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During our visit to Langkawi, we also attended the launching of the inaugural Langkawi International Laksa Carnival (LILAC), where we had the opportunity to meet Malaysia’s Food Ambassador, Chef Wan. He was roped in by Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) to host and present laksa in various intricate flavours around the country.
If you are not local, you probably haven’t heard of laksa before. It is a popular traditional spicy soup-based noodles, said to have originated from the Chinese to Malaya (Peranakan). There are many varieties of laksa, but the most well-known of them all are the Curry Laksa and Assam Laksa.
At LILAC, more than ten flavours of laksa were on sale, and visitors had the chance to try them out over the three days that the carnival was held. Did you know that Hollywood actor, Mel Gibson, once said on a TV interview that his favourite food is laksa?? Seriously!
According to LADA CEO, Tan Sri Khalid Ramli, the reason laksa was chosen as a “tourism product” to showcase was because it is a traditional food not only in other parts of Malaysia but also Langkawi, and has been recognised by the Ministry of Tourism Malaysia. This being the case and since laksa is actually made from rice, it is a good product to use to promote Laman Padi (Rice Garden), where the carnival was held. Laman Padi is known as a “living museum”.
Besides just showcasing laksa from almost all states in Malaysia, and also Thailand, plenty of activities were lined up, including laksa eating competition, culinary school competition, Local Master Laksa Class and International Laksa Master Class. There were also photo-shoot sessions with Chef Wan himself!
Based on the good response that this first Langkawi International Laksa Carnival received, it certainly brought a lot of attention to the food and the venue. Right now, some areas of Laman Padi are undergoing maintenance and upgrading works. I believe it has a lot more to offer tourists once everything is in place. Also, it has been pledged that LILAC would be bigger and better next year, with more international laksa flavours presented.
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