Kolomee is a well-known noodle dish in Brunei Darussalam, which consists of noodles tossed in some fragrant shallot oil and sauce. It is often then finished with various types of toppings ranging from fried pork belly to the basic fresh spring onions and wantons. Chinese people in Brunei are often fond of their kolomee and it has become such a staple dish that almost any Chinese restaurant serves it.
In this post, I scope out various locations known for their kolomee and decided to try them out as suggested by a number of you on my Instagram @Bruneianeats. I also made sure to ask the staff members working there what their specialty kolomee was to help you narrow down your options.
Keep reading to find out what these are.
My Own Restaurant
What I had here: Original Kolomee
Location: Menglait, close to Gadong Central, Simpang 15.
Thoughts: The noodles here came covered in a very light coating of sauce and oil. Topped with some well-seasoned and saucy minced pork, it lent a nice savoury soy sauce flavour to the dish. The noodles here were also thin and not overcooked which gave the noodles a pleasant toothy bite. Perhaps the highlight was the quality of the noodles for me as they were not clumpy nor sticky and were rather bouncy or as the Chinese people would say, it’s very QQ.
Lim Ah Siaw Building
What I had here: Original and fried pork belly kolomee
Location: Jalan Teraja, between Terrace Hotel and Radisson Hotel.
Cost: BND2 for the original and BND5 for the pork belly kolomee.
Thoughts: Located in a building which sells fresh pork, every Chinese person living in Brunei knows this place well. The noodles here are thicker, a little more starchy and sticky. Also covered in a thin sauce with lots of fried shallots and fresh spring onions, the kolomee here is drier and has a stronger onion aroma. The highlight for me was the fried pork belly which had a crunchy, salty crust and tender, fatty meat. I would recommend getting the pork belly kolomee should you visit.
Shi Wei Tian
What I had here: Original and red kolomee.
Location: Unit 15, ground floor, block B, Kiulap complex. Same row of buildings as Pet Link.
Cost: BND2.50 each.
Thoughts: As with the noodles at My Own, the ones served here were equally thin and pleasantly chewy. The kolomee here were topped with some lightly seasoned minced pork and thin slices of char siu. Though the noodles were tossed in a light coating of sauce, it didn’t feel dry. The sauce was well seasoned and the flavours really seeped into the noodles so that every bite of noodle was flavourful. The red sauce in the red kolomee stood out to me most as it had a hint of sweetness which provided a great balance between sweet and savoury like the flavours you would find in a slice of char siu.
Yang Seng/Hainan Association
What I had here: Wanton kolomee
Location: No. 34, Simpang 5, Jalan Gadong. On the far end of the same road as Jing Chew.
Thoughts: Though famous for their roast pork belly, by the time I dropped by, they were sold out of it so I settled with some wanton kolomee instead. The kolomee served here had more sauce which was runnier with a prominent white pepper aroma and onion fragrance from the fried shallots. The noodles itself were well coated in the sauce which ensured the noodles were not sticky nor clumpy. Meanwhile, the skin of the wantons were smooth and silky while the pork filling had a similar white pepper fragrance. I would recommend this place if you like the flavour of white pepper and enjoy a mild peppery heat in your dishes.
Chin Nam Foong
What I had here: Fried Fish Kolomee
Location: Simpang 5, Jalan Gadong. Next to Jing Chew.
Thoughts: Having spoken to anyone about Chin Nam Foong, most would recommend trying their fried fish kolomee. With large portions of battered and golden brown fried fish chunks alongside large portions of noodles, the kolomee here is bound to fill you up. The chunks of fish are seasoned well so that the salty and peppery flavour is maintained not just on the fried coating but also within the flaky fish. The noodles itself are thicker and starchier with a light coating of sauce so it’s a little more on the dry side. Overall, I’d recommend getting the fried fish if you’re up for a filling meal.
Let’s Hear It From You
Have you tried the places mentioned here? If so, what are your thoughts?
Feel free to let me know any other places that you feel I’ve left out and I’ll attempt to do a second tour.
If you want a Halal kolomee tour, let me know in the comments below or reach out to Neue via Facebook or Instagram. You can also follow ‘Bruneian Eats’ on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. To visit the ‘Bruneian Eats’ blog, click here.