Sungkai Buffet Review: Verve Caffe

This was my second Sungkai dinner for the year of 2017. I had been to Flour & Butter Cafe with Jennifer for their Eat All You Can promotion earlier this month. Verve Caffe is the other cafe which I was intrigued to try out their Sungkai Buffet after having tried Rack & Brew Boutique Cafe‘s Sungkai Buffet last year.

The gang – San Diann, Clara, Shew Hiang and I planned to meet at least once for Sungkai Buffet this year. I thought we agreed to meet for dinner at Piccolo Fratini next Tuesday but San Diann could not make it as he had made other plans with his friends. So, we made do with this evening instead as all four of us were available.

San Diann, Clara and I were the first to arrive at the cafe. I went out earlier this afternoon for some pampering session in town. I even managed to get some grocery done after the pampering session and was left with ample time in hand. Drove to Verve Caffe early and stayed in the car to catch up with The Heirs until San Diann and Clara came finding me by my car. LOL!

Without further ado, let me show you what Verve Caffe is offering for their Sungkai Buffet! Let’s start with the main course, shall we?

Mac and Cheese

Battered Salmon (with Tartar Cream)

Their Battered Salmon was good. It was the first wiped out from the buffet spread. I took one for myself and shared half with San Diann as I am trying to cut down on fried food. However, it was darn hard to resist just by looking at it. I did not have the fries though despite their fries are good.

Roast Duck

I did not have much of this but only a small portion. They did not label all their food. I thought this was chicken at first until I had a bite and realized that it was duck due to the “smokey” taste which I dislike.

Roast Leg of Lamb

All four of us agreed that their Roast Leg of Lamb was good. I only had a small piece as it had been almost two years since I last had lamb. The meat was tender.

Beef Meatballs in Gravy

Olive Oil Brioche Dinner Rolls

Dinner rolls to go with Soup of the Day. They were having Pumpkin Soup today. The dinner rolls were dry in my opinion and they were still dry despite being dipped into the soup.

BBQ Spicy Wings


Piri Piri Chicken

These were what they were offering for pasta section. Their Penne Arabbiata was good but spicy. Despite spicy, it was addictive and I went back for second serving. However, I personally find the penne pasta to be slightly overcooked in my opinion.

As we were the first to arrive, the staff gave us the privilege to choose the first four pizzas to be served on their buffet spread and we chose Neapolitan Red, Funghi, Local Classic Honey Garlic and Broccoli and Salmon.

After all the high calories’ food pictures, here comes the beverages and their desserts section!

Their coolers were pretty good and they worked as great thirst quenchers. I had a glass for each one of them apart from the Basil Lemonade. I am not sure if I would like basil in my drink. LOL!

These were their dessert spreads. The bite size chocolate dessert was good. It was chocolate mint flavored. The Carrot Cake however was sweet especially the cream cheese frosting. The frosting had a grainy texture as if the sugar were not dissolved properly.

Tropical Smoothie Bowl

These were good. I am not sure what they made for the smoothie. Avocado, maybe? However, it was tad sweet for my liking. It was something good for a change than the usual sweet desserts though.

Price: B$29.90 (adults) & B$14.90 (children)

Verdict: You can get free flow of black and white coffees over the counter. All you need to do is to proceed to the counter, place your orders with the baristas and they will have it sent to your table when it was ready.

While we were sipping our coffees, Shew Hiang was asking if they refill their food in between courses as she said most of the restaurants she been to did not do refills. Now that she asked, we realized that they did not do refill apart from pizzas. I could be wrong though. Shew Hiang wanted to have a second serving of their salad and it was no longer available after the first round of salad was finished.

Verve Caffe
Unit 6A,
Ground, First & Second Floor,
Simpang: 68, Jalan Batu Bersurat,
Kampung Pengkalan Gadong,
Negara Brunei Darussalam
Tel: +673-7274153

Review: Boat Noodle, Brunei

Finally got to try Boat Noodle this evening after work. Business has been good as they are on full house almost everyday especially during lunch and dinner hours. I tried calling to make reservation but San Diann later found out that their business line is currently down and they do not take reservation at the moment.

