Overlooking the South China Sea, the Waterfront is a must-visit in Sandakan. Owner Johnny Lim Si Tsung and his father, Datuk John Lim Shau Ket, opened the business together in 2010, hoping to treat diners to Malaysian and Chinese food inspired by Datuk’s experiences and heritage.
In the 60s, Datuk Lim spent his youth working in a Hainanese restaurant kitchen, Ban Swan Wee, along Singapore Road in Sandakan. He opened Harbour Garden Cafe in hopes of rekindling his love of good food and the good old days. One of his fondest memories is learning how to make Hainanese bao or pau (steamed buns); an ‘original recipe’ he gladly incorporates in his own kitchen today. Needless today, the cafe’s Chicken Tai Pao (Big Chicken Pau) is a must-try. Also in the kitchen is Chef Yoseph Doran, who brings a wealth of experience and has perfected the menu through trial and error.
Harbour Garden Cafe also serves porkless Dim Sum as well a variety of Seafood Dim Sum, making them one of the few places in Sandakan that serves pork-free dim sum. There are plenty of Asian delights to choose from the menu to complement your dim sum, from fried noodles nasi goreng kampung (kampung-style fried rice). Ask for the Harbour Garden Special – their own conconction of fried noodles, topped with chicken slices and egg. Want a quick and hearty meal? Check out their Set Meals.