WHERE IS THIS PLACE??
Have you ever had one of those days where everything seems to fall into place and according to plan (and tastebuds)? And it actually takes you by surprise? For example, you crave ice cream and it's blooming hot outside so it's the perfect day for it? Or you feel like a snuggly night in with your lover/couch and it's buckets of rain outside creating that mood for hot cocoa?
Well, this was one of those nights. I have been craving Korean BBQ for a while but it was always too hot for it. Seeing as I live on the Equator now it's pretty hard to find a night where there is a perfect temperature for Korean BBQ (outdoors of all places!). My friend had been telling me about Secret Garden, a cute little Korean restaurant served up al fresco style. A pretty risky business move I must say as most locals I know don't like to dine anywhere without air-conditioning especially where you're eating something heaty and sizzling like Korean BBQ!
It had been raining heavily during the week and I was craving Korean BBQ. I'm usually jinxed when it comes to plans as I haven't been lucky with my plans recently (raining at my outdoor 30th Birthday Party, thunderstorms when I plan a get together at Sunset Bar...). I was expecting a scorching hot night where my make up would end up 1 inch below from where it started by the end of the meal. But no, the skies were with me and my tastebuds that night! It was a rainy night where I could bring our my winter ankle boots and my cardigan which is the perfect outfit for the ice cold cinema where I planned to watch Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter.
So sitting in the al fresco restaurant in such weather was perfect for Korean BBQ. With the breeze blowing away the smoky BBQ smell I was free from smelling like Korean BBQ at the end of the night as well!
Secret Garden is quite a little secret, its location tucked away in a small housing estate in the Lido area. If you're coming from Kota Kinabalu town on Jalan Penampang, you will see a sign pointing left for the turn in to the housing estate. Follow the windy road and you'll end up at the gravel and grassy parking lot of Secret Garden.
Price-wise? I thought it was decent without being overboard. We ordered some pork and beef which which satisfied my Korean BBQ craving! The bulgogi was DELISH and I'd definitely recommend ordering that. Another dish that we ordered was my friend's favourite: Chilli Octopus. Now, I'm not a big fan of octopus...maybe cos of how it acts when it's alive creeps me out a little but I put on some courage and ate the thing...Quite tasty...I'm not the octopus connoisseur here but if you like octopus on your plate with chilli I think this will satisfy you.
I was pretty happy with the restaurant- very clean, huge variety on the menu and I'm definitely coming back for more as I need to try their bimbimbab!
Secret Garden Korean BBQ Restaurant is located on Lorong Beruang 1 in the housing estate behind Merdeka Supermarket, Lido
Contact: 088-260 606 / 016-834 7170 (Calling hours: 11am – 2pm / 4pm – 10.30pm daily)
And for the rest of the night? As we brought our filled happy and warm bellies to the movies I was praying that the movie would not suck and ruin what seemed to be a perfectly lined up day weather-wise, activity-wise and food-wise. And luckily I thought the movie was brilliant! Something with a title like that made a little bit nervous but I found it super entertaining!
So, what's your idea of a perfect night/day weather-wise, activity-wise and food-wise? I'd love to hear!
Till next post,