Foods and Drinks to try in Brunei
Brunei may not be a food destination; regardless, one of the reasons why I travel is to try the local cuisine of the area or country. And this tiny Islamic state is not an exemption. Although, at the Brunei International Airport, I had no choice but to eat at fast-food chains such as McDonald’s and Burger King; I managed to taste some Bruneian dishes. To give the traveling gourmand out there an idea of how the food in Brunei looks like, below is the list of some foods to try:
1.Nasi Katok/Knock rice
This is a popular meal among Bruneians which consists of plain rice, fried chicken and sambal, a spicy relish made from ground chili peppers and other variety. If Philippines has Inasal Chicken, Brunei has Nasi Katok. Due to the predominance of the Islamic religion, expect here that food is halal and pork is not being served. I washed it down with tea mixed with kopi/coffee.
2. Teh Tarik/Pulled tea
Due to the restriction of alcohol in this state, drinks are limited to coffee, water, or tea. Water aside and since I am not a coffee person, I opted for tea. One of this type of tea that I like here is the Teh Tarik which literally means pulled tea. This sweet milk tea is of Malaysian- Indian origin.Having been the center for trade over the centuries, Brunei cuisne has a fusion of various Asian cuisines. It was so sweet. I love it!
3. Teh Tarik Ice
Locally, it is usually mixed with condensed and evaporated milk, giving the tea a sweet ; milky flavor; then, added with ice for a refreshing, cooler version of pulled tea.
When I saw these biscuits at a local market, I felt nostalgic. Those were my sweet biscuits when I was a child. The colored golden-brown rolls really caught my attention since we have this one in Zamboanga known as Lokot-lokot, which is made from rice flour. You can bring them as souvenirs, don’t you think?
5. Nasi Goreng/fried rice
This food is a familiar meal for Asians. I like fried rice especially the Chinese Chow fan rice. The one I tried in Brunei is the Indian version of Nasi goreng with seafood mix and the orangey color of the rice comes from the turmeric powder. There is also a noodle version of it called Mee goreng.
6. Ice Kacang
You can try some dessert like this Ice Kacang which we call in the Philippines as halo-halo. The shaped ice I tried has classic concoction with grass jelly, red beans, and sweet corns which was not that sweet as a dessert. If you want a sweeter flavor, try the Philippine version. Yes, Ice Kacang stalls here also sell Ice Kacang Philippines.
This is a unique Bruneian cuisine that is made from sago-based dish.
8. Roti Kuning
Such a treat that is good paired with your coffee or pulled tea. It is a toasted bun with a slice of butter.
10. Pulut panggang
This is a fave local delight made from glutinous rice soaked in coconut milk with a spicy dried shrimo filling wrapped in a bananana leaf and grilled over a charcoal fire.