KUALA LUMPUR, 19 APRIL 2019: A total of 21 media representatives and bloggers from Asia recently had a chance to taste some of Malaysians unique cuisines such as otak-otak, onde-onde and oysters. 

They were invited by Tourism Malaysia under under the Malaysia Mega Familiarisation Programme, themed “Come Hungry Leave Satisfied”, to help promote Malaysia’s gastronomy tourism. The participants from Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam explored Melaka, Johor Bahru and Negeri Sembilan to sample the food and visit places of interest.

On the first day, they were brought to Baba Charlie Nyonya Cake in Melaka to sample many delicious types of nyonya kuih such as onde-onde. This was followed by a visit to Nyonya 63 restaurant, a place that serves various Nyonya cuisine. After having lunch, they took a city tour to Christ Church, Queen Victoria’s Fountain and Stadhuys.

They proceeded to Muar, Johor, a city popular for its pre-war buildings, food and coffee, to sample “A-Class Otak-otak” followed by a cruise tour to Oyster Bay Muar for oyster tasting. At night, they departed for Homestay Parit Bugis to experience the uniqueness of the local heritage and culture in the form of traditional food and performances.

The food hunting trip continued on the second day with satay for breakfast at R&H Café, Satay Maharani at Muar. The next stop was Johor Bahru, whereby there was a hunt for mee rebus at Restoran ZZ Sup Tulang. Later at noon, all participants managed to see local craft making exhibition at Johor Craft Complex. At night, they dined at Restaurant Spice Villa, a modernist Indian cuisine restaurant which is famous for fish head curry.

On 18 April morning, they visited the award-winning “Desaru Fruit Farm”. They were served with local and other tropical fruits as well as sample a few dishes cooked with fruits, namely asam pedas with passionfruit and masak lemak nangka. In the afternoon, they took a visit to Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast and had water sports activities at Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark.At night, they checked in to Tunamaya Beach and Spa Resort and dined at Nelayan Seafood by The Coast.

This morning, they returned to Negeri Sembilan and had lunch at Royale Chulan Seremban. The group ended their five-day, four-night trip with a farewell dinner at Restoran Rebung Dato’ Chef Ismail, which was founded by Malaysia Celebrity Chef Dato’ Chef Haji Ismail Ahmad and his friend, Malaysia’s 1st cosmonaut, Datuk Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor. The restaurant, located at Taman Botani Perdana, specialises in traditional Malay cuisine. Here, the Mega Fam participants witnessed a cooking demonstration by Dato’ Chef Haji Ismail Ahmad and took part in a cooking competition.

The Mega Familiarisation Programme is one of Tourism Malaysia’s signature programmes to assist in the promotions and branding of Malaysia as the preferred tourist destination in the world. This Mega Fam programme is partially sponsored by AirAsia Berhad (AirAsia), Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) and Malindo Airways Sdn Bhd (Malindo).