- Kaizen Sushi
Location: Yayasan Complex (Waterfront Side) Bandar Seri Begawan
A great dining location for a panoramic view of Kampong Ayer, it also sits across the Yayasan Complex, one of the biggest shopping complexes in Brunei. Kaizen is popular for its wide selection of classic Japanese Dishes with a contemporary twist that infuses local flavors. The restaurant holds a Teppanyanki bar, a sushi bar, four private rooms and a large dining area encompassing a combination of Tatami and regular seating tables.
Must Try: Salmon Teriyaki
- Tarindak d’Seni
Location: Brunei Arts and Handicrafts Center, Jalan Residency, Bandar Seri Begawan
This cozy restaurant is just the place to get a feel of the country’s food and culture at one go. It not only serves traditional Brunei-Malay specialties, it also showcases local crafts. The restaurant is named after the embellished food covers (tarindak) that are so popular here, and features a variety of handicrafts and artifacts, like kain tenunan (Brunei brocade), silverware and keris (ornamental dagger). An additional attraction is the view of Kampong Ayer
Must Try: Grilled meats and the buffet of local Brunei faves.
- Chop Jin Chew
Location: 10 Simpang, 5 Jalan Gadong, Bandar Seri Begawan
This no-frills coffee shop is a longtime Brunei favorite, packing in the crowds at breakfast and teatime for more than 60 years. Among its top sellers are its hot buns with fillings – peanut and buttermilk – which come out of the oven at 8 am, 9 am and again at 1:30pm and 2pm. You should also try the roti kahwin kuning, two slices of pale yellow bread, toasted and sandwiched with a slab of butter and kaya (coconut) jam. The French toast comes, interestingly, with a choice of a dip – tomato ketchup or condensed milk.
Must Try: Zhima kway teow, unique to this coffee shop. This dish of blanched flat noodles is topped with a tangy spicy-sweet-sour dark sauce, a generous portion of crispy-fried fish pieces and sprinkled with spring onion and toasted sesame seed.
- Aminah Arif
Location: Unit 2 & 3, Blk B, Ground floor, Bangunan Haji Abdul Rahman, Simpang 88, Kiulap
Bruneians are very family-oriented and they love to gather around an Ambuyat meal, which is a local specialty. Instead of rice or noodles, the staple here is sago paste, which is served with a choice of side dishes. A favorite dipping sauce is the sour and spicy sambal binjai and tempoyak, made with fermented durian and a forest fruit. Other dishes include belutak (sundried meat braised with tomato), pais ikan (marinated fish wrapped in banana or nipah leaves and grilled) and lalap dagin, beef jerky stir-fried with chilies and onion. Using a pair of candas (prong-like chopsticks), you scoop up the shiny sago paste, twirl it onto the prongs, dip it into some sauce and tuck in.
Must Try: Chendul selasih (rice flour jelly basil seeds in chilled coconut milk sweetened with palm sugar).
Location: Empire Hotel, Jerudong, Bandar Seri Begawan
Put on your best dress and step into this sophisticated Italian restaurant, located on the 6th floor of the grand Empire hotel. Try the delectable chocolate infused tiger prawn, garnished with spicy mango glaze, salsa, snow peas and olive crisp.
Must Try: Hot chocolate fondant with caramel ice cream
- Savy’s Brasserie
Location: 22/23 Wisma Hjh Fatimah, Jalan Sultan, Bandar Seri Begawan
Dine in homely environs on well-executed western food. Start with oven-hot bread rolls served with sweet-sour chimichurri sauce. Salad lovers will enjoy the watercress salad with orange, toasted almonds, and beetroot, dressed in a dried apricot and clove vinaigrette. The seafood cannelloni is a favorite as well. The friendly service contributes to the very enjoyable dining experience.
Must Try: Herb-crusted rack of lamb
- Mekong Coffee Shop
Location: 108, Jalan Pemancha, Bandar Seri Begawan
For a delicious meal without any fuss, drop by this local coffee shop or kopitiam located in the heart of the city. You can order from a range of regional treats that will be whipped up on the spot with your choice meats. There are variety of noodles – fried noodles, kway teow, bee hoon – Economy rice (a serving of rice with 2-3 side dishes) as well as local cakes and snacks, like popiah and kueh.
Must Try: Kolo mee (noodles with roasted or minced chicken) and fried losu fan Thai-style (hand-made noodles fried with tom-yum spices
- Villa Mauri
Location: Spg. 369, Jalan Muara, Kpg. Sungai Tilong, Bandar Seri Begawan
Stepping into Villa Mauri, one almost expects to see a nonna waving you in whilst stirring a saucepan. Cozy and unassuming, this warm and welcoming restaurant is loved for its mouth-watering, home-style cooking. Their beef lasagna is staple, but dishes like their ravioli de carne and gnocchi in blue cheese sauce is also a must try.
- Fratini’s Restaurant
Location: 1st Floor, Block H, Jalan Pemancha, Yayasan Sultan Hj Hassanal Bolkiah, Bandar Seri Begawan
The Bandar branch boasts a spectacular view of the Kampong Ayer, and it is not uncommon to dine alfresco and exchange enthusiastic waves with locals passing by on speedboats. As the first Italian restaurant in Brunei, they are seasoned experts at crafting the finest pizzas and pastas.
