Wednesday, 26 June 2013

4th Folk Art Exhibition - Understanding Eastern Culture

In conjunction of the 8th Sabah International Folklore Festival 2013, the Sabah Art Gallery under the Sabah Cultural Board will be organising the 4th Folk Art Exhibition here in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

Date: 25th – 30th June 2013
Venue: Sabah Art Gallery, Batu 2, Jalan Penampang, Kota Kinabalu (next to the Federal Archives)

The purpose of this event is to gather artists and bring greater understanding and appreciation to their culture. This year’s Folk Art Exhibition theme is Understanding Eastern Culture.

For the first time this year, this exhibition will highlight various works such as paintings, photography, bead weaving, pottery, calligraphy, as well as music brought esprecially from Japan. Fourteen artists will take part in this exhibition. Other public programmes such as demonstrations and music performances conducted by the artists including introduction to Japan culture exhibition that features costume exhibition, video presentation and tea ceremony.

Sabah Art Gallery is pleased to bring this exhibition to Sabah in the hope to promote a better understanding of eastern culture and bring closer ties between Japan and Malaysia. Visitors are welcome to come to the Sabah Art Gallery to witness this exhibition throughout this event from 9am until 5pm. Most importantly, ENTRANCE IS FREE!

Monday, 24 June 2013

Mango Garden Restaurant, Rumah Terbalik, Tamparuli

Alright, let’s talk about food this time!

There’s this question when everyone asked me, even tourists from overseas asked me, “Chloe, where can I find local food in Kota Kinabalu (KK)?” Oh how I wish I could answer them “Try out Hinava, Tuhau, Sayur campur, Paku Pakis …". You will know what I am talking about if you are a Sabahan but if you don’t, Hinava is actually a raw fish which normally is the Tenggiri Fish mixed with lime juices and all and Tuhau is the Wild Ginger stem. Sayur campur (mixed vegetables) is always my favourite one because I learnt to cook this special dish at Walai Tokou Homestay during my pageant few years back. Paku Pakis is the Wild Fern.

In January 2013, here comes the miracle, finally. Remember the last year when I wrote something about an Upside Down House in Borneo in several magazines here in Borneo? It’s a blast! Once again, the owners of Rumah Terbalik contacted and asked me if I am able to make a review for his new restaurant.

A beautifully structured building mainly designed with glass panel windows (I like this kind of buiding, it makes me think of Europe again), the new restaurant is situated alongside of Rumah Terbalik. I was told that it was an old Mango farm that transformed to a Mango Garden Restaurant.

Carefully planned, visitors no need to pay for the parking and entrance. Unless your main reason is to visit the interior of Rumah Terbalik, then you need to pay the entrance fee. Seriously, if any of the local or international travellers who would like to try local native food, you might need to travel all the way to other district of Sabah which is far from Kota Kinabalu town itself. Now, you can enjoy local native food here in Tamparuli (30 mins drive from Kota Kinabalu, if the traffic is good).

Firstly, Mango Smoothies and Mint Tea
Both are great but the Mint Tea is special. For your info, Mint Tea is not on the menu so you may need to have a special request on that. (Both rating: 5/5)

2. Sayur Kailan Masak Dua Rasa
If you are able to remember, there was a restaurant called the Penang Restaurant in 1Borneo Hypermall which no longer operate that served the same dish. That was the first time ever that I tried deep fried kalian and I get couldn't get it from other restaurants here in Kota Kinabalu. I did mention and interesting story about this dish just came to us that it was the same chef who made this special dish! Well, what a small world. The Kailan is served in two styles of preparation, deep fried and stir-fried with seafood, topped with crispy anchovies. It is a fusion dish between the Bajau Semporna tribe and Chinese method's of cooking. (Rating: 4/5)

3. Hinava Sada *Highly recommended
OMG. Out of all the native cuisine, I love Hinava the most. It is actually raw fish, mixed with lime juices, chilli, and other things that depends on the chef; but most importantly is the lime. The Hinava in Mango Garden Restaurant is fresh and I love the sourly taste that is just right; freshly selected fish fillet marinated in lime juice, shallots, ginger, sliced chili and grated Badu (wild mango seeds). This is a must try dish, very popular in Sabah and originated from the Kadazan Dusun Tribes. (Rating: 5/5)

4. Nonsoom Bambanggan
I'm not sure if you are a fan of the Bambangan but definitely not me. For visitors, it is good to try out because it is one of the most well-known dishes in Sabah that everybody loves. Homemade preserved sweet, sour and salty bambangan fruit (wild mango) with bird's eye chili. This is my first try out; it is milky and sour! (Rating: 4/5)

5. Ayam Goreng Berempah *Highly recommended
It may not look good but it is delicious! Deep fried chicken marinated in local herbs and spices, cooked until it become crispy and golden brown. (Rating: 5/5)

6. Ikan Goreng Kerabu Mangga
Crispy fried fillet off fish topped with our home made signature kerabu mango dressing and crushed roasted dried shrimps. For me, hmm... we can get this dish elsewhere too. Nothing special about it but the taste are fine. This is a must try fusion dish is prepared with locally grown herbs with a twist of Malay and Chinese ingredients. (Rating: 3/5)

