Monday, 25 November 2019

EVENING WITH SARAWAK TOURISM BOARD


Under the spell of Santubong

November 20, 2019

Resplendent in colourful native costume
The slight drizzle only served to inject an air of authenticity to the “rainforest” ambience at the dinner hosted by Sarawak Tourism Board. 
The events room was lush with greenery… for a moment, we could imagine ourselves transplanted into the rainforest of Sarawak as everywhere we looked, there were plants, flowers and fruit. And instead of cloth tablemats, our plates and cutlery were set on huge Split Leaf Philodendron (Monstera deliciosa).

Tragic tale of love and jealousy as Puteri Santubong and Puteri Sejinjang fight over a Prince
As members of the media took their seats, the pantomime of two princesses, Puteri Santubong and Puteri Sejinjang, unfolded with love, jealousy and hatred woven in the tragic tale. 
Bringing a bit of the lush "forests" of Sarawak into the event hall
Earlier, we sipped fruit juice, beer and tuak in the foyer and learnt the bamboo dance, hornbill dance and to use a blowpipe (which turned out to be heavier than I had expected.
Sarawak Tourism Board CEO Puan Sharzede Datu Haji Salleh Askor warmly welcomed us as well and gave away prizes for the lucky draw, which included tours to Kuching, Miri Jazz Festival, Mulu Tour and Mulu Marriott Resort.

All of us also received a Batique batik bag filled with thoughtful, practical gifts of Bario highland rice and black peppercorns. 
Although the event was held at the Hilton Kuala Lumpur, the menu was a sampling of Sarawakian specialties, albeit served fine-dining style.
Umai Ikan Tenggiri (top), herb salad and Pais Udang
Sarawak Laksa
We started with Umai Ikan Tenggiri, Pais Udang and a green salad comprising local herbs, followed by a soup bowl filled with Sarawak Laksa, garnished with chicken and prawn.

Fried Bario Rice, Sayur Midin with prawn, lamb in black pepper sauce and Manok Pansuh
The main course was an interesting combination of Bario Rice fried with dabai (black olives), Sayur Midin (fern shoot) with prawn and sambal on a slice of potato, Lamb in Soya & Black Pepper Sauce and Manok Pansuh with Pucuk Ubi. This last item is a common dish in Sarawak and comprises chicken cooked with tapioca leaves inside hollow bamboo.

Sarawak's layer cake with Kuih Penyaram and sago pearl honeydew
For dessert, we had the famous Sarawak layer cake, the saucer-shaped Kuih Penyaram and sago pearl honeydew (which is not quite Sarawakian in origin).
As the evening drew to a close, the performers came around to invite us to join them in dance, so we let our hair down and swayed to the music.




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