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.