A trip to any country isn't complete without tasting the local delicacies. In many itineraries, the most recommended activities surely include a visit to a street market which boasts an extensive local food selection. Similarly for those traveling in Brunei, it is customary to drop by the Pasar Pelbagai Barangan Gadong mall. When the sun goes down, the night comes to life here with the gathering of friends and families over hot, freshly prepared snacks and happy chatters. Listed below are the best traditional Brunei food and snacks you must try!

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    Gadong Night Market History

    In the late 1970s, Pasar Pelbagai Barangan Gadong was a night market packed with makeshift tents and stalls. The site is located close to the Jame’ Asr Mosque, right next to a beautiful suburb river. At the end of 2016, the Sultan of Brunei ordered for the construction of an open-air complex which has since changed the overall layout and structure of Pasar Pelbagai Barangan Gadong.

    The new Pasar Pelbagai Barangan Gadong was completed in February 2017. The brand new complex is 5,979 square-metre big and is equipped with roofs and spacious walkways between stalls. There are also convenient facilities provided for both vendors and visitors so they can operate with ease.

    Pasar Pelbagai Barangan Gadong
    Brunei Must-Eat at Pasar Pelbagai Barangan Gadong


    Pasar Gadong Night Market, Bandar Seri Begawan

    Today, the complex accommodates up to 150 food stalls, which are divided into three categories: a smokey corner for grilling meats, a segment selling only local dishes, and another dedicated for fresh and preserved fruits and vegetables. Every stall is equipped with a built-in cabinet for storage, kitchen hood, wash basin, and power supply. Around the building, tables and chairs are available for public use.

    Pasar Pelbagai Barangan Gadong
    Must Visit in Brunei: Pelbagai Barangan Gadong, Bandar Seri Begawan
    Pasar Pelbagai Barangan Gadong
    Inside the Gadong Night Market at Bandar Seri Begawan
    Gadong Night Market
    Brunei Must-Eat at Pasar Pelbagai Barangan Gadong


    Brunei Food Price

    The selection of food and snacks here at the Gadong Night Market is very affordable, ranging from 1 to 3 Brunei Dollar on average. Listed below are the best cheap eats you can find at the local Brunei market that you must not miss when in Brunei!


    Brunei Must-Eat at Pasar Pelbagai Barangan Gadong

    Nasi Campur (Mixed Rice)

    Served with warm white rice, Nasi Campur or local ‘mixed’ rice is a heavy meal most commonly eaten during lunch or dinner. You are invited to choose from a selection of chicken, beef, fish and vegetables cooked in various local styles and flavors – from stir-fried to stewed, and from sweet to sour. Do not miss out on the spicy sambal variants, rich creamy broth and both the dry and wet rendang.

    gadong night market
    Nasi Campur or mixed Rice sold at Pasar Pelbagai Barangan Gadong. You can easily find more than 30 types of dishes including chicken, beef, fish, eggs and vegetables.


    Nasi Ayam & Ayam Penyet

    Another popular Brunei national food is Nasi Ayam or chicken rice. It is made up of fragrant oil infused rice served with neatly cut roasted or steamed chicken, fresh slices of cucumber, tomato, chili paste, soy sauce and a bowl of clear and hearty chicken soup. You can also find Nasi Tomato – rice infused with aromatic seasoned tomato puree served with sweet and spicy chicken in gravy with cucumber, onion and carrot pickle.

    You can also find Ayam Penyet here, which is a type of fried chicken that has been ‘smashed’ and flattened. It is served with rice, fresh lettuce, mild curry and sambal. Nasi Lemak is also available, comprising coconut milk rice with a garden of condiments such as fried groundnuts, anchovies, slices of cucumber and spicy sambal wrapped in banana leaf.

    gadong night market
    Breakfast in Brunei calls for a hot serving of Nasi Ayam!
    Pasar Pelbagai Barangan Gadong
    Ayam Penyet and Nasi Lemak is both affordable and delicious!


    Ikan Bakar (Grilled Fish)

    Skewered, marinated fish sprinkled with salt, pepper and a little bit of turmeric being grilled on the open fire. These are delicious when eaten with warm white rice, sambal kicap (chopped chilies soaked in soy sauce) and air asam - a type of tamarind paste dipping sauce with shredded onions, chopped chilies and diced tomatoes. You can also opt for a sweet and spicy sambal to be drizzled over the grilled fish. 

    Pasar Pelbagai Barangan Gadong
    Delicious grilled fish or Ikan Bakar that is delicious with rice!


    Tongkeng (Grilled Chicken Tails)

    One of the locals’ favourite street snacks is the delicious barbequed marinated chicken tails known as Tongkeng. It is lavishly smeared with barbeque sauce when cooked on a charcoal grill. The delicious smell of smoky barbeque is surely very inviting!

    Tongkeng brunei
    Tongkeng is both cheap and gratifying!


    Local Sambal (Chili Paste)

    Here, you can find a selection of sweet and spicy readymade sambal. Basic ingredients in the sambal are onions, garlic, chillies, tamarind paste, shrimp paste, palm sugar and salt. Sambal Biasa is the original version that is most commonly found here. Those who crave for something spicier can opt for Sambal Pedas. Besides that, Sambal Pusu comes with added anchovies or ‘Pusu’ while Sambal Tahai contains a type of local smoked salted fish known as ‘Tahai’. 

