BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN — The Brunei Gastronomy Week is back for the fifth time to give your taste buds a treat.

Sixteen hotels, restaurants and food service providers will be promoting their signature dishes for two weeks as part of the 37th National Day celebration.

From February 23 to March 9, the annual event aims to celebrate local cuisine and provide a unique culinary experience to visitors.

The Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) launched the Brunei Gastronomy Week on Wednesday.

The event encourages more eateries to serve Bruneian cuisine and refine the presentation of Bruneian dishes as part of a fine dining experience or at receptions, MPRT said in a statement.

Themed “Selera Bruneiku”, the event is an extension of the Domestic Tourism Campaign launched on November 4 last year.

Students from IBTE School of Hospitality and Tourism showcase their dishes, while MPRT minister YB Dato Hj Ali looks on at the launch of Brunei Gastronomy Week 2021. Photo: Rasidah Hj Abu Bakar/The Scoop

Food can be a major attraction for visitors, said Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism YB Dato Seri Setia Hj Ali  Apong in his speech. 

“Gastronomy tourism has evolved to encompass activities beyond the plate, including attending food events and festivals; visiting local markets; taking cooking classes; going on food tours and learning about the production of food by visiting farms and producers,” he added.

The minister encouraged tourism service providers to go beyond package tours and look into more experiential, community-based or ecotourism initiatives to lure domestic and international visitors.

Dishes prepared by Eco Ponies Garden at the launch of Brunei Gastronomy Week 2021. Photo: Rasidah Hj Abu Bakar/The Scoop

Three awarded for best dishes

The launch of the event also saw three awards presented to last year’s winners of Brunei Gastronomy Week.

Mulia Hotel was awarded ‘Best Starter’ for its Grilled Prawn with Coconut Kerabu, while Anjung Saujana Restaurant claimed the ‘Best Main Course’ with its Coconut Seabass.

The ‘Best Dessert’ award went to Horizon Seafood Restaurant’s Coconut Madness.

This year’s participants will be judged on execution, presentation, taste and theme of their  dishes.

Anjung Saujana Restaurant’s beef murtabak dish featured at the launch of Brunei Gastronomy Week 2021. Photo: Rasidah Hj Abu Bakar/The Scoop

The winners will be announced at the next Brunei Gastronomy Week in 2022.

This year’s Gastronomy Week also features chefs who have built a social media presence over the years, namely Muris, U’zaiz, Terry’s Supper Club by Terry Wong, Plat Du Jour by Aziz Mokhsen, by Kahar El-Fiarra. 

They will be showcasing their take on “Selera Bruneiku” dishes at a special event on March 6 and 7 at Avenue 41 in Kiarong.