Kuching Festival Fair 2005

The Kuching Festival Fair is a month-long food, trade and cultural fair held annually at the Dewan Masyarakat (Civic Hall).

The event has been going on 17 years now. I remember I used to attend the event as a kid together with my late grandmother. I vaguely recall the dimly lit footpath, the wide range of local food, the hustle and bustle of the crowd that’s so characteristic of the Festival.

But that was 10 years ago. For 8 of those years I’ve been attending the very boring and expensive Perth Royal Show instead, so when I heard about the Kuching Festival happening I dragged my saliva-soaked ass there as soon as I could.

“Can cut food. Can cut wood. Can cut brick. RM20 for one, buy two get one free. CHEAP!”

The fair at the Dewan Masyarakat comprised of a food fair, a trade fair and a forgettable garden show. There’s also a stage for performances, but those performances are more like visual and aural torture for me.

He’s so hungry he could eat a microphone.

They actually introduced this guy as Kuching’s Dong Li Huo Che aka Kuching Train Station. Hopeless!
The trade show is very typical. Blenders, cleaning agents, blenders, knives, blenders, CD repairer kits, blenders, blenders, more blenders… However, I did notice a few interesting items on display, such as the most kiasu hi-fi system in the whole world…

Don’t play play, Mercedes hi-fi system. Pay RM1,500 for this set and boom your neighbour away.

A model recruitment agency…

The competition between modelling agencies just got a whole lot… bigger.

Ah Lian fashion at its best…

Guess? What Guess? We have GUEES!

There’s a lot of stalls whoring credit cards, all offering free annual fee, free gifts, free entries to competitions and so on.

Sometimes you wonder how they actually make money off credit cards.

I signed up with all of them and bagged their free gifts just for fun. Let’s see how many credit cards I’ll have after 3 weeks.

If this guy sold peanuts in Singapore, he’d be a freakin’ BILLIONAIRE right now.

The main attraction of the event is obviously, the food. I wasn’t disappointed. By my estimation there’s probably about 200 food stalls and 1,000 different menu items, all at very reasonable prices.

“Help! My food is on fire!” – Man cooking oyster omelette (‘Orh Chien’)

Let’s take a tour and look at what’s on menu shall we?

This is salad yew-tiaw. Yew-tiaw is some sort of deep-fried bread that’s crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. This version here has sesame seed sprinkled on top and is served with mayonnaise. Its good, though its not the best.
The best one is right here.

Yew Tiaw also got king one.

Declaring themselves ‘king’ in front of 200 other stalls is a pretty bold move. They’d better be able back it up. And lucky for them, they did.

HOLY MOLLY! Those yew tiaw are almost as big as my dickonosaurus! But mine is still bigger okay.

Kuching sio bee enjoying a sauna.

This is sio-bee in Hokkien or siew-mai in Cantonese. Its warm and savoury. Its not unlike the sio-bee you can find in dim sum restaurants all over the world. Personally I think those are a little too soggy for my liking.
I think Kuching’s sio-bee is still the best, and Kuching’s best sio-bee by de facto is at the Open Air Markets. People here watch them grow from a humble dirty little stall infested with rodents, into a successful franchise they are today selling sio-bee all over Kuching. For them, next stop, THE WORLD.

I thought this signboard is a little bit mean. How could they make it look as if the lamb is there enjoying a nice hot bath? So wrong.

Everybody loves coconuts.

I couldn’t resist photoshopping ‘Wong Lee Hom’ onto the menu.

More local favourites. Belacan Bee Hoon (or ‘Mehoom’ in that picture) is one of my favourite Kuching dish. Its rice vermicelli soaked in a Malaysian prawn-based soup and paste called ‘Belacan’. So smelly, yet so tasty.

Fancy some camel or ostrich burger?

To be honest, I don’t know how the hell they could come up with stuff like these. I don’t think anyone knows what camel or ostrich meat tastes like anyway, so even if they put bullshit in there can call it ostrich burger, people are still gonna eat it.

Before he was turned into food, Willy the Wealthy Chicken owned five nests, three barns and eight hens.

Wealthy chicken. Heh! This proves one thing correct. It doesn’t matter how much money you have – if you’re chicken, you’re dinner, baby.

Spiderman’s latest victims.

These are actually called ‘Emperor Dragon Whisker Sweet’. I swear it sounds a lot more elegant in Chinese (Long Xu Tang). They taste like soft Australian nougats, except there’s granules of peanuts in there. Sweet, sticky and delicious.

