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Cuisine in Brunei

Bruneian cuisine generally exudes a unique flavour of cultural fusion due to the influence of the various nations that have left their mark on Brunei’s culture. Arab, Indian and Chinese traders, European explorers and, of course, Malay and indigenous Bornean peoples have each introduced their own cooking styles and ingredients, adding to the masterful fusion that makes Brunei’s cuisine memorable.In short, Bruneian cuisine often tastes a little bit Chinese, a little bit Thai, and a little bit Indonesian. However, the local fare still retains the uniqueness and authenticity of its Malay origin.

As is common in the region, fish and rice are staple foods, though beef is expensive and thus less common. Due to the predominance of the Islamic religion, the food is halal and pork is avoided. In rural areas, game animals such as wild birds, sambar deer, and barking deer are hunted.

Some of the national specialities are:

• daging masak lada hitam, spicy beef with potato beans;
• udang sambal serai bersantan, prawns with chilli and coconut milk;
• serondeng pandan, chicken fried with garlic wrapped in pandan leaves.

Another dish peculiar to Brunei is ambuyat, a sticky ball of flavourless sago starch, which is wrapped around a bamboo fork and dipped into a sour fruit sauce.

Chinese cuisine is popular in Brunei, and there are many restaurants that serve authentic Chinese cuisine.

Common drinks include coconut milk, fruit juice, tea and coffee.

The sale and public consumption of alcohol is banned. Foreigners and non-Muslims are allowed to bring in 12 cans of beer and two bottles of other alcohol (e.g. wine or spirits; no distinction is made for alcohol content). This limit used to apply to every entry. In 2007, however, this was changed to one limit every 48 hours. After the introduction of prohibition in the early 1990s, all pubs and nightclubs were forced to close. However, several types of restaurants allegedly still offer illicit alcohol sometimes served in teapots.





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