Gong Xi Fa Chai!

Happy New Year of the Ox!!

Rather belated, I admit, but a good wish is a good wish, no matter how late. Let’s just hope the Bull doesn’t leave “faecal residue” to mark its territory on this new year. Trust me, we’ve had plenty of that last year, thank you very much!

Hopes and good wishes (and unsavoury remains) out of the way now, we quickly move on to the culinary delight on offer in this festive season.

I’ve just come back from a good friend’s Openhouse the food was just exquisite: there was Chicken satay and Kuah Satay, Ketupat rice cakes, Beef rendang, Pineapple curry, Briyani – and those were just the things on my plate – Not exactly what those unfamiliar with Brunei might expect during Chinese New Year, but this is Brunei. There were plenty more stuff on the buffet spread as well.

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There were childhood favourites as well.

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And the mandatory mandarins, of course.

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That’s what I like about Brunei, we’re multiracial, we’re happy, and we eat too much. And that’s no bull!

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East meets West

East meets West in this little bowl of soup I had last week.  Take a guess.

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The croutons gave the creamy soup a bit of a crunch.

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Here’s what it actually was…

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Clever, huh? Who’d have thought the Striped One could be made into a creamy soup such like so and be served in a high-end restaurant like this. Bravo RBC for the effort in bringing to the fore local foods!

10/10 for creativity  from me, although, less marks for execution or the finished product- though I can see how it might work.

I still prefer Kembayau the way mom used to prepare ’em- striped, steamed/blanched, salted. And the world is a happier place for it…

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Here’s a tip when buying Kembayau: look at the color of the tip; the yellower it is, the more creamy the flesh.

Cupcakes

I can’t sleep (must’ve been that Kopi Brunei I had earlier), and  I just read on Facebook that Maurina’s baking muffins at 1 am – as any right-thinking person would do… Ahem! So that reminded of this delectable treat I took pictures of a couple of weeks ago.

A lovely friend purchased some Cupcakes online (Yes, in Brunei!) – but collected in the real world.

Nyaman- especially the Chocolate ones. They taste as good as they look- if you don’t have an aversion to garish blue icing, that is.

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It would appear of late that blue/purple have become quite the rage as regards food colour in Brunei (or at least in my posts).  Sure hope all the food dyes in my system don’t make me suddenly keel over while preparing the lesson plan for my Petroleum Geoscience students~ but maybe that isn’t such a bad idea after all…

Kopi Brunei

Possibly the most under-appreciated coffee in the whole wide world!

Best taken black with sugar, this pure unadulterated coffee has a strong body and texture, is just mildly acidic, and very aromatic indeed!  Beautiful aftertaste. Expatriate colleagues simply love this coffee- it’s cheap, tasty and gives you that caffeine kick that’ll immediately reduce the brains of decaf drinkers to fluff- and make ’em repent and revert to the Dark side.

A childhood favourite accompaniment is the square Water biscuit (Roti Ampat Sagi) – dipped corner by corner or broken into halves, layered and submerged completely, and straight into your mouth.

Cafe noir, si'l vous plait!

Cafe noir, si'l vous plait!

I’ve always wondered what all the hype about ‘Italian coffee’ was really about…  Is the coffee really grown in Italy or is it just our over-eagerness to accept all things Italiano?  Much like the ‘English tea’- I mean, tea from miserably cold England, really..??

Brunei coffee is the product of a tiny cutch factory in the Dusun village of Kg Bukit Udal in Tutong.   A small plantation intended for self-consumption perhaps, and not too commercialized.  Give it a go, it deserves more respect than it currently receives.

NB:  This post is dedicated to Dr Gillian Perrett (Sydney, Oz), fervent supporter of Kopi Brunei, when it’s available at Hjh Kasum Minimart, Kuala Tutong 🙂 – and the Dusun coffee planters in Bukit Udal and the rest of Brunei.

