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By Ng Ai Fern
KUCHING, May 31: Made with 80kg of sugar, recycled items and one month of hard work from sketch to paste, a miniature replica of the iconic Kuching floating mosque is one of the most instagrammable decorative cakes to be found this festive season.
Currently displayed at Pullman Kuching, outside its all-day dining Puzzle restaurant, the huge cake features two striking blue domes and white walled buildings with an iconic minaret in between, floating over a model recreation of the Sarawak River.
Several details of the unique architecture, such as carvings and decorations on the windows and walls are also visible, but the maker of this astonishing masterpiece admitted he had never been to the new tourist attraction.
“I just passed by the mosque. I looked at photos online and checked Google satellite then I imagined the rest,” said the 42-year-old pastry chef Eddie Anthony Fong.
The Sabahan moved to Kuching last year but a busy work schedule had limited his sightseeing activities. When he was tasked to showcase something uniquely Kuching, the iconic Kuching Floating Mosque immediately caught his attention.
“We wanted to showcase Kuching, and we looked everywhere and found this. It is important that people come and know what it is (the floating mosque),” he said, adding that the uniqueness of the Kuching Floating Mosque actually made it easier to make, compared to the relatively complicated Kuching Old State Mosque nearby.
Looking after daily operations at the five-star property was also one of the biggest challenges for Fong and his four supporting staff as they raced to complete the cake within a limited time frame.
To save time, the award-winning pastry chef with over 20 years’ experience had to come up with creative solutions. He used styrofoam as the base of the building and he came up with a simplified version of decorations for the wall, and the minaret is actually made from a plastic bottle.
When asked whether he was proud of his creation, he said he could do better.
However, due to the humidity in the area, the colour of some parts of the cake had changed with brown dots appearing, which saddened its maker.
“Normally, cakes like this can be kept up to three years in the right environment. But for this one (Kuching Floating Mosque 3D Cake), we will discard it after Ramadhan,” he said. In other word, Kuchingnites will only have days to take photos with the miniature mosque, a replica of the RM21 million Kuching Floating Mosque that was officially opened on March 1 this year.”
The mosque can accommodate 1,600 worshippers at a time. It is also open to non-Muslims, but members of the public are advised to dress decently.
Sarawak’s first ever floating mosque at the Sarawak River is to replace the 186-year-old Masjid India, which was built by Indian Muslim traders who operated their businesses at India Street. – Dayak Daily