Monthly Archives: August 2012

Le Doux Patisserie

A bakery was recently set up somewhere in Batu Bersurat by a graduate from Le Cordon Bleu Australia. The cakes and pastries simply looked delectable in pictures so my sister decided to buy some to share with the family.

The strawberry and pistachio tartlet tastes just as great as it looks. The strawberries were delightfully sweet and I loved the tart.

I did not get to try this but it does look good!

Caramel mille feuille — approved by the sweet-toothed.

I liked all of the cakes that I tried and I think it is safe to say that Le Doux Patisserie is my favourite bakery in Brunei. I would be happy with having three strawberry and pistachio tartlets from Le Doux Patiserie for my birthday in place of a slice of regular birthday cake. Hint hint.

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Quack

Needless to say, Day 2 of ‘detox’ flew out the window the moment I saw roasted duck on my dining table.

Ching Nam Foong

After indulging in a high calorie and saturated fat meal the night before at Senja Lounge, I made a decision to ‘detox’ myself; detox in inverted  commas because there is no way that I am going to survive solely on juices or apples or boiled cabbages. My fake detox simply entails staying away from any meat or fatty food for the next two days. Pretty much go pescetarian, which is something I occasionally do in college when I get bored of meat. So how did my ‘detox’ plan go?

Feeling the need to eat relatively simple and healthy food, my family went for home-style Chinese dishes at Ching Nam Foong and ordered a total of six different dishes for lunch, four of which were vegetable dishes. I was off to a good start.

Fried Bittergourd and Egg

I used to hate bittergourd so much as a kid but I recently discovered that my tolerance for bitterness has increased substantially. Bittergourds and eggs make a pretty good combination but after a while, the bitterness started to get to me and I had to stop scooping them into my plate.

Eggplants

This was my favourite vegetable dish for the day. I might start adding eggplants to the list of vegetables to cook next semester.

Stir-fried Green Beans and Cabbage

So far so good. This was an okay start. Then came the next two dishes: sweet and sour fish, and chicken curry.

Sweet and Sour Fish

Kari Ayam

My dad claimed that the chicken curry is very popular in Ching Nam Foong and just by looking at it, I had the urge to shower my plate of rice with curry and potatoes. So I did.

Was Detox Day 1 successful? No. Even though my lunch was full of vegetables, I literally had too much on my plate in an effort to help clean everything off the table. Deep fried fish is not exactly healthy either but I managed to stay pescetarian…until dinner time. I ended up having ko lo mee with thin slabs of chicken and minced beef. How could I possibly resist ko lo mee, knowing that I won’t be able to have any of it for the next twelve months?

Senja Lounge

A few days ago, my family and I had dinner at one of our favourite grillhouses, Senja Lounge in Riverview Hotel. ‘Senja’ literally means dawn in the Malay language, which I found to be a very apt name for the restaurant. ‘Senja’ conjures up images of sunsets in my mind which I frequently associate with beauty and romanticism, and I believe that this is the atmosphere that the restaurant is striving for with their dim lightings, mock bar and fancy giant blackboard menus. While I enjoy basking in the ambience and all that jazz, I experienced some trouble reading off their paper and blackboard menus in their darking-than-dusk lighting. I started questioning myself as to whether I had night blindness issues until my dad started using his mobile as a nifty torch light to illuminate the menus. It is nice to know that I am not alone.

The darkness aside, I had a very good dining experience here. I loved the appetizers that we ordered and my pot roasted lamb shank.

 

Grilled Mushroom with Cheese and Beef Bacon 

Gotta love the juicy portobello mushrooms topped with savoury cheese and  beef bacon bits.

Molten Blue Cheese with Mussels and Shrimps

Literally a melting pot of blue cheese, mussels and shrimps. An excellent and sinful bread dip!

Pot Roast Lamb Shank

Tender lamb shank bathed in sweet gravy. Smooth mashed potato and salad on the side. Huge meat delight!

