A notable start to food and culture festival


DISCOVER some remarkable Asian food and culture by visiting five shopping malls in Penang from Sept 13 to 15.


The inaugural Penang Asian Food and Culture Festival would feature mouth-watering food and unique culture from Japan, Thailand, Korea, China and Indonesia.


The event will be taking place at five different shopping malls at the same time, each one showcasing a different Asian cuisine and culture – Japanese at Gurney Paragon Mall, Thai at 1st Avenue Mall, Korean at Queensbay Mall, Chinese at Gurney Plaza and Indonesian at Sunway Carnival Mall.


Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said Penang is a testimony of multiculturalism.


“We applaud the effort to promote Asian food and cultural festival in Penang.


“I understand that experience is more important than destination, when it comes to tourism.


“Visitors do not just share where they go (the destination), but they also share what they see and experience.


“Experiences such as the people they met, the food they ate and the culture they learned.


“That’s why we must give credit to the state Tourism Development, Arts, Culture and Heritage (PETACH) Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin and his team for coming up with the ‘Experience Penang Year 2020’ (EPY2020) campaign to promote the state’s tourism.


“We want our visitors to feel comfortable during their visit, share their experience with others and encourage their friends and family to visit Penang,” Chow said in his speech before opening the Penang Asian Food and Culture Festival at Hin Bus Depot today.


Chow painting the batik after the opening ceremony at Hin Bus Depot.


Meanwhile, Yeoh said the state’s tourism industry continued to be one of the critical pillars of Penang’s economy.


“The services sector, including tourism, contributes nearly 50% of the state’s GDP.


“The EPY2020 is PETACH’s latest tourism campaign.


“One of Penang’s main tourism products is our diverse culinary offerings. A true melting pot of Asian cultures, Penang is not only the place to be for Malaysian food but also for Asian cuisine. The culinary options are limitless,” he said in his speech.


Visitors get to enjoy the delicious takoyaki from Japan.



Yeoh added that PETACH hoped to position Penang as the hub for Asian cuisine through the Penang Asian Food and Culture Festival.


Visitors at Hin Bus Depot had the chance to try their hands on the complimentary cultural workshops such as the kokeshi doll-painting, paper-cutting, leather-crafting and batik-painting today.


The visitors also enjoyed the array of food from the five different countries – topokki and mandu (steamed dumplings) from Korea, bingtanghulu (candied hawthorn stick) and dragon beard candy from China, Sakura ice cream and takoyaki from Japan, chicken sausage and meat skewers from Thailand, and Indomie doughnut and martabak from Indonesia.


Visitors taking part in the kokeshi doll-painting workshop.


Both the food and activities available during the opening ceremony were the sneak peek of what will be available during the actual festival from Sept 13 to 15.


Also present were the consul-general of Japan in Penang Shinichiro Kanoya, consul-general of the Republic of Indonesia in Penang Iwanshah Wibisono, Ministry of Tourism, Art and Culture (MOTAC) Penang director Jonathan Freddy Bagang, Penang Global Tourism chief executive officer Ooi Chok Yan, festival organiser Cake Experiential Communications chief executive officer Andy Ong and several state assemblymen.



Story by Christopher Tan
Pix by Noor Siti Nabilah Noorazis
Video by Alvie Cheng