Selamat Hari Raya AidilFitri – Angpow Nada

It’s the 2nd day of raya and I forgot to give my nephews and nieces their angpows. πŸ˜‚

I was telling this to my sister in law and she was at the very moment packing $1 notes to give to children of visiting guests.

Apparently they will not leave if they have not received the coveted packet of money. True enough, once they received their angpows, they all left. 

πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„

Trying not to judge – maybe they just need the money – but me thinks it’s not nice to burden a household with this.

Please, this eid, release your relatives from this burden. Don’t stay and wait for the angpows. Stay to catch up, and laugh with them. 

I mean, times are hard, so it’s very understandable if some houses do away with this very new tradition. 

As a child, I do remember that this money giving tradition is pretty recent – isn’t it a borrowing of chinese culture from those times back in the 90s when Hari Raya clashed with Chinese New Year?

Anyway, whatever the origins of this tradition, please don’t expect your relatives to fork out raya packets to your children. If they do then that’s wonderful – but it’s not a must!

Spend your raya selfie-ing, ootd-ing, and catching up with your cousins in peace without expectation of monetary rewards.

Last, I leave you with photos of my outfit to keep cool this super hot day! (Taken outside near some eggplants πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚)

In the mean time, SELAMAT HARI RAYA AIDILFITRI, MAAF ZAHIR BATIN!


Recipe: Chicken Curry

Alhamdulillah I finally pandai cook chicken curry. All this while, I tried cooking and there’s always sommmmething missing- whether it’s the curry tasting a bit undercooked, the chicken not absorbing any flavour, or something is just off.

Malay cuisine is simply not my forte. But I’ve been experimenting, learning how we extract flavours, making things fragrant, etc.

Today however, I finally got it.. Chicken curry is conquered! In Malay culture, if I can cook curry, I can finally get married. Hahaa.

Normally I wouldn’t be so hardworking to try so many variations of chicken curry but it happens to be Husband’s favourite. What can I say? I’m a people pleaser. πŸ˜‚

Anyway so I’m sharing the love so here is the recipe!


No Fail & Simple Chicken Curry

Ingredients

  • 6-7pcs chicken (ahout half a chicken)
  • 2x onions sliced
  • 3x garlic sliced
  • 2-3 tablespoon curry powder (I prefer the Antelope Brand Meat Curry Powder)
  •  1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons asam jawa
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Method

  1. Set aside chicken and sprinkle with salt.
  2. Heat butter and oil then cook the garlic and onions till they brown.
  3. Add curry powder and cook until the oil separates.*
  4. Add in the chicken, and stir through until everything is coated evenly in curry and onions.
  5. Add in water and milk and wait for it to boil then add the asam jawa.
  6. Turn down the heat to let it simmer for at least 30-45 minutes.**

Best served over a bed of hot rice. 😍

NOTES

* What does it mean when oil separates? Seperate from what? What does it look like? I don’t know if the is the correct term or I might just be translating this directly from Malay. But oil separates from the curry. To me, when I can see the oil sort of bubbling away from the curry, that is when u say it has separated. This step prevents the curry from tasting “raw”.

** Time makes a difference. I’ve noticed that the longer u simmer, the better tasting the curry is. Give the curry some time to marry with the chicken and let them stew to maximise the flavours. 

LET ME KNOW if u try this recipe! Enjoy!

One of Those Days + Blue Eden Kiulap

Rajin berabis.

Today after work, I went to do a food tasting at Blue Eden Cafe.

Quite memorable were their signature giant drinks, big huge jugs, PERFECT for the coming Ramadhan.


πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Layak usul dorang kan. 

I, myself had a watermelon juice ($4 for the XL) so it’s definitely a place for the intensely thirsty πŸ˜‚

Other than that, lovely with the usual favourites but definitely recommending their new salted egg yolk chicken wings. Lovely and salted egg as we know is the du jour ingredient of the year.


After, I went home (Husband already waiting – thankfully with full stomach), and decided to do laundry. Not just one load but TWO. U see I very productive or not???

Hung out the towels to dry outside, and the rest are on hangers outside my room under the fan.

Do you guys do this? Indoor drying? Any tips for me? For me I just keep the fan on slow just to keep the air moving but otherwise nothing special.

Not a big fan of housework as u can see. Hehe. Any tips appreciated!

Had to do some work after laundry but that took like 10 minutes only because I am awesome. 

(Templates. They make your life easy. That is all.)

THEN, u think that would be the end but no! Before I showered and decided to call it a night, I actually cleaned my makeup brushes! 

(Half of it only la since I need the other half to put on my face tomorrow. πŸ˜†) 

Ok I know it’s terrible and sort of disgusting but I NEVER CLEAN MY BRUSHES πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ and in fact omg even my colleague Ching offers to clean them for me. I think she secretly thinks I am harbouring latest H1N1 virus on them. So believe me, this is so rare!!! 

So yes I cleaned my brushes with my Elf Brush Shampoo I bought years ago and have only used once. I just assume they’re still ok – can soap expire???


My Artís babies are drying. 😍😍

So now because I so rajin in the world I decided to blog too. 

I even tweeted before this. Only about the humidity but still!!

Anyway, maybe it’s the food at Blue Eden. What is their secret ingredient? Magic Elixir of Productivity? Cocaine? I should eat there more often!!!

Recipe: Egg Tart


One of the easiest thing you can make when guests come over is an egg tart. It is seriously easy and you can make it with common household ingredients. 

Here is my recipe!

INGREDIENTS

Crust

  • 1 cup flour 
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar

*admittedly I really didnt measure this but I just assume they’re correct lah ah. 

Filling

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup full cream milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar (up to u)
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla 

METHOD

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the crust into a soft dough. 
  2. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
  3. Take crust out of the fridge, roll into sheet then place in a pie tin. 
  4. Put rice or green beans on the crust and bake it for 10-15 minutes at 170 degrees celcius 
  5. In the mean time, mix all ingredients for the filling.
  6. Take the crust out, remove marbles/rice/green beans and pour in mixture for the filling.
  7. Pop it in the oven and bake in a bain marie (water bath) for about 30 minutes. 
  8. Leave to cool a bit before cutting into slices.


Bon apetit!

My Life as a Foodie

If you are an avid follower of my Instagram, you may have noticed a ridiculous amount of food posts. 

Aside from my obvious obsession with delicious food, this is also because I am part of BruneiFoodies.

It’s mostly managed by Marul, while the rest of us churn out accompanying content. We have daily Whatsapp meetings, we maintain a considerably packed food calendar, and I think @bruneifoodies now is one of the most active and engaged account on Brunei’s social media scene.

We love it! It’s a whole lot of eating I admit but I get to do it with people I have plenty of laughs with, and I get to meet the people behind the restaurant! I love the dynamic between us and each of us bring something different to the table.

To get to where we are today, we have done a lot of hard work – promotions, proposals, events. We invested on an app, to enhance the food lover experience, and help connect people and restaurants better. BTW download it if u haven’t!

So it’s also not a secret that we make money from advertising, and plenty of restaurants, food vendors, and such approach us to be featured. It’s not much – we won’t be on the top 10 millionaire list anytime soon – and it doesn’t really flow constantly or consistently, but it is enough to help us maintain the website and the app, as well as provide us enough seed money to do stuff like pay people to create our logo, or fun projects like the one we have with Volkswagen now.

One thing I love about being part of BruneiFoodies is that it helps my personal account stay personal. There it’s ad free, my opinions are my own, and I reserve the right to say whatever I like. 

YET, I will NEVER say an XX Restaurant has disgusting food, the chef cooks like he hasn’t seen seasoning in 10 years, or that the toilets make me feel like throwing up.

No, if the meat is tough, I tell the chef.

If the bread was dry, I tell the chef.

If the restaurant has terrible service, I tell the owner.

To, the 23,000 followers on Brunei Foodies, I will tell you what is good about the restaurant like how the ambience is, how you’d appreciate the drinks, and highlight that they have delivery or other value add services.

That’s what we do, we will recommend what’s good and if something is bad or needs improvement, we tell the owner/chef and discuss solutions, and gladly leave that out of the social media world for now. We withhold posts. 

The thing is, readers can’t change the situation, the sauce, the service. Only the restaurant can.

We have never been dishonest. We have always posted accurately, albeit more positively, and we recommend dishes which we all think is nice. 

(Yes since the matter of taste is subjective, we reach around for consensus. That’s why there must always be more than 3 of us.)

Why do we do this?

We know how hard it is to set up a business, especially a restaurant, u have to deal with A LOT – halal certification, health certification, labour issues- plus omg how competitive it is now. Any small news about your food or service can actually destroy you, so what more when it is coming from us who have considerable influence, broadcasted to some 23,000 Bruneians on social media?

Atu namanya membunuh bisnes orang.

Trust me, NO RESTAURANT will want to serve you yucky food on purpose. They want the customers to enjoy themselves, eat yummy food and leave happy. 

It is our responsibility to give them a chance.

Some people can’t get it right the first time and need feedback.

We are here not to destroy businesses, we are here to help them. 

We want our food and restaurant to flourish and grow! We want people to be excited to start new restaurants knowing there are support systems (not just faceless, anonymous ones that seek out their mistakes).

We never claim to be food critics. We connect food lovers and restaurants. Our readers understand that they can find out new places to dine from us. Restaurant owners know that if they want to get the word out about their new place, or new menu, they can look for us.

If you have opinions about a certain restaurant’s food or service, by all means, go right ahead post it on your own IG. 

For us, we have a responsibility to help restaurants. 

“Bruneians are their own biggest critic” 

So no we don’t post up stuff that we give negative reviews for, we are forthright with the restaurant on what would be popular and what needs improving. To the readers, we recommend what is good.

I hope this post clarifies what we do. 

Lastly, don’t forget to join in on the BruneiFoodies X Volkswagen Foodie Trail competition. Promise it’ll be fun and u actually get to see how it works! 😍

HSBC winding down

The news that we have been hearing over the grapevine for these past few months has finally been confirmed. 

HSBC Brunei, one of the oldest banks in Brunei (if not THE oldest) is in their words, “winding down operations“. 

It seems like just yesterday I was sitting in my mum’s Nissan Bluebird, looking at her from the window while she withdraws money from the ETC (what we used to call an ATM) of HSBC’s branch overlooking the Tutong River.

When I was in Form 2, my secondary school participated in a national level English quiz organised by CFBT called Wordplay. We won the first prize (first time a school outside of Brunei Muara district to win) and one of my prizes was a savings account in HSBC, with $300 in it. That was my first bank account.

HSBC was an institution which was very involved in the community, with a really big presence in the capital. This winding down I expect to affect our economy, with people, skilled people, being laid off and the withdrawal of an international bank from the business scene.

On one hand I can’t believe AMBD lets this happen, but on the other hand, we can’t pretend we didn’t see this coming. HSBC globally has been plagued with wave after wave of bad news, and it is just a matter of time before it hits our shores, especially in this economic climate.

For me personally, we can see this winding down as a loss, but it is also an opportunity. How do we grab hold of this new oyster in front of us? Looking forward to see the local bank wars as they fight to get a bigger piece of the pie. 

Perhaps it will never be as exciting as it was before but as a nation we are unique and I’m looking forward to see how it goes.

For now, I’m just wondering when I’m going to hear about my HSBC account.