I have been fortunate enough to have lived for some years in Brunei Darussalam, a tiny nation located on the Borneo islands. An Islamic country by religion, Brunei boasts some of the most beautiful landmarks-as well as culinary variety-in the world. If you’re looking for some foods to try out, here are my top five food items (not necessarily in order) that will guarantee satiated taste buds, and of course, happy tummies. It is truly a unique experience to be able to sample the different flavors that the country has to offer.

Food item #1: Kuih Malaya

A turnover pancake made from flour-based batter, and comes in different flavors. The one I like best is the one topped with ground peanut. A touch of nostalgia was also served, and I had flashbacks of buying these at the local night market all those years back. This time around, a former classmate was kind enough to bring me two varieties of this local cake.

Food Item #2: Murtabak

Historically originating from Yemen, murtabak, which means “folded” in Arabic, continue to enjoy a large following up to this day. It comes in many varieties as well, but the one I like best was the plain multilayered pancake. Well worth the time spent looking again for this food item that I enjoyed immensely as a child.

Food Item #3: Beef Rendang

Good to know that one of my favorite food items was voted as one of the most delicious foods in the world last 2011 in a poll by CNN International. Tracing its origins back to Indonesia, this spicy dish was originally served in traditional festivities. This is one of the only few spicy foods ever to have satisfied my taste buds.

Food Item #4: Vegetable Fritters

I ordered this dish on the second last day of our stay in a hotel hoping to satisfy my cravings with a healthier alternative than fast food. Of course, we all know, especially those of us who are very picky eaters, that if there’s one fun way to enjoy vegetables, it’s to prepare them into fritters. These will surely be a hit not just with the adults, but with kids as well.

Food Item #5: Chicken Rice

How much did I miss chicken rice since leaving the country over a decade ago? The fact that this was the first dish I ordered and ate upon arrival at the country can attest to that craving. Soft, juicy chicken immersed in its natural oils, combined with cucumber and a hefty serving of rice truly makes dining a fun and unforgettable experience.

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