Review: The Frenz Café, Brunei

Hipster café seems to be a trend nowadays as you see more and more of such establishments had been set up in the country. The Frenz Café opened it’s door to the public last Saturday. Both Jennifer and I decided to give the café a try on the first day of opening. We came to know about the café through an article on The Brunei Times promoting the café before the opening. 

We were there during lunch hour. To be honest, we were expecting a big crowd since it was the first day of opening. But what surprised us was that the place was only half packed during lunch hour. I guess not much people are willing to travel that far for lunch with the limited lunch time unless you are working around the area?

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My one and only picture of the cafe. Gosh! I am such a lousy blogger. I should have taken more pictures of the cafe. I will, but next time. LOL!

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Cafe Latte

I ordered Cafe Latte as I could not decide what to drink. They have quite a wide selection for beverages but I decided to go for the “safest” since I am currently on a diet. I like that their Cafe Latte was of the right level of bitterness but it seems lacking of coffee taste for me.

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Classic Cheese Burger | B$10

This was what Jennifer had for lunch the other day. She too could not decide what she wanted to eat. So, she went for the safest option on the menu. What could go wrong with burger, right? The fries looked very appealing and appetizing to me but I resisted the temptation.

The burger came with lettuce, sliced tomatoes, beef patty, cheese and bacon. According to Jennifer, the patty was undercooked in the middle as you could still see the patty being red in color. Frankly speaking, there was nothing special about their Classic Cheese Burger.

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Egg Royale | B$15

I was contemplating between Egg Benedict and Egg Royale in the first place. But after knowing that the latter came with smoked salmon, I decided to order it. What disappointed me was the authenticity of their Egg Royale.

Egg Royale is similar to Egg Benedict. The only difference is that the former came with smoked salmon sandwiched in between the poached egg and English muffin. The poached egg was nicely done with egg yolk oozing when you poked on it. The reason why I find their Egg Royale not to be authentic enough is that they served with burger bun instead of English muffin. I would say B$15 for Egg Royale to be rather overpriced when it was not even authentic enough.

Verdict: Customer service was good in my opinion but there were still spaces for improvement in terms of their food. Menu was not extensive in the mean time as they were just opened. Hopefully, they will have more selections in the future.

It will be helpful if they have descriptions/information underneath each food title on the menu. That way it will be easier for patrons to decide what to order. Before I placed my order for Egg Royale, we approached the person-in-charge to ask of the difference between Egg Benedict and Egg Royale. He too had no idea of the difference between both. And therefore, he went into the kitchen to check with the chef before returning with the answer.

Staff were not trained properly in terms of which food utensil/cutlery to serve with. Both Jennifer and I were given spoon and fork for the food that we ordered. Who eats burger with spoon and fork? It should be fork and knife. I do not mind returning to The Frenz Café again but I am hoping that there will be improvement next time.

Location: Buildings next to Mentiri Petrol Station, next to Ideal Cafe & Grill.

The Frenz Café
Unit 10, Block 8,,
Haji Ibrahim Building,
Kampung Mentiri,
Negara Brunei Darussalam
Tel: +673-2791374

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Review: Pho Hoa Restaurant Brunei

Gosh! I am such a lazy blogger. A friend had requested me to do my “write-up” of Pho Hoa Restaurant after I had tried it out but I kept on procrastinating until now. But here it is now …

The three  of us – San Diann, Clara and I planned to try Rack & Brew but decided not to when Jia told me that the cafe was kinda overrated. But I am gonna try the cafe someday to see if it really lives up to the raves on social media.

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Fresh Spring Rolls | B$3.80

We ordered two versions of their spring rolls, both fresh and fried. They came with generous portion of prawns, chicken and vegetables. Best served with their dipping sauce but I liked eating them plain though. If you are looking for a less guilty or sinful appetizer, this is something you should consider.

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Fried Spring Rolls | B$3.80

The other version of their spring rolls, which were deep fried. To be honest, I preferred this more than the fresh version. Who doesn’t like fried food, right? LOL!

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Chicken Pho | B$5.80

The main highlight of our lunch the other day – Chicken Pho! Majority Pho dishes I came across before were served with beef. But thankfully, Pho Hoa Restaurant do serves Chicken Pho.

The noodles were cooked to perfection, neither overcooked nor under-cooked. The broth was flavorful but wee bit salty for me. But nevertheless still yummy! I like that the chicken pieces were from chicken thigh part rather than the chicken breast.

Verdict: I am impressed with both the food and customer service. Staff were polite and courteous. Food were served promptly after ordering. I like the food served at Pho Hoa Restaurant and I definitely do not mind returning.

I had never tried Pho Real at Times Square And therefore, I could not do a comparison on them both. But Pho Hoa is good enough for me when I am craving for Vietnamese cuisine.

If you are wondering the whereabouts of Pho Hoa Restaurant, it is located on the same block as Lee Loi Fatt and Aminah Arif Restaurant in Kiulap.

