6 Must-Try Food in Brunei Darussalam

In the Islamic country of Brunei, rice and fish are the staple foods, pork is prohibited, while beef is expensive hence less commonly consumed. The trading and import of meats which are not certified to be halal is banned, while the sale of alcohol is considered illegal.

Brunei may be the only Southeast Asian country to practice Sharia law, but it is one of the safest and the most peace-loving country I have traveled to. Curious to learn more about the different types of local dishes and cuisine in Brunei? Here’s a list to get you started!

must try food in Brunei
6 Must-Try Food in Brunei Darussalam

6 Must-Try Food in Brunei Darussalam

Nasi Katok in Brunei

Nasi Katok is one of Brunei’s most commonly found dishes. Sold from as low as B$1 (even cheaper in the suburbs), Nasi Katok is a minimalist and undecorated dish consisting of only three components: plain white rice, sambal (chili shrimp relish) and a piece of fried chicken. Despite being a simple dish, Nasi Katok managed to get itself into the franchising business and clinched the title of being a staple food loved by the Bruneians.

Nasi Katok in Brunei
Nasi Katok in Brunei
Nasi Katok in Brunei
The best Nasi Katok in Brunei
Nasi Katok in Brunei
Cheap Nasi Katok in Brunei

Exotic Jungle Durian

There are a few types of durians that can only be found in Brunei and across the Borneo island, and Durian Sukang (red durian) and Durian Dalit (orange durian) are two of them. While commercially planted durian produces thicker flesh, the durians collected from the deep remote Borneo jungles have thinner layers of flesh and they bear a distinct alcoholic-like flavor. The redder the flesh, the stronger the flavors and the more expensive they are!

red durian in brunei
Exotic red durian in Brunei
wild durian in brunei
Red and yellow exotic durian in Brunei


Ambuyat is one national dish that surprisingly only very few know about. Created by the Bruneian Malay, this dish is prepared using the interior trunk of a sago palm. The starchy, flavorless and glutinous substance is eaten using a pair of prongs made using bamboo called chandas. To eat, simply and artfully twirl the starch around the bamboo sticks until it becomes a deflated ball, before dipping it into any type of cacah (dipping) or side dishes of choice, such as tempoyak (fermented durian paste), chili sauce, ulaman (raw salad) or curry.

ambuyat in brunei
Ambuyat - the national dish of Brunei. Photo credit: Brunei Tourism.


Another classic recipe created by the Malay people of Brunei, Kelupis is a type of glutinous rice rolls wrapped in Nyirik leaves. It is traditionally served during wedding ceremonies or special occasions by the Bisaya, Lun Bawang and Lundayeh ethnic tribes as light refreshments, and is available in different varieties through different fillings such as dried shrimp or anchovies, or dipped into a peanut paste or curries.

brunei kelupis
Kelupis - a delicious Brunei snack. Photo credit: Brunei Tourism.


Cucur is really just fritters - pieces of cut up items deep-fried and eaten as snacks. In Brunei, cucur plays a huge role in the country’s street food scene and is sold everywhere from roadside food stalls to top-rated restaurants. Can be made into either a sweet or savory snack, they are most commonly made using fruits and vegetables such as bananas, sweet potatoes, carrots or yams, as well as using meat like shrimps. For more exotic varieties, look out for fritters prepared using local seasonal fruits such as durian, tibadak (cempedak), tarap (johey oak) or sukun (breadfruit).

cucur brunei
Cucur sold at markets in Brunei


As Brunei is made up mostly of Malays, the preparation and consumption of kuih-muih is widespread. These traditional snacks are conveniently sold in bite-size pieces, come in different shapes and colours, and are made primarily using ingredients such as rice flour, sugar, coconut cream and tapioca. Examples of the most popular kuih-muih in Brunei are selurut, penyaram, tapai and kuih cincin.

kuih muih brunei
Local snacks in Brunei

As a rule of thumb, most of the dishes in Brunei can be found in Malaysia. If you are accustomed with the flavours of Malaysian cuisine, then you should have no issues dining here!

Malay food is generally mild, slightly spicy and very filling, so you can rest assured that your meals here will be a tummy-pleasing one!

Tamu Kianggeh brunei
A vendor preparing chicken rice at Tamu Kianggeh, Bandar Seri Bagawan in Brunei.
Bandar Seri Begawan Food Guide
Local food in Brunei

Don't forget to share your travel & dining moments with us on Instagram by tagging @rollinggrace or #RollingGrace. Happy travelling!


  1. after seeing this picture I really want to visit Brunei and try the food there

    1. You totally should! They're very much like Malaysian food, but its national dish the "Ambuyat" is unique to the country only and is a must-try!

  2. OMG so many delicious food to enjoy in Brunei. I believe I will savour the exotic durian for sure. The colour and texture do look a bit different.

  3. 1st time dengar Nasi Katok. Kalau ada chance ke Brunei mesti nak cari food dalam list ni

  4. Interesting, I can't wait to try these, once the borders are open Brunei is also on my checklist.

  5. Kali pertama juga dengar Nasi Katok. Eiza tak pernah sampai ke Brunei lagi. Hope one day sampailah juga eiza ke sana.

  6. i have never been to Brunei. the foods looks so much like sabah/swak food.

  7. tak pernah lagi sampai ke brunei. serius la nampak sedap2 semua makanan die tu kan. insyaallah one day akan ke sana juga

  8. tak pernah sampai Brunei lagi, Sabah Sarawak pun belum lagi. Ambuyat tu selalu tengok orang review macam sedap, teringin pulak hehe

  9. I think I only had nasi katok in Brunei. The red colored durian flesh looks interesting. Although I'm not a durian fan, I'd give that a try

  10. One day i nak pergi juga Bruinei, sebab my fren stay sana. Dah berapa kali dia ajak.. semua yang You share, nak masuk list i hehehehe

  11. I have not been to Brunei yet. Wish to try all the food u recommended when I have the chance. Esp the Durian wow

  12. Macam2 ade dekat Brunei ye. Durian orange tu unik. Tak oernh pergi Brunei.. Baca orang punya entry jela berkenaan Brunei ni

  13. Eh.. Uniknya durian tu. First time i tau. Btw ada beza tak rasa dia? Teringin nak cuba sebab kat Malaysia i x pernah tgk.

  14. I wanted to try Ambuyat but so afraid too, haha! Hopefully got a chance to try all this Brunei food someday!

  15. Never been to brunei, but this is really excited! The food looks awesome too!

  16. Best dpt pg Brunei belum sampai lg ke sana, yentu enjoy dpt rasa masakan brunei

  17. teringin juga nak try ke brunei. merasai suasana islamik kat sana. makanan2 pun dah mcm kte kan.. boleh je survive nt :-)


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