Food on a Brunei Sunday

Yesterday and Friday was the first time in about 5 months that I was not on a golf course or in the gym. This is due to my bad knee and I have been undergoing physiotherapy sessions twice a week for the last 2 weeks. My physiotherapist at JPMC described the knee problem as shock absorber rosak. I vehemently blame it on my bad golf swings because if I don't blame it on that, most people will prescribe eating less to reduce my plus size figure would be a much better way to improve my knee's medical problems.

Of course yesterday being a Sunday gave me and the family time to ourselves and we didn't attend any wedding functions. There must be a couple of invitations but therein lies the typical Brunei dilemma - should we go or shouldn't we. A number of factors had to be considered - whether the invitation is from your family, friends, aquaintances, office mates, office staff, how many times you have been there, how many times they came to your families' wedding functions, how many children left do they have to marry off, when is your own children's expected wedding date (building up brownie points so that these people owe you when you hold your ceremonies) etc. It can be quite a complicated formula to decide whether to go or not to go.

We decided early on to do our own thing, so no wedding. Other than the usual chores of fetching my son from ugama school, we did a number of other things instead. However I want to describe two places that I did actually go to. The first is the Restoran Nasi Kandar Penang (Arthini Cafe & Catering Restaurant) at Kampung Bunut. The restaurant is located just behind the Bunut Filling Station. Just enter into the simpang next to the station and just a couple of hundred meters into the simpang, you will see a block of shophouses and it is there. You can't miss it.

Is it good? Ohhh, yes. It's genuine 100% Penang Nasi Kandar just like what I used to eat in Penang. I can't believe it, the dishes look so nice and appetising and the portions are big but prices are reasonable. The place is not that big but quite a large crowd was there even at 1.30 in the afternoon. Nasi Kandar got its name when hawkers in Penang would carry the rice and the dishes using poles on their shoulders, hence kandar which means to carry. But the speciality of the food is that it is very curryish and the dishes are almost all cooked in rich curry gravy and the smell yesterday was heavenly. Chef Anwar has been especially brought in to the restaurant has a 15 year experience. And the owners are Malaysians Indians who told me that their plan is to expand the recipes available to at least a hundred dishes! What's the downside to the restaurant? Only one. Don't go there too often, unless you plan to have a shorter than usual lifespan or want to meet your loved ones who has departed earlier very much sooner. If regularly consumed, the coconut oil laden dishes will create havoc in your bloodstream, that much I can tell you.

In the evening, it was another official dinner (my 8th of the month) and this time it was at Takara, a Japanese restaurant. Takara has been around for quite a while and at one stage was the only Japanese restaurant in town. But of course that has changed now but Takara remained and I gathered it is a bit competitive now. So how does Takara compares to the other Japanese restaurants in Brunei? I guess the answer to that would be - it is slightly better - having been in the game for much longer and their deco is nicer. Foodwise - I am not a fan of Japanese food, so I can't really tell the difference. If I was to describe it using the Malay jargon, lebih kuranglah when compared to the others.

Talking about restaurants, I would also like to congratulate Mr. L*, my junior colleague who finally is able to officially open the Dixy Chicken franchise at the Gadong Mall yesterday. I got an invite to attend the VIP opening session in the morning but I wasn't able to make it and therefore I wasn't able to sample the free food yesterday but I thought I will still be nice and still write something about it. Despite the blue and red American colour in the logo, Dixy Chicken interestingly enough is not American at all but is actually a halal food franchise which originated from England in 1996. The Brunei franchise is one of only 5 other overseas franchises to open (the others are in Pakistan, India, Syria and the US). I can't tell you what the food is like so I will not comment on that one yet until I get my free food critique bribe, oops, I mean payoffs, oopsie, I mean ...., you know what I mean. Anyway, enjoy.


Anonymous said…
It was a slow, lazy sunday for us yesterday. And we enjoyed it! Will check out the restaurant in bunut. I'm a curry lover. Takara! Don't mention it around my kids! They've been asking to be taken there for a while now. They love the fried rice and the prawn tempura. To me, Takara is japanese food with a local flavour.
Anonymous said…
The first time I had Nasi Kandar was last December in Penang. Such a beautiful place and I did'nt know there's Nasi Kandar here in Brunei too. Will check out that restaurant in Bunut.
Anonymous said…
Talking about food...does anyone know whether there is a restaurant serving mexican food?? Just miss the fajitas... ;)
Anonymous said…
Talking about food...does anyone know whether there is a restaurant serving mexican food?? Just miss the fajitas... ;)

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