Also, I've noticed that Kuching is really quite a "neat" and clean city, which sets it apart from the other Malaysian cities I've been to, like Kuala Lumpur and Malacca, both of which are vibrant in their "messiness". Buildings are all laid out in neat lines so the city looks somewhat like Legoland, or Melbourne from the air.
The vibe is quite laidback and the pace of life is more languid. In short, life is simple here.
Of course, there aren't that many big chain hotels here, and definitely not of the super swanky Ritz type. The Riverside Majestic is one of the major hotels in Kuching, and very conveniently located in the centre of the business, entertainment and dining district of Kuching. This was the last stop of the "wedding world tour" for my friend, who held a grand total of 3 weddings in 3 different countries on 3 consecutive weekends. The first in London, second in Hong Kong and the third and grandest one in Kuching. You see, both the bride and groom have lived in England for the better part of their adult lives, the bride's originally from Hong Kong, and the groom's from Kuching. I honestly don't know how they pulled it off. Here's a secret for all you getting-married couples, rope in your families and friends. They got a lot of help from their siblings, who practically organised the entire Kuching wedding for the couple.
As with most wedding dinners, this was really no different. The food was tolerable at best, unappetizing mostly, and really not worth the breaking a diet for.
The obligatory cold starter dish of Phoenix Cold Hors D'oeuvre, with poached chicken terrine, fried beancurd skin, marinated jellyfish, and prawn ball. Only the beancurd skin was passable. The jellyfish was limpid, the chicken terrine was powdery and the prawn ball was just not very tasty.
I had a tough time finishing up the Shark's Fin Soup with Prawn, Crabmeat & Mushroom. I kept picking out bits of crab shell from the soup, the shark's fin was also tough and rubbery, and the soup base was too starchy, with little blobs of starch floating around the soup. Suffice it to say, I didn't go for seconds.
The Steamed Seabass "Hong Kong" Style was barely passable, while the soy marinade was delicate and light, the fish would have been fresher if it was served 2 days ago.
I appreciated that the Oven-Baked Five Spice Pi Pa Duck with Plum Sauce was served warm and meat was fairly soft and tender, but even the very salty spices couldn't mask the gamey taste of the duck.
The Golden Soil Prawn was battered way too much, so it created a very huge coating around prawns that were powdery and small. The only ok thing about this was the crunchy fried chye poh.
This was probably the best dish of the night, Stewed Mixed Vegetables with Bamboo Pith, Mushroom and Cashew Nuts. The vegetables were crunchy enough, but too much flour made the seasoning a little too starchy.
Only the noodles, boy choy and egg drops in the Fried Emperor Noodle "Cantonese" Style were good. The seafood medley of prawns, fish and squid weren't fresh enough.
The dessert of Chilled Lotus Seed, Lily Bulb, Snow Fungus & Dried Longan was refreshing but too sweet.
Riverside Majestic Hotel
Sarawak Chamber Ballroom
Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman
PO Box 2928