Food for thought
It is all about food, especially popular Penang dishes, at the Wonderfood Museum, writes Olivia Miwil
THINK you really know about food in Malaysia? Test your knowledge while having fun at Penang’s Wonderfood Museum, located in George Town.
As the name suggests, be ready to be awed or feel hungry by the sight of food replicas available in the country, particularly those in Penang.
Set in a 1940s double-storey colonial building, the museum is a brainchild of Sean Lao, who uses food replication techniques from Japan to showcase hundreds of Malaysian favourite food in its three galleries known as Info Zone, Wow Zone and Educational Zone.
The first room has its walls decorated with a variety of dishes from the main communities — Chinese, Peranakan, Malay and Indian.
The walls make a good background pictures for photos. A guide helps to take
our photos in such actions as pulling teh
tarik and tossing noodles in a s killet. A corner is dedicated to showcase the replicas of Penang must-try food such as
char kuey teow, Penang laksa, curry mee and cendol.
There are also miniatures of different types of eateries on the street to portray the scenery of people either cooking food, buying or having meals.
One of them is a group of Chinese people having meals while sitting on stools put on the bench. The guide says such eating custom is still being practised at certain places in George Town.
Of course, the gallery is not limited to food replica. It also tells how much and what Malaysians like to eat during breakfast, brunch, lunch, tea break, dinner and supper.
The Wow Zone is designed to make visitors ponder on some of life principles.
There are several tables meant to create awareness on how fragile and short life is, shown through the rotten food, inappropriately coloured food and food on a table that is about to flip over.
It is also very popular among visitors as they want to pose with gigantic replica of Penang famous delicacies.
Lao has certainly put a lot of effort on researching on Malaysian food as shown in the details of each replica and the number of traditional delicacies featured in the display.
Food available in this zone include bee larvae porridge from Perak, an Orang Asli dish of corn cooked in bamboo, lempeng
pisang (traditional banana pancake), cattle brain curry, glutinous rice cooked in pitcher’s plant, black sambal from Pahang, clay-baked fish from Perlis, roe of tiny scale barb fish omelette commonly eaten by fishermen and farmers, and squid stuffed with coconut and chilies.
I also learn the names of dozens of colourful traditional desserts, all served on the wall. Ever wonder how much food an average adult consume sin a year? The zone has the answer but I’ll leave that to you to find out.
There is also a room painted in gold, dedicated to showcase the world’s most expensive dishes that can reach up to thousands of ringgit per meal.
Other interesting features include a replica of Mona Lisa’s smiling portrait, made using food and spices; and a banquet wedding table with bloodied sharks strewn all over the floor, meant to bring awareness as well as in support of the no-shark fin-soup campaign.
The golden room is where the rich dine.
A lavish Chinese celebratory meal.
Mona Lisa on the dining
A giant roti canai for two or