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lifestyle & Concept Dining
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Let me share my thoughts with you all !

As society gets more advanced and its people get more affluent and educated, the new generation are shifting to lifestyle living and concept dining ie. where we choose to eat is a reflection of our lifestyle. Not a kopitiam eating but eating in comfort and with ease with no one queueing and peering over us for our table..Of course the older generation would want BIG VALUE for Money.

I noted with interests that there will always be new coffee shops springing up with every new building launched. BUT it will always be COFFEE SHOPS selling almost similar food as the one next block.

Why? is it because kuching folks are so set on eating at coffee shops, eating the same type of food? to save a few Rm? it is always the usual menu, noodles or chicken rice.

Sarawakians love spicy food too but i do not see many Mamat/indian stalls selling their famous nasi beriyani/roti canai/nasi kamdar. In KL, these people are making huge biz as to expand even to as far as Australia.

If a concept restaurant opens up in Kuching, the standard will usually be lacking. It can be the whole decor is not right with the concept or the food menu is not up to par. Can a CarWash really mix with a restaurant?

i went to Atmosphere in january. The chocolate drink sucks and the ice lemon tea taste flat. the concept is great but drinks are lousy.

the only restaurant that i will give a kudos to is MAGENTA. They take pride in their decor and their food presentation. Jambu is ok too but i last went there a long time ago . hope they maintain their standard .



Posted on: 2009/2/13 13:53
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Re: lifestyle & Concept Dining
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Insightful text

The way I see it, Kuchingite dining culture is slowly evolving, where new dinings opening here and there, trying different approaches. Of course we will see a lot of failures in between, but those succeeded will then grow stronger and lead another wave of evolutions. This is the way it goes even to KL at the beginning.

If you view Kuching from KL standard, that's the definite conclusion you'll get ma. But if you view KL from, say Chicago standard, that's another way round.

So, let Kuchingites explore our way of dining evolution, and let us nurture our own distinctive culture lo.

Posted on: 2009/2/13 14:07
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Re: lifestyle & Concept Dining
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Everywhere you go in the world, simple and recognizable foods will always prevail. Its not just Kuching.

New and different restaurants offering unique fares are always good, but in the end if you want financial security - kopitiams are the way to go because that's what appeals to the mass market.

Its not that people don't like eating western or jap food or trying something new and different altogether. Its just that that's not what we can or want to eat everyday - plain and simple.

Sarawakian fare like kolomee or laksa is what we grow up with, so that's what we are familiar with and is also part of our cuisine identity. Why do you think people who go overseas (even as near away as KL or Singapore) end up missing local food? And several of my frens living in Kl can't tahan eating mamak food everyday, its not what our identity is used to.

Even if you go to Australia or London - Fish&chip takeaways and curry houses are everywhere simply because that's what they would eat all the time.

You notice that here alot of new restaurants that try something new here don't last. They close down not because they are lazy. Its cause they don't make money. Granted, ALOT of them are crap and serve the same 'western-fusion' cuisine (do the chefs all learn the same stuff at the same sch issit?).

But that just goes to show that alot of ppl here don't know how to make a truly unique and good dining concept that people will like and make them profitable. Hence its best to stick to what is tried and true, that appeals to the mass market.

Posted on: 2009/2/13 14:18
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Re: lifestyle & Concept Dining
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I agree totally with Tequila. Food is a very personal thing and you need to have identity to survive in this market.
I have heard a lot of people complaining that kuching has no other food other then kolong me, laksa and chicken rice. But the fact is these are the food that is making the money. Not big time steak or chicken chop or fish and chip.

The owner of chicken rice shop from KL is my Uni friend, when he first started about 10 years ago in Kepong I asked him a question. When are you going to open up an outlet in Kuching. Guess what he said "SCR and Suan chicken rice is too strong in Kuching we cannot compete with them at the moment". This shows two things, one he did his homework and secondly he knows how to make money by learning from people who make money!

so bottom line is what's the use of open up a restaurant that is unsure of it's future when you can be sure to make money form chicken rice?

Posted on: 2009/2/13 14:39
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Re: lifestyle & Concept Dining
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hi,

each of u pose your own very valid point. Kuching dining is evolving too slowly. from a biz point of view, we go into biz to make money and we take calculated risks. so might as well do something that appeal to the masses and brings in the cash.

Kuching folks are pretty rigid in their taste as they are not so open to trying new food. It is a fact and u have to agree with me.

