By Wilfred Pilo
KUCHING, July 30: Every single year, tens of thousands of people make the drive over to the Kuching Food Festival to get their teeth into something different, delicious and fantastic.
This humongous outdoor gourmet affair, which runs between July 26 to Aug 16 this year, houses 281 food stalls serving up a diverse array of cosmopolitan good food that reflects the city itself.
Organised by the Kuching South City Council (MBKS), this annual event is held to commemorate Kuching being elevated to City status on Aug 1, 1988 as well as to boost local tourism and the food industry.
Apart from the food fair, visitors can also check out the 111 stalls in the trade fair, enjoy the nightly entertainment and performances, participate in sports activities and take a stroll along at the garden corner.
While there’s plenty to whet your appetite but here are six of our picks to try at the festival this year.
The choice may not be the favourite of readers or visitors, but you won’t go wrong with these classic eats that will leave you satisfied for a while.
Otak-Otak is seafood cake made of of either ground fish or prawn meat mixed with tapioca starch and spices. It is wrapped in banana or pandan leaves and grilled on charcoal fire.
This classic light street food snack is very popular across Southeast Asia, especially in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, and probably has arrived on the dining tables in many parts of Europe and the United States.
Infused with exotic spices and herbs, its aromatic flavours will just melt in the mouth. For RM1.20 per piece for fish and RM1.50 for prawn, it is a really good nibble for a festive starter.
Teochew-style oyster omelette
This savoury hawker classic is one of the favourites among visitors to the food festival.
At RM12 per serving, this juicy and tasty oyster omelette is enough for two persons.
The texture of the omelette is in between a gentle scrambled egg and fluffed up pancake, topped up with fresh oysters and lots of chopped spring onions. Though good plain, it tastes better when paired with a tangy chilli sauce.
No. 1 Singapore spicy grilled sea bass
The aroma of this ‘No1. Singapore Spicy Grilled Sea Bass’ can be smelled a distance away while being grilled on the stove with charcoal.
The sea bass fish is fresh and the Asian-inspired marinate brings out the flavours of the fish. Topped with a spicy sauce, this is a succulent, tasty and tender fish dish.
Comes with a non-alcoholic or alcoholic beverage, it is priced at RM15 for a one-sided grilled fish.
Green papaya salad
Thailand’s fresh green papaya salad or “Som Tam” is a tasty, healthy but spicy salad that will light your taste buds on fire.
The thinly shredded unripe papayas are tossed with chilli, fish sauce, chopped garlic, lime, slice tomatoes, chopped long beans, crush peanuts, dried shrimps, slice tomatoes and sugar to deliver all four tastes – sour, chilli, sweet and salty.
For RM10 a cup, it is really appetising and addictive.
The scallion pancake or Chinese pizza is a crispy and light snack that is pan-fried to a beautiful golden brown. It is a savoury snack topped with Hoisin sauce, lots of sesame seeds and various other condiments.
For RM7 a plate, the pancake is a real good appetiser to munch while exploring the wide array of food choices and soaking in the atmosphere at the food festival.
Coconut ice cream
After getting hot and sweaty exploring the crowded festival, there is truly nothing more comforting than a pint of your favourite ice cream.
For RM10, this coconut flavour ice cream is served in a coconut shell and topped with fresh shreded coconut meat and crushed peanuts.
It is so refreshing and a good palette cleanser. It is really the perfect treat to end the evening with.— DayakDaily