Malaysian satays. An eternal favourite worldwide.

Jeff Ooi‘s little birds went to Thailand and never came back.

This is fried ice-cream. I have no idea how they did it, but they managed to deep fry a scoop of ice-cream without making it melt. The result is an ice-cream with a warm outercrust and an icy cold inside. Only RM1.50. Its heavenly.
Too bad you cannot print it out and eat it.

This is a dish with a fun name called Chee Cheong Fun. Chee Cheong in Mandarin means ‘Go clubbing’. So this dish sounds like ‘Go clubbing very fun’. In reality its just some boring prawns wrapped by very thin steamed skins. Nothing fancy about it.

Barbequed sting rays at only RM25 per kilo. You choose the size and portion of the sting ray, they barbeque it, served on a piece of banana leaf over sambal and lime. It’ll turn out like this.

Its spicy and sour at the same time. I had this for dinner.

This is lok-lok. They’re basically fish balls and other stuff skewed on a satay stick. You can have them cooked in hot water or deep fried, then served with your choice of chilli, oyster, or satay sauce. Its yummy.
Please don’t lick your computer screen.

I spent less than RM20 that night and I had such a total feast I need to roll myself back to my own car. There’s so much food to try, its truly gonna take one whole month for me to fully sample each and every one of them.
Note to self: Postpone diet plan till end of August.
Alright I’m done. You may wipe your drool off your computer monitor now. πŸ˜‰

Angel Pet wants her fellow Singaporeans to donate to President’s Star Charity. I’m only doing this for her ‘cos she’s got pretty eyes its the right thing to do.

90 Replies to “Kuching Festival Fair 2005”

  1. kenny ah, “long xu tang” is called dragon beard candy le….not that emperor thing..:p
    i’m so going to kuching for the yummy foodz
    *wipes saliva*

  2. Oh, man. You’re killing me with all that food. There’s a place called Great Wall Buffet near our house where I go (by myself, because no one wants to eat there with me) to get my fill of Asian cuisine: chicken satay, kim chee, baby octopi in spicy tomato sauce…all for about 8 bucks. The quality is so-so, but the selection is good.
    I checked the currency rates and the RM is about equivalent to a quarter (let’s not start that again!)Ò€”that is, 25 cents. So you spent about 5 dollars? Outrageous! I will definitely plan our visit to Kuching to coincide with a food-related festival of some sort, sometime next year at the earliest. When’s the weather good? πŸ™‚

  3. Damn I didn’t know “Wong Lee Hom” is so cheap to get….
    Anyways, deep fried ice-cream: no secret to it, the icecream has to be almost rock solid cold and the oil very *very* hot. Batter the ice cream, drop it into the oil and then voila. Almost like the way they deep fry Mars bars in Scotland. Woooo. Soooo unhealthy.

  4. If Lee Hom only cost RM3.00, i don’t mind havin some. “Auntie! I want 3 Lee Hom! Tah Bao!”
    Bleah… Early in the morning over here and i am getting very hungry after reading your entry. Dang… I’m gonna go get some food now.
    Seeya around Kenny~

  5. that is the most drool-worthy entry ever! and i’m still thinking about the freakin cheap prices..when converted to singapore dollars!aahhhhhhhhhhh!make the drooling stop!

  6. oi,
    dong li hua che is the taiwan group with long hair la, not train station :s
    chee cheong = pig intestine ler…. or has it been change to go clubbing???
    just to share…. kakaka

  7. OMG you take so much pictures of food. And I just ate my breakfast and now hungry again! you sign so much credit card you no need to worry about those subscription fees meh?

  8. Wow!! Food!! I love food!!
    I collected a bucket full of saliva by the time I finished the entry.
    And I have been trying to find “lok lok” in Singapore.
    Anyone know a place (in Singapore) for Lok Lok?

  9. fcuk! all the displays of food got me on a high for all them!
    i have to fosake my diet plan(like you) and make a trip to east coast food centre later; only difference is that i can’t get wong lee hom. ):
    i bet he’s fcuking delicious. )): even better than your fcuking coconuts. ))):
    Kenny Sia! i will never forget this entry! )))):
    (is fcuking depressed and hungry)

  10. wow, kenny, finally a drooly food entry. til when is the food fest? cuz i’m planning to make a trip there just cuz i totally kenot resist looking at dem food. i normally only make a trip to kch per year, but i’ll haf to make it a twice yearly trip from now on. and the price is sooo cheap!! unbelievable. hey, d organisers of any events shud b thankful to u for d extra advertising.

