On a journey – wining, dining and shopping puts us on a relaxed and happy mood, and due to that our appetite inevitable increases. Hence, it is always a good excuse for some indulgence.

Food & Travel

Food & Travel

I have a strong opinion that Food and Travel are closely related. On a journey – wining, dining and shopping puts us on a relaxed and happy mood, and due to that our appetite inevitable increases. Hence, it is always a good excuse for some indulgence. More often than not, my guests would jokingly complaint upon their return “Oh no.. I have gained 3kg! Hahaha”. This is the consequences of a stress free holiday, especially on a Hokkaido tour package –we guarantee a 3kg increase!

In fact, one of the aims of travel is to discover something that is out of our daily life. Travel is the essence of life. Travel allows us to experience not only the beauty of attractions but also the local customs and traditions. Of course, savouring the local cuisine is likely to induce a more memorable experience. A recollection of my thoughts goes like this: “From my taste buds, I could directly savour the taste of local culture especially in terms of their cuisine culture. Irrespective of the nature of the ingredients or the blending of the sauces or the aesthetics of the food display, I am absolutely delighted.” Therefore, more and more travellers include in their travel itinerar a “Michelin Star” kind of restaurant or a well-known local traditional eatery like the BingSheng of GuangZhou, Paris foie gras, Hokkaido giant crabs, Ah Zhong rice noodle of Taiwan, Beijing roasted duck, Spanish Tapas, Sidney oyster, South African abalone, Argentine steaks, Thai tomyam, Hong Kong dimsum, Italian pizza & pasta and many more unique cuisines.

Malaysian cuisines should be given a boost

My job is to travel around the world experiencing the fun of life in other countries. Therefore, every journey is the source of inspiration of my life. The varieties of food in my journey stimulated my taste and instinct. I’d always have this idea in my mind – Malaysia should also promote our authentic cuisines. Our cuisine has been infused with multiple spices since the olden days. The cuisines of the Straits Settlements of Penang, Singapore and Malacca are some of the world’s remarkable cuisines of the region. The sad thing is we do not have a capable organisation that could provide guidance on improving the quality and have it packaged and sold it all over the world. Instead, most tourists found out about our special Nyonya cuisine only after they came into Malaysia. Besides that, Malaysia also has many cuisines that evolved from our multi-cultural society like Bak Kut Teh, Roti Canai, Nasi Lemak, etc., all worthy of mention.

It is a pleasure to note that organic food has become a trendy choice in recent times. In meeting the objectives of food and health, Malaysian gourmets have developed a new school of fine cuisine by combining authentic organic ingredients with local spices to create what could be considered organic health food that is healthy, tasty and satisfying – that is a Malaysian specialty. We have visitors from Taiwan and Hong Kong who have taken a liking to stylish and sophisticated organic restaurants like GreenLicious. This goes to show that foreigners do have confidence in our healthy cuisines.

However, some of the operators in the F&B industry in Malaysia are more keen in copying foreign cuisines. Initially, they brought in the Hong Kong café, now there are the Taiwan tea kiosks and a host of restaurants of various China Provinces. It could probably be market needs but it is certainly not our Malaysian food culture. Perhaps our community NGOs could put in their efforts together and draw up a directory of Malaysian Cuisines with reference to our traditional culture and various ethnic groups. Unfortunately, some of our authorities and even high ranking officials are only concerned with criticising and disputing the origin of cuisines like the Hainan Chicken Rice, Nasi Lemak and Curry Crab.

Delicious and authentic local cuisines are powerful attractions in tourism because the taste sensation will tempt visitors to return for more.

Travelution 2013 March/April Issue 23

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李桑 作者

在旅游业纵横驰骋1万1000多个日子, 探秘南北极境, 足印遍布7大洲132国! 由衷信仰,“出走”; 身体力行,“走出”。