Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Food Trippin' Brunei: Nasi Katok

We asked our friend, Gladys in Labuan on what to eat when we get to Brunei as she drove us to the ferry port on the morning we're leaving the small beautiful island. She recommend that we should have a taste of Brunei's Nasi Katok which was a chicken and rice dish according to her.

As we got to Brunei, our friend there, Amiru, brought us to a restaurant that serves Nasi Katok. It wasn't difficult to look for a place that sells it since almost any corner, there is a restaurant that serves it. It is very popular there since it is cheap and very yummy.

The only difficulty was looking for an open place since we got there on a Friday and around noon which is close to their time to go to the Mosque. Good thing we found a place and had a quick Nasi Katok lunch as our first meal in Brunei.

The dish is just a simple chicken rice meal with spicy sambal. I learned that it can also have beef or pusu (anchovies) that goes with the rice. It is wrapped in some paper or maybe some leaves (just like Binalot here in the Philippines) when served. The taste is really good and really spicy. It is best eaten when you have some refreshments to cool off your pallet from this spicy yet yummy dish. However what makes this dish unique is not only its taste but also the origin of its name.

One of the places who serves Nasi Katok

When I first heard the name, I wondered if the "katok" would mean the same with our language. True enough, it was the same. Katok means knock in Filipino, and so does in their language. I also leaned a few days back that Nasi means rice. And so Nasi Katok translates to "Rice Knock". An odd name but it wasn't called as that for no reason.

According to Amiru, back in the old days, people used to knock on food establishments in the middle of the night for some food fix. The owner would wake up and fix those hungry customers some simple rice and viand, in most cases, chicken dish. It then became popular to them and soon, a lot of establishments had been put up serving this dish. Up until now, this is very popular in Brunei that almost anywhere, you can find a store serving this dish. It is very cheap, around a dollar per meal, and it is very filling and yummy. One must try this one out when visiting this country.

yummy, spicy and cheap! Nasi Katok (~BND1.00)

A visit to Brunei will never be the same without tasting Nasi Katok!

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