Ice Sculpture Exhibition

ice sculpture fest

The Ice Sculpture Exhibition is dubbed “The Coolest August Festival”
and they mean it literally – the temperature inside is -8 degrees
Celcius. That’s minus eight degrees below zero to prevent the ice
sculptures made by the ice carvers from Harbin, China from melting.

ice sculpture tickets

The ice festival feature amazing works carved out of gigantic blocks
of ice and is housed inside a temperature controlled room. I managed to
get a half priced ticket (RM 10) by using my old uni student ID card.
;) The normal admission price for adults is RM 20.

sweater change

That’s inclusive of a free sweater, and an unlimited time inside.
The coats are handed out before you enter the freezing enclosure.

ice 2004 kuching

The first thing that greets you (besides the blast of freezing air)
is this huge cat made completely out of ice. I was amazed by the size
and finesse that must have gone into this piece of work. It’s based on
the Kuching cat, one paw raised in greeting.

ice nativity scene

This is a nativity scene showing the birth of Jesus Christ
(bananas). Look at the intricate design of the hay in the manger
interpretation. The cot itself has a lot of carved patterns on it. It’s
amazing!

ice eiffel tower

The Eiffel Tower of Paris is also featured in the ice sculpture exhibition. The scale of it is amazing, it towers above people.

ice gates me

Here’s another massive ice sculpture to show you the scale of the
interior. This is me standing in front of the Beijing Ceremonial Arch.
The entire interior is made out of ice!

ice pheonix sun

This is another design I like – it’s a piece of work called Phoenix Facing The Sun.

ice turtle

Turtle: OMG, the world has frozen around me and I can’t get up!

Here’s a mini tour of the ice sculpture exhibition, a longer video will be available at the end of the post:

ice inside

Download: Ice Exhibition Interior [sixthseal.com]

ice an pergola

This is another marvelous piece of art – the An Pergola. I give this Best of Show. The design is impeccable.

ice chairs

Lest we get tired, there is ice chairs located inside for people to
rest their weary legs. The entire bench is made out of huge blocks of
ice.

ice barren trees

The side of the interior is decorated with barren winter trees and
small piles of ice. It really contributes to the ambience of the ice
sculpture fest.

ice 12 zodiac

This is a long display of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. I have a movie featuring the ice sculpted animals here:

ice zodiac

Download: Ice 12 Chineze Zodiac [sixthseal.com]

ice me rooster

I was born in 1981, so that makes me a Rooster.

ice maze

There is also an ice maze made out of blocks of ice in the middle of
the exhibition. It’s wonderful, the variety of interactive sculptures
available inside.

ice palace

Speaking of interactive sculptures, this is the ice palace, with
steps leading up to a balcony which overlooks the entire exhibition…

ice slide structure

…and an ice slide down to the bottom! :)

ice slide

I went down the ice slide twice – they charge a nominal fee of RM 1
per slide, and you get a mat so your pants won’t get wet and make your
underwear all soggy and all that.

ice longhouse

There is also an intricate ice sculpture of a longhouse – possibly the most complicated sculpture inside.

longhouse detail

Look at the detail the ice carvers put into this one – it has a proper structure, with rooms!

longhouse very detailed

It’s very detailed – steps going up into the longhouse and windows on each room.

ice slideway russian 1

Here’s another complicated ice sculpture – A Slideway Russian Style Building.

ice slideway russian 2

It also features a mini ice slide, this one is free, but the slide
is too short for most adults. I would recommend giving the long curving
slide a go instead.

ice liuhe pagoda

This is the Liuhe Pagoda – a massive structure that competes with
the Eiffel Tower in size. I liked this one more, the lighting is better.

Here’s a video tour of the ice sculpture festival:

ice tour

Download: Ice Sculpture Exhibition Tour [sixthseal.com]

ice snake end

I would highly (no pun intended) recommend a visit to the Ice
Sculpture Exhibition if you’re in Kuching. It ends on the 15th of
August and it’s located at the MBKS grounds. I’ll rate it as a must
visit – you won’t be disappointed, it’s beautiful in there!

