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Brunei
Thursday, September 29, 2022
24.8 C
Brunei
Thursday, September 29, 2022
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    Popular eateries to satisfy your cravings

    Lyna Mohammad

    As a food lover, visiting eateries is my kind of thing, be they kopitiams, pasta-serving restaurants or food stalls.

    When I was tasked with picking some places to enjoy servings of breakfast, brunch or tea-time, I was up for it and had a few locations in mind. However, I chose locations around Bandar Seri Begawan area as time did not afford me the privilege to go to other districts.

    OLD TIME KOPITIAM

    Old Time Kopitiam is definitely one on my list. Why? From the decoration to the atmosphere and food, it is just my kind of place to hang out and catch up with friends on my off days.

    As the name suggests, walking into the kopitiam can bring back memories of childhood when parents would take their kids out to kopitiam on weekends. No matter how many times I frequented this place, it reminds me of my childhood tea-time that my mother would take me after her cooking classes.

    The setting complements the kind of food served. One item I usually order is the nasi lemak sotong (cuttlefish). From the texture of the rice to its aroma and how the cuttlefish is cooked, the condiments and the sambal, all blends well leaving you happy after the meal.

    When savouring this kind of dish, I usually eat the items piece by piece with a scoop of rice.

    But with this particular nasi lemak I mix everything well, except the cucumber and boiled eggs, which I take a bite of while scooping a spoonful of the mixed rice.

    Old Time Kopitiam is one of the author’s favourite places to eat. PHOTOS: MUIZ MATDANI
    ABOVE & BELOW: Nasi lemak; Szechuan noodle; and cucur udang

    For me, coming here is not necessarily to order heavy meals, as this is also a place for me to get a fix of my tea time cravings as there is a good selection of items to choose from the shelves, from cakes to Malay kueh and the cooling ice longan or ABC (air batu campur).

    JING CHEW

    The next option on my list is the ever popular Jing Chew. There are two items that I would come here for. They are the famous roti kacang kawin and the sesame kuey tiaw.

    Why only two? Because these two were the start of my dining history at this coffee shop and I have been coming back for them whenever I have the opportunity, which would be during the off-peak hours either during brunch hour or before the afternoon tea time when you can easily get a parking spot around the area.

    One thing to note is that I usually have my roti kacang kawin heated before being served. I would assume almost all do, but you need to inform the waiters of your preference, if not, the bun will come to you cold.

    Maybe some do not mind, but for me it must be heated to allow the butter to melt and blend in with the generous amount of peanut paste in the bun.

    The other standout for me is the sesame kuey tiaw. While I can get good fried kuey tiaw at most restaurants or coffee shops, the reason I like to order the sesame kuey tiaw is because to this day I have not found anything of a similar taste to what they have there – not even close.

    MEI KONG COFFEE SHOP

    The next place, Mei Kong Coffee Shop, is one that is not only of my choice but almost every member of my family here, as well as those from neighbouring Sabah who drop by at least once during their visits here.

    Like the previous two, everything in the menu is worth ordering. From its fresh from the bread section items to the wok stations, none will be a disappointment to your gastronomy needs.

    For me, there are quite a few things that I frequently order, but during my recent visit I tried out a new item (well, new for me) on the menu, – the Szechuan Beef Noodles.

    Not only are the slices of beef generously placed on top of the yellow soup noodles, but the texture of the beef, by looking at it you know it is good, as the meat is tender and juicy and you don’t really get that usual strong beef taste.

    101 CAFÉ THE EATERIES

    The polo bun kawin, red bean bun, kaya cheese bun, chicken cheese tart and the varieties of freshly baked buns at 101 can be very tempting once you smell the aroma of the baked items as you walk into the coffee shop.

    Let’s start with the polo bun kawin, which is the most hot-selling item here. This is an empty bun that is first heated and then filled with a generous spread of butter and kaya.

    Unlike others who usually take a bite immediately once it’s served, I prefer to have the butter and kaya mixed together and spread inside of the bun before taking my bite as it tastes better when it’s mixed and complements the taste of the bun.

    Next will be the kaya cheese bun, which I’ve found to be another hot selling item as I sometimes was not able to get one due to it being sold out at most times and which they have to bake new sets to meet the demand.

    For this kaya cheese bun I would usually just get some for take away, but would call first to order to avoid disappointment. I have it heated in the microwave for tea, and it’s simply marvellous having it with your cup of tea or coffee.

    Meanwhile, the chicken cheese tart is filled with a generous portion of chicken and mushrooms, the pastry is thin and crispy, while the cheese in the tart is just nice after you heat it before taking a bite.

    As for the red bean bun, a generous amount of red bean paste is filled into the bun, so much so that you have red bean paste with every bite.

    AL HAMADIA RESTAURANT

    Looking for a good serving of nasi ayam penyet? Head down to Kampong Anggerek Desa and look for Al Hamadia Restaurant. I’m sure many have come to know about this popular eatery for its good and generous servings of the dish.

    Although the signature food item would be the nasi ayam penyet and its variety of roti canai or murtabak, my go-tos would the varieties of meat, seafood and vegetable dishes displayed in the food warmers. Among the many dishes would be the kari telur ikan. I just love the texture of the fish roe, especially as the restaurant offers fresh ones and not the frozen type.

    The curry gravy is marvellous and the mixture of spicy and sour taste of the curry is simply delicious, not too spicy (although I love spicy food) and goes well with whatever you have it with.

    While you are here, you may also want to try the cucur udang or prawn fritters. The prawns used for the cucur are fresh, not ones that have been frozen for quite a bit, and served fresh from the wok.

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