The Best Excuse

I know, I know, I’ve been away for ages.  But this time I have the best possible excuse:


Elspeth (Elsie) Nora
Born 18 July at 5:05pm
4.43 kg (9lb 12oz), 54.3 cm

She is perfect. We are delighted. The Engineer’s Family are all doing great and will be back soon with further updates. 

These are a few of my favourite things (Brunei edition)

In the time we’ve been in Brunei, we’ve made a real effort to try lots of different things, and experience as much as we can.  There are still some major gaps (top of my to do list is a visit to classic bakery/kopitiam Chop Jing Chew), but I think we’ve done a reasonable job of trying things out in KB, BSB and Miri.

So today I thought I’d share a few favourite places to eat.  Here are The Engineer and Wife official recommendations (subject to change as we try even more!)

At the food stalls by the Belait River, June 2013

At the food stalls by the Belait River, June 2013

Kuala Belait (KB)

  • Nasi Goreng Pattaya and Iced Lemon Tea (and many more!) at the food stalls by the river
  • Breakfast of breads (roti, murtabak, dosai, poori – whatever you feel like) and Teh Tarik at Al-Malabar
  • Indian food at Taj Kitchen
  • Anything and everything from the Gerai Ramadhan (limited time only, of course)
  • The views from the roof of the V Plaza Hotel, especially at sunset
  • Thai food at Nur Wanita
  • Chicken rice at Restoran Chicken Rice (I think that’s the name.  Next to KFC on Jalan Pretty)
  • Steak at Buccaneer (it’s cold though, and the service isn’t always great)
  • Sweet and sour pork with fried rice at Hole In The Wall
  • Kolomee for breakfast at the old market building on Jalan Pasar

Bandar Seri Begawan (BSB)


  • Big burgers at Twisted Burger
  • Seafood and fern shoots at the restaurant by the water (can’t remember the name of that one!)
  • Kolomee at all sorts of little cafes and stalls
  • Board games while you enjoy a drink at Play Board Game Cafe (in Bintang Mall, near the movies)

A weekend (our last together and baby free?)

With this baby due pretty soon (it will be born this month, guaranteed!), I have a bit of a one track mind at the moment, so my apologies for those not interested in babies.  You might be sorely disappointed for the next wee while.  I will try to get some Brunei and expat information in there too, but I don’t know about the chances.  The moving basketball attached to my front is pretty hard to ignore!



The impending arrival also means a lot of doctor’s appointments (weekly now).  We (perhaps foolishly) chose to have antenatal care and delivery at a private hospital 100 km away, after seeing them for the treatment that got us here in the first place.  In the early days, it was easy.  Monthly drives were no problem, and I was still small enough to make them alone.  But at this late stage, driving is getting more and more uncomfortable for me, especially a section of road just out of town that we nickname The Rollercoaster for its very bumpy nature.  So for my most recent appointment, I booked a Friday afternoon, meaning I could have the company of The Engineer.

Then The Engineer booked in for a first aid course next weekend, and we realised that this weekend just gone could well be our last together and without a baby.  So we decided to celebrate a little, and booked into one of our favourite hotels up in the capital (The Radisson, if you’re interested).  We planned a nice dinner out, followed by a relaxing morning the next day.


The drive up was easy, with hospital bags in the back and car seat installed, just in case.  But once we saw the waiting room at the hospital, we knew we were in for a long afternoon.  Heavily pregnant women and their husbands everywhere!  We eventually got in for our 3:15 appointment after 4:30.  Fortunately, it was a quick one, and we were out again by 5:00.  Unfortunately, I had been a bit hungry when we arrived, and my nuts and raisins were not cutting it.  When we left, I was starving!  We stopped off for a “quick” snack, which unfortunately was not so quick, and it was nearly 6:30 by the time we arrived at the hotel.

I needed a rest before we went out for dinner (our first mistake).  Then we tried to get there without a map (our second mistake).  And we ended up arriving late (our third mistake) without a reservation (our fourth mistake).  Needless to say, our dinner plans were not so successful, and we needed a change of plans.  Even with a snack under my belt, I was starving (our fifth mistake).  And when I’m hungry, I get cranky, so our nice dinner out soon turned into quick fish’n’chips at a (highly recommended) wee cafe.  Unfortunately, we didn’t agree with the all the recommendations we had, and were left rather disappointed.

But by the time we finished, with piles of chips left on plates, I was so tired that I just didn’t care.  All I wanted was to get into our big cushy bed and relax.

The next morning was a lot more successful.  We got up early, and found out that the moon had not been sighted, which meant it was not the first day of Ramadhan.  This meant we could still have lunch out, and didn’t have to worry about eating and drinking in public.  We had an early breakfast at the hotel, and then headed out, camera in tow, for a walk at Tasek Lama.


While we were there, The Engineer practised his portrait skills, and I practised my modelling skills (which I have to admit remain lacking – I generally resort to silly dances), and we took some pictures to remind ourselves just how big this baby/belly once was.  It was a lovely wee walk, though a little warm for me.  We were very glad to get back and into the pool!

After a swim and some reading, we checked out and headed out for some imported food shopping at Guan Hock Lee (where we admired the lovely soft cheeses and picked up nice cocoa powder, coconut oil, and maize flour) followed by lunch/brunch at High Frequency.

High Frequency has quickly become a favourite of ours for their great coffee (we can’t go past a Piccolo Latte) and delicious breakfasts (especially anything with their brioche).  We knew that because of Ramadhan, this would be our last daytime meal out without a baby, so we wanted to make the most of it, and High Frequency did not disappoint.  The coffee was delicious, and my pumpkin waffles with cajun chicken were absolutely amazing!  The Engineer’s poached eggs looked perfect, and the side of sauteed potatoes are definitely a new must-order item for us.

After lunch we did a little bit more exploring and shopping before heading home.  The short trip was practically perfect, even with a bit too much waiting and hunger on the first day.  And now we are pretty much ready and waiting.  I suspect we might be waiting a while, but no matter what happens, our (potentially) “last” weekend as a twosome was pretty lovely.  And I even snuck some Brunei recommendations into my ramble.


Of course I am pretty excited about what comes next! (and just a little bit terrified, but we’ll try to forget about that bit…)