  11. Hey Dude, excellent post, I like how you pick up the flaws, we have something in common.
    I bet they like your coconuts too.
    I found your coconuts in NYC, will let you know when I post the story.

  12. hmmm…..this yew thiaw thing looks like ee-char-kueh. Its the same thing? Oh. Never tried it with mayo though….! For me ee-char-kueh is bestest when you dip-dip in kopi-O. MMMMMM…

  13. Yew-tiaw!!!!!!! Stingray!!!! GAAAAAAAAAH…damn you Kenny, for reminding me how much I miss real Asian food… and the fact that I can’t find them here in Perth.*sniffle*

  14. yee tiaws look like what we call yau char koays over here in the west. also, chee cheong funs are named for their resemblance to the pig intestines: chee cheong. Kinda like how Lou Shi Funs are named because they resemble rat tails so much:)

  15. Kenny, Chee Cheong means Pig’s intestine in cantonese. Fun means noodle. I might be wrong.
    One of my fav dish though.

  16. Kenny, you better finish all the food you bought. Otherwise those poor children in Africa will suffer from hunger……….

  17. *DROOLS* I soooo miss kuching food. No laksa? No kolok mee? Cant wait to go balik kampung (Kpg Quop, 10th mile, Kuching) in dec…all that yummylicious food

  18. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    kenny i so hate you right now.
    [i’m stuck at uni trying to chew my apple macintosh but it don’t taste like apple or anything like chee chong fan or oh chien :((((
    mm… people are staring and i don’t know if its the drool or the earthshattering tummy rumbles that they’re worried about]

  19. ahhhh…..*drools* i get back from school. switch on the computer, go to your site, and i find delicious food waiting for me! Stingray!!! *double drool* wish i could just grab the stingray from the screen…

  20. The roadside stall yew tiaws are too thin lah but I think the fried ice-cream and chee cheong fun looks dang yummy!!! Can’t wait to come home!

  21. Dammit! I’m going into spasms right now because Sydney doesn’t have any BBQ stingray, or even something as simple as satay. A dozen bloody sticks cost more than 20 bucks here at the “Singaporean Speciality” restaurant, a ripp-off worthy of a capital offence back in S’pore.
    Looks like its another damned kebab for dinner. /cries.

  22. the food doesnt look dat yummy le…. but mebe its coz i live in kch and am so used to it already. =p
    wah..dis yr got model recruitment agency… not bad le.
    i usually skip goin to the festival coz got so many sweaty smelly bodies. but i tink i’ll go dis yr since ur pics made me kinda miss the amosphere. hehe

  23. Looking at the pictures you took made me so HUNGRY that I had to keep swallowing my saliva!!! I missed Malaysian food. I want to go home…

  24. -_- FuCKing hell…. I was staring and staring at the food pictures and for a moment actually imagined catching a whiff of it.
    Not funny, Kenny, not funny.
    *feeling fairy greedy*

  25. erm fried ice cream needs to be deep fried wif bread onli nice wan…^_^ yummy i know..
    but the hong kong style chee cheong fun needs skill aso wan if u wanna eat nice ones…it must be very thin onli nice wan…hehe
    darren: u aven eaten the real original taiwan sausage in taiwan yet…even nicer wei…
    *slurps*wipes remaining saliva drooling from mouth*

  26. *Feeling Really Sad*
    Looking at all these delicious South-East Food reminds me of home… how I miss Home food. Nearly 4, FOUR years without South-Eastern food – last resorts are Malaysian Take-aways which taste distinctively English-Hong Kongish with the lack of spice and Laksa!

  27. OMG… you are making me drool… never been to kuching but having lived in the uk for too long, this is making me want to go back to asia! to the person who said there aren’t chee cheong fun in the uk – have lah…got to look! πŸ™‚

  28. I guess i should choose about this time to visit Kuching.. when i do come back home with brat.. next year.. πŸ˜‰
    I guess i just have to call upon you to be guide..?? heh!! Nah.. i have a buddy staying in kuching too.. so i guess it is high time.. i visit her.. πŸ˜‰

  29. Heya Kenny, i am so glad to say that i am flying home tomorrow!!! And the food sure looks delicious…OISHII DESUYO!! I’m stil packing my luggage here!!
    Keep up the good photo skills! It will sure boost our tourism!

