For food lovers and those in the food business in the North of England, March 1st and 2nd brought in the biggest hospitality trade show in the region, the Northern Restaurant and Bar 2011.
Held in Manchester Central, the exhibition meant for both the northern trade and its consumers played host to over 200 exhibitors including Malaysia Kitchen. Two Malaysian restaurants based in Manchester, Ning and Lotus Restaurant, worked hard together to steer the campaign successfully into the hearts of the visitors. With the show attracting approximately 5000 people over the course of two days, it was the best platform to leave a good impression.
Armed with samples of food, a range of Malaysian products, a cooking demonstration and friendly advice on approaching Malaysian food, the support received was more than encouraging as smiles spread across the crowd and those involved. In fact, the Malaysian Kitchen stand managed to draw in 25% of total visitors to the event making it one of the popular exhibitors.
The first day saw Ning serving out 350 samples of their Chicken Rendang and a cooking demonstration of the dish was held in the Culinary Theater. Ning’s executive chef, Norman Musa, was scheduled to head the demonstration but due to unforeseen circumstances was unable to attend. All was not lost though as an equally entertaining and capable stand-in was in Maziah Omar, a senior tutor at the Ning Cookery School, who managed to delight the audience by showing them the ways to making homemade Chicken Rendang. The hearty and rich dish is one of Malaysia’s most famous foods and was well received by those who tried it at the event. For beginners, it definitely opened up the door to trying various other Malaysian foods.
Lotus Restaurant prepared the food samples for the second day and did a spectacular job with their Lamb Rendang and Rojak India. Chef Norman Musa was also in attendance on the final day of the show to sign copies of his book, Malaysian Food, which was available for purchase at the stand. There was also a range of Malaysian food products being showcased through out the two days including items from brands such as Adabi, Tean’s and Malay Taste. The latter being a new brand for ready-made sauces now sold in Waitrose. During the event over 300 Malay Taste sauces were given away for free to lucky visitors to try at home.
Overall, the collaboration between the two restaurants and all the parties involved was a worthy and commendable effort. The work put into the event manage to successfully promote Malaysian cuisine, Malaysian restaurants in the area and also spread information on the availability of Malaysian products within Britain.
Credits to all involved and a special mention to the team at Ning for the inexhaustible work and dedication they put in to coordinate the event for the love of Malaysian food.