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“Hidden rooftop with nice food”

Balin Roof Garden Bar & Bistro
Ranked #2 of 92 Restaurants in Sandakan
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $8 - $15
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Reservations
Description: This little undiscovered gem is situated above the stalwart landmark of Nak Hotel, built in the 1960s. Once an engine room, The Bar & Alfresco dining area sprawl across an expansive open roof terrace. Sip your ice cold beer & cocktails to a 360 degrees unobstructed view of the waterfront & catch the chillout sunset sessions from 5.00pm onwards to take in the best of Sandakan from a different perspective. Balin Bar & Bistro serves hearty yet creative western meals with Vegetarian, Gluten-Free & Childfriendly options but not forgetting a great dessert menu for those late night cravings.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level 6 Contributor
180 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
“Hidden rooftop with nice food”
Reviewed April 3, 2013

You wouldn't expect it to be such a nice place when you see the hotel from the outside. The rooftop garden is lovely and the food they serve is very nice. Maybe not the cheapest option in Sandakan, but a nice treat with Italian food.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank Marloes020
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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361 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    131
    157
    43
    19
    11
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Brisbane, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Interesting place but could be better”
Reviewed March 25, 2013

We stayed at the NAK Hotel for a couple nights and went up to the roof bar for a couple drinks each night and then breakfast twice. It was certainly a surprise find away from the dirty city, but could definitely use some freshening up. The staff were quite friendly and not a bad place to chill. However, be warned that if you order any cocktails or drinks with alcohol, the alcohol will get forgotten most of the time and the staff will deny it. Safer to stick with beer or wine if you want a drink, which is a shame as the cocktail list is quite good. Breakfast here was ok, but lacked any flavour and we had no interest in trying any other meals. Somewhere to definitely go have a look at, but much better food on the wharf (and drinks with alcohol).

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Unknown_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“What a great find- didn't expect this!”
Reviewed March 22, 2013 via mobile

Very western, so prob slightly more expensive, but a great find and a really swish place. Great cocktails, good food, great decor and atmosphere. The staff could be a little more switched on perhaps, but I would recommend any traveller passing through come to this place. Looks like they also do a mean brunch, which I may try tomorrow...

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Gemma050982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Needs a good scrub up”
Reviewed March 8, 2013

This place could be really special but lacks care and maintenance. The staircase approach is flithy with chipped and cracked tiles - a poor first impression. The restaurant spaces are charming but grubby. Roof terrace has great views but no shade so too hot to sit out during the day. Menu is limited, western, quite expensive and pretty pedestrian though reasonably well executed. Breakfast choice is very limited and extras (such as fresh fruit juice) are expensive. No fresh fruit or local dishes are offered. Disappointing overall.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank bootsanall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Mohito better than Havana”
Reviewed March 2, 2013

Bartender knows what he is doing. I haven't had a Mohito this good....well ever. It's a bit of a hipster vibe so be prepared to brave the local and international trendy types.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Laura P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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