Thanis Lim

All Rounder Chef and Food Journalist

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Brunei Restaurant Review: Bistro Chez Fio is in town!

Chez Fio, which means Fio’s Place in French recently opened in Kiulap opposite Big Mama Restaurant and Netzone. The head chef Fiona Chian is born in Canada and was brought up by Bruneian parents. She has an enormous passion for food and decided to come to Brunei to open a restaurant. I must say I am very inspired to see someone bringing in Canadian influences to the Bruneian Dining Scene. Step forward – Chez Fio, Canadian Inspired Bistro.

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I personally loved the ambience, décor and choice of soft soothing music. Upon entering the bistro, it sparked fond memories of cafes or breakfast places in Australia – the smell of freshly baked goods, coffee and tea ~~ ahhh ~~ I’m loving it!

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I like the good old chalkboard when it comes to writing up the specials of the day! You simply can’t go wrong with it! Notice that there’s plenty of photos and pictures being displayed as well. Chef Fiona personally designed the cafe, paying painstaking attention to the small details to add a welcoming yet unique dimension to the look and feel of the bistro.

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They recently added more colours to their chalkboard menu! *picture taken from their facebook page* The wonderful use of colours and art really attracts attention and sparks your inner childhood memories of playing with chalk during ones primary school days.

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They have an assorted array of drinks to choose from ~ ranging from the classic caffe latte to signature mocktails! You gotta try them!

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I bet you got thirsty after looking at these drinks!

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Chez Fio offers a good choice of muffins for breakfast such as their Apple Cheddar Muffin – for only $3 – you get a hearty muffin and free house coffee or tea! Now that’s a good deal or what?! They have different muffins daily so do check the board on what special muffins are sold ~~

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Chez Fio has two different menus for Breakfast and Lunch! Breakfast is usually from 7am till 11am – Lunch from 11 am till 2pm. All breakfast items comes served with complimentary house coffee or tea!

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The customer has an option of choosing whole wheat or normal pancakes. I chose the healthier option pancake stack – served with mixed berries sauce and whipped cream ~~ hubba hubba ~~ *picture taken from phone in dim lighting*

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Another breakfast item I ordered was the vegetarian omelet – chocked full of goodness and served with a side of sautéed potatoes. I’m feeling healthier already! There’s quite a lot of other breakfast options available from the menu or the colourful chalkboard – be sure to give them a shot! *photo taken with phone in dim lighting too*

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For lunch, they have got a fixed set of items to order from the menu – and special items depending on which day you visit. I had the privilege of trying quite a number of their dishes ~~

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Their beef burgers are cooked properly (medium with a pink center) and topped with cheese and crispy onion rings (oh yesh!). I like the dressing on the salad leaves and tomatoes that come with the burger. They also serve sweet potato fries which gave a pretty colourful presentation!

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Next comes my favourite lunch – their roast beef sandwich – using Chef Fio’s home made bread! I simply loved the texture of the sandwich! Bravo on the bread!  I still felt the sandwich could do with a little bit of sweetness to contrast with the savoury roast beef and cheese. The accompanying salad is a welcoming addition of fresh tasting goodness with extra crunch from chickpeas and raisins!

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The beef stew has a sweeter taste to it and is pretty fork tender to eat. It’s served with sautéed long beans (I initially thought it was asparagus!) and mashed potatoes. A fusion dish making use of local produce.

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Their house lasagna makes use of ricotta and mince beef. It’s not as creamy as the typical lasagna we get in Brunei – and it’s served with a side of fresh vegetables. Make sure you eat them to balance out the lasagna! *photo taken from Chez Fio’s Facebook Fan Page – the one I took with my phone wasn’t satisfying*

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This dish is interesting – when I posted the Chez Fio pictures on my Instagram. Fellow SocMed friend Maurina, asked if they have Poutine, indicating it as a popular Canadian dish . I wasn’t sure but when I sat down at Chez Fio for another lunch session and saw Poutine ~ I simply had to try it. Poutine is basically French fries with cheese curds and good old fashioned gravy ~~~ hmm… I liked the cheese curds and gravy – but I felt the fries could be crispier to contrast with the curds and gravy. *photo ALSO taken from Chez Fio’s Facebook Fan Page – it’s never easy taking picture with your phone*

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Now here’s something interesting (and I had not tried it yet!!) – ice cream sandwiches! Oh my! I found this photo on their Facebook Fan Page and simply cannot resist not posting it! *credit goes to whoever snapped this tasty looking morsel!*

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*picture of the ice cream sandwiches (oh my Android!) taken by Jane Chang* Beautiful!

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One thing I liked about Chez Fio is their wonderful friendly staff – and you can always see Chef Fiona buzzing around like a busy bee. Chez Fio currently operates from 7am till 11am for Breakfast Menus, 11 am till 2pm for Lunch Menus and I heard they are now extending their opening hours from 2.30pm to 5pm for their special HAPPY HOUR – serving Freshly baked cookies, garlic herb scones, and sausage buns – or perhaps some new creations from Chef Fiona!

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This is Thanis Lim ~ your well fed food blogger ~~ signing off ~ *licks salt off rim and sips mocktail* Hmmm ~~

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