Food & Cuisine in Brunei
The cuisine of Brunei is spicy and rich like the cuisines of Singapore and Malaysia, its neighbours. Noodles and rice form the staple food of the people of Brunei. Since it is home to people of diverse nationalities, the cuisine too is diverse and extensive. Brunei has a number of ethnic restaurants serving mainly Chinese and Indian food. Very strangely, Malay restaurants are rare. Major hotels serve Continental and Western cuisine while a number of fast food places offer a quick bite.
Tourists in Brunei can start their day with a Chinese breakfast, have Malaysian food for lunch and round off with an Indian feast for dinner!
Our Brunei Restaurant Guide below will give you some handy information about eating out in Brunei, as well as the type of cuisine you are likely to encounter. Enjoy a pleasant meal between shopping sprees, some tips and suggestions can be found in our Brunei Shopping Guide.
Food & Cuisine in Brunei
Brunei is a small, wealthy sultanate with a rich history and tradition. It is a prosperous country that is run very efficiently and yet remains untainted by global influences.
Hawker - Style Food
The best way to savour the local flavours of Brunei is to eat at the various stalls on the streets of Brunei. The hawkers serve a variety of local specialities like satay, steamboats, grilled fish, and whole roasted chicken at down to earth prices. The hawkers at Persiaran Damuan Park in Jalan Tutong are famous for their satay and steamboat dinners. The ground floor of the Yaohan Megamart in Gadong is a virtual hawker supermarket, with hawkers selling a wide range of dishes from sushi to quiche! Hawker stalls can also be found in the complex adjoining Jerudong Park and along Brunei River in Bandar Seri Begawan.
Restaurant Dining - Asian
If it is Asian food you are looking for then head for the homely, comfortable and warm family-run restaurants in Gadong. These Brunei restaurants serve Nonya food and seafood as well as Japanese, Thai, Indian, Indonesian, Lebanese and Chinese cuisines. Bandar has many local eateries (kedai makan) serving local fare, while Jalan Muara in the town of Muara has restaurants serving seafood cuisine. The districts of Kuala Belait, Seria and Tutong have some good eateries providing a variety of food. There are many popular fine dining restaurants in Brunei that serve authentic Chinese food. The Szechuan Dynasty and the Emperor's Court at Gadong, and the Phong Mun and the Jade Garden (Riverview Hotel) at Bandar are famous for their Chinese cuisine.
Restaurant Dining - Western
Most of the restaurants in the premium hotels of Brunei serve both Continental and Asian cuisines. The Deals Restaurant at the Sheraton Utama Hotel serves nouvelle cuisine while The Buccaneers in Kuala Belait serves good English food in an ambience and setting that is distinctly Tudor. Other smaller hotels serve reasonably priced continental buffet meals that offer good value for money.
The less adventurous tourists can head for the international major fast food restaurants. McDonald's, KFC, and Pizza Hut are located at Bandar Seri Begawan and Jerudong Park. Express Burgers, Sugar Bun and Jollibee are local fast food restaurants which also dish up some good food.
There is a statutory ban on the public sale and consumption of any kind of alcohol in Brunei. Most restaurants remain open until 9.00 or 10.00 pm. The major Chinese restaurants and restaurants of the larger hotels tend to get crowded, especially during the weekends - you may need to reserve your table in advance.
There is very little nightlife in Brunei. What little is there is found in Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of Brunei, and a few other prominent cities. Night life in Brunei essentially means eating out a little later than normal or having an enjoyable evening at a restaurant.