As usual, business is good and there was already a queue at the time when I arrived. San Diann was nice enough to go earlier to queue for us since reservation was not allowed. A couple was just leaving at the time when I arrived so we got our table shortly after I arrived. And thankfully, it was a table good for four so our food would not look so cram on the table.

San Diann and Clara tried out Boat Noodle previously and they mentioned that they ended up going for second round at another cafe after dinner at Boat Noodle. So, I decided that we should go for their signature noodle as well as their rice dishes.

Without further ado, let me show you what the three of us had at Boat Noodle …

Drink of the Day (Pandan) | B$2.50

Cha Yen | B$3.50

Clara and I went for the safest option, which is their signature Thai Milk Tea. Cha Yen is known to be extremely sweet for our taste bud so I requested less sweet for our Cha Yen. They were indeed served less sweeter than usual. It had a smooth texture and tasted milky. However, I find that the taste of tea was not as distinctive as the Cha Yen from ChaTraMue.

Pathumtani Chicken | B$0.90

dark soy sauce broth with an appetizingly sour-ish and delicate spicy flavor

Clara and San Diann strongly recommended their Pathumtani broth over Ayutthaya broth as the latter has a nutty flavor (as per San Diann). Portion was small and it only took about two or three slurps (three for me) to finish the noodles. The broth was indeed appetizing but tad bit salty though.

Order takeaway for their noodles is not advisable unless you bring your own food container as they do not have any for it. I ordered three bowls of Pathumtani to bring home and the Cashier apologetically informed me that they do not do noodle takeaway. And lucky for me, I have a food container in my car.

Flame Grilled Ayam Legend | B$5.90

This is a de-boned chicken whole leg, marinated and grilled to perfection. I liked that the meat was juicy and tender at the same time. The dipping sauce complimented the chicken well. It had a sweet but spicy taste.

Kra-Pow Chicken Rice | B$5.90

This is basically a soy sauce minced chicken, served with a sunny side up. I thought it was Basil Chicken but there was no taste of basil at all. So, I guess not? The three of us agreed that the minced chicken was tad bit salty for our liking but it went very well with the white rice. It was stated on the menu that this is a spicy dish but it did not taste any spicy to me.

Bangkok Omelette | B$5.90

To be honest, this was pretty much average to me. It is an omelette filled with spring onion and some julienne red chili or red capsicum. The omelette texture was thick though and Clara wondered how many eggs had been cracked to make this one omelette? The dipping sauce was a no no for us. It tasted like creamy Tom Yam with coconut milk to me.

Sangkayaa | B$4.90

This was served along with our main courses and we ended up eating this before our rice dishes. We agreed that this was satisfyingly good. The steamed bread was soft and fluffy, went extremely well with the Pandan Kaya dip. San Diann and I later joked that we should have at least stirred the Kaya mixture for a photographic effect.

Verdict: Boat Noodle is not allowing table reservation at the moment. If you are going during peak hours, do expect a queue and it is advisable to eat something light if you are hungry prior to going. For your information, Boat Noodle will be taking table reservation for Sungkai during Ramadan period.

Food was served promptly after ordering and customer service was pretty good in my opinion. However, I think the air ventilation in the restaurant is not really effective as they are operating in an open kitchen concept. It felt rather stuffy and hot inside after some time and I left the restaurant with a red face from the heat.

Boat Noodle
Unit 12, Ground Floor,
Block B, Little Soho,
Batu Besurat,
Kampung Pengkalang Gadong, BE3519,
Negara Brunei Darussalam
Tel: +673-2420677

Review: Sulbingsoo

We have a new Korean dessert cafe in town after Caffè Bene. Sulbingsoo, the new kid in town has been in operation for about a week or so. The owner was just hanging the signboard on the day when Jennifer and I had lunch at Kausar Cafe some time end of last month.

Jennifer and I agreed to meet at 2:30PM since we were not meeting for lunch but desserts. Eric joined us this time round. I was the first to arrive since I had gotten my bank errands sorted out early. The place was half packed at the time when I arrived and I managed to secure a table for four right after I placed my order. There was a huge high table in the centre of the cafe, suitable for a big group.

