The biggest Sarawak Laksa, the backfire and the positive publicity via negative publicity

November 4, 2016 by  
Filed under Sarawak

Unlike any other laksa from West Malaysia where the noodle are thick, rice vercemili or beehoon is used for Sarawak Laksa. The paste for Sarawak Laksa can be bought at most shops. It usually contains shallots, garlic, chillies, galangal, peanuts, candlenuts, lemon grass and a mix of spices. This paste will be cooked with coconut milk to make the gravy. This laksa will be served in a bowl topped with omelette strips, chicken strips, peeled boiled prawns, freshly chopped coriander leaves and optionally lime and sambal belacan.

Sarawak Laksa had been given so many positive reviews; that even world-renowned chef Anthony Bourdain had listed this dish in his Top 10 wish list of his food market in New York.

Just recently, an attempt for a record in Malaysia Book of Records for the biggest bowl of Sarawak Laksa was held at Plaza Merdeka shopping mall. A total of 15 cooks, a giant bowl with chopsticks, over 500 kg of ingredients and 18 hours of hard work had produced a giant bowl of Laksa Sarawak.

Giant Sarawak Laksa at Plaza Merdeka

Giant Sarawak Laksa at Plaza Merdeka

Image credit to The Borneo Post

 

The main purpose of this event was actually to promote Kuching as a tourism destination not only for international tourists but also for locals and other Malaysians. It was also an effort to promote the local delicacy.

Nobody had expected this event to not go as planned when about 100kg of Sarawak Laksa paste, 225kg of beehoon, 90kg of prawns, 1,008 eggs, 90kg of bean sprouts, and 80kg of chicken were wasted.

The dish was cooked on Friday morning. It was actually inevitable to throw away this huge amount of laksa because of the use of coconut milk in the gravy. It needs constant heating for it to maintain its quality but to heat up a giant bowl of laksa of 3.1 metre wide would require several stoves. Furthermore, the bowl was not made in a way for it to absorb heat.

In their Facebook account, the shopping mall management had apologised for the oversight and misjudgement. The original plan was to serve this giant bowl to the public. However, after collective reconsideration, they decided against it as the bowl was not covered in the middle of the atrium where it was prone to catch some undesirable elements during the event that made it unhygienic. Instead, they served a fresh batch of an equivalent 1500 bowls of laksa the following day.

Even though this event had some negative feedbacks, the shopping mall management agreed that food wastage is a huge concern in Malaysia. As part of their effort to minimise wastage, they will provide containers at their food court ‘Food Plaza’ until the end of the year so that the customers can bring home the food that they purchased from the food court that they could not finish. The containers can be collected at the redemption counter at Level 3.

A negative publicity is always a good publicity as well.

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Kuching Marathon 2015

August 21, 2015 by  
Filed under General

Kuching Marathon had kick-off on 16 Aug 2015. There were thousands of people flooding Padang Merdeka that Saturday in order to join this event. This year was the second time this Kuching Marathon was held as last year’s marathon had been a great success.

There were 4 categories for this marathon; 42km full marathon, 21km half marathon, 10 km run and 5km run. The first category flagged off as early as 3:00 am, while the others started at 5:00 am, 6:00 am and 7:30 am respectively. Several medical posts, drink stations, bar & gel stations and food station were set up along the route.

Flagged off at Padang Merdeka

Flagged off at Padang Merdeka

Image credit to The Borneo Post

First of all, we would like to applaud each participant for bracing the chilly 3:00 am breeze in order to participate in the 42 km marathon. After being flagged off, the participants passed through Jalan Muhibbah, then crossed the river via Jambatan Tun Abdul Rahman Ya’akub which locals usually refer to as Jambatan Satok. They passed Jalan Astana, then Jalan Semariang and probably saw the Kuching North City Council building on top of the hill. After that, they continued to Jalan Diplomatik, Jalan Bako then passed through Borneo Convention Centre and Sarawak Energy before continuing their run to Jalan Pending, then to Jalan Padungan before finishing the marathon. Sounds tough, isn’t it? Even by car, the journey would probably take about 1.5 hour.

42km Full Marathon Route

42km Full Marathon Route

Image credit to Kuching Marathon Official Website


For half marathon, instead of passing Jalan Semariang, they used Jalan Astana, straight to Jalan Demak and they passed toll plaza before crossing the river via Jambatan Tun Salahuddin, then continued to Jalan Pending and Jalan Padungan to finish the run at Padang Merdeka.

21km Half Marathon Route

21km Half Marathon Route

Image credit to Kuching Marathon Official Website

For 10 km run, the route took them around the city centre and the outskirt. They used Jalan Dato Ajibah Abol, which is the main road to Kampung No 1 to Kampung No 6. Yes, you read that right. There are Kampung No 1, Kampung No 2 until Kampung No 6 in Kuching. Then, they passed through several villages such as Kampung Mataim, Kampung Parit Lama, Kampung Laruh and Kampung Dagok before passing by Jambatan Satok. Then, after running through Jalan Merdeka and Jalan Tun Abdul Rahman Ya’akub, they returned to Padang Merdeka by Jalan Haji Taha, then to Jalan Market and Jalan Gambir.

10km Run Route

10km Run Route

Image credit to Kuching Marathon Official Website


The 5 km run covered only city centre and Jalan Dato Ajibah Abol and Jalan Muhibbah before going back to the finish line.

5km Run Route

5km Run Route

Image credit to Kuching Marathon Official Website

The first prize for 42 km open category was RM15,000, while the total prize money for the winners from first place to 10th place for all categories was RM125,000. The winners for 42 km and 21 km male and female open categories were mainly from Kenya with Julius Kimtai Rotich as the first place winner for 42km open category for male, and Ruto Beatrice Jepkorir for female category.

Winners for Kuching Marathon 2015

Winners for Kuching Marathon 2015

Image credit to The Borneo Post

Furthermore, the first 200 runners of 42km Full Marathon and 21km Half Marathon who crossed the finish line had received Special Top 200 Finisher Tee. Of course, everyone who finished the run had received finisher t-shirt.

We hope the marathon will be organised as a yearly event. As Sarawakians, we know that this is the perfect opportunity to put Sarawak, especially Kuching as its capital, in the world map as a sports tourism city.

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