7. Tuhau Miampai Daging Salai *Highly recommended
Something special about this dish is that the tastes are perfectly blended in. Not many people like the smell of the Tuhau but I find it okay and we normally eat with chili at home; so. Char-grilled sliced beef marinated with Tuhau (Local Ginger Stem pickles), chili, lime, lemongrass and herbs. The meat is juicy and tender. This dish is taken during drinking session known as Pamusas (titbits) but it’s also delicious if taken with rice. (Rating: 5/5)

8. Manuk Tinapah *Highly recommended

You will never get to try something like this in the town. Boneless chicken back quarter marinated with selected herbs and spices, rolled and barbequed to perfection, topped with delicious and thick coconut milk gravy. A fusion dish originated from the east coast of Sabah which is usually served during the breaking of fast in the holy month of Ramadan. (Rating: 5/5)

Mango Garden Restaurant are able to cater for about 150 pax in and out of the restaurant. While you are on your way to Kundasang or Ranau, why not just stop by and say hi? Apart from hunting for Tamparuli mee in Tamparuli town, now you can hunt for special local native foods which I highly recommended!

Bon appetit!

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Jazz throughout the night at 7th KK Jazz Festival 2013

I am actually thinking of putting out the footage that I have recorded during the KK Jazz Fest 2013 in Sutera Harbour but still, I think it’s not the time yet? I don’t know. Let’s see how it goes. I’m having dilemma now whether to buy a MacBook or not.

Now I’m in my new job and it’s really lucky to get free tickets for most of the events in Kota Kinabalu. Thank you!!! And of course, thanks to Carlsberg for sponsoring another ticket. You know lah, one person going alone to this kind of event is nah. But, I really enjoy that night.

What's that RM2 tickets I got on my hand? It's for the food that you got to purchase from Sutera Harbour. All the stalls are there and it's only a few that you can choose. Seriously. Good thing is, The Coffee Beans and Tea Leafs are there and 50% discounts for the selected drinks! Truly enjoy it ;)

The line-up for KK Jazz Fest this year is ok for me. I love the Shanghai Jazz which performed by Janet Lee. Even though most of her songs are in Mandarin but it certainly entertained us all with her beautiful and strong voice. Also from the Australia, love the duos. They are unique; different than the rest.

Videos? Yes? No? Let me know.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

28th Sabah Dragon Boat Race Day 1

Just came back from the 28th Sabah Dragon Boat Race, happening in these two days from 15th to 16th of June 2013, 8am onwards.

It’s been almost 6 years since I left All Saints and today I did enjoy the view of our very own Likas Bay here at Kota Kinabalu. Beautiful and clear view of our magnificent Mount Kinabalu, calm sea water at the bay, fresh air to breathe with, it’s just another good day to begin with.

Finding parking might be a headache for late comers, so be aware of that. Parking at the road side is an option or you might need to do a little walking from any parts of the Likas area. Imagine, I was there at 6.30am and I’m lucky enough to get a little spot to park my car.

Heat races begin after the sportsmen oath taking ceremony.

Men’s Open 200 meters race (12 crew), Mix team 200 meters race (12 crew), Breast Cancer Survival Race 200, Kinabalu Dragon Trophy (Junior boys under 20 years old), Sabah Dragon Trophy (International & Malaysian Mix Teams), Sabah Chief Minister’s Trophy (Malaysian Men’s Teams), Sabah Head of State Trophy (International & Top Malaysian Men’s Teams).

Race ended at 11.30am.

On the RIGHT: A couple of tourists came to the event venue and asked if they can join the competition but this is all depend on the race managers. So do come by the secretariat and ask for more information, they are really helpful in providing all information. On the LEFT: These are the MC for the Sabah Dragon Boat Race. Personally, they are my father’s colleagues in RTM before he retires. Spend some time talking to them, I have found out that they have been MC-ing for this event for almost 10 years! WOW.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Sabah's traditional palm-roof making

Have you ever tried making a roof for your own house? Well, it’s not for my own house but at least I have tried to build one with my bare hands. In fact, most of us are living in this modern world right now; the use of traditional palm roofs is getting lesser yet it is what I call – a waste.

In my opinion, no matter how far we are, we must protect and remember our heritage. Take some time to understand the local native people here in Sabah and to know their lifestyle. It’s another world there, which is really warm and nice. What more if you are born Sabahan?

I was visiting a village in Papar called the Koposizon Homestay. There are several activities that you can participate. Attending a demonstration of Sabah’s traditional palm-roof making or what we called the ‘atap’ is fun. To be honest, it’s my first time trying out. As mentioned, it is handmade from nipah palm leaves. By using the stem as the needle, it connects all leaves together after you fold each of them.

Do you know how these traditional handmade palm roofs amazed me? It can actually last for over 20 years! You just have to visit our cultural villages here in Sabah. Be amazed!

My result? Not bad. ;)

When I met this lady, eventually we clicked to each other. I don’t know why, but maybe it’s in my blood. She did say that its fate that bring us together and I’ll be her one-day daughter; just like how a Homestay programme is. Lovely and it’s a great experience under her guidance. Thank you!