by Jia Ying Chia
The crispy, the crunchy, flaky, sweet and salty — oh boy do we love baked goods here at BIG! Whether you’re partial to a curry puff or tersliur (craving) the fattiness of a buttery tart, our island’s complex history and diverse cultures mash up together to make for some beautiful culinary history. Our only criteria for this search? pastry dough. No cakes, bread or buns here. From the deceptively simple Dan Ta (egg tart) to perfectly layered French croissants, let us take you on a curated tour of where to find the most delicious pastries in Borneo-land.
ALTER EGO, BRUNEI
As one the the first to bring gourmet desserts into Brunei’s restaurant scene, Alter Ego has continued to bring a sense of luxury with its premium casual dining experience based on Modern Asian Fusion and contemporary global food trends. Luxurious desserts are standard, fuelled by the owner’s passion for classic French pastries, and bringing the world to Brunei. Their food is as artful as the restaurant cafe, which is designed to make you feel as if you’re no longer in Brunei. The Salted Caramel Eclair is the perfect marriage of savoury and sweet, with a delicate but flavourful buttercream. Fans of lemon tarts should definitely give the Key Lime Eclair a try – refreshing and balanced in its sour-sweet profiles, this is such a nice treat on a hot day.
IG: @alteregofoods | Unit No. 2 & 3, Block E, Ground Floor, Setia Kenangan II, Kg Kiulap, Bandar Seri Begawan
ALAN’S CHURROS, BRUNEI
“Life is sweeter when you share a plate of Churros”. according to Alan himself. But we have trouble wanting to share these! He’s spent years perfecting the recipe and cooking process to achieve the crunchy exterior that is perfectly cooked throughout, so you’ll never get any soggy centres here! They’re surprisingly less sweet than we’d imagined, even with the icing sugar and sauce combinations, and good value for money too.
We love the white chocolate and peanut sauce that has a slightly savoury edge to it and the butterscotch sauce is filled with rich flavour but feels surprisingly light when munched on. The churros here are inspired by the original Spanish version and are a perfect example of why the best things in life are simple
IG: @alans.churros | Ground Floor, Unit. 5, Block A, Little Soho, Simpang 73-5-8, Batu Bersurat, Bandar Seri Begawan
THE CURRYPUFF FACTORY
One of the most obvious choices when the curry puff cravings hit. Super flaky and rich pastry casing with a generous amount of filling in every flavour.
LANE MICROBAKERY & LANE 2.0, BRUNEI
This European-styled cafe and microbakery has self-taught pastry chef and certified barista, Eunice Lo at the helm. The Pain au Chocolat is flaky, choccy goodness.
Created by a Cordon Bleu graduate pastry chef, this reservations-only spot has a distinct contemporary style. The afternoon tea set currently includes their famous boba tart and eclairs
IG: @yuzu.bn | Kg Mata-Mata, Home-based cafe by appointment only.
The strudels here have a reputation for a reason — think chunky fresh mango or apple confit sandwiched between layers of crisp, puff pastry layers and whipped cream YUM!
CRUMB ARTISAN BAKERY, MIRI
Walking into Crumb feels like a dream; Head Baker Wendy Tsang, trained under Michelin-star pastry chef Gregoire Michaud, before moving to Miri. Her expertise and Crumb’s unwavering commitment to quality means the monumental task of making everything in-house where possible. They use imported French butter, giving their baked goods an extra level of quality. You’ll find items infused with a Borneo flair, such as pies filled with local red rice , savoury-ish Bario salt, and the sweet earthiness of Sayur Manis, alongside their ever popular croissants, Pastel De Nata (Portuguese Tart), BBQ pulled chicken danish, and Pain Au Chocolat with Gula Apong. Their beverage selection includes delicious specialty coffees and locally-inspired mocktails.
BON BON PATISSERIE, MIRI
What a sweet time you’ll have at this bakery located conveniently just off of Jalan Miri Pujut. Plenty of French-styled pastries available and we love the idea of the novel Choux bowl.
REVOLUTION BOULANGERIE PATISSERIE, KUCHING
Located near the Earthlings Coffee workshop, pastries from this Kuching home-bakery have been described as addictive and unforgettable. They do Asian and Western styled bakes alongside their bread menu.
CROWN BAKERY, SABAH
Craving pastries in Kota Kinabalu? You’ll find a great mix of European and Asian pastries at Crown Bakery, which is modeled on the Taiwanese style of bakeries. They do plenty of bread varieties and aside from the usual items like butter croissants and oozy cheese danishes, there are more unique pastries here. The Polo Danish features the sweet crumbly biscuit topping of the Hong Kong ‘Polo Bun’, a top a perfect bed of multilayered croissant dough. The buttermilk ‘piang’ are a wonderful play on the classic Chinese pastry better acquainted with a sweet mung bean paste filling.
It’s cinnamon rolls all day, every day at this home grown bakery in ITCC, Penampang. You’ll find multiple varieties of the comforting dessert pastry available.
LUMIERE COFFEE SPACE, SABAH
A relaxing space, Lumiere has a wonderful roster of handmade pastries and regularly get crowds in for their yummy quiches and pies. Their Kouign-Amann is heavenly.