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Saturday 26 May 2012

Lan E Tuyang

Lan E Tuyang is a home stay about 30 minutes drive away from Kuching along the road from Batu Kawa to Bau. It was built and is being managed by Matthew Ngau Jau, a prominent figure in the Sarawak traditional music scene. His wife also helps up in running the home stay.

The set-up is traditional longhouse on stilts with steps carved on a tree trunk. The house is decorated with Iban motifs all around, since Matthew Ngau Jau is also an artist by nature.

Traditionally, the lower part of a longhouse is where the tenants rare their stocks. However, you don't get to see the domestic animals here. Instead, you get to see the artworks of Matthew.

As you can see, the place is very well decorated with the traditional Iban items and the artworks by Matthew. There is electricity supply here, so some home appliances are also provided. You don't have to worry about charging all your electronic gadgets.

There is a set of gongs hanging at the corridor. If you feel like having a music-jamming session with Matthew, you can request him to do so. He is more than willing to share his sape playing skill with you.

The sides of the staircase leading to the bathrooms are intricately decorated with motifs too. You can see Matthew's attention to details though all these respects.

At the back of the home-stay longhouse is the sape workshop. If you saty here, you can always request Matthew to arrange a sape-making class for you during your stay. This is also where Matthew produces the sape for sale.

As I mentioned earlier, Matthew is an artist as much as a traditional musician. He is really a multi-talented person. He produces beautiful art pieces as well. The good news is, there are also for sale!

If you happen to be in Kuching during the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF), Matthew's musician friends from the rural area will be putting up at his place. You get a bonus of having a free concert during your home stay.

You may contact Matthew Ngau Jau directly through his mobile phone No. +60-13-8203365, if you are interested in the home stay, his sape or art pieces.

Sunday 20 May 2012

Sio Bao & Curry Puff

There are two prominent bakeries hidden inside a small lane called Lorong Khai Joo (some called it 'coffin' street in the old days) in Kuching. One is called Chong Chon (長春餅店) and the other Tong Kee (棠記). I always buy from Chong Chon since the sio bao there is considered the best in Kuching. I have never tried the food staff from Tong Kee but some say the pastries there are better than Chong Chon.

Yesterday, I went to buy food stuff from this small lane again but all the pastries in Chong Chon were sold out. So, I walked across to Tong Kee to buy some sio bao and curry puffs.

To my surprise, the sio bao has very fluffy pastry skin which is very nice. However, the filling is drier than the one from Chong Chon.

For the curry puffs, the pastry skin is also very nice. The multi-layer texture can be savoured quite nicely in the mouth.

The filling is for those who like it hot. If you are not a spicy food person, this may be too spicy for you. For me, I like it hot!

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