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November 1, 2007

Glue anyone? 

Ambuyat is unique to Brunei as well as to Bruneians. It is a type of starch taken especially during lunchtime and mostly on Friday afternoons or anytime you fancy really.

It’s glue-like appearance (top left) and bland taste might not be appetising but the trick is actually to dip it in the accompanying sauce known as cacah and swallowing it whole. Cacah or the dip can either be made from local fruits known as binjai or pidada or from fermented shrimps known locally as cencalu. Normally the cacah is sour but may be added in with chillies for those who like it hot or more chillies to make it hotter. Ambuyat taste best while hot so be very careful when swallowing it.If you do get your experience of your lifetime in accidentally swallowing a very hot ambuyat, don’t panic. My mom, who quoted an old wives’ tale, said to hug a banana tree instead of gulping cold water. She wasn’t sure sure why banana tree but thought that maybe banana is cool (I thought cucumber is cool? No? But then again cucumber is a creepy veggie, not a tree).

There are other races in this world who make full use of the sago tree. We have the Penans of Sarawak who processes sago flour from sago tree. The Kombai tribe, one of the tribes found in Irian Jaya, Indonesia, also eat the pit from the sago tree though I am sure they don’t have our cacah nor chandas (the two-pronged chopstick made from bamboo use to twirl and place Ambuyat in your mouth). Rumbia or sago trees take ten years to mature. I have no information on the number of such trees still intact in Brunei. I do hope they are still growing everyday so my great-great-grandchildren will know where Ambuyat come from. Alai with chandas. Starting to like ambuyat…

24 Comments leave one →
  1. ambuyat-lover permalink
    November 1, 2007 9:15 am

    Didnt know about that banana tree tip. Thanks. Will keep that in mind. Hope there are banana trees around if that happen. Gulp!

  2. Ramble On permalink
    November 6, 2007 8:41 am

    Hehe…hope that doesnt happen. If yes, I would surely love to take a snap of someone hugging a banana tree. Nice!

  3. Hafiiz permalink
    November 26, 2007 6:56 am

    Hey..can i use urs decription bout ambuyat in my facebook group…Named “Ambuyat semangkuk agung”..i reference u…

  4. Ramble On permalink
    November 26, 2007 1:49 pm

    Nyup Hafiiz. Send me ur url so I can reference you too? 😉

  5. November 27, 2007 2:28 am

    Melanau of Sarawak are also known to eat sagu and ambuyat, both made from sago flour. and I think they have their own name for ambuyat but I forgotten about it.

    Even tribe of Dusun of Sabah also eat ambuyat and as usual I forget the name of dish.

    and Dayak Iban of Sarawak also fond to eat Ambuyat as snack (topple with sugar or isi kelapa… huhuh yummy!)

    thank for article… darling!! and sorry for my shabby English!

  6. Ramble On permalink
    November 27, 2007 8:50 am

    Great AA! Thanks for your additional useful info. I knew it that there are connections between Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei and maybe Kalimantan and am not surprise either because we share the same history.

    Now, dont worry about the names. I will search for them and share here. Thanks again there. Long life ambuyat? Hehe.

  7. kepalahotakbejambul permalink
    April 13, 2008 11:55 pm

    waaa.. i miss ambuyat too..aminah arif atu ble buka their branch here kh tu or dimana2 arnd d world? cubatahnah.

  8. Ramble On permalink
    April 14, 2008 11:49 am

    Ooooo kesian err, what-a-long-name-you-have. I will ask Aminah Arif to open its branch in, where are you what-a-long-name-you-have?

  9. kepalahotakbejambul permalink
    April 15, 2008 4:03 am

    bh sesuai tah tu (“D) cant wait havin it here…err in UK, loughborough wil do kh tu? tee hee… london kebab dh ada d brunei, y not brunei ambuyat here? but ada market kh tu? nda survey dlu? suka kn bnr brunei tourist yg mrasa ambuyat kitani atu? pukul brapa ia tegugur ani? mana bisilimah? hehehe…

  10. Ramble On permalink
    April 15, 2008 9:01 am

    Oh u d UK…jauh jua..bahapa u d sana? <—-bz body. Thats a gud idea u have – 2 intro ambuyat Brunei d sana as its true, we do have London kebab here in Brunei. Nanti menyuruh org membuat survey for marketing purpose. Viable for business or not.

  11. kepalahotakbejambul permalink
    April 16, 2008 4:50 am

    is orite 😉 adalah kepalahotakbejambul ini tgh mncari ilmu nun di sinun. wlupun itu mcm, hujan batu di negri org (hail) hujan bisai di negri sendiri (ehehe).. windu hantap th udh tuu :_(

  12. Ramble On permalink
    April 16, 2008 2:58 pm

    ithu macam ke? Barangsiapa menempuh suatu jalan untuk mencari ilmu pengetahuan, Allah akan menempuhkan suatu jalan untuknya menuju Syurga – Riwayat Muslim. So there you go kpbjambul.

  13. kepalahotakbejambul permalink
    April 17, 2008 12:04 am

    thanks dr ramble 😀 very inspirational..insyaAllah i’l do good here, may all of us be in Allah’s care always.Amiin.. keep d ramblin rockin babe 😉

  14. May 19, 2008 2:20 pm


    • June 21, 2009 11:37 am

      Ambuyat memang nyaman dmakan..sesiapa yang ingin atau suka makan ambuyat terus kn lh makan..ambuyat juga dkenali dengan nama ambulung..semua orang brunei pndai makan ambuyat..dan ada separuh yang tidak pandai kerana geli,mcm gam,dan ada yang berfikir tidak logik..d fikir nya dahak..ambuyat sebenarnya enak..dan tidak melekat..

  15. Ramble On permalink
    May 20, 2008 12:28 pm

    Aww Mai,the ambuyat by itself is bland but the dip (or cacah in Malay) makes the difference…missing ambuyat…

  16. April 30, 2009 10:37 am

    OOooohhh, just realized that its been a year old for this post. Btw, like to share my 1st time experiencing eating Ambuyat…I can’t even swallow it but keep chewing, sounds ridiculous right? It takes myself & spouse lots of convincing from my 2 daughters to try this traditional Bruneian meal, at last Aminah Arif we headed for the try out after almost 15 years in this country..and the verdict….’Nyaman bah’ especially the cecah (so suuuperbbb, its out of this world **eyes rolling**)

    P/S: Must ask the proprietor of Aminah Arif to at least plant a banana tree (in a big pot) for emergency cases…oooopppss!!

    • Brunei Lifestyler permalink
      May 1, 2009 12:57 am

      Hello bizzy…hehe…yes the banana tree. I know most people would say if not for the cacah (dip) the whole ambuyat experience is is tasteless. Thanks for sharing.

  17. dyan permalink
    August 26, 2009 6:51 am

    do u mind if i copy ur description and post it in my blog?i need some description bout ambuyat tho. thnxs!:)

    • Eva Wanda permalink
      August 26, 2009 8:44 am

      Hi dyan…In conjunction with the holy month, yes pls do so but if you can say that you got it from my blog 😉 or give a link? thats much better dyan…

  18. hamdilah permalink
    March 30, 2012 3:53 pm

    Share a very good tips for u all. You can hug rumbia tree when gulping, it helps more.. this is what i learn from the ethnic group who used to eat ‘Ambuyat’ during world war 2. Enjoy reading

  19. hamdilah permalink
    March 30, 2012 3:58 pm

    Share a very good tips for u all. You can hug rumbia tree, it helps more.. this is what i learn from the ethnic group who used to eat ‘Ambuyat’ during world war 2. Enjoy reading


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