Delights from Asian nations

(From left) Yeoh, Chow, Ong, Soon, Chong Eng and Ooi showing some Asian dishes which will be highlighted during the three-day Penang Asian Food and Culture Festival from Sept 13 to 15. — Photos: MUSTAFA AHMAD/The Star

INDULGE in a unique food experience at the inaugural Penang Asian Food and Culture Festival featuring cuisines from Japan, Thailand, China, Indonesia and South Korea.

Locals and tourists are invited to enjoy authentic food and culture at five venues on the island and mainland from Sept 13 to 15.

With the tagline ‘Experience Penang, Taste Asia’, the festival aims to attract visitors by showcasing the state’s amazing diversity in culture, heritage, arts, food and nature.

The three-day festival will be held simultaneously across five different shopping malls in the state.

Gurney Paragon Mall will highlight Japanese cuisine whereas 1st Avenue Mall will turn up the heat with various Thai dishes.

Those looking to satisfy their Korean food cravings can flock to Queensbay Mall while Gurney Plaza is set to showcase Chinese cuisine.

Meanwhile, on the mainland, Sunway Carnival Mall will feature Indonesian cuisine.

Other than the diverse array of Asian food, each mall will showcase its specialty cuisine in an interactive pop-up area where festival-goers can chow down on popular food by selected outlets in an authentic street food setting.

The public are also welcomed to join the event’s opening ceremony on Sept 10 from 5.30pm to 10pm at Hin Bus Depot at 31A, Jalan Gurdwara in George Town.

There, they can go to different food kiosks from various Asian food vendors for a taste of what they can expect during the festival.

The opening ceremony will be made merrier with artisanal workshops featuring different crafts such as Korean hanbok origami and Indonesia batik printing.

Not to be missed is the Asian Drums performance which will showcase the festival’s very own tune that represents the heartbeat of Asia using drum pieces from the five Asian destinations.

State tourism development, arts, culture and heritage committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said ‘Celebrating Diverse Festivals and Events’ was of Experience Penang Year 2020 (EPY 2020)’s components and it is aimed at highlighting Penang as a state that celebrates festivals all year round.

“Festival tourism is a growing trend, fuelling the development of the economy.

“This year, we wished to hold a Penang Asian Food and Culture Festival.

“While Penang International Food Festival offers the best of Penang street food, the Penang Asian Food and Culture Festival is a massive gathering of many different flavours across Asia.

“We have carefully curated a diverse range of programmes that will enable visitors to dive deeper into each country’s cultural landscape through activities such as art installations, games, live cooking demonstrations and workshops, ” he said at a press conference at Komtar in Penang.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the festival is part of the state’s effort to elevate Penang’s status as a cultural and culinary destination.

“We are not leaving Seberang Prai out as I see a lot of potential there for it to become a tourist hot spot due to its beautiful natural assets, blossoming arts scene and various heritage sites.

“We want to shine a spotlight on Seberang Prai’s hidden gems.

“We hope to bring some 100, 000 visitors together over the three days and across five venues to share their love of food and culture, ” he added.

Cake Experiential Communi-cations (Asia) Sdn Bhd chief experience officer Andy Ong said festival-goers would stand a chance to win Klook vouchers worth RM50 when they visit any three participating malls during the festival.

“Just register online at www. to receive a personalised Penang Asian Food and Culture Festival digital passport QR code and scan at a minimum of three participating venues.

“Every 20th participant to complete this will stand a chance to win Klook vouchers worth RM50.

“The festival also collaborates with Boost to offer visitors a unique digitalised experience where they can go cashless and pay with the app to be entitled to cashback privileges, ” he said.

The festival is organised by Cake Experiential Communications, endorsed by the state and supported by Penang Global Tourism.

Also present were state exco members Soon Lip Chee, Chong Eng and Penang Global Tourism CEO Ooi Chok Yan.

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