Before we begin, yes, these photos and this meal was taken just before Covid19 time, and not because we were anti-mask or trying to be funny. I’m not sure about you, but I sure miss those time when I frequent Kota Kinabalu and day to day life was much simpler, seemingly a lifetime ago now isn’t it?
Kota Kinabalu Signal Hill Eco Farm
Anyway, on this trip, my buddy Yann May took us to check out one of the hidden treasures this part of Kota Kinabalu – Signal Hill Eco Farm.
The Eco Farm is located just a few minutes away from the heart of Kota Kinabalu at Signal Hill. However, the ambiance here is as far from the city as you can imagine. It is as much a plantation and farm as it is a restaurant, and that is the charm of this place, pretty much everything you eat is grown just a few tens of meters away from the table.
moringga egg, lady fingers, bitter gourd salted egg, purslane
The menu here consists of mainly vegetable dishes, but also comes with options for free range chicken, duck, and tilapia fish.
For dinner, we ordered moringga omelete (free range chicken egg, RM 10), fried okra (RM 8), bitter gourd salted egg (RM 12), and purslan (telinga tikus, RM 8). Dishes did take a while before the slow-ish kitchen got them prepared, we were able to make good use of those waiting time by having a bit of sight see around the farm.
kale juice, May, KY
Well, the vegetables were undoubtedly fresh, but to be perfectly honest, the chef didn’t have much of a magical touch preparing them. There were adequate and comforting, but not something that wowed me. However, the experience at Signal Hill Eco farm was quite a unique one, and a place that definitely worth a visit if you find yourself at Kota Kinabalu and just about got tired of having more seafood.
Signal Hill Eco Farm
Jalan Wong Thau Yong,
88400 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah GPS: 5.984623, 116.08289 Tel: +60 16 789 1873
One of the perks of moving to our new places in Shah Alam is that being a corner unit,we have a bit of land for gardening, and since some of you have commented in my previous cooking posts wanting to take a peek at the garden, here it is!
our current garden, with only a strip of planting bed
The area that we currently set up for planting is basically a strip of land about 30 feet or so along the fence. We’ve set up a makeshift PVC roof of sort with certain part covered in clear plastic sheet for weather protection. The roof is also reinforced with wire mesh, which conveniently served as trellis for our long bean plant.
At the car porch, we also have an outdoor IKEA glass house that serves as a nursery for seedlings to protect them from the elements.
tiny capsicum, fig tree, white pepper, parsley & oregano
In these photos you may have noticed that there are some black pipes around the plants, this is the soaker pipes we set up for irrigation. Our irrigation timer (bought from mudah for RM 100) is set up to water the plants automagically twice everyday, which makes life easier when we aren’t home to keep the plants hydrated. Skipping watering a couple days can easily kill some of them.
long bean, way too much fruit from one plant
For the planting plot, we actually had it dug out about a foot deep and amended it by adding a couple layers of organic chicken shit and compost. This was to make the plot more fertile and to looser, our original soil was hard and with too many stones in them.
When planting, you do need to know the requirements for each of them, as they can be quite different. Some plants want to be in the shades, others like full sun light, and some wants to be soaked in water, but there are also those that likes the soil well drained.
kale, bayam, lettuce
For herbs we have the following:
lychee (doubt this will actually fruit)
pegaga, basil, lemongrass, chili & flower plant seedlings
This garden should look very different in a few month’s time, as we are about ready to delete everything and redo the whole area with proper trellis, irrigation, a hydroponic element, and design that is more pleasing to the eyes. It’s gonna be quite a lot of work but it’s a project we’re looking forward to!
I usually love meat in pretty much every meal, but every now and then, it’s good to get in tune with our slightly more spiritual side and slow down this whole butchery of living beings for our gastronomic pleasure.
That… or you do it with colleagues/friends because of the company.
Vegetarian Food at Kun Yam Thong Temple
In either case, if you’re a fan of Chinese religious style vegetarian (no ginger & some other restrictions), the Kun Yam Thong Temple at Jalan Ampang is one of the best places to be when it comes to value and selection.
The temple is located between Citibank and KLCC, just a stone’s throw away from the MCA building. There’s no exterior clue as to it being anything other than a temple, but head in, and walk towards the rear of the building will reveal an entirely different identity the façade suggests.
very big selection of vegetarian food, including fruits & drinks
Here you find a very good selection of vegetarian dishes. Head to the “chap fan” area and there are at least 3-4 dozen dishes to pick from to go along with steamed rice, “red rice”, or even meehun.
Other than that, there’s also vegetarian pan mee, wantan mee, curry mee, pumpkin spaghetti, tomyam meehun, and other noodle dishes according to day of week. On every 1st & 15th of Chinese lunar calendar, they also offer vegetarian bak kut teh.
this plate of meehun with quite a lot of vegetable was RM 5
The taste of food here is generally pretty good, and best of all, prices are more than decent. My plate of meehun with two pieces of vegetarian “roast goose”, radish with mushroom, and pumpkin only cost RM 5, and I don’t think there’s GST!
To keep the price low, everything here is self served, and do make sure that you bring your plates & empty glasses to the cleaning area when done.
Address: Kun Yam Thong Temple Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.159702, 101.715831 Hours: Lunch on weekdays
Economy rice (or mixed rice) is a dime a dozen, you can find them at every 3rd kopitiam in the country. More often than not, they are just what the name suggests, an economical way to have a few dishes and rice to fill up your stomach.
In another word, they are usually not exactly exciting.
That’s the run off the mill economy rice place, then there’s this Baba’s Nasi Lemak place at SS2’s wai sek kai.
SS 2 wai sek kai, a place with dozens and dozens of food stalls
While the name is a bit misleading, this super busy stall is in fact, closer to an economy rice outlet than a nasi lemak place. There’s those ‘buffet’ containers with various different dishes, and more people actually order usual steamed rice instead of nasi lemak.
So why is this place special?
Well, the short answer is that it’s super delicious!
here’s maybe half of what they cook up everyday (except Thursdays)
There are usually over 2 dozen dishes to choose from at Baba’s nasi lemak, and they aren’t always made with very economical ingredients. Here you’ll find some of the more “up market” dishes like “kao yok”, prawns, steamed fish, and even mantis prawns.
I’ve tried more than 10 different dishes from there thus far, and every single one of them was superb. Never too salty or too sweet or too anything, it was always just right.
As the name suggest, the cooking style is closer to Nyonya cuisine, which means you get a good mixture of spicy dishes and those prepared with traditional Chinese food methods.
and every plate is arranged precariously, macam pro!
The operators also seems to take their food very seriously. Every dish is meticulously placed on the plate, with appropriate amount of sauce on the rice. I mean, when it looks good, you’ll feel more appetizing too kan? Just check out the photos above for some examples.
The down side is though, with the amount of dishes offered and knowing that they’re all super tasty, this economy rice is often not very economical for us. Picking 4 good dishes with rice can sometimes come close to RM 10 per plate.
Yah, it can be a bit pricey, but we kept going back, and judging from the rather long queue every time we were there, quite a lot of people shares the same sentiment. Maybe you should give it a try too? 😀
Address: Baba’s Nasi Lemak SS2 Wai Sek Kai (hawker center) Jalan SS 2/61 Petaling Jaya, Selangor GPS: 3.118491, 101.620787 Hours: daily from 7pm, closed on Thursdays