Tasty, healthy bites from Down Under

  • Metro News
  • Saturday, 07 Sep 2019

(From left) Ang, Australia High Commission senior trade and investment commissioner for Malaysia and Brunei Daniel Havas, Oyama, Australia food fair participant Kim Fewster, Growder and Lee. — Photos: GRACE CHEN/The Star

FANCY a variety of healthy foods from Down Under? Then, head to Isetan KLCC where an Australian food fair is being held at the Food Hall.

Featuring up to 37 food and beverage brands, the highlights include gluten-free and non-genetically-modified foods such as honey, dried fruits and vegan chocolates.

The products also include gluten-free popcorn, quinoa and foodstuff made from black truffle.

Present at the launch of the fair were Australian High Commission deputy commissioner Michael Growder, Isetan Malaysia managing director Koji Oyama and event co-organisers The Model Cook executive directors Vivien Lee and Ang Kha Beng.

Seven of the showcased brands’ founders were also at the event to meet with shoppers and explain about their products.

One of them was Mei Yong, a Malaysian raised in Australia who offered pre-made Thai curry paste and rice and dal curry kits. When asked how her products differed from the ones found locally, Yong revealed that they had managed to develop allergen- and gluten-free versions.

“Our meal kits and curry sauces do not contain shrimp paste, fish sauce or dairy, ” said Yong.

Lee, who has been co-organiser of the Tasty Australia food fair at Isetan since 2012, said the goal was to provide the local market with alternative food options which have been produced using responsible farming practices and no artificial colourings.

“This platform enables us to continue our passion to help people adopt a healthier lifestyle through food, ” said Lee.

Australian High Commission South Australia investment and trade manager Adil Akbar said Malaysia was the second highest consumer of Australian food products after China.

“The country consumes up to AUD1bil (about RM2.8bil) in Australian food imports per annum, ” said Adil.

Factors contributing to this were the free trade agreement made between the two countries in 2013 and the growing number of tourists and students to the country.

Australia has also been reputed to have meticulous food production standards and adheres to high export quality standards.

It has five certified bodies which are recognised by the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim).

Lucky draws with prizes of RM500 gift vouchers, food hampers and Australian souvenirs were given away during the event while an Australian gourmet pop-up restaurant will also serve meals from 11am to 9.30pm.

The food fair ends on Sept 11.

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