Sulbingsoo is an upscale international dessert cafe chain originated from South Korea. I wonder if this Sulbingsoo we have here in Brunei is actually Sulbing from South Korea as I could not find any franchise chain by the name of Sulbingsoo on the Internet.

Anyways, enough of the background check and let’s get started with the food pictures!

Cafe Latte | B$4.80

Matcha Latte | B$5.80

I had Matcha Latte since I had been trying to reduce coffee intake. I like that it had a distinct Matcha taste and it was not sweet. As a matter of fact, it tasted slightly bitter. They are serving both coffee and non-coffee based Matcha Latte. If you want some coffee in your Matcha Latte, you could always opt for the coffee based version.

Melon Bingsoo | B$12.80

I was actually intrigued to try out their Mango Cheesecake Bingsoo but decided not to in case it felt heavy due to the cheesecake. According to Jennifer, her brother highly recommended their Melon Bingsoo over other Bingsoo(s). What’s so special about their Melon Bingsoo you may ask?

Our Melon Bingsoo was served in a half melon, filled with melon flavored shaved ice, red beans, melon balls and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream and some dried cranberries on the top. If you prefer more sweetness, you could always add in the sweet milk syrup served with the Melon Bingsoo. The melon balls were frozen to sorbet texture.

If you want something refreshing and yet sound healthy at the same time, I would strongly recommend their Melon Bingsoo.

Injeolmi Toast with Whipped Cream | B$5.50

Injeolmi is the Korean version of our local Mwah Chee and it was stuffed in between two slices of toasted white sandwich bread. The white bread slices were toasted with a panini presser. I think this was pretty good but the three of us agreed that the toast was slightly hard to chew.

Verdict: Customer service was okay in my opinion. Our Melon Bingsoo came serving approximately 30 minutes after we placed our orders. I think there was a bit of mix up with the ordering system as the patrons who ordered after us got their food before us. And the staff members almost served me with foods which I did not order twice.

We find it rather odd that they did not make use of their POS system when it was readily available at the counter for order taking and payment. So, we assumed that there was probably some technical glitches or what not at the moment.

I do not mind returning again to try out their Mango Cheesecake Bingsoo but I am hoping that I would not have to wait another 30 minutes for it.

Unit B7, Ground Floor,
Shakirin Complex,
Bandar Seri Begawan,
Negara Brunei Darussalam
Tel: +673-8305614

Review: DA SA RANG Korean BBQ Restaurant

I was at Miri earlier this week with Mom for my medical review appointment at SK Wong Clinic. We left home around 6:50AM and only managed to arrive Boulevard around some time around 9:15AM. I had intended to bring Mom for a dim sum breakfast around Pelita Commercial but seeing how time limited it was, I decided not to.

My medical review was good as the doctor mentioned that there was nothing to worry about. However, he advised me to get vaccine for Hepatitis A and B as it was shown on my medical report that I am not immune to them. Sister strongly suggested that I get myself vaccinated as well since I travel at least once a year and I always eat out than home.

After we were done with my appointment, I drove to Bintang Megamall to buy a car seat thingy which Dad requested and some padlocks which a friend requested. It was nearing lunch time when the both of us decided that there was nothing much for us to buy or see. I ended up not getting any skincare product this time round as I was short of RM and I could not bring myself to use my credit card as the bank’s exchange rate was bad.

We decided to head for lunch before returning to Bandar. I brought Mom to DA SA RANG Korean BBQ Restaurant after seeing quite a few promising reviews on Facebook. The last time when Jennifer and I stayed at Pullman Miri Waterfront, we passed by the restaurant and it was close for midday break.

The restaurant is extremely spacious and big in size. It is able to accommodate a big amount of patrons at the same time. I think the restaurant was opened not long ago as congratulatory flower bouquets were still present nearby the entrance. Upon entering the restaurant, you will be greeted with BBQ smell as BBQ pork is one of their specialty dishes.

Without further ado, let me show you what we had for lunch the other day …

Honey Jujube Tea | RM6

Complimentary banchan which came with our main courses. The kimchi was pretty good in my opinion and it was spicy enough for my liking.

Kimbap | RM13

As usual, Kimbap is one of my favorite dishes in a Korean restaurant. However, this was rather disappointing in my opinion. Both Mom and I agreed that this was not good as the rice was overcooked and it was sort of wet and mushy.

