The Gerai Ramadhan Temburong is much smaller than its counterparts with just 32 vendors – but with all being homegrown from the district known as the green jewel – they carry their own charm with a few items you’re unlikely to find elsewhere.
Located opposite the Dewan Kemasyarakatan (community hall) Belalong in Bangar town, Temburong’s Gerai Ramadhan is amongst the most affordable in the country with a rental of $20, with vendors arranged in a U shape to accommodate visitors more spaciously.
If you’re looking to make the drive down – here’s a sample of what’s on offer.
Award winning wajid: Syarikat Hajah Yuliana
Wajid is a sweet delicacy mostly associated with Temburong, and sole proprietor Hjh Yuliana prepares it in five different ways: the classic with glutinous rice or the fine grained jawa rice; alongside three fruit-flavours; yam, pumpkin, or durian.
The base of wajid remains same for all five; rice is steamed, then mixed with a concoction of coconut milk and caramelized sugar and before being wrapped in nyirik leaves. $2 gets you seven to eight packs of wajid, depending on the flavour.
Hjh Yuliana has been making wajid for almost two decades, and was recognized for her excellence last year as the runner up in the wajid category of the Brunei Food Awards.
“This recipe comes from my in-laws; I’ve been doing this ever since my son was one-year-old,” said Hjh Yuliana, who runs a stall at Tamuaneka Temburong outside Ramadhan. “Today, with my husband retired, this business supports my family.”
Grilling at seventeen
17-year-old Nurshairah Abd Mohd Dahlan has the distinction of being the youngest salai (grilled and smoked) vendor at Temburong’s Gerai Ramadhan.
Having learned the trade from her dad when she was still in school three years ago, Nurshairah now mans the stall full-time duly following her dad’s traditional recipes and techniques.
Nurshairah also operates a stall with her father next to Restoran Ampuan Hj Salleh at Kg Menangah outside Ramadhan.
They sell the standard grilling fare: a chicken wing or chicken tails for $1 and a half chicken starting at $5.
Mocktails for a $1: Abah Malim serta Isteri dan Anak
For just $1, you can have Rasimah’s mocktails at stall 20 instead of your regular can of soda.
Rasimah and her family offer six different flavours: blueberry, blackcurrant, orange, lychee, honeydew and strawberry – all with a twist of lemon and sweet basil seeds (jintan selasih).
“I saw that no one was really doing this (in Temburong) so I did some research online, watched some YouTube videos and decided to give this a go,” said the 37-year-old, who is also known for her ais kepal Milo (shaved ice with milo syrup) at the temporary market opposite the current Gerai Ramadhan during regular months.
Family cendol, popiah with a twist: PMSNJ Enterprise
When her contract ended with security company AEGIS, Nurul Jannah Hj Jaman decided to help market the family’s cendol and offer her own take on popiah (spring rolls) at the Gerai Ramadhan Temburong for the first time.
Wanting to develop more novel types of popiah, Nurul offers four separate fillings: sardine, tahai (smoked herring), crab and cheese, and carbonara – with four pieces for $1.
“So far the response to our spring rolls have been very encouraging,” said Nurul Jannah. “After this year’s Ramadhan, we are planning to find a place to setup in Bandar where we can sell our food. We’re hoping that we can have a wider exposure at the capital.”
Grilling to make ends meet: Nur Amza and Family Enterprise
For 37-year-old Nurul Dyana Danial and her husband, grilling is a full-time pursuit; whether at the Gerai Ramadhan or their food stall in Kg Batang Tuau during regular months.
“I started this business because it’s been very hard to look for a job these days,” said Nurul Diyana. “We choose grilling after being inspired by watching people grill on television. From there, we’ve been trying to create our own version (of salai) and cacah (soy-based dipping sauce.”
Dyana humbly says there’s nothing special about her seasoning ingredients or grilling technique, but judging by her steady stream of customers, there must be something the family is doing right.