Saturday, April 29, 2006

Brunei Eats Jan 2006 - Swensen's Cafe

Just opened recently when I went back to Brunei in January 2006. It occupied some corner units on 2nd floor of The Mall in Gadong. I brought my whole family there, mum, dad, 2 sis and youngest bro plus Big King and Princess and me. There were 8 of us altogether so we occupied 3 joint tables.

Starter - Fries with 2 dips

Tasty especially with the dips.

Breaded mushroom
Starter - Breaded shiitake mushrooms

My favourite item of the night, mushrooms is delightfully crunchy, taste good with or without tartar sauce.

Buffalo wings
Starter - Buffalo wings

The size of the wings was dismally small. Taste is ok but not finger licking good.

Seafood chowder
Starter - Seafood chowder in sourdough bread

I ate it as my main. Soup is forgettable but the bread is very good. The bread has been toasted before soup is poured in so the skin is slightly crunchy and the inside is soft and chewy, That's how bread's supposed to be. Not hard as stone as those sold here or lifelessly soft like those sold in bakeries in Brunei which is just evident of too much bread improver in the dough. However of Swensen's bread, judging from the peforation of holes, there is still room for improvement.

Kid's meal
Kid's meal - omelette

Tasteless ham and mushroom omelette which tasted like cardboard (not that I've ever chewed on one, haha) served with tinned fruit cocktail and alphabet potato fries. Tinned fruits and frozen fries from an upmarket restaurant, hello?? My bro only managed to swallow about half of the omelette. Then started eyeing the ice-cream cabinet.......

baked rice
Baked rice - chicken and seafood

Tasteless stuff and the meat is so dry it's like eating ba kwa (chinese dry roast meat). Seafood is limp and obviously frozen, hello?? How cheap is seafood is Brunei and they use frozen stuff?? It could easily cost more than the real mccoy.

Spicy pasta with fish
Spicy pasta with battered fish served with spicy sauce

This dish is indeed spicy and taste of nothing else. The battered fish was overcooked and the batter soggy. I can pop Bird Eye's frozen battered fish fillet in the oven and it will taste a million times better than their version.

Lamb chop
Lamb chop with black pepper sauce

My dad had this. I kind of sweet-talked him into ordering it as some friends had told me it was tasty. I wanted to try mah. The chops came and my dad just sit there eating and diam-diam (silent). I asked him,"nice or not dad?" He asked me to try some. I obliged and invited my mum to taste it with me. To be honest, I had forgotten how it taste like, I just remembered chewing a piece of rather hard rubber, yikes! Even the smell reminded me of burnt rubber, maybe it's just my imagination. My mum ate a small piece and smiled,"aiyo your dad can cook so much better lamb chop yet you ask him to order lamb." Three lines above my head.......

Thursday, April 27, 2006

2006 Chap Go Meh Dinner

Huh so long ago? Do you know the date now Rabbit? Knock knock the head.

Prawn n chicken in coffee sauce
Deep fried chicken and prawn fritters in coffee sauce

Coffee sauce comes pre-mixed in a packet. Big King loves to order coffee lamb chop in restaurant so I made an easier chicken version at home. Taste ok only. Prawn fritters my fav, all mine, all mine on the plate hee.....

Fish maw soup
Fish Maw and vegetable soup

Big King's favourite soup?? Well, he gets all excited when he knows I am making this, there.

Big King's Lunch Box

Take a peek......
Hee, it's only bread not body parts, haha.

BK lunch box

Left: Hotdog roll (hotdog not seen in pic)
Right: Pork floss bun

I made these at home. Why? Cannot find here beh.
Only make them when I crave Chinese/Asian style bread so Big King only get to eat them when I feel like making ha......

Friday, April 21, 2006

Wat Tan Hor (with pictured ingredients and steps)

I had promised Lou to blog about the above titled, I am sorry it took so long but better late than never eh....

Clockwise from top left: Char siew, choy sum, fish cake, egg and flat rice noodles (not pictured)

You can substitute char siew with seafood or any meat of your choice, I happen to have made char siew earlier that week...... In fact all the ingredients can be tuned to your liking except the noodles and egg of course.........



1. Heat up a non-stick saucepan and stir-fry noodles till heated through. You can use a normal wok but remember to put in oil first. Transfer to a serving plate.

2. Using the same saucepan (that's the beauty of nonstick saucepan, saved me a lot of washing jobs), put in 1 tbsp of oil. When oil is heated, put in char siew followed by fish cake and then stir fry for a while. Add in vegetables, fry briefly to take the raw edge off the vege. Add in chicken stock or water (roughly 1 bowl per person). Check seasoning, add in salt if necessary.

3. While waiting for the broth to boil, make up some cornstarch solution. When broth is boiling stir the cornstarch solution in bit by bit until it has come to your desired consistency. Bring back to boil.

4. Turn off heat and stir in the lightly beaten egg.

5. Voila serve!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Brunei Eats Jan 2006 - 'Sweet Temptations' at Sheraton Utama Hotel

Just as I was leaving after our reunion dinner, I spied the above being advertised at the counter for only B$7.50 per person. Wah say so cheap, must come back and try! The promotion is only available monday to friday from 2 pm to 5pm.


Left: Boxing chicken
Right: Fried noodles

Both were yummy!! I had several rounds of both!