Oriental Noodle House

oriental noodle house

Oriental Noodle House is located in Jalan Satok. The name is quite
confusing because it’s staffed by non-Chinese and it seems to attract a
similar clientele. Despite our puzzlement, we decided to patronize the
outlet and check out their menu offerings.

oriental noodle interior

It appears to be a self-service establishment from the interior, but
we were handed menus and had our order taken. I had two noodle dishes
(it’s called Oriental Noodle House after all) and went for a drink called Nestomalt (RM 2.50).

oriental me dan jon

L-R: Huai Bin (me), Daniel, Johnny
This is a photo of the three of us – Daniel is my high school friend
who dropped by Kuching for a short visit and Johnny is also from my
high school and he’s working here.

oriental sauces

Here’s a photo of the standard sauce the establishment provides. The
left side contains chilli oil, the kind which comprises of an oil layer
with chilli pieces on the bottom, and sliced chilli in vinegar on the
left. It goes very well with both the noodles I had. Unlike the
emasculated sliced chilli most establishments serve, this one still has
its balls (well, seeds anyway) intact and retains the spiciness.

oriental chicken mushroom noodle

This is Chicken and Mushroom Noodles (RM 4.50). It was served piping
hot with a delicious flavor base with chicken and mushroom flavors. The
noodles tossed well with the sauce and it was soft and pliable enough
to slurp, just like the way God meant noodles to be eaten. ;) This dish
has a nice home cook essence to it and is served with a generous
portion of chicken and vegetables. Not much mushrooms to be seen
though. Perhaps they’re on strike.

oriental roasted chicken noodles

The second dish I had was the Roast Chicken Noodles (RM 4.50). This
one is drier than the previous dish, and it tasted quite different, but
in a good way. The roast chicken portion was generous and came from a
cut I like – the thigh. The noodles had a basic flavor, but it went
well with the strong tasting roasted chicken. It also came with some
vegetables and great grinded meat, and the final presentation was
dusted with fried onions and fresh spring onions. Delicious…

oriental nestlemalt table

Nestomalt, which I strongly suspect came from a 3 in 1 sachet (just
add boiling water), is the Styrofoam cup you see on the table.

Ting Noodle House

ting noodle house

This is Ting Noodle House which is purportedly Taiwanese owned and
operated. It’s supposed to have a chef from Taiwan and their menu has a
green star for authentic Taiwanese cuisine and a red star indicating
the spiciness of the dish.

taiwanese jasmine tea

We ordered the only green star beverage on the menu – Jasmine Green
Tea (RM 2.00), an unholy fusion of Jasmine tea and green tea, which
started out frothy but settled into a translucent liquid. It was good.

taiwanese dumplings

This is what we had for the starter. It’s Taiwanese Dumplings (RM
3.50). We chose the pan-fried version, and it comes in a set of six.
The dumplings are in a boat shaped receptacle with a ginger, chilli and
soy sauce dip bowl built into it.

taiwanese dumplings close

Here’s a close up of the dumplings – the insides are filled with
meat and some other unidentifiable ingredients. It’s good, the skin is
crisp and the filling is very substantial for its size. Goes well with
the sauce too.

taiwanese beef noodles

This is Stewed Beef Noodles in Soup (RM 4.00), recommended by the
proprietor and the flagship of this establishment. It’s has a spicy
soup base, thick hand pulled noodles, generous chunks of beef and a
smattering of vegetables to garnish the bowl. It tasted great.

The portions could do with a bit of work though…too small.