Bibimbab | RM20

Mom’s favorite dish to order in a Korean restaurant is always Jja Jang Myeon but it was unavailable at DA SA RANG at the time. So, we decided to share Bibimbab.

Instead of being served chili paste in saucer plate, they will serve Bibimbab with a bottle of chili paste which you could add into your Bibimbab to your preference. I had a little too much and Mom complained that it was too spicy. My usual style of mixing Bibimbab is to add in the kimchi from the banchan. But seeing that Mom was unable to tolerate the spiciness, I decided to eat the kimchi separately. LOL!

If I were to return again, I would go for Dolsot Bibimbab than their regular Bibimbab as everything in the bowl were in room temperature which I am not at all keen of. The sunny side up was prepared beforehand hence the texture was slightly chewy when it had been left in the air for some time.

Gyeran-jjim | RM13

This was nothing much to rave about in my opinion. It tasted bland at first as we had it after eating the over spicy Bibimbab. So, I requested for the remaining to be taken away. We had it for dinner later in the evening and the flavors came through. It was not strong but acceptable in my opinion.

Verdict: Location is pretty good as it is located in the city centre. However, parking may be a bit hard if you are looking for stone throw away distance. There was no empty space nearby so I had to park my car at the parking lot across Pullman Miri Waterfront.

Food wise, I think it was hit and miss as I did not go for their bestselling ones. San Diann sang praises of their Grilled Pork. As I had Mom with me the other day, I ordered based on what she could eat. However, I do not mind returning again next time to try out some other dishes.

PS: DA SA RANG Korean BBQ Restaurant is a non-Halal Korean restaurant. 

DA SA RANG Korean BBQ Restaurant
Ground & First Floor,
Lot 1347, Block 9,
Miri Concession Land District,
98000, Miri,
Tel: +6-085 320882

Review: infinitea X I Say Yatta!

My iTunes is currently transferring some drama series into xplay app for video playing on my iPad. So, I will make use of the transferring period to update a blog entry before calling it a night.

Jennifer and I tried out infinitea X I Say Yatta! for lunch this afternoon. We decided to go ahead for light lunch as I had quite a filling breakfast in the morning with some colleagues while she had her breakfast slightly late. infinitea has been around for some time since last year.

The first outlet is located on the basement floor of Hua Ho Manggis Mall and they had recently opened up another outlet at Regent Square. Apart from the usual cold beverages that infinitea offers, they started I Say Yatta! which serves Yakitori and Yatta Rice Bowl.

Milk Tea | B$2.50

Black Sesame Milk | B$3.00

I had Black Sesame Milk which San Diann had been complimenting on and off on our group chat. I requested for 25% of sugar level with no ice and it was perfect for my taste bud. The taste of black sesame was fragrant enough.

A guide of what infinitea is offering. Some of their beverages were unavailable at the moment. I had actually wanted to try their Matcha Milk but it was unavailable.

Apart from Yakitori, I Say Yatta! is also serving Yatta Rice Bowl. Jennifer and I ordered their Tori Karaage to share. We were contemplating between this and Yoshi’s Chicken. We settled with the former as we were not sure if we would like Japanese tartar sauce.

Cheesy Tofu | B$1.20 & Chicken Wings | B$2.20

Tori Karaage Yatta Rice Bowl | B$4.90

Japanese crispy chicken with special tare sauce, served with Japanese rice

The crispy chicken were good in my opinion but tad bit salty to be eaten alone. They were best paired with the rice. Portion was good enough for one.

This is the overall view of the hot food available at I Say Yatta!.  As seen above, we had only tried Cheesy Tofu and Chicken Wings. The Cheesy Tofu was not the kind which I expected. I thought it was a tofu piece topped with cheese slice. However, it turned out to be a cheese stuffed tofu. I had seen reviews that their Beef Asparagus was good. I am no beef eater so I could not vouch for that.

infinitea X I Say Yatta!
Unit 22, Block B,
Regent Square,
Simpang: 150,
Kampung Kiarong,
Bandar Seri Begawan, BE1318,
Negara Brunei Darussalam
Tel: +673-2424222