Above left: Apple pie - crust too thick, filling was gooey.....
Above right: Cheesecake - nothing phenomenal....
Below left: Chocolate mud cake - quite nice, chocolate strong and dark......
Below right: Carrot cake - Yikes, I hate carrot cakes!!

Bread & pastry

An assorment of breads, danish pastries, scones and biscuits

I didn't try any of these, too busy muching down the above.........

We also had yummy ice-cream (not pictured), I like to dress it with lots of custard and strawberry coulis, yum!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Brunei Eats Jan 2006 - Reunion dinner at Sheraton Utama Hotel

Reunion dinner with Big King's family took place at Tasek Brasserie, Sheraton Utama Hotel. MIL didn't want to cook....BIL had this Starwood card which allow special deal like 2 eat pay for 1. There were 6 of us (including 1 child) and ended up only paying for 4.

I had been busy the whole morning that day. Cooking up a storm in the kitchen for offerings to our ancestors all by myself. Worst of all there are only 2 hobs, @#$%*..... No pictures were taken, I was super busy and super knackered afterward to remember..........I cooked fried beehoon, steamed herbal chicken, shark's fin soup and braised sea cucumber with mushroom and baby abalone. OK enough, siao liam.

Entrance to Tasek Brasserie

Starter series
Starters - Bread, soups, salad, cold meat

Nothing outstanding here but young niece liked the shark's fin soup. Personally I think too much MSG. SIL forbid the use of MSG at home but likes to eat out VERY often. Cheh.....Personally I think a little bit won't hurt.......

Main series
Mains - normal chinese fare like crispy duck, herbal chicken, prawns, mixed vege, yam basket and steamed garoupa

I ate quite a lot of prawn tempura (they are super salty but dun know how to cook well at home) and several pieces of the yam basket, I love yam! I did not touch the yee sang, didn't look fresh.........

Desserts series

Desserts - fruits, cakes, tarts, tau-fu fa, ice cream and a tray of dried sweet pickle that is Chinese New Year essential

In my opinion, Sheraton Brunei is one of two places in Brunei where you can find good breads and cakes (the other being Empire Hotel). And the freshly brewed coffee ain't half bad. All the desserts were above average standard that night except tau-fu fa which I didn't try as they didn't look particularly appetizing, Looked like it's been left there for days. I particularly enjoyed the lemon roll, chocolate mousse (nice dark and bitter and not too sweet) and of course their own home-made ice-cream. I liked the yam flavour best! In fact I liked the desserts so much I was back a few days later for it's 'Sweet Temptations' afternoon tea!

Tasting peanut
There were peanuts strewn across the table as decoration (weird...) and Princess was eager to get her hands on one. She's never seen or tasted them before. Popped it in her mouth shell and all and she frowned and spit it out. Haha, guess she didn't like the salty shell! Salt is never part of her diet.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Best Kolo Mee in Bandar Seri Begawan - Quarry Kolo Mee

Majority regard the kolo mee from Seria as the best in Brunei. After several cirit-birit (diarrhoea) episode after savouring them, I hate to say it is the WORST in my opinion.

Quarry kolo mee, as it is widely known, can actually be found in a 'hole in the wall' canteen at Bee Seng Quarry, Jalan Tutong. Having been around donkey years, I only ever discovered it recently like 2 or 3 years ago. Can't blame me, there is an equally delicious 'illegal' kolo mee vendor just within spitting distance of my house which has sadly been closed down after being reported in by jeolous competitor nearby.

Kolo mee is by no means hard to cook but to cook it well is another story 是一門大學問. My dad makes pretty decent kolo mee whereas I just cincai hantam haha.

Quarry kolomee

I like having my fix with wantan, char siew and lots of pickled chilli那是一定要的啦!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Brunei Eats Jan 2006 - Lee Loi Fatt Foodstall

Lee Loi Fatt (LLF) in Kiulap (a commercial area about 5 minutes drive from city centre) is famous for it's rojak originated from Kuala Belait (a district in Brunei). I never visit it on purpose as there is better rojak elsewhere........

I decided to take my friends and cousin who had come back from overseas to LLF as these are the types of food they crave while away from Brunei.

We had

LLF mixed fritters

Mixed fried fritters (B$5)- prawn, yam and beancurd

LLF rojak

Rojak (B$5) - ingredients include cuttlefish, turnip, pineapple and cucumber tossed in shrimp paste and garnished with crushed peanuts

LLF laksa

As I hadn't had lunch, I also ordered laksa with prawn (B$3).

LLF 3 sour

I always have three sour drink B$1.20 (lemon, lime and brined salted prunes), it's good for thirst-quenching and helps work up one's appetite.

Brunei Eats Jan 2006 - Reunion Dinner at Emperor's Court

I had reunion dinner with my family a day earlier at Emperor's Court, Hua Ho Mall at Jalan Muara. It was allegedly the best halal Chinese restaurant in town but I beg to differ...

Cheese baked lobster

Baked lobster in cheese sauce

Mixed platter

Assorted hot and cold platter

Gui Hua fish

Steamed Gui Hua (directly translated as jasmine) fish

Lamb Chop in Mandarin Sauce

Tender lamb chop in mandarin sauce

Sea Cucumber Braised Duck

Braised duck with sea cucumber

Lor Hon Chai in Yam Basket

Assorted vegetables in yam basket

Double Mushroom broccoli

Double mushroom with broccoli

Honey dew sago
Honeydew sago for pudding

I liked the fish, lam chop and sago pud the best :p

Princess in Emperor's Court