Jul 14, 2015

22 Bookfest Malaysia 2015

Me At The Entrance Holding My Pass
The internet age has often left me wondering if books, I mean the printed ones, will go the way of radio cassettes or VHS tapes.

But every time I go to a book fair, I am consoled by the crowded scene that shows 'maybe not in my lifetime'. It's amazing to see people dragging huge travel bags into the hall intending to bring home a good haul of books.

BookFest Malaysia by Popular Book Store is on from July 11 to 19 at KLCC. There's an entry fee of RM2.50. We paid for a pair of tickets and were given additional ones which can be used from the 14th onwards. This means that we can go again coming weekend, for free!

However, I think I've gotten enough books to last me until the next book fair. All of it, unashamedly, cookbooks. There's something about propping myself up on a bed of pillows and pouring through a ton of food pictures - akin to a day at a book spa. If there is such a spa.

Upon paying the tickets, we (I was here with the family) received a catalogue along with a discount voucher.

Receipt For Our Purchases and BookFest Catalogue

This is the scene at the English books corner (picture below). What attracted me was the offer to Buy 2 books for RM10 and the Buy 3 books at RM10 each! It's a great bargain even if there weren't many titles to choose from.

The great thing about this fest is really the huge collection of Chinese books that are on sale. I was impressed. If you love Chinese books, then this is one exhibition you wouldn't want to miss! 

BookFest Malaysia 2015

These are books my aunt and I got for ourselves. The hardcover copies of Rachel's Everyday only cost me RM5 each. I'm saving these for a giveaway.

The Books We Got!

I find Herbs and Pork Appetit to be a rather engaging read, having flipped through the books more than a couple of times now.

If you're into books, then make your way to this exhibition which is happening right now. There's a chance you may even meet your favourite author. Yup, there are workshops and forums. Plus a little something for stationery lovers.

Jul 7, 2015

20 Please Make Up My Room ... and nothing else!

My jaw dropped, and then I laughed! This Make-Up-My-Room hanging sign had me in stitches.

"Gosh, what was she doing down there?" It looked like a person on the bed was cringing in fear.

Please make up my room and nothing else!

I count this as one of the little things that made my stay at Prescott Hotel Kajang interesting and memorable.

Have you seen any cringe-worthy hanging door signs like these?

Jul 4, 2015

18 KL Big Kitchen Festival 2015 - Loved it, but GrRrr!

The KL Big Kitchen Festival, an initiative under the Kuala Lumpur tourism master plan, was launched in May at Dataran Merdeka. The event lasted three days. I was thrilled to know that it will be an annual affair, and am so excited that I cannot wait to see what they have in store next year!

The sun was bright and punishing on the Sunday morning I was there.

"Phew! Boy, I wished there were drink stalls scattered across the field," as I imagined sipping on a a cold Teh O drink. 

I loved the whole festival set-up. It was neat, dreamy with large white tents, and a lot of details going into the design of the area, both indoors and outdoors. There is an air of good clean fun.

Entrance to KL Big Kitchen and Entry Tickets

The activities they have planned will excite anyone who loves food. Cooking demos by celebrity chefs and workshops for those preferring a hands-on experience. Check out the programme below.

Cooking Demo

My favourite corner is the heritage corner. I marveled at the many traditional dishes that are losing presence to the convenience of modern cooking. It made me admire our ancestors - how they toiled to cook a delicious meal for the family. Here I am, armed with electrical appliances that does the work with one press of a button and yet you will still hear me grumble about how much work cooking involves!

I headed to the tent where there seemed to be more life. Yes, it was a surprisingly quiet food festival. Was I 10am too early?  It's quite unlike food-loving Malaysians not to flock here at all hours considering the full crowd we had at Floria Putrajaya. Maybe we are more the avid gardener than we thought.

KL Big Kitchen Festival - Tents and Outdoor Seating Areas

KL Big Kitchen Festival - From another angle

When I realised that the big open tent housed stalls that feature food from each state in Malaysia, I strode to the Sabah stall with pride. Pride which soon deflated at seeing two bleary eyed food assistants slouched on chairs.

My eyes skipped over the plate of 'Hinava', I raised my eyebrows and cursed inwardly at the organisers for appointing people who had no idea how spirited Sabahans were, to man the stall.

A "Bah, try this lah! YeeeEEee..eh!" would have been a great reflection. I'm just being funny!

State Specialties

Whilst I enjoyed my walkabout tremendously, I felt there was room for improvement in the following areas as well - from promoting the event, staffing and food variety.

Promotional efforts. With so many celebrity chefs on board, it seemed ridiculous (to me at least) that the crowd was not on record breaking levels. It was too low key. I cannot help but feel that more should have been done to advertise the festival.

Festival guides. There is a need for festival guides to make the place inviting. They could provide visitors with information on what's happening there and then. I had no idea what was going on in the heritage corner. It was quiet except for a few people. The food trucks were tucked away in mystery land. I felt like I was a spy stepping into a hush secret meeting every time I opened the door to the covered tent.

Food Variety. I shed tears at seeing the fruit stall. Really. I say bring the pasar malam fruit vendors in! And local delicacies? Nothing compared to our vibrant Ramadhan Bazaars.

The Manisan tent had so much possibilities.
Other than the putu bambu stall, I wish I had seen local treats like puteri mandi, badak berendam, kuih dangai, kuih akok and kuih jelurut, just to name a few. Perhaps I was early and the stalls have yet to roar. That said, should they not be ready by opening time? We have so much to offer when it comes to sweet snacks. 

KL Big Kitchen Festival - Inside the Tents

KL Big Kitchen Festival - Inside Another Tent

For me, the best part of the food festival was the cooking demos and workshops. It was well organised and most vibrant. Although I wasn't one of the participants, I felt the energy from their laughter and the chefs' genuine desire to share their knowledge with us. I may have missed the boat this year, but I'll be sure to sign up for the next one!


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