We visited Brunei in the heist of Ramadan, a religious festival which to me makes no sense. Muslims set the alarm for the crack of dawn to which they awake scoff their faces with food and drink before sunrise, then go hungry/thirsty all day in the blistering heat until 6/7pm when they then gorge like little sacred piggies all through the night. So maybe Ramadan isn’t a good time to visit Brunei and write a blog about food? Actually, the opposite, Ramadan brings the entire country together, and around 5/6pm night markets set up all over town for people to buy all sorts of goodies to break the fast.
Local women slave away (with no taste tests in between) and bring their local delicacies to the market, men marinate, butcher and grill kebabs over hot coals, wannabe chefs flambé noodles and stir fry vegetables in hot woks, and this is all washed down with some of the weirdest drinks you can imagine.
Our trip to the Ramadan food market saw us pick up some sticky rice with prawns, beef liver, prawn fritters, biryani, chicken kebabs, sweet kurma curry and a weird ABC drink which contained sweetcorn, and although we were so hungry and tempted to eat in the middle of the street we got it to takeaway where we could happily eat in sin before the fast was broken.
All in all I think Ramadan is a bit pointless, basically you adapt the eating pattern of a vampire for a couple of weeks and live like an owl, however the sense of togetherness around the market, everyone chipping in, communities eating together is something that us English don’t do very often and could do doing more often.