KUCHING, April 7 — Come May, the City of Cats will play host to the Mexican festival of Cinco de Mayo thanks to Hey Macarena, a first-of-its-kind pop-up dining event. A collaboration between Kuching-based hairband artisans Sereni & Shentel and Kuala Lumpur-based caterer The Fancy Breakfast Club, Hey Macarena will take place at Cove 55, a boutique resort in Santubong, from May 11 to 17.
Celebrate the Cinco de Mayo fiesta, which commemorates the Mexican army’s improbable victory over the French at the 1862 Battle of Puebla, with something more than the usual Mariachi bands and piñatas.
The Fancy Breakfast Club foursome — Basira Yeusuff, Aida Azwar, Edan Hasan, and Faris Chen — promise a taste of Mexicana. There will be one brunch and two dinner sessions (inclusive of a semi buffet, main course and dessert) daily throughout the Hey Macarena week.
Basira says, “Sereni Linggi and Shentel Lee from Sereni & Shentel dined with us back when we were still doing our underground weekend themed brunch services. They’d heard about the theme we were doing in September 2014, which was ‘An Ode to Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel’.”
Little did the Fancy Breakfast Club quartet know that The Grand Budapest Hotel was one of Sereni and Shentel’s obsessions at the time. Aida recalls, “They were guests in our home and it seemed like they enjoyed themselves. We were then hired by Shentel a couple of times after that to cater for family events. She then asked us to come to Kuching for a pop-up collaboration. To say we were ecstatic is an understatement!”
Hey Macarena will be the Fancy Breakfast Club’s first pop-up outside of Kuala Lumpur. Edan says, “We’re always looking for people to collaborate with. To be able to work with Sereni & Shentel, a company that we feel very much shares our wholesome and quirky sense of life and business, is exciting! We’re looking forward to the change of pace, doing our thing on someone else’s turf and an overall change of scenery.”
As the pop-up restaurant will be held in scenic Santubong, the quartet had to make some adjustments to their usual way of working. According to resident barista and beverages guy Faris, “We’ve gone to recce the markets and produce aisles to check on availability of ingredients. There are quite a few things that are either super-pricey (as they’re hard to come by) or simply not available, so we will have to be transporting stuff from KL. Logistical planning is crucial as we will be running services seven days in a row, three services a day.”
Given that Hey Macarena will coincide with the launch of a Sereni & Shentel collection centred around the Cinco de Mayo fiesta, guests should expect a strong Mexican theme. The décor of the dining space will be designed by the team at Sereni & Shentel while the menu is crafted by the Fancy Breakfast Club team, who are no strangers to themes. Past monthly Fancy Breakfast Club concepts have ranged from comic-oriented V for Vendetta to Japanese-inspired Wabi-Sabi.
A sneak peak at their menu reveals Mexican delights with a twist. For brunch, expect Chicken Chilaquiles (day-old corn tortilla lightly simmered in a red tomato salsa and topped with shredded braised chicken, crumbled queso fresco, sweet onion rings and crowned with a runny fried egg) and Chocolatl (cinnamon and brown sugar churros, served with a hot Mexican chocolate dip) for dessert.
Evening diners can look forward to gluten-free Ayam Kampung Barbacoa with a Yucatan Orange-Guajillo Glaze, served on a bed of rice, beans and fresh mangoes, and Platanos a la Parilla (honey-grilled bananas with spiced chilli dark chocolate sauce, crumbly goat’s cheese, fresh raspberries and toasted pecans).
The ever-busy Fancy Breakfast Club plans to expand and try other things next. Basira sums it up, “We are and always will be an organic company with an organic business model. It’s hard to pin us down!”
Hey Macarena: Sereni & Shentel hosts the Fancy Breakfast Club
May 11-17 at Cove 55, Santubong, Kuching, Sarawak
- Brunch (10am-12 noon): RM85 inc. GST
- Dinner, 1st seating (6pm-8pm): RM127 inc. GST
- Dinner, 2nd seating (8.30pm-10.30pm): RM127 inc. GST
Beverages will be sold separately by Cove 55. Every session is limited to 20 pax. Diners are required to pay in advance to secure their seats by booking online at: http://sereniandshentel.com/products/product-category/the-fancy-breakfast-club/