Gaya Island Resort boasts of several dining options on its premise. Believe me, guests are quite spoilt for choices when it comes to food at the resort. Besides the regular offerings at the outlets, guests can also request for private dining should there be any celebration to be held or simply because they want a special dining experience. How about a Sunrise Breakfast, an Aqua Dinner, a Sinagang Steamboat or a personalised gourmet picnic? All these can be arranged with a day advance notice to the resort.
We had a special unique dining experience at Gaya Island Resort, too … more about that later.
Our first meal at the resort was at the Feast Village, YTL’s signature all-day dining outlet. Feast Village in all the YTL Properties is well-known for its sumptuous array of food, whether it’s on the buffet or on a la carte orders.
Upon arrival at the resort, we went straight for lunch at Feast Village, hosted by James Sutcliffe, the Resort Manager. The chef cooked up a storm of local dishes for us, using the freshest seafood. In between laughter and friendly conversations, we dined on a huge seabass with sambal, black pepper beef, sweet & sour chicken, butter prawns and crunchy saute’ed four-angle beans. It was an immensely satisfying lunch indeed and definitely coma-inducing when we hit the bed in our villa after that.
The breakfast buffet spread at the Feast Village is something not to be missed. Being sea-fronting, the view from the restaurant adds on to the total enjoyment of the meal, of course. There are the usual counters offering salads, breads, cereals, hot dishes (Japanese/Asian/Western), rice congee as well as egg stations but my favourites are the fresh fruit juices and noodles counters. Get the chefs to fry you a plate of noodles on-the-spot… they do a darn good job at that! Oh, and also their Pisang Goreng (fried bananas) and Cucur (fried fritters) were amazing!
Just pick your fruits and they’ll be juiced for you!
Noodles are always good here!
Piping hot Pisang Goreng & Cucur , fresh from the wok!
This Mee Goreng was super sedap!
We took the boat to Tavajun Bay simply because we were too lazy (and it’s too hot) to track on foot. It’s just a 5-minute boat ride from the resort jetty to this idyllic spot on the island.
Let’s take the boat out to our lunch destination!
This tranquil private beach was perfect to chill and laze around under the shady trees. Soft powdery sand fringes the shore and the water was cool and crystal clear. A rustic dining space manned by the resort staff serves lunch and refreshments.
We had a Thai-style set lunch there and the resort’s resident wild boars decided to pay a visit too.
Guests are free to hop onto the boat to return to the resort as boat trips are available at every hour.
The Omakase Restaurant was just a slope below our villa. A short stroll down and we were at the 2-storey eatery with a splendid view of the Malohom Bay and the twinkling lights beyond.
As the name suggested, this restaurant provides omakase-style dining under one roof ranging from teppanyaki, shabu-shabu and nabe. On the evening we were there, it was teppanyaki.
Food served was simple, nothing too elaborate and everyone had the same dishes. Even though simple, ingredients used were fresh and the chef was really efficient and systematic in his execution. We sat at the bar and were privy to all his moves.
Omakase is a popular eatery in the resort. There’s a fast turnover of diners too as the chef was really good at his job!
THE BAJAU LAUT BEACH BARBECUE
Now, this was our special private dining experience in Gaya Island Resort.
This experience celebrates the cuisine of the sea-faring Bajau Laut tribe. Sitting at our private table set up along the beach facing Malohom Bay complete with bamboo lanterns on the sand, we had skewers of the freshest seafood grilled to perfection on hot charcoals accompanied by several local side dishes.
The bambangan (wild mango pickle) and hinava (pickle of raw mackerel) more than awakened our palate with their strong tart flavours. They complemented the grilled succulent squids, lobsters, prawns and mussels on our plates. Right after we had our fill of Neptune’s bounty, we were served barbecued beef and chicken as well!
Paying homage to the nomadic Bajau Laut, there was even a telescope set up for us to gaze at the stars above. It was a very clear night and we could observe the Southern Cross above in high-definition clarity!
POOL BAR & LOUNGE
For some casual bites and drinks, the Pool Bar & Lounge is the place to be, especially when you are chilling in the swimming pool!
*THE FISHERMAN’S COVE was closed while we were there so that’s one eatery we won’t miss the next time!
GAYA ISLAND RESORT
Malohom Bay, Pulau Gaya
Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park
88000 Kota Kinabalu