Few tourists visit Brunei Darussalam apart from a handful on a Royal Brunei stopover. But those who do enjoy the city’s grand mosques, floating village and attractive waterfront. Here are our top restaurants in Bandar Seri Begawan for local treats, Western food and the chance to taste their national dish.
Nasi Katok Mama
Nasi Katok is one of Brunei’s favourite dishes. A piece of juicy fried chicken comes with a scoop of white rice covered in a spicy, yet slightly sweet, sambal sauce. Locals will happily wait in a long line to get their meal which shows how good the food is. With 24-hour opening hours, you can eat here at any time of the day or night. Be aware that portions might not be as large as other restaurants in Bandar Seri Begawan and particularly hungry tourists might need to order two.
Restoran Semporna Enak
Located on the waterfront, this is among the best restaurants in Bandar Begawan for dining with a view. Everyone’s palates will be satisfied with their selection of Asian dishes as well as the mouth-watering buttermilk chicken. Sit outside and either grab a familiar fried rice or noodle dish or go for something more regional. We recommend the Sambal carrot cake for dessert. Head here in the early evening as the setting sun creates stunning views of Kampong Ayer.
Big Papa’s Restaurant
If you’re not sure what you want to eat, head to Big Papa’s Restaurant. The menu includes everything from fried rice and seafood to Brunei-style crepes. The lengthy opening hours make it popular with locals at all times of the day while retaining its laid-back atmosphere. Meal prices cater more towards those with a mid-range budget in Brunei.
Restaurant, Asian, Malaysian
For buffet-style dining, head to Tarindak D’Seni near the Brunei River. Diners can choose between a selection of Malay, Bruneian and Singapore dishes. Compared to other restaurants in Bandar Seri Begawan, this is more popular with tourists. Sides include lamb, mutton and Nasi Kuning (yellow rice). Ambuyat, Brunei’s national dish, is available offering the chance to taste this regional delicacy. Expect to pay between B$20 to B$30 ($13.20 to $19.90 USD) per person.
Charcoal BBQ & Grill Restaurant
Restaurant, Steakhouse, $$
Charcoal BBQ is one of the few Western-style restaurants in Bandar Seri Begawan. If you’re craving a meat feast, check out their menu of steaks and grills. You’ll find everything from succulent lamb chops and mashed potatoes to fresh prawns and calamari with Greek salad. Prices tend to be higher, but it does provide some of Brunei’s best Western food. We recommend reserving a private room for either a romantic evening or a quiet family meal.
Nurwanita Thai Restaurant
Restaurant, Thai, Asian
Craving Thai food in Brunei? Head to Nurwanita in Bandar Seri Begawan. With a variety of northern Thai cuisine and Chiang Mai favourites, it provides an excellent spot for fans of spicy food. According to the locals, this is the only restaurant in Bandar Seri Begawan with Panang Chicken Curry and their must-try mango sticky rice pudding. A filling meal with dessert and drinks for two will cost approximately $B30 ($19.90 USD).
Local Bites at Gadong Night Market
Market, Asian, Street Food
While Gadong isn’t one of the typical restaurants in Bandar Seri Begawan, it does provide local food at rock-bottom prices. The night market consists of several stalls under a tarpaulin-like canopy. Vendors cook endless types of rice, noodle and meat-based dishes. Grab a plate of Bruneian-style fried rice or something heavier such as the grilled fish or chicken. Gadong Night Market opens at 4pm daily until midnight.
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