    Pasar Pelbagai Barangan Gadong
    Local sambal sold at Pasar Pelbagai Barangan Gadong
    Pasar Pelbagai Barangan Gadong
    A variety of sambal for every level of spiciness you prefer!


    Kuih Melaya Babu Cantik

    A peanut pancake originated from Malaysia; hence the name Kuih Melaya. Back in Malaysia, it is called ‘Apam Balik’ – a fluffy pancake made with a mixture of flour, sugar and eggs that is spread over a heated round flat pan. While being cooked, a generous amount of sugar, crushed peanuts, and chunks of sweet creamed corn are layered over the batter. Once the skin becomes crispy, the pancake is folded in half and cut into smaller slices. There are also other versions which include fillings of various jams, chocolate chips, peanut butter, biscuit crumbs and even melted cheese!

    Kuih Melaya Babu Cantik
    Kuih Melaya Babu Cantik sold at Pasar Pelbagai Barangan Gadong


    Brunei Traditional Kuih

    The sweet and savoury ‘kuih’ or cakes are made using rice flour batter and locally sourced ingredients such as sweet potato, pandan, tapioca, pumpkin and yam. Roti Jala is particularly popular here, which are rolled, net-like yellow pancakes served with either a sweet durian sauce or mild chicken curry. Other delicious choices include Kuih Talam, Kuih Cacah and Kuih Bingka.

    Crispy fried snacks and fritters such as golden deep-fried bananas, sweet potatoes, tapiocas, yams, breadfruits, spring rolls, prawn fritters or ‘Cucur Udang’ and curry puffs can easily be found at Pasar Pelbagai Barangan Gadong. These snacks are mostly enjoyed during tea time, paired with a hot cup of coffee or tea.

    Can’t get enough? Explore the assortment of local cakes and pastries made with traditional recipes such as Tepung Pasung – a sweet rice flour pudding cake stuffed in handmade leaf casing, or Lepat – a steamed, sweet textured flavoured pudding wrapped in banana leaf. There are just so many savoury and sweet sticky rice desserts that can be found here!

    brunei traditional food
    Brunei snacks sold at Pasar Pelbagai Barangan Gadong
    brunei traditional food
    Colourful Brunei traditional kuih
    brunei must eat
    Fried vegetable spring rolls served with a sweet and mild chilli sauce and warm banana fritters – street snacks that you can enjoy on the go in Brunei
    brunei desserts
    Mini dessert cupcakes made with flour, eggs and sugar. These cute cakes come in an original plain flavor or with fillings to satisfy your sweet tooth!


    Air Balang

    Air Balang is a selection of colourful, flavoured cordial drinks. They fill up the plastic water containers known locally as ‘balang’, and are served in disposable plastic cups. The most popular flavours here are lime, ambra or kedondong, various types of sour preserved fruits, grape, sweetened syrup and fresh young coconut.

    Pasar Pelbagai Barangan Gadong
    Air Balang sold at Pasar Pelbagai Barangan Gadong
    Pasar Pelbagai Barangan Gadong
    Colourful thirst-quenching drinks


    Local Brunei Drinks

    Colorful, flavorful and served ice-cold, you can quench your thirst and choose from a variety of drinks sold here. These sweet fruit-flavoured cordials are usually accompanied with toppings such as grass jelly, nata de coco, red beans, sago, boba jelly and corn. One of the most popular choices is ‘air bandung’ – a pink drink made using a combination of red syrup and evaporated milk. You can simply ‘upgrade’ the drink by adding a type of local black jelly known as ‘cincau’.

    When exploring Pasar Gadong Night Market, you can also find a traditional dessert known as ‘cendol’ – a sweet bowl of shaved ice in coconut milk with palm sugar syrup, generously topped with green jelly strips and red beans.

    Pasar Pelbagai Barangan Gadong
    Local Malay drinks such as Air Cincau and Air Bandung sold at Pasar Pelbagai Barangan Gadong


    Local Seasonal Fruits in Brunei

    You can find many local fruits at Pasar Pelbagai Barangan Gadong, such as mangosteen – a round and purple thick-skinned fruit with tender and moist sweet white flesh. Rambutan - a type of round, hairy fruit that has either a red or yellow skin and a clear, jelly like flesh can also commonly be found. A smooth and brownish thin-skinned fruit with a segmented sweet flesh known as Duku Langsat is also a popular choice. Don’t miss out on Pulasan, which has a similar texture with Rambutan except that its skin is not hairy but has a layer of blunt thorns.

    Craving for durians? These fruits are typically sold as Durian Longgok - in piles, secured together with a plastic rope, or as Durian Timbang which is according to weight.

    brunei durian
    Durian Timbang sold by the kilo in Brunei
    brunei durian
    Colourful yellow, red and orange durians conveniently and neatly packed
    Pasar Pelbagai Barangan Gadong
    Pulasan, which has a similar texture with Rambutan except that its skin is not hairy but has a layer of blunt thorns


    How to Get to Pasar Pelbagai Barangan Gadong

    If you are using public transportation, take a bus to Tamu Gadong, which is a short 2-minute walk away. Alternatively, make your way to Jalan Pasar Baharu which is a 4-minute walk away. Pasar Pelbagai Barangan Gadong is located at Simpang 3.

    Pasar Pelbagai Barangan Gadong

    Address: Simpang 37, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
    Opening hours: 3pm-11pm daily