7 Best Restaurants in Brunei

Aminah Arif


This is the most popular branch of a restaurant that's known for its fambuyat, a thick, white porridge base served with meat, fish, or vegetables and a range of spicy condiments—the Brunei national dish. If this doesn't appeal, there's plenty more to choose from.

Chop Jing Chew


To eat like a local, you can't do better than this bustling restaurant, café, and bakery, which has been offering traditional specialties since 1946. While it may not win any style awards, it hardly matters when you catch the fragrance of freshly baked buns filled with a variety of meats, fish, vegetables, or cheese, like the roti kacang kahwin or the roti kuning. For a substantial meal, the zhi ma kway teow, a huge dish of rice noodles and fish in a rich sweet sauce, is a popular favorite, or just watch what the locals are ordering and go for whatever looks good.

Simpang 5, No. 10, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei and Muara, BE4119, Brunei
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Yet another example in Brunei that every successful restaurant seems destined sooner or later to turn into a chain, this is one of seven branches of the country's best purveyors of Italian food. Located within the Centrepoint Shopping Centre in Gadong, the food is typical Italian, covering tasty pastas and pizzas as well as a selection of meatier main courses. Service is efficient here and the restaurant is often full for both lunch and dinner.

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Around 5 miles north of central BSB, this place will require a 10 minute taxi ride to reach but is worth the effort of seeking out if you like excellent Chinese food. Occupying a large house just off the main highway, it is very popular with the resident Chinese community—something that speaks volumes about its authenticity and quality. Spread over two floors, the lower level serves buffet meals and à la carte options while the upper level is usually reserved for special functions.

Kaizen Sushi


This top class and good value sushi restaurant may only be the third outlet in the Kaizen chain, but it enjoys by far the best location—on the waterfront in the heart of downtown BSB, with a view across the Brunei River to Kampong Ayer. The chic, modern establishment comes complete with efficient service and a Zen garden. If you need to order extra dishes, press the call button attached to each table. By Brunei's ridiculously affordable restaurant standards this is expensive, but compared to sushi joints across most of the rest of the world it's a steal. And the quality doesn't flag.

Pasar Gadong


This lively night market is the most popular in Brunei and sets up every afternoon around 4 pm in the parking lot of the Gadong Fish Market. Barbecued snacks from chicken wings and satay to glutinous rice parcels stuffed with meat or vegetable are particular favorites. Just wander among the stalls and let your nose and eyes select for you. One slight drawback is that unlike many Asian night markets, those in Brunei are designed for take out meals and no longer have anywhere to sit; you will either have to eat standing up or take it somewhere else. But that's a minor inconvenience with so many delicious snacks available and very few costing more than a couple of Brunei dollars each.

Gadong Fish Market, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei and Muara, Brunei

Tarindak di Seni


This appealing restaurant has plenty to recommend it besides its location on the first floor of the Arts and Handicraft Centre, overlooking the Kampung Ayer water village. Along with exceptionally friendly service, you'll find the best of Malaysian cuisine, like ambuyai, a fragrant meat soup served with all the traditional condiments, lamb satay, and a range of spicy fish, noodle, and vegetable salads served from large platters. The daily buffet—hugely popular among locals—where the food is cooked before your eyes, is a definite must, and the overflowing dessert table, with traditional custards, sweetmeats, fruit, and pastries, is not to be resisted.