Home is Where the Heart is

I’m home for the week (Brunei), for a good solid 9 days at least. I really enjoy my time being home, I mean I have my parents, my friends, my dogs and my food! The only thing missing is my wardrobe back in Melbourne, and of course Cooper! I’m so sad, but I can’t have every thing right? Definitely, not the best of both worlds. But it’s good to step out of the busy city of Melbourne once in a while to get some quiet, space and chill time away from the noise, chaos and the occasional crazy people in Australia!

After arriving from Singapore, I had a little down time with my parents away from my two other siblings (not going to lie – it’s the best feeling in the world! I’m the ‘golden child’ once again) We went to our favourite Chinese restaurant called Thiam Hock, and I think it has been around since 1989? Not too sure, but it has definitely been around for a while, and my family and I have been coming to this restaurant for years and years. We love it!

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The first dish is just fried vegetables that is crunchy and salty and gets in between your teeth and all. I’m so bad with remembering names, please forgive me! I’ve never come across other Asian restaurants that serve this kind of dish – so it’s quite unique!

Guinness stout pork ribs are one of my favs! Juicy, crunchy and moist – it’s quite similar to marmite chicken?

Salted egg prawns! The texture is both grainy and lumpy and not very smooth, which is what I like the most about salted egg dishes. At the same time it’s creamy and well, salty, and gives a great crunch with those that are shell-less. I’m pretty sure this is the most generic dish at every Asian restaurant, but if there’s anything salted egg – you know I’m down for that!

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This dish is a mix of sea cucumber, bean curd, scallops, mushroom and green beans. It’s quite a healthy mix of all kinds of produces, and a typical Chinese dish that has a wet sauce base.

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This is my ultimate favourite childhood food: Jollibee! I get a little crazy every time I have this. It’s basically fast food and I know it’s bad and unhealthy but its a guilty pleasure – I have no self control whatsoever. Jollibee originated from the Philippines, and it is one of the top and most recognizable and popular fast food chains in the Philippines. It comes in several types of sets such as with chicken, rice, burger, etc. But I quite like this set the most as it comes with a generous piece of FRIED CHICKEN (that word is like music to my ears), a side of gravy and spaghetti bolognese. I like the chicken the way it is, it’s crunchy andΒ very moist! (Omg) and the spaghetti is good, but I prefer the ones in the Philippines more, I like it more when it’s less sweet and richer in sauce. The colour is definitely more orange in Brunei compared to the original spaghetti in the Philippines. So that’s one of the differences that I have noticed, but they both tastes more a like the same – juicy and delicious!

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The double cheesy fries are a must to try, if you like sweet sauce and fries. It kinda tastes like savoury caramel fries. It’s weird, but it has grown on me over the years throughout my childhood.

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The place for the best Western food would have to be my friend’s brother’s restaurant called Danes (no bias here!) I love me some nasi lemak and burgers and why not have them both as one? It gives a very good authentic nasi lemak taste with the fried chicken, peanuts and sambal sauce with a touch of Western that includesΒ the wedges. Overall, it’s very aesthetically pleasing and it tastes as good as it looks! So that’s a job well done! Β The nachos were very good too, the sauce was a good ratio to the corn chips, however, with lettuce in the nachos? Not much of a fan when it comes to greens to be honest and especially in nachos, I found that quite strange.

Moving onto cakes! After dinner we went to a place called Ximply Chriz (pronounced as ‘Simply Chris’ quite a cute way of spelling, not so difficult to read and sounds just as how you would read it). There are several types of cakes: either light or dense, and fruity and rich. I prefer my cakes light, and both fruity or rich. So I enjoyed the tea cake a lot, I’m guessing it was an earl grey tea cake that was light and fluffy, but it was wet inside, so that kind of ruined the cake when I was expecting it to be light, fluffy and dry. The wetness really made it damp and some bits clumpy (not really feeling the interior of the cake). But the taste of the cake really sealed the deal. I really love green tea or matcha, and the cheese cake was average, again the taste was there, but it was way too dense for me and the ratio of cheese cake filling to biscuit base was way way off! Too much cake and too little biscuit 😦 And I love a good thick crunchy biscuit base! Sorry to say, the peanut butter cake was mediocre – the taste was just not quite there, so lets not get into. I quite enjoyed the dark chocolate cake because there were several layers of other flavours and it wasn’t over powering in flavours of chocolate and totally not dense at all! Overall, good variety in cakes, Ximply Chriz! It’s definitely a place to gather girl friends at and have some tea and cake!

A small gathering of high school friends, class of 2011!

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It’s always good to come home to cheap comfort food! Basic kolomee with beef brisket is what I live for! For a price of $6.20 in total, which includes the bowl of noodles, a cup of hot tea (teh tarik) and a side of soup, who wouldn’t want to eat this on a daily basis? This is one of my favourite breakfast places called Chin Nam Hong.

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More local food includes roti at my other must go-to places called Iskandar Curry House! So I had the plain roti and my friend had the same roti with egg in it so it’s more dense and definitely more filling, and both with chicken curry! This red drink is called kasturi sam boy peng, which is basically a lime drink with preserved plum and lots of ice and water. Once in a while, I enjoy the occasional light meal that consists of bread with curry. The bill came to around $10 for a total of two roti dishes and two drinks! Service was excellent and very quick, there was the occasional language barrier problems, but other than that pointing at the menu wasn’t too embarrassing considering a local like me doesn’t speak the local language of Malay (I’m embarrassed to call myself a local!!)

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What’s your favourite comfort food? I’ve got a whole list just waiting to be devoured and written about!

Thiam Hock
No.5, Yong Siong Hai Building,
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei.

Danes
Unit 102, Bangunan Batu Bersurat, Jalan Gadong,
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei.

Ximply Chris
Unit 8, Ground Floor, Regent square, Simpang 150, Kiulap,
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei.

Chin Nam Hong
Lot 12028, Bgn Baktiah Shop No. 1, Jalan Gadong,
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei.

Iskandar Curry House
No. 15, Kompleks Awang Hj Ibrahim, Kg. Lambak B, Jalan Berakas,
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei.

Ling x

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