Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Experiencing Brunei Darussalam For The First Time (Ep. #1)

Visiting this country is probably the last thing that ever occurs in my mind, and yet here I am, as God allows, I have just spent an exciting four days trip on a photo assignment. I couldn't reveal that part yet, but I'm happy to share my very first visit to The Green Heart of Borneo.

Be mindful that booking a CGK - BWN flight is not exactly free of hassle as with coming to other countries. Not only that there are only Malaysia Air and Royal Brunei serving that distance, there's only one flight per day at a very unreasonable hour, and unreasonable price. With so little option, off we go with a 5 am Royal Brunei flight.

On the plane, the attendants wanted to be helpful but inconsiderate in my personal opinion. It did not occur to them that a 5 am flight, means us passengers have to wake up at least one and a half hour earlier to get ready and drive to airport. This led to their unthoughtful action of waking me up in my much needed power nap. For what? To ask me if I cared for a fish or chicken. I put on a straight face and see if he gets my message. Guess what? He did not! And kept poking my shoulder as I tried to regain my sleepymood.

End of drama: I spent the two hours flight with eyes open and we arrived with a slowly building up excitement. =D

We went straight to the hotel and was surprised when our kind driver, Akbar said that "Oh, Times Hotel, sebelah aja itu." Indeed, he really meant 'sebelah' as in next door. I suppose everywhere in Brunei is considered close, especially with the little traffic. In less than 5 mins we were there already. Nice, clean, less-than-a-year-old hotel, yet somehow still feels old fashioned through my eyes. I guess overall this country is a little behind in most things related to design. I noticed more and more confirmation to my hypothesis as I walked in to their relatively new mall which probably one-tenth the size of Senayan City with interior resembling that of Blok M Plaza.

But then again, as a poet once said: "One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things"  I embarked on my new findings with fresh eyes. Memorizing each moments with my unconscious passion for travel. Taking each step of small adventure with enthusiasm, until ... my belly calls out for food! =p

It was about the right time for lunch and off we go to our very first food place called De Olde Cottage Cafe & Restaurant at Batu Bersurat, Gadong.

It is a cute little cafe with about twenty tables or so and an atmosphere resembling a country side cottage as the name suggested. Brick walls, wood panels, and handcrafted items are common sightings inside the cafe. Great mood for a breakfast, lunch, or even dinner.

Having the strong will of trying local food, I went straight for something sounding foreign. And the choice goes to these three. Kolomee, Laksa, and Teh Tarik. The first one was very similar to hokkian egg based noodle minus the savory taste. The second was quite bland for Indonesian tongue, the broth was quite thick, but lack of taste. The drink however was quite satisfactory. A further research reveals that the ones I tried was actually of Kuching origin, but then again, as it shares the similar Malay roots, I guess it's still counts right? =p What's important is that I've tried something new and added a new story to share with you biters.

Kolo Mee Pork ($2.5)
Laksa - Kuching Style ($5)
Teh Tarik ($ 1.5)
I did not notice this post has become so lengthy. I guess I'll have to catch up with another post soon. One that will have more travel shots, I promise to show you the beauties hidden in this small country. In the mean time, I hope you enjoy this post and have a great week everyone.

-- To be continued

Will travel for food!

Fellexandro Ruby
Food Conversationalist & Photographer

Snack on my tweets @Wanderbites


  1. Wah, ngapain ke Brunei Rub? Btw, the kolomee looks just like the bakmi we have in Indonesia ya!

    1. Memang persis banget mie-nya. Cuma ganti label aja kayanya. Hehehe. Ke brunei ada project foto. But couldn't reveal that yet. ;)

  2. wow... brunei. hope u hv a lots of fun.
    as always, your pictures look amazing!

    1. Thanks Ivy. It was one hell of a fun trip. =D


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