Pho Hoa Restaurant Brunei
Unit 6, Ground Floor,
Block B,
Bangunan Haji Abdul Rahman,
Simpang: 88, Kampung Kiulap,
BE1518,
Negara Brunei Darussalam
Tel: +673-2236218

Baking #85: Chocolate Banana Muffins

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Chocolate Banana Muffins (adapted from The Domestic Goddess Wannabe)

So, these were what I baked yesterday morning before going out to do hair treatment, pedicure and meeting some friends for lunch at Pho Hoa Restaurant. I bought a big bunch of Pisang Berangan the other day and they were close to being overripe. So, the best way to deal with them is to bake them before they turned too ripe to be eaten.

I had promised to give San Diann and Clara three pieces of muffins each. But unfortunately, an ex-neighbor of ours dropped by yesterday morning and Mom told me to give him some of my muffins. So, San Diann and Clara only got one each in the end. LOL!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups (about 2 large or 3 medium) bananas, mashed
1/3 cup (80ml) oil *corn oil*
1 egg
1 cup (200g) fine granulated sugar *100g*
1 1/2 cups flour *all purpose flour*
1/4 cup (29.5g) cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup (180g) mini chocolate chips *semi sweet chocolate chips*
sugar for sprinkling on top *omitted*

Directions:
In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients – flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder together. Set aside.
In another large bowl, whisk together mashed bananas, oil and egg together until well combined.
Add in sugar and stir well.
Sift in flour mixture into the wet batter, gently fold them in and be careful not to overdo the mixture.
Add in chocolate chips and mix to just combined.
Scoop batter evenly between cupcake liners and bake in a preheated oven of 190 degree Celsius for approximately 20 minutes or until an inserted cake tester comes out clean.
Leave muffins to cool on the muffin tray for approximately 10 minutes before removing them to cool on a cooling rack.

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The reason why I used a higher temperature and longer baking time was because my muffins’ size were bigger than the one from the original recipe. The original recipe yields 12 muffins but mine only yielded 9 muffins.

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To be honest, I am not exactly the biggest fan of bananas with chocolate but this recipe was good. Both the bananas and chocolate complimented each other very well. But it was on the sweet side. I am sure that right adjustment on the sugar quantity will do. And I might have slightly overdid the batter.

 San Diann polished off both the muffins which I gave him and Clara. He loves the banana taste of the muffins. So, this recipe is a keeper for me. If you are not someone who like overly sweet muffins, this recipe may not be for you as the sweetness from the chocolate chips was too overwhelming but it’s what makes the muffins moist.

This recipe is definitely a keeper for me. Do try this recipe if you love both banana and chocolate. Happy trying!

Baking #84: Blueberry Crumble Muffins

Just came back from my 4D3N holiday to Kuching yesterday afternoon. Went back to visit my grandmother and also attended a wedding dinner of one of my cousins. Decided to take an extra day off after coming back as I find it rather hard to work straight after coming back from holiday.

Jia and Eldie invited me out tonight in celebration of my belated birthday. We are going to TK Restaurant tonight for some western food. I am not sure what they serve at TK Restaurant as I had never been there. But no worry, we shall know tonight. LOL!

I baked Blueberry Crumble Muffins this afternoon since I did not plan to go out during the day apart from meeting Jia and Eldie tonight. I combined two recipes and came up with this Blueberry Crumble Muffins.

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Blueberry Crumble Muffins (adapted from Bear Naked Food & ZaTaYa Yummy)

Ingredients:
240g all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk *full cream milk*
115g unsalted butter, softened
140g fine granulated sugar *120g*
2 cups fresh blueberries *200g frozen blueberries*

Crumble topping
90g unsalted butter, melted
125g all purpose flour
125g packed light brown sugar

Directions:
To make crumble topping, rub in melted butter with all purpose flour and sugar together. Set aside while you make your muffin batter.
In a large mixing bowl, mix dry ingredients – all purpose flour, baking powder and salt together. Sift and set aside.
In another mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together for approximately 2 minutes until pale and fluffy.
Add in eggs, one at a time and beat until well incorporated.
Add in vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
Add in half of the flour mixture and beat on low speed, followed by milk and the remaining half portion of flour mixture. Mix until well combined and be careful not to over mix the batter.
Gently fold in the frozen blueberries into the batter.
Scoop batter evenly between cupcake liners. Scatter generously the crumble mix on top of each muffin and bake in a preheated oven of 190 degree Celsius for 30 minutes or until an inserted cake tester comes out clean.
Leave the muffins in the muffin tray for about 10 minutes before transferring them to cool completely on a cooling rack.

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Couldn’t resist these muffins so I sliced one up and taste tested half of a muffin. The muffin texture was soft and moist due to the blueberries while the crumble topping was crunchy. Sweetness level was just right as I had reduced the quantity. If you like Blueberry Muffins, do try this recipe and I am sure you will like it as much as I do.