Singaporeans are very health conscious and most of their coffee shop food are bland. If u are from m'sia and u eat singapore food, u will find their food sort of bland. For me that is.


Posted on: 2009/2/13 14:54
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Re: lifestyle & Concept Dining
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Quote:

dory1316 wrote:

Why? is it because kuching folks are so set on eating at coffee shops, eating the same type of food? to save a few Rm? it is always the usual menu, noodles or chicken rice.



Perhaps mindset plays an important role here but some prefer to eat in a traditional way rather than spending aloft on unnecessary services offered. Some prefer the classical way which reminded them the old days.

Well, it really depends on what's worth! At RM2.50 / RM3.50 you can get a decent bowl of KOLO MEE / LAKSA under the ceiling fan and wooden stools but for some, forking out another RM20 or so won't be an issue just for the additionals; air-condition and comfy spacious sofas for the sake of relaxation, enjoyment, taste & yabber. Good lord, a bowl of LAKSA for RM10-15 (for example) at equivalent taste / quality as the mamak stalls, mind you? Some even taste awful...

But I believe most cafe these days caters well for the teens & working group - at most. One thing in mind, not all Kuchingites willing (afford) to go to those fancy / classy cafe every week as compared to those working in big cities. Maybe once in a fortnight will do. If you say Kuchingite's catching up, yes we are but not aggressively.

I've observed a few small small cafe's in kuching (in every corner of the city), some made it through but 40% of them shut down their business / swap signage / sell off business due to bad customer flows.

:)

Posted on: 2009/2/13 15:18
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Re: lifestyle & Concept Dining
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Dining in fancy restaurants and drinking in posh bars are a reflection of your dreams and aspirations, not so much our mindset, not so much our 'culture.' Yes, it would be good to have a few great French haute cuisiners and Mexican cantinas out and about, but this is more of an acquired taste, and not everyone has a taste for it.

As per Tequila and many others, we are what we eat, and what we are accustomed to eating every day would eventually be something we crave once it's gone. While some may lament the lack in choice out there, expat Kuchingites who return would be delighted to see the sheer abundance of quaint cafes selling the standard kolo mee and laksa.

Say if you were abroad for perhaps four months. Your first port of call before you head home would not be a Starbucks, not a fancy restaurant, not a swanky bar. For some, it could be that small neighbourhood cafe selling your favourite kolo mee, with a side of laksa and a nice serving of sugarcane juice. That is what makes Kuching Kuching.

Yes, while it would be good to have some diversity in our cuisine palette, we have to keep three things in mind: price and who your target market is, the consistency in quality and adherence to the 'actual taste;' and finally, if what you offer would appeal both to local Kuchingites and Kuchingites who have spent some time abroad.

But at the end of the day, comfort food is comfort food. It's simple, it's fast, it's relatively affordable, and we treat it as an every day occurrence. You may want something other than our usual wonton mee, but after sampling Moroccan fare, not everyone would be lining up for cous-cous every week.

Posted on: 2009/2/13 17:05
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Re: lifestyle & Concept Dining
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comfort food vs. new adventurous creation.

can i have comfort food from monday to friday, new adventurous food on sat and plain salad on sunday to cleanse and detoxify my body?

haha

Posted on: 2009/2/13 23:21
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Re: lifestyle & Concept Dining
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Actually what you can do is like a treasure hunter, hunting for different food outlets in Kuching and try them out. Sometimes you might just be surprised: Eh, I never know this shop thing so nice~ etc.

But ok let's admit: You don't get gems most of the times (and it is usually quite the opposite).

Posted on: 2009/2/14 12:25
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Re: lifestyle & Concept Dining
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Agree that kch really lacks of standards in lifestyle and dining. As most corporate worker are underpaid and doing small business like diners does not need a heavy investment, most mid-30 ppl are not willing to work in corporate office thus opening they own eating place and wanted to earn more. The bad thing is that they dont have the know how to run business. often food are not fresh and tasteless, and with they concept design, they charge a premium for they bill.

People who have been abroad sure will complaint about kch food, bcos they can get this type type of mediocre standard food at a much better price than kch, but they have to Q up or call for reservation la. big city = plenty of hungry ppl.

the one thing i like bout kch fine dining place, is suitable for every1 regardless of they status most place are medium expensive but not super expensive. we don have places like palace of the golden horse and or exclusive french restaurant that is off limits even to normal people.

For a simple city its good to have 3 or 5 more great dining place.

Posted on: 2009/2/14 16:02
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