- Sorriso Restaurant and Pizzeria
Location: No. 14, Block B, Ground Floor Regent Square, Kiulap, Bandar Seri Begawan
Tucked away in a corner of Regent Square, this restaurant channels a rustic Italian-style interior that appeal to both large family gatherings and cozy intimate dinners alike. Ask the waitress for their off-menu specials, which include the delectable mushroom and truffle oil bruschetta.
- Nur Wanita Restaurant
Location: No. 10, Block B, Kiarong Complex, Kiarong, Bandar Seri Begawan
This establishment possesses the qualities of an edgy fine dining restaurant yet with a laid back atmosphere, they have a varied menu that includes non-Thai dishes as well. If you live your life for spice, order the Chiang Mai Curry noodles.
- Sawadee House
Location: No, 6, Ground Floor Yong Siong Hai, Spg. 137 Jalan Pasar Gadong, Bandar Seri Begawan
The kalian chicken salad, papaya and tom yam will have you hankering for more. Don’t forget to wash down your meal with their authentic Thai iced tea.
- Rangmahal Restaurant
Location: 3A, Bangunan Mas Panchawarna, Mile 1 Seri Complex, Jalan Tutong, Bandar Seri Begawan
Rangmahal offers a casual coffee shop setting on the ground floor for those after a quick meal and a special dining area upstairs for those who wish to linger with their new food over a culturally-infused setting. Whichever the case, you can’t go wrong with their garlic naan and butter chicken masala.
Location: Unit 3&4, 1st floor, Bgn Majid Mohamad, Jalan Pasar Baharu Kiarong
There’s an opulent vibe to Tandoor.com, making it an excellent choice for night grandeur. Shades of cream and gold flatter the interior, while the flashes of red on the curtains and tablecloth hint at the bold and fiery flavors to come.
Location: A4, Lot 308, Bng maju, Jalan Bunga Raya, Kuala Belait
An atmospheric dining experience awaits at Zaika with its presentation of traditional Indian dishes amidst a setting best described as Mughal-era-reminiscent. The food certainly befits the setting, using rich and fresh ingredients and spices to create the most tantalizing Indian dishes.
Its simple décor doesn’t give away much, but its good indication of the quality of food in this restaurant to see Japanese expats frequently dining here. The attention to detail in their food presentation is also worthy of mention, making their dishes one of the most Instagram-friendly in town.
- Excapade Sushi
Location: Unit 4&5, 2st Floor, Block C, Abdul Razak Complex Gadong
This cool ‘sushi-train place’ is rapidly becoming the sushi standard in Brunei. With 8 branches, a very loyal fan base (some even make the trip from Miri) a great value for money offerings, this one is definitely worthy of a go.
Location: Block D, Unit 5, Ground Floor Lot 42876 Shakirin Complex, Spg 88, Kiulap
You can expect Japanese favorites such as sashimi, maki and tempura in their menu, but Misato also offers their own unique interpretations of Japanese dishes.
Location: B16, Bangunan Lim Eng Ming Kiulap
Ko-Ryo’s façade resembles the exterior of traditional, wooden Korean houses, letting potential patrons know that an authentic Korean feast can be expected beyond its doors. The food certainly doesn’t disappoint, staying true to classics like pajeon, bulgogi and the quintessential kimchi.
Location: Unit 19, Block B Regnt Square, Spg. 150 Kiulap
Eschewing conventional Korean-themed interiors, Kimchi opts for sleek, modern and spacious look to the restaurant. Their menu is almost gratuitously thick but one can’t complain when each menu entry is as good as the next. Kimchi is also popular for its DIY dining, where diners get the chance to grill their own foods.
- Bello Café
Location: Seri Kiulap Mall L1/12 Kiulap Mall BE 1518, Brunei
‘Bello’, which is Italian for ‘beautiful’, is certainly the right name for this elegantly designed café. Offering a tasteful range of snacks and main dishes, Bello is a great choice whether you’re in the mood for a proper meal or something light.
- Fleur De Lys
Location: L1/1, Seri Q-Lap Mall Kampong Kiulap Bandar Seri Begawan
This homegrown café got its start from channeling the cozy patisseries and boulangeries of Paris. Now, Fleur-de-Lys is a fully-fledged restaurant offering savory treats and meals on their menu, like English meat pies and Italian pastas. Desserts remain popular for classics like cheesecake, strudel and macaroons.
- Countrypatch Café
Location: 3, Ground Floor, Block D Bangunan Hj Abd Rahman, Kiulap Bandar Seri Begawan
Favored for their homey décor and even homelier cooking, Countrypatch Café has become the go-to place for brunches or ladies lunches. Their hugely popular all-day American Breakfast set, a pick-n-mix selection of all your breakfast essentials, is not to be missed.
Location: Unit 4, Warisan Mata-Mata Complex, Kampong Mata Mata Brunei, Gadong
This chic venue is a favorite chill out joint for many locals; its subtly interior is fabulous enough to lure the trendy set, but its lack of pretension is what wins the rest over. Serving range of Asian, Western and fusion fare, their interpretation of the classic Fish and Chips is high in demand, as much as their Chicken Curry and Rice.
Source: Brunei Tourism
Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources