Monday, June 23, 2014

Food Trippin' - Ambuyat, a national dish of Brunei

I am sorta reminiscing my December last year. Last year, still a fresh graduate, and I was going on a few trips during that time. Just last week, I started my first official full time job if some of you didn't know. So I am still in the transition process of having reality set in right now, but other than that, I have been busy at my work place which is a good thing. :) Putting that aside, as I am thinking about my December last year. I had so many highlights during my trips (yes I know, which I am yet to blog about *guilty*), especially the food *squeals*. One particular food came into my mind and it just lingered there for moment as I tried to remember how it tasted when I first tried it.

We certainly didn't expect this as we (Malaysians & Singaporeans) have never seen nor eaten this before. We certainly wouldn't have have thought of eating this nor would be able to find this place if it weren't for our local Brunei-an friends.

Our Brunei-an friends gave us a little tutorial on "Eating Ambuyat for Dummies" haha... But first, if you don't know what Ambuyat is. Ambuyat is a national dish of Brunei which is obtained from the interior trunk of a sago palm. It has a thick starchy texture with a bland taste, similar to tapioca starch.

So how do you eat Ambuyat? 

Everyone is given their own "chopsticks", well, we call them chopsticks as in our culture, it looks like chopsticks except for the top being connected. One of us called them "trainer" chopsticks as they look like it! This wooden tool is called "Candas", which you use to scoop and the roll the Ambuyat into a ball.

The kids having difficulties trying to roll the Ambuyat.

It is a skill that one either has or not.

Well obviously.... We lack in skills.

Trainer chopsticks...right... we couldn't event get a decent roll of Ambuyat on our Candas. Some of us resorted to fork and spoon and there was one Candas that broke too (I won't say who :p). Accompanying the Ambuyat are several side dishes. I couldn't remember which set was it we had but it was good! :3

It should be either one of these set menu.

I would just like to highlight the "Cacah" which is the sauce for dipping. It reminded me closely of Kelantan as it tasted like "Budu". Budu is ala belacan basically which is eaten with raw vegetables, fish and chicken. The Cacah had durian in it, which made it really yummy! I would say that just it is an acquired taste and not everyone will like it, but I definitely loved it!

There were other dishes as well, but by the time the Ambuyat arrived, I was more fixated on getting a decent roll of Ambuyat on my Candas than to take pictures of the food. I had several successful attempts I would say!

There should be many places that sells Ambuyat but our friend brought us to Restoran Aminah Arif, so you could give it a try to if you're in Brunei!

On one of the days in Brunei, our friends brought us to another place to try Ambuyat Goreng for breakfast. OMG, honestly speaking guys, I would've ordered another plate for myself if it weren't for the French toast that I had. It is somewhat similar to Char Kuay Teow but difference is that Ambuyat has a more bouncy texture, somewhat similar to Carrot Cake but chewier, translucent and thicker.

Fried Ambuyat from Jade Crystal Kopitiam & Cafe

So if you happened to be in Brunei, do ask around for shops that specializes in Ambuyat. During my first trip to Brunei, there weren't much food exploration. So the second trip was more rewarding I would say. :3

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