Thursday, August 23, 2007

FHM2007 - KLCC - 22-25 Aug

I visited FHM2007 with my friend, Lavender, yesterday. It was huge with over two hundred participating companies. The participants came from all corners of the world, Egypt, Taiwan, Japan, Italy, Germany, Australia, Malaysia and lots and lots of countries.

The Exhibition was the 9th Malaysian International Exhibition of Food, Drinks, Hotel, Restaurant & Food service Equipment, supplies, services and related technology. The exhibition was housed in 5 halls.

There were more than half dozen coffee exhibitors. We sampled the famous illy coffee which was at it's best, then we tried Bon cafe which was pretty good too. Then we had latte, it was really very good - unfortunately we didn't notice the brand, by the time we saw coffex, we were spewing coffee out our ears and noses. We were so caffeine intoxicated that we were feeling queasy because we had too much coffee on an empty stomach.

Initially, we thought that we'd have a quick run through the exhibition and go for lunch, we were shocked at the mass of exhibitors. Every turn was something exciting, every stop was food sampling, every corner was something new to learn. Wow! What a gastronomic journey! We never expected to 'learn' so much about the different types of food, equipment, raw cooking material, cooked foods, etc, etc.

We were very excited over the Japanese cooking demonstration. The Japanese chef demonstrated 'Spider roll". It's maki sushi rolled inside out (like the California roll) filled with fried soft shell crab with it's 'legs' sticking out of both ends of the roll. Usually, Japanese restaurants roll the rice in sesame seeds or Ebiko, but at FHM, they introduced a new product - Konbu sheet. It's thin and fine like the nori but it's nothing like nori. It is pale yellow in color and has pattern akin to tiger stripes. There was plenty to go round for sampling and it was delicious. By the way, just for your information the konbu sheet is nothing like the seaweed that we use for cooking miso soup or stewing.

The chef then made a futomaki and rolled more than half a dozen ingredients in it. That was delicious too. In fact we spent most of our time at the Japanese exhibition area.

We sampled Matcha tea - green tea made from matcha powder which we thought it's consistency was too weak. Then we sampled Sake - had a fresh fruity flavour, actually it was excellent. Even my friend Lavender who's resided in Japan for many years commented that the sake was excellent.

We went on to sample Maguro which is bluefin tuna (sashimi style). It only took a dip of shoyu
to enhance the fresh and delicious flavour of the Maguro. There were a group of students from Taylors college (T-shirt) who were enjoying the Maguro plate after plate. The Japanese exhibitor just continued to dish them out. They were very hospitable and polite. Lavender and I took their catalogue to place orders because the prices were cheap compared with those sold at the supermarket.

When we reached the end of the Japanese booths, we were offered O-konomiyaki, a type of savoury egg pancake. The Japanese man was mouthing the word O-ko-no-mi-ya-ki and teaching everyone who passed his booth to pronounce the word O-ko-no-mi-ya-ki!! I thought he was very funny and wanted to stay on to observe but Lavender quickly dragged me away.

By the time we finished visiting all the exhibition booths Lavender and I were so, so full that we decided not to go for lunch, which was supposed to be part of the day's agenda.

I realized that I'm not a true blue blogger yet because I didn't bring my camera with me. I could have used my phone but....I didn't want the hassle of my phone lagging because I chose to be trigger happy for the day. Oh well...this is a very wordy blog....what can I say....I've now decided to bring my camera everywhere. I've learnt my lesson, after all, as they say pictures paint a thousand words!


Sue Sue said...

So you were at FHM. We were supposed to take a booth up over there but found it clashes with another fair at MV. So got to give up FHM this year cos lack of manpower. Wow, it certainly a great trip to FHM cos a lot of food to eat ya. Too bad I can't drop by tomorrow.

Bento Pet said...

You shouldn't miss it, especially the konbu sheet experience. It was the first time even for the Japanese chef!

I think the best way to promote a product is sampling and the Japanese were just so hospitable. My friend and I are already making a list of things to purchase.

Unfortunately consumers couldn't purchase on the spot and some exhibitors only sell in large quantities (especially the local exhibitors). The Japanese are so polite that they try to accommodate as much as possible. It was an inspiring experience!

Rita Ho said...

Such a small world! I was with the organisers of FHM, Malaysian Exhibition Services and worked on the first two shows. It was a lot of fun, especially the food making competitions. It's great to hear that the show has grown into 5 halls! You would like their sister show in Singapore, FHA - Food & Hotel Asia - largest in Asia then, probably the world now. :)

Rita Ho said...

I forgot to add that I order Spider Roll at every Japanese meal. Love that sweet savory sauce it is dripped in!

By the way, photography is usually not allowed in exhibition halls. Security and copyright reasons. It is an official rule published in small print somewhere, so do ask the organizers for permission before snapping pics. Otherwise, your camera may be confiscated.

Bento Pet said...

rita: Wow! I read your profile on your blog, which mentioned that you were involved with event management. Didn't know you were involved in such big events!

It must be very exciting and hectic at the same time. My eldest girl was toying with the idea of becoming an event manager. After being in the organizing team to organize several youth events at our church for 200 youths, she's having second thoughts.

I really enjoyed myself at the exhibitors booths. I paid RM5 for the food making competition but I was greatly disappointed. There was really nothing new or exciting. By the time we arrived @ 12p.m. the food on display looked 'very tired'.

The small Japanese selection was coated with a glaze to try keep it looking 'fresh' but that didn't work either coz it looked fake.

They were having a cocktail or mock tail competition when we were there and it was so quiet on stage with the poor judges yawning away. Hehe! So boring! Didn't even have some music - I guess they didn't want any distractions. These competitions look a lot better on TV.

In this Culinaire competition, lots of people were taking photos but come to think of it I didn't see many people taking photos (prob journalists) in the other exhibition hall.

Ok then I don't feel so remorseful that I didn't bring my camera. Thanks for the info.

Mmmm...spider roll, I'm going to make that once I get my hands on some soft shell crabs! Watch out for it!


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