About an hour outside of KLCC, on approximately six acres of the Janda Baik forest, is a little farm on a hill. Hidden amongst the wild foliage and towering, tropical trees is a few hundred vegetable beds; an open-air, wooden bungalow; and a family serving up deliciously fresh and organic food.
A few years ago, Pete Teo and his wife Lisa Ngan, left their metropolitan lifestyles to take over a small farm that had been in the family for decades. Peeling your eyes off the canvas of green that envelopes you as you step out of your car and into ‘the middle of nowhere’, a charmingly rustic, open-air bungalow with red corrugated iron roof and bamboo roller blinds, sits as though on a pedestal, in the middle of the acreage. The bungalow is an adorable display of Asian teahouse meets country farmhouse, and as I spot the bench seating and set tables, my stomach gurgles.
Walking into the bungalow, we are welcomed with the most beautiful smiles and a delightfully refreshing Lemongrass Cooler. (I have to admit that I was just as excited about drinking something out of a champagne glass as I was about the smells of smoking meat coming from the tiny kitchen in the corner!) While waiting for lunch to be served, it was suggested that we explore some of the farm and soak up the serenity.
Traipsing through the vegetable beds, we spotted corn, various leafy green varieties, pumpkin vines, and a spectacular display of herbs. The farm has dozens of organic herbs, fruits and vegetables that they not only cook up for us fat foodies to enjoy, but they also supply to a number of shops and restaurants in KLCC, including Babe, Sitka and Dewakan. As the the exotic climber hung above my head and the heartwarming sound of forest silence swallowed my mind, I had the strongest urge to never leave that spot beneath the vines.
But alas, my stomach reminded me what we were there for so we took a seat at our designated spots along the family-style wooden benches. After everyone was sitting, Lisa officially welcomed us and explained a little bit about this exquisite place she calls home, as well as what was on today’s menu. Noticing our mouths beginning to drool, Lisa said “enjoy” and plates began piling onto the tables.
The menu was the perfect balance of meat, baked vegetable and fresh greens and before we knew it the table was sparkling with colour. While everything was “the best thing I’ve ever had”, the highlights that I’ll be talking about for the rest of my days included the 6 hour, oak-smoked beef short ribs, green bean pea and kaduk salad, and the coconut tres leches cake. The ribs literally melted in your mouth and the green beans bursted with freshness, while the coconut cake was light, fluffy and absolutely fabulous! While there were herbs and spices added to some of the dishes, such as the baked spiced pumpkin, I loved that this incredible produce had been left alone. Drizzled with a little olive oil and some salt and pepper, the freshness and flavour of the raw produce was able to truly shine, and I wanted every bite to never end!
You can enjoy the ‘Little Farm on the Hill‘ dining experience Wednesday through to Sundays but bookings are only taken for larger groups with a minimum spend of RM2000. However, on the long-awaited first Sunday of each month, the farm hosts a Farmer’s Lunch Club which caters for about 60 hungry guests. Reserve your seat at the next Farmer’s Lunch Club on the website, here. Or visit www.alittlefarmonthehill.com for more information.