Kampungkayell

Food, life, and fun in my "kampung,"(village), KL (Kuala Lumpur). Did I mention "food?"

Dinner with Yuen Mun at Blessing's Homestay

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

"Aiyo. Is this the place ah. Very dark lah."

And then, we hear, "Allan, Nigel, come in." John waves excitedly. As he usually does. John put the evening together and got a few close friends of his to come by a friend's place to meet Vermi who runs a loose Christian network dedicated to healing.

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We walk in to a house which has obviously borrowed Balinese elements with pebble wash driveways and railway sleepers embedded in white rocks. What were bathtubs are now tubs filled with water flowers, duck weed, water lillies. As you walk in to the reception area you're greeted with a cork board on the left strewn with notices and newspaper clippings. Flyers on the counter top amidst all the paper proclaim this to be "Blessing's Homestay."
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As you walk further in, the house itself opens up into a dining cum gathering room which is strewn with paraphernalia of a whimsical collector. You feel a breeze blowing into your hair, or scalp, as the case may be, and you look up and out of a massive skylight which we learn later, is manually closed by a pulley and rope system.

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Directly beneath her skylight is a pond with Japanese carp in it and a waterfall which adds to the serenity of the place with the plashing of water.
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Dotted everywhere are lightly fanciful collectors items like this bird house chime hanging from wooden twigs.
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1950s posters celebrating Sanatogen or "bedak sejuk" adorn the feature walls of burnt orange and antique lamps like the one below hang from the rafters. Yuen Mun proudly tells us that many of these items are cast offs and the lamp in particular is an Italian classic. The detailing is amazing and if you click on the pic, you'll see a gnome holding an anchor being blown by a wind elemental.
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There are display cabinets against walls carrying some beautiful items of porcelain like the one below. And while Yuen Mun quickly exclaims that they're not originals, it doesn't detract from their aesthetic value.
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Of some of the bric a brac around the house, a couple of large glass jars with copper lids seem to be Yuen Mun's proudest collectibles. Measuring almost 60 cm tall they were used for biscuits and dried goods in old chinese coffee shops.
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The house is obviously a palate for her to sculpt and mold. She walked us through her master bedroom which she shares with her niece and with all the books and collectibles it reminded me of my speech and drama teacher who used to live in the Majestic Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, minus the dust motes. It was eclectic like this. Open air bathrooms juxtaposed with collectibles like old Nyonya porcelain. Old Italian lamps shine on modern wood floors.
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John drags us back into the wet kitchen and very quickly introduces us to Yuen Mun who is obviously not ready to receive visitors as she graciously makes an apology and returns to cooking for her guests. A little while later she plonks these 2 items on the table with a satisfied grin, wipes her brow and eagerly invites us to tuck in. The Watercress and Mango salad is divine. Sweet chunks of mango readily combine with the spicy, bitter, nutty watercress to make a flavourful salad. The Chinese boil "Sai Yeong Choy" (watercress) with red dates and rock sugar as a tonic for coughs.
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The "sui kow" or dumplings in soup were tender, pork and prawn morsels offered with a spicy sambal belacan which is as Malaysian a combination as they come. The Chinese would eat theirs with soya sauce or chilli oil.
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Then the vegetable dish was a plate of "ulam" or a Malaysian style salad which accompanied, instead of a sambal, a fish pate made of cincaru or small mackerel. Absolutely heavenly!
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The tomato rice, fluffy, slightly sweet and zingy from tomatoes accompanied a fantastic baked chicken dish which had two variants. One was served with a Chicken liver paté and the other was paté - free.
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All in all a memorable evening of good fun, good company and of course, it took place around great food.
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John & Kenneth
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Wei Jun being himself
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Pastor Lawrence
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Eric smiling his inscrutable smile
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Yuen Mun, the owner and all around bubblicious lady
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Danielle rolling her eyes ;-)
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Vermi explaining what she does

9 Comments

nice photos... yummy food...

Ooh the red wall. The lamps! I like I like.

apollo, thanks

doc, haha burnt orange. NOT red! haiyo...how can one ;-)

I like this place. Reminiscent of my grandfather's pre-war shophouse in Perak. If I need a place to stay, I would choose this place. One thing though.. got mozzies ah??

kat; this is Kuala Lumpur. Probably! But I didn't get bitten. ;-)

..le pig.. queen.. celine & now delicious home dishes with good friends in such interesting environment. AND only in d middle of d month. What's next?

tummy; hahahaha we'll see I guess ;-) hehehe

Fuckity fuck. I want that place for my own. So Nynonya-Bali-fusion in all the right places. And just add the great friends and company. Oh, someone gimme the moolah for a home makeover right now!

And, er, a house while they're at it. :)

kenny; find a sugar daddy/mummy! ;-)

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