Living in Brunei, a dry muslim country meant being creative when it comes to finding a nice place to drink and have a good time. It used to be at friends’ homes or the beach until we got older. Then everyone drove and had access to their own passports! This meant heading to the border – Kuala Lurah in Malaysia.
Kuala Lurah is right pass the customs/immigration, a little shanty town is built right 5 minutes pass border to serve locals (Bruneians) and is popular for cheap eats & disgustingly cheap drinks. When I say shanty, I MEAN shanty – muddy floors, no running water, wooden tables & plastic chairs.
The little area got burnt down and couple years ago, they cleaned up. It is now literally a minute pass the border, nice cemented doors with rows of restaurant w running water.
There were red lanterns hung everywhere because it was Chinese New Year. The place is always packed regardless of whether it is the weekday or weekend.
Stalls further back are less crowded
Some stalls have their own grills so you can order all kinds of grill items:
Fish for grilling
Squid & shrimps
Popular items to order when at the border
BBQ items are ordered from individual bbq stalls on the side of the roads, then when they are ready the proprietors will look for you and drop them off & collect payment.
Grilled Chicken Wings BND$1 each
Always delicious – grilled just right, the meat is always very juicy and the skin has nice caramelization from a honey glaze and smokiness from the grill.
Grilled Chicken Butt BND$1 for 2
Always grilled perfectly – fatty, juicy with a nice char on the outside and a light sweet glaze.
Grilled Pork Belly BND$1 each
Definite crowd favourite with nice charred bits of fat & meat, with a nice honey glaze. The pork is definitely chewy but sliced thinly and grilled welll so it stay juicy. Delicious.
Deep Fried Chicken Wings BND$5
Ordered in denominations of $5, $10, $15 and up. Everyone has their favourite stall for their own deep fried wings, and we alternate between Cafe Number 138 or one at the back where it is less packed.
The wings are always served with a spicy, slightly sour chili sauce.
All the stalls have deep fried so many orders of these for years to decades, so they all make perfectly cooked chicken wings. Their seasonings are a little different but all very good. Crispy and salty on the outside, juicy & full of flavour inside.
Deep fried Hot Dogs BND$5
These are a little strange to me. My friends swear that Malaysian hot dogs are way better than what is available in Brunei. Maybe because it is not Halal and their is probably pork grind up with other meats.
It is salty, a little softer than most hot dogs I have had with a crispy batter. Crowd favourite although not mine.
Fried Biling/Midin/Fiddlehead Fern (either with sambal belacan or wine) BND$5
Every stall prepares it differently but honestly – this fern itself it good so all preparations taste good.
Fried Noodles BND$5
Most stalls offer mee goreng/fried noodles. They are all made pretty much the same way. With random pieces of meat, veggies, seasoned with soy/fish sauce/oyster sauce. It is always very oily but very very satisfying.
Fried Kwae Tiau BND$5
Delicious. The kwae tiau/rice noodles here are thinner/more delicate than what it usually offered in Brunei. Fried with whatever you want – we always ask for no beansprouts, only chicken. Delicious with a nice “wok” flavour.
Stuffed Tofu BND$5
Not my favourite – only because I am not a fan of tofu. But everyone always enjoys these because the tofu is stuffed with seasoned meat that is juicy and served with a sweet soy & hot sauce.
I prefer the deep fried seafood tofu that is served with a sweet mayo dip.
Black Pepper Lamb Chops BND$10
Ordered off a particular stall (which is sometimes not open). Grilled black pepper lamb chops. (Sorry for the fuzzy pic). It always arrives “black” in colour, with fatty lamb pieces cut into little pieces and then grilled on a flat top with onions.
One of the more expensive items to order at KL. Not a lot of meat for BND$10 but always very very tasty and extremely peppery.
Spicy Bats (yup, bats…)
Ordered from one of the stalls at the back. Not very good – I found the bat very stringy and chewy with a weird aftertaste. I think it is more the preparation than the actual protein that was not so great.
Grilled Sting Ray BND$15
Every local that leaves Brunei, would always have a craving when we go back. Popular in Brunei seafood restaurants & KL, the sting ray is lathered with sambal belacan (shrimp paste) and grilled. Always delicious and the best part is, you can tell them how spicy you want it (I am bad with spice so I always ask for only a little heat)
This is probably one of the pricier items (in addition to the lamb dishes) available there. Usually ordered from a toothless guy (family friend) who walks around w a picture menu and then he goes back to his stall – grills it then delivers it after.
Spicy Squid BND$5
I am not a big fan of sambal belacan (fermented shrimp paste), and this is a little too spicy for me, but everyone always enjoys it especially if the squid is fresh.
Deep Fried Calamari
This is ok. Not my favourite item in KL but not bad. Coated with a little flour then deep fried and served with a sweet mayo dip.
Snails in a spicy sauce BND$5
I love this stuff. The sauce is salty, sweet with a little kick and eating this is always fun.
Grilled random fish
Other popular items:
Deep fried seafood tofu
They offered a range of drinks:
6 Cans of beer for BND$10
5 Bottles of beer for BND$10
Shandy BND$2 per can
Malaysian “pirated” hard liquor BND$5
Certain Soft Drinks (Coke, Crysanthemum) for BND$2
Nothing beats a good meal & drinks at the border with great company. The night always ends w excessive amount of eating and drinking!