A venture into Borneo Asian Food

Kuching’s first Borneo Asian Food outlet at Wisma Sugarbun in Satok.

SUGARBUN has ventured into Borneo Asian Food with a menu that includes fish as a healthier alternative.

Borneo Asian Food first started in 2016 at Menara Hap Seng, Kuala Lumpur.

“SugarBun started off as a quick service restaurant in 1981, offering broasted chicken. We were here before KFC and, after 30 years, decided to do something different – Borneo Asian Food,” said general manager Raymond Teo.

“We were testing this out and the response was tremendous. We believe the concept works,” he told thesundaypost.

He said at Borneo Asian Food, the regular menu items for SugarBun are retained and the new menu item range is towards Asian food, the highlight being garoupa – a higher end fish.

Sabah giant garoupa fried rice topped with garoupa fish slices.

“There are so many places offering fried chicken, roasted chicken, grilled chicken, so we moved to fish to diversify. We also have locally sourced mackerel fish as one item on our menu,” Teo said.

Family favourite dish – claypot chicken mushroom.

Following the success of the pilot outlet, Borneo Asian Food opened its first franchise outlet at Melawati Mall, Shell Plaza, Kota Kinabalu and the second at Sri Alam, Johor Bahru, followed by Wisma Sugarbun, Kuching this year.

All the menus are the same except for Sarawak’s, which offers Sarawak laksa, he said.

“Our food is cooked without MSG. We offer Sabah seaweed drinks you can’t find anywhere else. We are the pioneer in offering coral seaweed ice kacang to the public. The seaweed is high in collagen and sought after by women to keep their skin youthful.”

He said the Sabah giant garoupa fried rice is a Chinese-style fried rice, wok-charred with garoupa flakes, dried prawns, and vegetables, finished off with an egg, and topped with deep fried thick slices of garoupa and a generous sprinkle of fresh scallions.

The Borneo mackerel meal.

The Sabah giant garoupa fish soup has thick slices of giant garoupa in a piping hot, silky rich garoupa broth, topped with fresh scallions.

It’s served with either mixed grain rice or Sabah-style beehoon plus Lahad Datu own bird’s eye chilli.

Sabah seaweed ice kacang is available at Borneo Asian Food.

The Borneo mackerel dish has the fish brined in natural saltwater and deep fried to perfection. It’s served with mixed grain rice and a side of refreshing Sabah seaweed pickle plus SugarBun’s signature Eco Fish Sambal and traditional chilli-soy dipping sauce.

“In fact, at the Borneo Asian Food outlets, the pickles used are special as they include the Sabah seaweed. Even our chillies are Lahad Datu chillies. The feedback we got from customers is that the chillies are fragrant and different.

“We want to offer traditional, home-cooked food for mums to get a break from cooking but still enjoy home-cooked meals. The recipe is halal Chinese style, inspired by the Sabah Hakkas,” Teo said.

A chef prepares Sabah giant garoupa fried rice.

On the freshness of the fish, he said the Borneo mackerel is from the sea and sourced from Lahad Datu, while the giant garoupa is farmed in the open sea in its natural habitat.

“The garoupa is blast frozen using Japanese technology before being transported to the outlets to ensure freshness with low risk of contamination.”

The Sabah seaweed, on the other hand, is coral grass and found in abundance.

Borneo Asian Food also has a selection of home-made drinks like apple snow fungus, pear snow fungus, and lemon barley.

Borneo Asian Food at Wisma Sugarbun is open from 9am to 7pm daily.

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