Hidden Food in Brunei

My posting on the banquet held in honour of the visiting Lao PM brought comments from both sides of the fence. I remembered when I mentioned to someone that I will be attending the Birthday banquet last July, someone begged me to take photos of the banquet and post it. I was a bit hesitant - there is the grandeur and the luxury and not everyone is comfortable with that. But I relented and did it for the July banquets. There are apparently a number of people out there who are very curious as to what is served at the palace. I remembered reading, either in Washington Post or New York Times, describing the menu of what was served during the last Royal wedding.

I don't do food blogs - there are already a number of very good food bloggers in Brunei, so I leave them to write about their specialty. Even though in the past I have written in passing about certain restaurants, the last major post I wrote on food was about Nasi Katok. But that was in my predecessor blogsite on bruneiresources.spaces.msn.com.

I thought today I will highlight a couple of other places, again, in passing only, as I only go for one or two items on their menu. The first is related to Nasi Katok. This joint is known to golfers as it is located inside the clubhouse at the Royal Brunei Golf and Country Club (RBGCC) at Jerudong. I don't like playing golf at RBGCC as it is a very tough course but the one thing I like about playing there is the break in between the front and back nine – the nasi lemak. According to my Singapore banker friend, the nasi lemak there is probably among the best he has tasted. It is fairly big with a big piece of chicken with it generally the drumstick. So the triangular shaped wrapping would have a bit of the drumstick sticking out at the top. It only cost $2 and my Singapore friend would play in the morning and rush out to the airport by 11:00 to catch the 12:15 flight and would bring about half a dozen of the nasi lemak back to Singapore. You can buy it too at the JPMC cafeteria (hidden in the basement). There is nothing to stop you from going into RBGCC to go to the cafeteria but many people are a bit uncomfortable if you are not a golfer.

Another place which is more of an import is the Fathul Razak next to the Pizza Hut in Gadong. I have talked once about the Penang Nasi Kandar hidden behind the Bunut Filling station of food and cook being imported from Penang. This one too has the authentic thing coming all the way from Singapore. In Singapore, I would avoid the food courts in the touristy area but normally go to the so called heartland hawker centres in Serangoon, Joo Chiat and the Beach Road. There are only 3 items that I like - the Rojak Celup or Rojak India, Mee Goreng and Soup Tulang. It's the latter two which have arrived in Brunei in that place. I found it by accident as I normally passed by the area to go to Booker and I found emblazoned in front of the shop - Beach Road Mee Goreng and Soup Tulang.

What's the difference? The Singapore Mee Goreng is unique - it is red in colour. We are talking about Maggi sauce red colour. It has a different taste to the usual Brunei Mee Goreng. I can't describe it but it is different. It has been promoted as Singapore's national dish as it is cooked by an Indian Muslim in Ghee, using a Chinese wok, with Chinese cabbage, Hokkien noodles, Malay chilli padi, Indian mutton (marinated with the Sup Kambing) and American Ketchup. The soup tulang too is unique. Unlike the soupy soup, the Singapore soup tulang is also red. You don't actually slurp the soup but rather take some hard crusted bread (normally the French bread) and dip that in the soup and eat it. The meat on the bones is very tasty being cooked in this red soup and usually the bones are done in such a way that you can also take the marrow out.

Just to add a couple of hidden treasures to the Brunei's Unexpected Treasures.


Anonymous said…
You sure know your way around when it comes to food, Mr BR (tongue-in-cheek! Hehehehh:). Thanks a zillion for your 'gourmet' tips, boss! At least now I know where to take my dates (I am not a golf 'buaya' like you but more of a 'PlayBuaya'! Hahahha) for that Valentine's Day candle-lit dinner:)
I need not remind you, though, that maybe you've given away some sensitive info to the 'Health Hygiene law enfoncers' to swoop in on these 'unlicenced & no Lisen Rampaian' in their surprise raid operations!:) In Singapore, I always avoid eating out in Orchard Road but would rather take an MRT ride for SgD1.75 cents and eat in HDB foodstalls (equivalent to our handful of foodcourts in Brunei).
Anonymous said…
Recently I tried Nasi Goreng version of the Beach Road Mee Goreng, and yes it is red in color..I tried it at the Newton Ciircus, first time been there which remind me of our Jerudung Park during its glory day!
Anonymous said…
Just in case you're interested, Singapore rojak is sold here at the Amanah Harith restaurant in Jerudong. My husband, being a real fan of the dish, declared it to not be the Real McCoy. Go try for yourself and see what you think :)
Lina: I didn't know that. Even without tasting it - your husband is right - the only real McCoy would be if all the fried ingredients for the Indian Rojak is in a glass shelf for us to point out which ones we want and for the whole thing to be sold by a Singaporean Indian man!

Anyway thanks. I will try it out one of these days.
Anonymous said…
Mr BR, the nasi that you were referring to i.e the one sold at the JPMC is nasi Pandan. It is very nice ,I had it when I stayed at JPMC after delivering my baby boy. However, it was not as nice as the ones that are/were cooked by our elders. When old people cooked something, I don't know why, but the dishes are/were usually super yummy :).
Unknown said…
After reading this blog and the comments, i really feel like eating already!

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