For most travelers, Sandakan in Bornean Malaysia is just a stopping off point on the way to see orangutans and other types of wildlife in the jungle. But as for me, I would be spending a couple days in the city and wanted to make the best of it by trying out local foods and getting to know the area. But that would have to wait until after our first meal, at the English Tea House.
You see, as part of getting to know Sandakan, we had to take a tour for a day and the tour took us here. The grounds were beautiful and the views were pretty great as well, but the food left a little to be desired. First off, there were far too many utensils, but I suppose that is the British way. But secondly, I mean, the food was British. Those people aren’t known for good food unless it’s something that their immigrants brought as opposed to the other way around.
And yet despite the Britishness and the ridiculousness of serving soup on a crazy hot day, the soup was pretty good. And, it was pumpkin soup, which is generally something I wholeheartedly oppose. Perhaps it was the jetlag that made me like it. The main course of chicken, was an entirely different story. It was plain, the breast was tough and the garnishment of curled up carrots only made a poor attempt at distracting from the food.
The English Tea House seems to exist solely to serve tourists like us, and unfortunately where some similar places put on an unnecessary and unrealistic (yet often enjoyable) display of local culture, the British Tea House doesn’t even really seem very into that. Come for the view, and maybe literally a spot of tea and then head somewhere better in Sandakan.