Black Pepper Burger and Chicken Gravy Hotdog

black pepper chicken gravy

I was brought to this strange place, which I was told had very unique tasting, but small burgers.

black pepper stall cook

It’s located right in front of a bookshop, and the blinds has their
Black Pepper Burger and Chicken Gravy Hotdog ads printed on it, so I
imagine they have some sort of agreement with the bookshop.

black pepper stall bookshop

There are no seating arrangements per se, due to the unusual
location of their stall, but there’s a coffee shop a little down from
here where you can have a drink while eating the burgers (or hot dogs).

black pepper stall rack

I ordered one chicken gravy hotdog, one black pepper beef and one
black pepper chicken, to sample all their offerings. They do a brisk
business from what I can see – customers keep on turning up and the
burger turnover is pretty fast.

black pepper chicken burger
Black Pepper Chicken Burger @ RM 1.40

black pepper chicken

It’s very cheap burgers, but rather small in size. The chicken patty
has a respectable smattering of visible black pepper on it, and that
gives this burger a surprisingly unique tang, unlike any other I’ve had
before.

chicken gravy hotdog wrapper
Chicken Gravy Hotdog @ RM 1.50

chicken gravy hotdog

“Jesus Fucking Christ,” was my initial reaction, excuse the
blasphemy (and profanity). The gravy was plentiful in this open top
style hotdog and the gravy was RIGHTEOUS. I don’t know what they put in
the gravy, but it had a very agreeable flavor that imparted itself onto
the palette. It was sweet and sticky and mushy. It was divine.

black pepper beef burger
Black Pepper Beef Burger @ RM 1.40

black pepper beef

This is the famed black pepper beef burger in Kuching. Now, this one
really had a lot of black pepper pieces infused into the patty as
opposed to the chicken variety. It tasted completely different – there
was a pleasant fusion of flavors and textures in my mouth when I ate
this one. Highly recommended!

I don’t know where exactly this place is as my coworker brought me
there, but the address is on the wrapper. It’s definately something
different. The black pepper beef burger and the chicken gravy hotdog
is, to use a cliche, to die for. Avoid the chicken though, pales in
comparison with the beef one. The hotdog is also not to be missed –
it’s sloppy food for sloppy people. ;)

Kuching Festival 2004

kuching festival

Kuching Fest 2004 is the annual Kuching city festival which starts
on 1st August 2004. I was there last night with a couple of my friends
and this is the coverage of the event on the first day. The main focus
is on the food fest – that seems to be the most popular one every time.
There are also two videos for download – one with the fireworks display
and the other with two girls singing on the stage.

This is the video of the fireworks display to start of Kuching Festival 2004:

kf04 fireworks

Download: Kuching Fest 2004 fireworks [sixthseal.com]

This is a video of the fireworks display of Kuching Fest 2004 on the
first day. It was good – lasted for about 15 minutes or so and some of
the fireworks were impressive.

open air food court

The ground of Kuching Fest 2004 is largely taken up by a massive
open air food court. There were numerous stalls offering everything
from Iban Bamboo Cooked Chicken to Taiwan Sausages (with spicy, regular
and sweet options) lining the sides and tables and chairs in the
middle. There is also an indoor and outdoor area for exhibitors but I
did not find that noteworthy, so this will mainly cover the food fest –
the one which everyone goes to Kuching Fest for! :)

food court people

The stalls offer a staggering amount of food options and we were
spoilt for choice…so we had a bit of everything. I remember eating
crab claws, yam prawn, blueberry yoghurt, ice cream, nasi kandar,
Taiwan sausages, sour duck, lok lok, roti susu, and something called
“love noodles”. It was a feast!

sausage iban food

L-R: Double Dragon Taiwan Sausage stall, Tenggiri + Pork Sio Bee/Mua
Chee stall (delicious), Iban Food stall with tuak (native rice wine at
RM 6), and chicken cooked in bamboo, amongst other things.

taiwan sausages

Here’s another stall selling Taiwan sausages at RM 2 each. Very,
very nice. It’s much better than the first one. I think there’s at
least 4 different stalls selling Taiwan sausages there.

briyani cafe

Briyani Cafe offering different rotis, murtabaks and briyani dishes.

lok lok

Lok lok!

ching chen noodles

Ching Chen and their Cinta Noodles.

mukah seafood

Mukah Seafood Center was there too. They have umai, a local raw fish dish.

regular sausages

Sausages galore! This is the regular ones though.

seafood cha kueh

Asian BBQ Seafood stall beside a hawker stall selling cha kueh, fried kueh tiaw and other staples.

