Sugarbun: Bringing the best of Borneo cuisine to KL!

SugarBun, Sarawak’s enduringly successful fast food franchise, with scores of offshoots across Borneo, has resurfaced in peninsular Malaysia, now launching in Menara Hap Seng. Expect many of SugarBun’s best-known ‘Borneo Asian’ staples, plus new recipes for KL, where the theme tilts toward a food court-style premises, with each stall promising specific signatures.

Begin with the broasted chicken, prepared through a combination of pressure cooking & deep-frying – it looks & tastes like fried chicken, notably less greasy than the fast-food norm, but still totally tender & tasty. RM4 per piece, RM11.50 for three pieces, RM19.50 for five pieces, or RM12 for a platter of two pieces with SugarBun’s savoury rice (laced with raisins & morsels of chicken sausage) & house-made pickles. You can also have the chicken in a ‘kano’ sauce – flavoured with lemongrass, garlic, onions & spices – that partners pretty much perfectly with the meat (RM15 for a two-piece kano chicken platter with rice).

Fish plays a starring role too, with tilapia & mackerel brought from Sarawak & giant grouper from Sabah. Tilapia is served as an ‘Eco Fish Meal’ (RM20), with the flesh tasting less ‘muddy’ than expected, reputedly as a result of having been bred in clear running water – the fish has a terrific texture, crisp-skinned & moist-fleshed. The Borneo mackerel (RM18 for four pieces) is also good, its guts removed before it was blast-frozen, to keep it fresh-tasting. Our favourite: Giant grouper mee hoon soup (RM33 for a bowl that two can share), with lots of smooth chunks of grouper (king of the Borneo seas) in a lovely, sweet broth.

Cattle call: Sabah premium beef ball mee hoon soup with Lahad Datu chilli sauce (RM23; the fairly gamy meatballs are hand-kneaded using female buffalo meat, while the thin noodles boast a nice bite) & nasi lemak with oxtail (RM19; respectable, but not the star of SugarBun’s show.) Plenty of other possible orders, from Sarawak laksa to claypot assam fish to a satisfying ais kacang (RM6) made with gula apong (nipah palm sugar) & crunchy Sabah seaweed. Many thanks to SugarBun for having us.

SugarBun Restaurant KL

Level 1, Menara Hap Seng, Jalan P Ramlee, Kuala Lumpur. Mon-Fri, 730am-8pm (lunch menu starts 11am), Sat, 10am-2pm

*Reproduced with kind permission from food reviewer Sean Yoong and Eat, Drink KL


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