Published on : Friday, June 13, 2014
It was a ‘truly Malaysian experience’ for the over 500 industry professionals attending the Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) Annual National Conference 2014 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre) from 15 to 17 May 2014.
Held for the first time in Southeast Asia, and only the second time outside Australia, the Centre went all out to ensure delegates experienced the country’s rich culinary and cultural diversity.
The Centre offered a “site inspection with a difference” as part of its Culinaria campaign activities.
The interactive immersion included a showcase of the Centre’s facilities and the chance to learn skills such as cooking a local favourite, pisang panggang (fried bananas), and constructing a nasi lemak (rice dish cooked in coconut milk and screw pine leaves and served with anchovies, peanuts, egg, curry, vegetables and sambal belacan – a chili-based condiment made of shrimp paste).
Attendees also learnt how to ‘pull’ tea or teh tarik (hot milk tea beverage) and after a hearty tasting of the Malaysian treats, the session concluded with a ‘chopstick challenge’.
During the conference, delegates were treated to the Centre’s unique and interactive Cultural Showcase, enabling everyone to try their hand at traditional arts and crafts such as batik painting, basket and songket weaving, wood carving, pewter smithing, henna painting, Chinese calligraphy and the gamelan (traditional Malay orchestra).
For the grand finale gathering, the MEA Gala Dinner and Awards Presentation, the Centre’s award-winning culinary team served up a multicultural seven course banquet that included fusion dishes such as ‘Imperial Seafood Soup’ (double-boiled chicken soup with seafood served in a coconut shell); ‘Malay Heritage Chicken Percik’ (roasted chicken ballotine marinated with local spices) and ‘Red Emperor’ (steamed red snapper with superior soy sauce drizzled with cilantro infused oil).
And leaving a lasting impression was the ‘Trio of Dessert’ of Sarawak pineapple compote, coconut pandan delight and kaffir lime ice cream served individually in an ice cave.
“The service delivered by the Centre’s team for the meetings and especially the showcase Gala Dinner were of the highest standards.
Malaysia has delivered an important message to the Australian MICE market, it’s easy with great value for money to do business in KL,” said Jenifer Dwyer Slee, Director of Sales and Marketing, National Convention Centre, Canberra.
“We are extremely proud to have been the venue of choice for MEA’s Annual National Conference 2014,” beamed Alan Pryor, the Centre’s General Manager.
“The occasion provided the perfect platform to showcase our innovative and flexible offerings as well as Malaysia’s culinary and cultural diversity.
“More important, the event allowed our Team Malaysia partners; Tourism Malaysia, Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad, Malaysia Airlines, Kuala Lumpur City Hall and Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) and local business tourism players to engage, network and explore business opportunities with the international industry representatives.”
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