richmond place

Richmond Place offering New Zealand Fish and Chips. There are also other franchises like Sugarbun and KFC there.

yoghurt stall

There is a stall offering Natural Home Made Yoghurt. I was a bit
dubious about this, due to the odd color of the yoghurt. It looked more
like agar agar than yoghurt to me. However, I got one and was
pleasantly surprised.

yoghurt blueberry

The blueberry yoghurt is surprisingly good. It tastes like what
proper yoghurt should be and the blueberry adds to the texture of the
yoghurt.

emperor dragon whisker sweet

Emperor Dragon Whisker Sweet. It’s those little balls of rolled confectionary.

sour duck

Batu Kawa’s 1st Sour Duck.

banana leaf

Banana Leaf – offering dishes served on…well, a banana leaf.

tables of food

Proletarians like us can only dream about seating in this cordoned
off area. ;) The tables are filled with the various stalls offerings
and are for invited “guests of honor” also known as the “I paid RM
100,000 for this Datuk title” club.

food eating competition

The proles had their own eating competition though.

crab claw

Crab claw with minced chicken and yam prawns. The former didn’t have
much crab in it and but the latter was good – prawns fried with a yam
batter.

sweet corn

This stall offers a novel twist to the standard sweet corn snack – it’s barbecued. The stall beside is Emperor Grill Chicken.

ice cream

This is an ice cream cone with two scoops of chocolate and corn
flavored ice cream. It’s topped with a wafer, a single cherry and nuts.
Divine.

indon asam kari mee

There are all sorts of culinary delights at the fest – this one is Indon Asam Kari Mee. There’s a stall selling paus beside it.

Here’s another kind of feast – one for your eyes:

kf04 stage

Download: Kuching Fest 2004 Stage [sixthseal.com]

This video shows two girls singing the Sha La La song with choreographed movements on the stage in Kuching Fest 2004.

kuching fest crowd

The festival ground was packed – people, people, everywhere. Each
one of them jostling to walk past the mass of humanity that was
present. It seems that Kuching denizens came out in full force for the
first day, don’t expect to park anywhere near the location since the
roads were lined with double parked cars.

kuching fest 04

It was worth it though – Kuching Fest 2004 lasts for a month, and you won’t be disappointed if you drop by.

Hock Huat Chinese Pasty

hock huat chinese pasty

Hock Huat Chinese Pasty is an odd name for this establishment. They
have a couple of token pastries of Chinese origin but what the stall
really sells is chiffon cakes. It’s the flagship item.

hock huat cheddar chiffon

Now, I’m not a big fan of chiffon cakes, coz I used to eat a lot of
mediocre ones when I was younger. However, I decided to try one of
these, since a cheddar cheese chiffon cake does sound rather intriguing.

hock huat cheddar prune

The proprietor told me they specialize in two kind of chiffon cakes
– cheddar cheese and prune ones. It’s sold in halves for RM 5. That’s
half a cake, enough to fill most people, it went down just nicely for
me.

hock huat himself

This is the owner of the place. I think he might very well be Hock
Huat, but I didn’t think to ask. Instead, I asked to go into his baking
space and take photos.

hock huat chiffon prep

He showed me this large steel bowl which had a lot of oil (or melted
butter) and a tiny sprinkling of flour inside. There’s an automatic
beater preparing this one, which I was told is the first step.

hock huat chiffon make

Here’s the important second step – the one that really matters. I
know, coz he told me three times. I think it had something to do with
the indirect heating (double boiling) method. He was very enthusiastic
about stirring the chiffon cake mixture too. This one is the prune
chiffon.

hock huat chiffon

I bought half of a Kraft cheddar cheese chiffon cake for RM 5. It
made me instantly discard my long simmering prejudice against chiffon
cakes. It’s delicious! The chiffon cake is very soft, with a
melt-in-your-mouth texture. The cheese flavors came through just
nicely. I was amazed at how soft the chiffon cake is, it practically
disintegrated when I put it into my mouth. Highly recommended!

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