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Malaysia Dinner

Kota Kinabalu, August 3, 2014

Bailliage of Sabah

In aid of The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kota Kinabalu, the Bailliage organised a charity fund-raising event in collaboration with The Syou & The Koiku, in Ginza, Japan and Yakitori Vino Vino @ Times Square.

The theme was based on the traditional Japanese concept of ‘omotenashi’. It is a term which is difficult to explain in English. ‘Hospitality’ comes nearest meaning to make someone happy, or to serve someone. ‘Omotenashi’ has a similar meaning, but it suggests a deeper part of the human consciousness. It is about creating a non-hierarchical relationship between the person who is providing the service and the recipient of it. The best omotenashi is when the host anticipates the needs of the guest in advance and offers a service that guests do not expect.

Anticipating our needs and certainly amazing us with his creations was Chef extraodinaire Ikuo Kobayashi San, formerly with the Michelin-starred Sushi Kanesaka in Ginza, Japan, and now proud co-owner of the Restaurant Syou & Koiku in the same city.

It was a wonderful dinner artfully and skilfully prepared by Chef Kobayashi. Every dish he presented was delectable and mouth-watering. Equally they were all a feast for the eyes.  What is more, Chef had personally selected fine imperial sake to partner the courses. These had been specially flown in from Japan for our delectation – an example of a service quite unexpected and therefore true to the omotenashi principle.

During the course of the evening RM12,000 ($3,700) was raised in aid of The Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Not only did the members receive wonderful Japanese hospitality (to use an equivalent English word) but they also gave generously.

Keyna Fung, Dame de la Chaîne