  30. hey kenny, try to catch Chinese Orchestra on stage during this fest! it’s really cool!! not the ah ma ah pek type. but played and conducted by high school kids. hehe! used to be my center of attention during this period. sigh…

  31. wow…I’m also from Kch but now in KL…you took those pixs reminded me those yummy and delicious foods…hahaha…I missed last year and this year’s fair again…sigh…btw…congratulations that an article based on you in the KLUE magazine!!!!

  32. Btw Kenny, can you teach me how you convinced that Guees girl to let you take a photo of her boobs at such close range?

  33. eh realise how the ostritch burger and camel burger look the same in the illustrations?
    damn damn damn i’m stuck in kl. and you didnt put down the ayam panggang and the lemang and all the other non-chinese goodies. and my dad is helping out with one of the air-con stalls for the whole fest, the lucky bugger. and my vacation just had to be july and not august.

  34. Muahaha… I can’t get enough of ur Chee Cheong Fun thingy! I was luffing so loudly when I read it that my hubby thought I was mad haha… I told him da joke, his face was like “huh” – duh haha… nice one haha…

  35. Hey great pics, making me hungry especially since I can’t get any in rural Columbia, MO. Anyway read about your blog on The Star website and been checking it out off and on for couple weeks now. Great job! Makes me feel more “connected” to Malaysia…and also got a chain mail from a friend regarding your Datuktoolongitis article…very funny!

  36. I haven’t been able to be home in time for Kch Fest and looking at all these pics is making me feel really nostalgic. And hungry! Love all your entries about Kch btw – we should let people out there (esp West M’sians) know how great Kch is!

  37. Kuching Food Fair used to be from 1st August (to coincide with City Day) … last for 2 weeks … later extended to 3 weeks .. now brought forward by 1 week i.e. starts last week of July … there used to be a “Ayam Pansuh” stall (chicken in a bamboo) dayak fare but delicious. Wonder what became of the “Popiah” (springroll) lady. Damn fresh.. rolled on the spot…

  38. Wah… the STING RAY’s stall is my cousin’s stall!!! (hmm… maybe not. there’s always 2 sting ray stalls every year) Hehe… miss the spicy sting ray!

  39. This blog entry is preposterous; imagine the number of Malaysians currently overseas who upon reading this conjure up dreams of char kueh teow but wake up to fish and chips? Bah!
    Kuching will be the destination of my first mini break after returning to Malaysia :P~~~
    BTW the modelling agency pic was a classic..

  40. kenny kenny kenny kenny kenny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i so wanna hate u!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but ur blogs r so nice 2 read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    but how can u put wang lee hom on sale?!?!?! so cheap somemore! n his name is spelt as wang lee hom ok? not wong lee hom…..but still better than some weird ppl who spell it as wang lee hong.
    anywayz. i really lik 2 read ur blog. =)
    n i feel a TAD bit nutz now…hehehe.
    ur blog’s cool. luv it.
    hate u for putting wang lee hom on sale!!!!!!!!!!!!!! rm 3?!?!?! how can?
    anywayz.luv ya! ;p

  41. Read your blog first time when I was searching for coverage about Kuching. I’m so proud of you man! Even I, a fellow Kuchingite (who’s currently somehow got stuck in lonely island Penang), couldn’t describe the food in Kuching as well as you did. However, you forgot to check out Kio Chap Kueh Tiaw/Mee aka Tomato Kueh Tiaw/Mee or the Kuching’s Char Koay. Folks in Penang, pls note,we call it Char Koay without the ‘Kak’ and no,it is not an imitation of the same in Penang nor is it rounded. It is an entirely different dish which is available in sweet or soya version. And where’s our famous Sarawak Laksa and Cendol with thicker, greener jelly stuff?

  42. Oh……. Kuching Festival!!! I’ve missed 5 n still counting… πŸ™ Oh, Kuching Food!! I wanna eat Kuching food!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  43. My cousin from the USA described Belachan Bee-Hoon as “smells like wet dog”. I agree. But, it’s still yummy.

  44. Great account of Kuching Festival.N u hav some really “detailed” pics.Hope to see more of ur masterpieces. Enterteinning and informative-nice blend

  45. whichever place you come from I don’t care……but you have no right to use that tone of speech at something people from kuching hold high values for! like the ‘Chee Cheong Fun’ and signs…it’s all part of the culture! i suggest you be a hell lot more respectable!

  46. browsin thru…I missed Food festival ever since 1999. The last I went was back in 98. Darn…How i wish i’m back in kch.

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