Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Curios Traveller: Dinner @ Spice Island, Sutera Harbour Marina and Country Club, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

“Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul.”-Dorothy Day

It’s one of the 3 signature award-winning restaurants in Sutera Harbour Resort that have been awarded Malaysia Best Restaurant 2016 by Malaysia Tatler. Welcome to Spice Island @ Sutera Harbour Marina & Country Club, a restaurant that focuses on elevated, fusion traditional Malay and Indian cuisines. We both are on the same page with Malaysia Tatler, this particular restaurant is indeed one of the Best Restaurant in Malaysia. The products and services exceeded our expectation, both went beyond our imagination, delivering the best to its clientele. We went here for dinner and never we expected that we will be consuming some amazing food. Is this the best Malay & Indian restaurant in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah?

About Spice Island

Spice Island which is located on level 3 of Sutera Harbour Marina & Country Club, one of the Resort’s signature and award-winning restaurants, offers a unique fusion of traditional Malay and Indian dishes. The restaurant has hosted royalties and dignitaries, designed to replicate ethnic Malay houses and lavishly decorated with traditional artifacts. Open only for dinners, it is advisable to make an advanced reservation as the restaurant is popular among Club members, their guests and hotel guests. It’s important for us to repeatedly mention that though this restaurant is located in a private club. it is open to the public.

Opening Hours: 6.30 pm – 11.00 pm daily
Cuisine: Asian (Malay & Indian)

The Exterior

“The outside architecture and interiors need to speak the same message, so the curb appeal, signage color and layouts of outdoor and indoor seating, and flow needs to be cohesive.”-Carter Elkin-Paris

Upon reaching the main entrance of Spice Island, we were amazed with the exterior of the restaurant. There are many Malay and Indian characteristics being displayed through the spectacular decorations. There are 2 Trishaws (Rickshaw/pedicab/trisikad) or Beca on both side of the main entrance. Beca was an important type of transportation mostly for the common in Malay society long time ago.

There is also 2 Rebana or Tambourine(s) being displayed next to each Beca. Rebana is a Malay tambourine that is used in Islamic devotional music in Southeast Asia, particularly in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, and Singapore. The sound of Rebana often accompanies Islamic ritual such as the zikir. The name Rebana came from the Arabic word Robbana meaning “our Lord”.

Then there are 2 big vases on the right and left hand side of the main entrance. Centuries ago, Vases are important for both Malay and Indian community as it’s used to store water and food. Though less significant nowadays as vases are mostly regarded as decorations, it still ably to remind us how the item played an important role for the Malays and Indians. Seeing all these important elements as decorations outside Spice Island restaurant made us sensed that we’re about to see and eat food of Malay and India origins.

The Interior

“Ambiance can affect everything from perceptions on responsiveness and reliability, how much and how fast customers eat, how much they spend, how long they stay in the restaurant, if they decide to return and more.”-Carter Elkin-Paris

We’re on the same page with Carter Elkin-Paris. Ambiance plays an important role in customers decision. Amazing ambiance will make customers stay longer thus consuming more food and beverages. The ambiance and overall environment in Spice Island is definitely awesome. Again, Malay and Indian characteristics/elements are seen here and there. Orange is the main color in this restaurant followed by some earth colors. There are some Malay Traditional pattern carved on woods as seen in the image above. Bicycle was an important type of transportation for both Malay and Indians.

A replica of Malay Traditional Oil Lamp is on display on the ceiling. Though it is just a replica and not being the real one, it is an important indication of the type of food being served at Spice Island. Traditional Music Instruments of the Malays are on display too such as the Gong and Kulintangan.