Made in Brunei

Asian French Toast with Cheese @ Universal Cafe, Seria, Brunei

This has everything I like – egg, carbs, molten cheese sandwiched in the middle and sugar on the side. This soft and fluffy french toast works well when dipped in sugar or ketchup — you can’t go wrong either way.

Keropok @ Soon Lee Mega Mart, Kuala Belait

Locally made keropok (crisps) with peanuts and dried anchovies. I was hoping to buy one of those bitter crisps, the name of which I can’t remember at the moment, but the store ran out of them I got this instead. I actually dig local Malay crisps more than stuff like Doritos or Lays.

Nasi Goreng Hot Point @ Hot Point, The Mall, Brunei

I did not order this but some of my family members did and gave their vote of approval. They especially liked the fried chicken.

Laksa @ Hot Point, The Mall, Brunei

 Satisfied my cravings for laksa with this humongous bowl of noodles drowned in coconut milk goodiness. That said, I did wish that the soup was spicier because I found it extremely mild. I will forever be haunted by the laksa I had in Singapore.

Ramadhan Stalls

Food, food everywhere.

The Stadium is simply food galore at this time of the year and if it were not for the heat, I could spend ages oogling at the hundred things that I want to eat but cannot down all in one night. Gotta say that I respect the food vendors who cook and sell food under the blazing sun while fasting — that takes great willpower and tolerance. Here are few of the sights at Stadium; few because I was too preoccupied hunting for food and deciding what to have for dinner:

Gerai Ramadhan @ Stadium Hassanal Bolkiah, Brunei

Tungking ayam, which is quite literally chicken butt. This is a uniquely Malay appetizer that is savoury,chewy and like many delicious food, full of saturated fat. Most non-locals will display signs of aversion to this dish upon hearing the description of tungking ayam so it is recommended to let the unsuspecting tourist experience the fleeting joy that this sinfully savoury appetizer brings before breaking the news to them that they just ate chicken butts on a stick. At least, that is what I plan to do if my friends from college do come to Brunei 😀

Deep fried goodies of all types such as popiah ayam (chicken egg roll), popiah pisang (banana egg roll), cucur udang (battered shrimp) and bergedil (deep fried potato and beef patty). Even looking at them creates a wave of nostalgia in me. Burgerdil brings me back to my primary school days, when I would push my way to the front of the hungry mob at the school canteen to secure my daily dose of bergedil. Cucur udang brings me about ten years back to the days when my mom would regularly cook them for meals. And popiah pisang simply reminds me of a phase that I went through a few years ago when I was obsessed with popiah pisang from Sumbangsih and could not stop eating it (or thinking about it for that matter).

Sambal stingray, something that I hardly eat but should probably eat more of since they don’t have stuff like this in America. My friend shared some with me and it was delicious!

In the end, I found myself truly torn between two items: nasi ayam penyet and beef kebab. I ended up getting both. However, I felt guilty at the thought of consuming two meals for dinner so the little voice in my head convinced me save my kebab for lunch the next day. Yay me for exercising some self control.

There are a lot of stalls selling burgers at Stadium, including the famous Taty’s burger which I have yet to try. There is also a stall that sells burgers that were originally from Kuala Lumpur and one of the items on their menu was the Tower burger with nine patties, priced at BND 50. Definitely the most expensive burger you can find in Brunei.

The grilled satays and honey chicken wings were also very alluring but I was satisfied with my nasi ayam penyet and kebab. I recently found out from a friend that Brunei made it into the Guinness World Record in 2009 for “The Largest Serving Grilled Satay in the World”. 1,184kg of chicken meat was used, and this number was not arbitrarily chosen. It signifies the date of Brunei’s independence which was on 1st January 1984. More details here.

I am proud to say that I fared pretty well at Gerai Ramadhan by not completely caving in to all of my cravings. The Malay kuehs (cakes) such as tapak kuda were extremely tempting but I refrained myself from getting some, having had kek batik for the past two days. Speaking of kek batik, I plan on making some when I’m back at the States — both for my own gastronomic pleasure and to introduce my college friends to the awesomeness of Malay cakes. Looks like I am going to have to pack some Marie biscuits in my luggage!