photo slideshow

Monday, 29 July 2013

Sabah International Folklore Festival 2013 - 8th Edition!

This post is a little later than expected, as I was first planning to post it as a vlog, but video editing is still yet to become a skill I can master. Sigh.
Yep. This too. Ever so arsty me. *rolls eyes*
Last year's SIFF was an array of colours as there were cultural dances from 18 different countries showcased in an International Folkdance Competition held at the Sabah Cultural Centre. Some of them were:
Kazakhstan
South Korea
Nigeria
China
Finland
With the tagline "Promoting Peace Through Culture", this year's Folklore Fest was a quieter affair, with music taking center stage.
The Opening.
Theme song "Standing In The Eyes" with all participants.
Love for One and All!
Kinabalu Merdu Sound - Check out the bamboo guitar!
Philipus Jani with his handmade bamboo saxophone
Gambus Warisan Pesona - great voices, and the guy in the middle is so energetic!
Pyeongpaen Pungmuldan from South Korea
Razali Abdul Rahim from Malaysia, playing very energetic Kulintangan!
Bambu Ombak Group - Malaysia
Artsy Japanese Dance with elements of break dance..? One of the most popular performances, though I'm still not sure why the boy in the middle is bound like a mummy (blocked in this photo).
Mak Yong performance by Aswara - Kelantanese traditional drama - dance
Ranranga Dance Academy from Sri Lanka
Tuku Kame from Sarawak with their bamboo instruments

A fun fact I noticed during the festival was that there were quite a few pregnant performers! Kudos to doing such a wonderful job and looking so good! =D

Organised by the Sabah State Government, this annual affair is always fun to watch and I'm looking forward to next year's show! I do personally hope they'll bring back the dancing though! ;p

The Bal-Bal is mythical folktale of the Irranun referring to the black magic practice to protect and safeguard their master and possession. The Bal-Bal is chosen as the SIFF mascot as a reminder to younger generations on cross cultural awareness, appreciation and importance.
To keep updated for next year's festival, do follow them on facebook HERE!

Til next time,
Calista xxx

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Buffet Galore at Circle Restaurant, Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu!

So. You love food. Lots of it. And trying new stuff is your speciality.
Photo credits to Jorge L. Gazzano
Hello, friend!

Now we all now there are lots of buffets to choose from in town, so what makes one great place stand out from the rest? Variety!

I was recently invited for a buffet dinner at the renowned Circle Restaurant in Le Meridien hotel, famous for it's scrumilicious dessert line.

The theme for the week was Vietnamese, prepared by 2 invited chefs from Vietnam! (I love how they try to mix it up every once in a while with a certain food fest etc!)
One of the guest chefs serving authentic Vietnamese beef noodles - Pho!
Now I dont know much about Vietnamese food, but I do know that it involves a lot of vegetables so I was kind of prepared for that. They also had a lot of the usual popular dishes on the buffet line. This is what greeted us when we entered:
You can just about see it poking out from the middle - gorgeous dried Filipino mango slices!
Assorted breads - Not good when you're keeping your tummy empty for a buffet, but undeniably yummy!
Part of the salad selection
Steamed Fish with Soya Sauce and fresh Vietnamese Herbs
Sautéed Duck with Chillies, Lemon-grass and Sweet Basil Leaves
Deep Friend 'Ha Noi' Spring Rolls
Salmon 'Goi Cuon' - Vietnamese Spring Rolls
More 'Goi Cuon'!
The Pho as mentioned above - freshly prepared in front of your eyes!
A quick search on Google gave me some basic info on Vietnamese food:

Known for its balance of five elements, many Vietnamese dishes include five fundamental taste senses: spicy (metal), sour (wood), bitter (fire), salty (water) and sweet (Earth), corresponding to: five organs: gall bladder, small intestine, large intestine, stomach, and urinary bladder.

Vietnamese dishes also include five types of nutrients: powder, water or liquid, mineral elements, protein and fat. Vietnamese cooks try to have five colours: white (metal), green (wood), yellow (Earth), red (fire) and black (water) in their dishes.

Dishes in Vietnam appeal to gastronomes via five senses: food arrangement attracts eyes, sounds come from crisp ingredients, five spices are detected on the tongue, aromatic ingredients coming mainly from herbs stimulate the nose, and some meals, especially finger food, can be perceived by touching.

Makes sense!

Some of the regular buffet goodness was also ready for its hungry patrons:
Potato Masala
Beef Stew with Potato
Mussels in Kam Heong Sauce
Steamed Mangrove Snapper with Nusantara Sauce
And on to my favourite part:

DESSERTS!!
Chocolate Fondue!
Snow Egg
Vanilla Cupcake
Strawberry Panna Cotta
Pistachio Financier
Fruit Tarts
Kiwi Mousse
Orange Jelly
Coconut Pudding
Coconut Flavoured Vietnamese Caramel Custard
Look at all the pretty desserts!
Yes I filled myself up good that night! Haha.. I'll think about my hips in the morni.. Oh wait. Then I'll be hungry again. Oh well - food makes happy!

You can visit Circle Restaurant yourself at 
Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu

Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, 
Sabah, Malaysia

Or call+60 88-322 222 for reservations

Now, please excuse me while I bask in the memories -

Dont forget to follow me on facebook and Instagram - You can find the links at the top of the column on the right side of the screen!

Til next time,
Calista xxx