The most important tip I can give you on Brunei local food, and the only one that will make you elevate from being a tourist to becoming a real traveler immersed in the local culture, is “Stay away from McDonalds“. When visiting Brunei, there is awesome local food to try. Head to the local eateries too, and go where the locals go. For me, the food, wine and and even the water is part of the travel experience.
What to Eat in
Bruneians love to eat out and there are many excellent restaurants in Brunei serving a wide variety of cuisines, thanks to the large number of foreign workers in the country. There is also the local nasi katok, a simple combination of rice and curried beef or chicken, which can be quite spicy. It is relatively inexpensive when compared to other food that you can buy, for example local food such as chicken rice.
However, it is not a healthy option, with few vegetables and too much fat. Another choice is ambuyat, a culinary experience unique to Borneo. It is a starchy and gooey paste made from sago that can be dipped into a savoury sauce.
What to Drink in Brunei
Brunei is a dry country: alcohol is not sold anywhere in the country and consumption of alcohol in public is prohibited by law. That said, non-Muslim visitors are allowed to bring in up to two litres of alcohol (wine or spirits) plus up to twelve cans of beer every 48 hours, and there is a wide array of duty-free shops just across the border in Malaysia to cater to this demand.
However, alcohol permits must be obtained upon arrival in Brunei while going through customs. Many higher-end restaurants allow guests to bring in their own alcohol and corkage is not charged, though this is technically illegal and it’s best to keep a low profile if you choose to consume in a public establishment. At the lower end (particularly Chinese restaurants), many restaurants supply illicit booze under euphemisms like “special tea”. One should definitely try out teh tarik, a sweet milk tea, as well as the wide array of coffee (kopi) available in restaurants.
Other local foods, or drinks that you recommend? Please add and comment.