Sunday, April 29, 2018

Eugenia oleina for topiary

To kick off revisiting this blog, I have these pictures taken a few days ago to show the use of colourful foliages in urban landscaping.  The cone-shaped tree is the ever popular Eugenia oleina and they are surrounded by trimmed bushes of colourful foliages for added appeal and aesthetics, besides engineering functions i.e. as road dividers.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Kuching unique harmony

The mural painting strikes me as a reminder that I should get back to blogging more about this beautiful city.  Where once the wall was blank concrete it is now a work of art. The word 'harmony' speaks well of the uniqueness of Kuching in particular and Sarawak in general.  Go visit Kuching to see how integral is harmony in the daily lives of the people in the city.  It makes sense to visit a place where neighbours don't make war.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The male Olive-backed sunbird

I am pleased today to see the Olive-backed sunbird chirping away in the garden.  It is the male of the species that was busy sipping the early morning nectar from the flowers of the Chinese hat plant ( Holmskioldia sanguinea).  In Bintulu they are also regular visitors to the Kambatik Park.   I have shared a little story about them in the Kuching garden here .
Olive-backed sunbird sipping nectar
Date taken : 27 Nov'13

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Beautification of road median

 The highway from Mile 4 to the Kuching International Airport is showing some excellent colours.  The use of colourful bougainvillea shrubs grown in over-sized pots, variegated cover plants and cannas does make the stretch of central median a beautiful 'protocol' road.

All images above taken on 20 August'13.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Retronovo Kuching

Main Bazaar street with its traditional charm, steep in history and retronovo look.

The Main Bazaar street in Kuching is the focus of visitors and tourists to this historical city.  The traditional shoplots built during the Brooke's and later colonial days still retain their old charm.  In some quarters of the city can be seen tinsmiths who continue to upheld their trade in earnest.  They continue to carry on with this specialised trade in shophouses for many generations.

A time-honoured occupation and still working in earnest...

 The front of these shophouses have received what I call a "retronovo' look.  It refers to attempts to make the old look new through contemporary renovation ideas.  It is a worthwhile and rewarding attempt by private initiatives to re-make Kuching especially the waterfront section of the city appear vibrant and relevant.  Kuching will continue to fascinate visitors to the city because it has managed to retain many significant historical buildings that can be a source of inspiration and unique experience for future travelers and tourists to the city. 

Retronovo look to traditional shoplots..

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Kuih Mongkol

Banana leaves used as wrapper for the 'Kuih Mongkol'

 On this Hari Raya vist, we were introduced to a special Sarawak delicacy called the 'Kuih Mongkol' at Samarahan.  It is sweet tasting because the ingredients are 'Gula Apong' or Nipah syrup, dough of coconut milk and rice flour and 'Santan' (coconut milk) mixed with eggs. The ingredients need to be steamed and should be served hot.  Alternatively it can be served cold by keeping it in a refrigerator over night.  It is very eco-friendly because the whole mixture need to be wrapped in banana leaves.  The steps in cooking the Kuih Mongkol are as below:
a)  Place the Nipah syrup (brown in colour) together with the doughs (see inset)
b)  Wrap and put the wrapper which appears like  a 'hand bag' origami into a steamer pot
c)  Steam for about 30 minutes
d)  Serve the steam cooked Kuih Mongkol hot or cold on the banana leaves to get the aroma of the banana leaves...
Cook the ingredients by steaming  for about 30 minutes

Steamed cooked' Kuih Mongko'l or Mongkol cake..

In Sarawak especially around Kuching city and Samarahan town, the Mongkol cake is a popular delicacy sold in the Ramadhan bazaars for breaking of fast.  It costs 50 sen - Rm 1 a piece depending on the location i.e. in village or town bazaars.