The Mexican Wave

Okay, this wasn’t in Brunei, but in Kuala Lumpur… and it’s not Bruneian food, but Mexican. But what the heck- I love my jalapenos, mole and quesadillas.

Margarita

Margarita

Decisions, decisions...

Decisions, decisions...

Nachos & Holy Guacamole!

Holy Guacamole!

Sizzlin Hot!! Stuffed jalapenos with Chilli salsa dip

Sizzlin Hot!! Stuffed jalapenos with Chilli salsa dip

Quesadillas

Quality Quesadillas

Nachos & heavenly cheese dip

Nachos & heavenly cheese dip

Jessica Simpson really thought these were the wings of buffaloes... aiyayai!!

Jessica Simpson really thought these were the wings of buffaloes... aiyayai!!

So… my diet plans for 2009 are REALLY going great, as you can well imagine!

KL Trip ~ what i bought!

Just a quickie, see what i got from KL, book titled “1001 Foods You must try before you die”

961 delicious pages!

961 delicious pages!

On page 94 it tries to decipher the mystery of the Durian. It does so ‘fairly’ enough, nothing of the usual flak the spikey one’s usually subjected to. However, I do take it issue with how they’ve presented the fruit in the pic- any respectable durian afficionado would balk at the sight of the King being chopped in half like that! You could tell from the clean cut on the skin and the halved seeds- well, I never..!! tsk tsk

That's a durian and a half, mate!

That's a durian and a half, mate!

Where’s this world headed..?!!

“Menyutu”

It’s the art of  making yourself scarce from work during office hours and savouring every single slurp of the Soto…

In my correct opinion, Soto Rosmini is THE BEST soto in the entire universe!!

Bestest Soto Ever!! (Kawin, Ayam, Daging & Hati Buyah & LOTS of Taugeh!)

Bestest Soto Ever!! (Kawin, Ayam, Daging & Hati Buyah & LOTS of Taugeh!)

Soto Rosmini is located in a secret location in Pengkalan Gadong. It’s always full! (well, today was a bit quiet)

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Menyutu experts perfecting their art. Electric blue was the order of the day.

Uma: kumbo da jawui ju kina!

Confessions of a…

What the..??

What the..??

I know what’s going through your mind.  You must be thinking “What in Lucifer’s name is that bloody thing?!”

Give it a minute, please, before you read on and find out. Go on, have a few guesses!

Today was big-time lazy Sunday! I slept in, and even when I got out of bed, I didnt quite make it out of the door till 830pm! I was hibernating, if you like.

And after whole day of ‘strenuous’ sleep and doing zombie impersonations (eyes open but brain missing), I got a bit peckish and was seeing mirages of strawberry-flavoured ambuyat dipped in rich chocolate sauce… as you do…

After a little dinner of rice and buah jelayan, I developed a sweet tooth, but it was 9.14 pm by now and Huaho was gonna close at 930.  So i zoomed off there and zipped through the candy and fruit section, where I made eye contact with some lovely Thai Monthongs. They winked rather seductively at me and my knees turned to jelly instantaneously. Well, you can predict the rest of the story.

So what is that picture of??

It was in fact the said durian which I was eating in the car as I drove home…

As I savoured the King of Fruits (star of the Fear Factor) in my car, I suddenly lost grip and  the fruit bounced off my steering wheel, the signal lights lever,  off my knee and landed smack on top of my Gucci bottle sitting in the Door Pocket!

Yes I ate durian as I drove!! DON’T JUDGE ME!! I was too weak to resist it! Aku hanya insan yang  lemah..! I don’t judge stupid people who text on their mobile while zooming past you on the highway! Each to their own stupidity, I say!

I can’t even balance a durian… what hope is there for this world?

The car stinks of durian now… huhuhu

I can see it in my head – “D. A. ” meetings… ” Hello everyone, I am  Durian addict… ”

That was my encounter with the Thorny Kind tonight… not the last, I’m sure…