Editor's Note: Greetings Readers! Here's a write-up by Brunei's own Angelyn Choo. Her Instagram profile (@angelshameless) reads "I followed my heart and it led me to my fridge." She also has a tumblr you can check out - ChooingOnThis (hah!). I asked her for a short snippet about herself.
"My name is Angel Choo, and I am 22 years old. I enjoy long romantic walks to my fridge, and I like my coffee black. While working and finishing up my final year in Universiti Brunei Darussalam, I go on food adventure around Brunei (and across the oceans) to try all kinds of everything. Occasionally, I document things as I go. The world is delicious."
Bistro Chez Fio
By Angelyn Choo
This is the third time this week that I've visited Bistro Chez Fio [bis-troh; shey; fee-oh].
Tucked in between Netzone Cafe and Bridgelink Enterprise, Bistro Chez Fio also sits right across Petlink, Kuilap.
I'm always welcomed by Fiona's warm hello and the smell of freshly baked (flavour of the day) muffins.
In one word, Chez Fio, is quaint. Wooden tables and chairs, jazz swimming through the air and two Canadian flag sitting proudly at the front counter.
According to Fiona, “Bistro Chez Fio started off as just a dream that one day I would open a business in the food industry.” Having lived most of her life in Vancouver, Fiona brings her heart for Vancouver to share with us here in Brunei.
To start, I had my usual order of miniature coffees. A tray of four different styles; latte cappuccino, macho and one with a little surprise.
I know I always talk about decreasing my caffeine intake, but now that Chez Fio is just within a ten minutes drive from my way to work, it's really hard to say no.
Since her opening in January, Chez Fio changes her menu once in every few months. Keeping the Canadian favourites like poutine and constantly adding in something new for her customers to try, as well as for the chefs to make. Good to keep everyone on their toes.
PB Extreme Burger is my current favourite on the lunch menu. Sink your teeth into a juicy beef patty, topped with cheese, a crunch from the crispy beef rashes and a unique peanut butter sauce that just gives it an extra punch of delicious.
Even though Hui Ting, Abi and I were stuffed after sharing two mains and two sides, I could not resist ending our meal with the dessert special of the day; Chez Fio's signature cheesecake. It was love at first bite.
I quickly called Fiona over and asked her what she added into the cheesecake. She answered, “cinnamon and.. sweet potato” Sweet potato! And my heart swooned. I love it when a not so typical ingredient is added in something we're all so used to.
It's easy to lose track of the world outside while you're in the bistro. There have been times when I leave the out the door, and I have forgotten how hot it is outside or where I parked my car.
Kudos to Fiona and her team for making an effort to serve every meal with friendly smiles and warm conversation (which to me, is just as important as the food and ambience). All that said, I already look forward to my next visit and definitely to explore the rest of the new menu.
Bistro Chez Fio (Facebook)
Unit 13, Ground Floor,
Block A, Q-lap Complex,
Kg. Kuilap, BE 1518
Mon – Sun, 8am – 6pm
Closed on Fridays, 12pm - 2pm
The Kianggeh Open Air Market, a.k.a. Tamu Kianggeh - found along Kianggeh Road in Bandar Seri Begawan, opposite the Brunei Hotel. It is one of the should-visits here in Brunei with ready supplies of fresh vegetables, fruits and other staples. Travellers are often spotted wandering around, browsing local handicraft, soaking in the market vibe. It is a charming little place, a favourite for photographers from near and afar.
A few things to consider if you do pay Tamu Kianggeh a visit:
1. Go early. Most stalls are ready by 6.00am. You get first picks and it is hard to beat early morning photography.
2. Depending on the time of day, be prepared to perspire. Unless it is a cool and breezy day, it can get warm.
3. Leave your burly backpacks and luggage at the hotel. There is ample walking space, but toting around your travel bags will be cumbersome.
4. Bring small dollar notes and coins.
5. If you are wandering through with children, don't be careless. It gets busy during peak hours and it would be easy for them to fall outside of your direct line of sight.
6. If you are game, try your hand at bargaining.
7. Don't rush through. Get friendly with the locals. Be adventurous and sample some of the local produce. Soak it in.
I paid a visit to the Oil and Gas Discovery Centre (OGDC) with my family for the first time last week. The OGDC, an initiative of Brunei Shell Petroleum, is a 'science-based educational facility meets tourist pitstop' kind of a place. It makes for a fun and family-friendly outing and the entry rates are reasonable. There's an exhibition hall, theatre, classrooms, science labs, an outdoor area for sports, a playground and a even a Traffic Games Park.
According to Brunei Tourism, the "OGDC has emerged as another popular family-oriented landmark in Brunei that serves both educational and recreational purposes" and "introduces visitors to the fascinating world of science and engineering as it applies to the petroleum industry in order to promote environmental awareness and highlight the necessity of nature conservation. It is a fun place where visitors of all ages can expand their knowledge while exploring the seven galleries that showcase over 100 interactive exhibits covering the multi-faceted science behind the oil and gas industry in Brunei."
If you have never paid the OGDC a visit, find some time, make a trip to F20 in Seria, and get the kids ready for some good old fashioned educational fun.
Admission Charges - Pre School (5 years old and below): Free of Charge, Kids (5 - 12 years old): BND$1, Teens (13 - 17 years old): BND$2, Adults (18 - 55 years old): BND$5, Senior Citizens (55 years old and above): BND$3
Greetings Readers! Just sharing about a recent educational trip to Beramband Island. Winning students from the 2012 Youth Eco Video Documentary Awards came along, and together we experienced nature and witnessed local wildlife in their natural habitat. Sekolah Menengah Masin, Sekolah Menengah Sayyidina Hasan, PTE Meragang and Maktab Sains were represented.
Here's a little bit more about Berambang Island according to Borneo Guide.
Despite being a stone’s throw from the city centre, Berambang is an island unknown even to many locals! An island which is full with myths and legends that had been passed down from generation to generation. It even feels like a different country, as motorcycles and bicycles are predominant here, and not cars! A daytrip promises idyllic walks along countryside roads, a hill trek which presents you with sweeping vistas, historic disused coal mines, dramatic rock formations – with the legendary stories, and a showcase of Brunei’s hardy kerangas forests. The highlight of course, the summit along the hill trek! Upon descending, head for a fishing village a few minutes away, on the banks of a river channel which is also the border with Malaysia.
We did not venture into the island, but rather went by boat (well, to be precise it was a sampan) along the island. For those keen to visit Berambang, visit BorneoGuide.com for more information.
Greetings Readers! Recently I visited Jerudong Park. After the visit, I wrote down a few questions in my journal.
Will Jerudong Park ever sparkle again like it did in the nineties? Does the Park need 'fixing'? Where would you begin? Should we try and resuscitate this seemingly unconscious giant? Would more rides help? Should we bring back old ones? Inject in more resources? Is it time to put up the 'Do Not Resuscitate' sign?Have you been back to the Park recently? What are your thoughts?
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