Saloma Restaurant offers a slice of culture

KUALA LUMPUR Malaysia is known for its unique history and cultural diversity, and meeting delegates visiting the country’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, are often treated to an experience that exemplifies that.

During a recent four-day conference between its executives, business partners, which included Asian and Middle East property owners and representatives, Best Western International (BWI) organised an evening of food, music, dance and more at Saloma Theatre Restaurant, located at the Malaysia Tourism Centre (MaTiC) in the city’s Golden Triangle.
Built in 1935, the main building of MaTiC was the residence of a wealthy mining and rubber estate tycoon named Eu Tong Seng and the architecture reflects the colonial era. The structure has witnessed war, revolution and Malaysia’s success in gaining independence before it was turned into Tunku Abdul Rahman Hall, named in the honour of the country's first Prime Minister. The venue saw numerous historic events including the Malayan Parliament in 1959, and in 1988, it was renovated by the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism. Two new wings were added before it assumed its current identity.
The restaurant, named after a well-loved actress/songtress in the country who passed away in 1983, consists of an outdoor courtyard, an open-air a la carte dining area as well as two indoor dining halls with stages for shows. One of them is open nightly to offer dining with entertainment, while the other is reserved for event bookings.

Before dinner, the BWI meeting delegates mingled with beer and soft drinks at the colonial-style courtyard against the backdrop of the city’s skylines, including the iconic Petronas Twin Towers. They were then led to the dining hall, where a speech by Glenn de Souza, BWI’s vice-president for international operations in Asia and Middle East, kicked off the event. A buffet was set up right outside the mall to feature a mix of Malay and international dishes, and while guests enjoyed the spread, a show began on stage featuring music and dance in styles ranging from Minangkabau and Chinese to Indian and Portuguese.

The show was interactive, and guests were invited to go up to the front of the stage and on stage to participate in a range of fun activities such as bamboo dance and practicing blowgun darts on balloons. The emcee was always at hand to work the atmosphere and, of course, the free flowing wine also helped.

On a regular night, Saloma offers the buffet and show experience from 8:30pm for RM85 (US$27) per adult. There are meeting packages on offer, starting from a half-day one for RM60 (US$19) per person, inclusive of stationery, bottled water and sweets, one coffee break, a LCD projector with screen as well as a backdrop without logo to a maximum of 60 alphabets. A minimum of 60 delegates is required. 

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Reggie Ho


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