing in 2 minutes, so can they. That’s if they want to improve!

Main Dishes

Spaghetti Bolognaise

Decent by local layman standards, “meh” by a New Yorker’s standard. This isn’t something I’d lift up my skirt to hitchhike to get to, because I guess I can make something I like more.

However, don’t listen to me, it’s fine. I can’t help being a little picky because I am a Queens gal, where every other corner serves some damn good bolognaise from real Italian-Americans.

If you’re a Westerner who has been cast away like Tom Hanks for months at a remote island or something, this will sooth your pang for pasta, until you discover a better bolognaise. It’s saucy, so very saucy!

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