Day Trip From Kuala Lumpur
Words: Monica Tindall Photos: Rich Callahan
One of our favourite day trips from Kuala Lumpur is a visit to A Little Farm on the Hill. The organic farm is just over an hour’s drive from KL city centre and, besides supplying some of the city’s top restaurants with speciality produce, it is the location for interesting workshops and magnificent lunches.
Husband and wife team, Lisa and Pete, use the produce from the farm to host delicious meals for guests on the weekends. Of course, with minimum numbers, private parties can be entertained but for couples, friends and families looking for a quick city escape, A Little Farm on the Hill’s communal lunches are ideal.
We’re here today for one such shared meal, a Hari Malaysia feast (it’s a long weekend). The spread of home cooking is presented down the centre of long wooden tables for eight to 10 guests. There’s only two of us so we’re seated with others uniting to celebrate the public holiday with good food, fresh air and new friends.
Day Trip from Kuala Lumpur – A Little Farm On The Hill
After a pleasant drive through the forest we welcome the refreshment of a kerukub and roselle cooler along with spiced nuts with ikan bilis to munch on. The beverage is a pretty pink and its soft sweetness balances out the saltiness of the nuts. Guests chat on the patio overlooking lush green rainforest as we ease into the leisurely afternoon.
Food and Nature – A Day Trip from Kuala Lumpur
Moving to our seats, the spread is presented. Much like a Sunday family feast, large plates are laid out with sharing spoons and if conversations weren’t sparked before lunch, the simple act of passing food around quickly breaks the ice.
If we were to do anything in sequence, it would be to start with the warm homemade bread with two yummy dips. The line-up is so enticing, however, that we all end up just spooning a bit of everything onto our plates at the same time.
Oohs and aaaahs are provoked for the bunch of superbly fresh sides, vibrant greens and colourful vegetables. Pumpkin bergedil served with calamansi aioli is a winner with its breadcrumb case enveloping warm mashed squash. The green bean pea and daun kaduk salad elicits a thumbs up from the ladies on the table, as does the impressive twelve leaf and herb salad with its pomelo and tangy dressing making us fork back in for multiple helpings. “Eat clean” goals continue to be achieved with the cucumber and watermelon salad, which provides a juicy mouthful cleansing palates with every bite. Finally, for the sides, and in a nod to one of KL’s top chefs, Darren Teoh, (who also happens to source his ingredients from A Little Farm on the Hill) is the couscous ulam. The fine texture of the grain is given fresh flavours of the garden with a melange of herbs.
While this is more than enough to feast on, room must be reserved for the stars of the show: the lamb and the trout. A slow-roasted leg of lamb with percik sauce is a bountiful plate. Despite the eight hungry adults at our table, we barely make a dent in its generosity. The mildly-spiced and coconut-smooth sauce is so tempting though, that over the course of the meal the plate sees its justice as guests keep digging back in for seconds and thirds. I like the lamb very much but for me, the ocean trout wins the Oscar. Baked with bunga kantan, thyme, sage and calamansi and wrapped in banana leaf the fish is incredibly moist and elegantly seasoned. Perfection.
A Little Farm on the Hill Menu – Dessert
The local screwpine makes an appearance in the pandan pannacotta served with gula anau and sesame brittle. The first bite is powerful as the natural flavours of the herb fill the mouth. Eaten together with the crisp brittle, it is nicely balanced and the large portion means not a soul leaves hungry. A choice of coffee or tea revives us somewhat in preparation for the drive home as does a stroll around the farm.
This particular feast was priced at RM280 per adult and RM170 per child 12 years old and under. Communal lunches are held on some public holidays and on the first Sunday of every month, the next one being October 7th. Seats are limited to 48 guests so it’s best to get on their mailing list and make a reservation early.
Reasons to take a day trip from Kuala Lumpur to A Little Farm on the Hill: a beautiful day trip from KL; authentic farm to table concept – literally all of the produce is grown just metres from your table and plucked the morning of the lunch; a relaxed afternoon; fabulous food.
An Easy Day Trip From Kuala Lumpur – A Little Farm on the Hill
Tanarimba Janda Baik
Bukit Tinggi, Bentong 28750
What is your favourite day trip from Kuala Lumpur?