Monday, August 15, 2011

The Petronas Towers for lunch

Good morning from Kuala Lumpur.

Yesterday, I took the early morning flight from Manila to this beautiful and green city, making it just in time for lunch. From the airport, I drove straight to a charming neighborhood just off the ritzy expat enclaves of Damansara and Sri Hartamas, and stopped in front of a modest bungalow that seemed straight out of a 1950s film.

The driveway was empty but in the garage a long table had been nicely set with a starched white table cloth and a pitcher of something that looked like julep -- to complete the 1950s look! (not that I was born then...but that's how I imagine it would have been) -- cooling in the shade. And inside the house, about a dozen people were standing around portable kitchen counters in the center of the room.

And way inside the living room that had been converted into one big kitchen, Travelife's contributing editor Miko stood in a corner in an apron with a gas burner and a portable kitchen counter in front of him. So uncharacteristic of him!

He was so intent on what he was doing that he didn't even notice I'd arrived. He'd arrived in KL Friday, you see, and yesterday he'd had a jumpstart on all the fun things to do in this city.

Yesterday morning, the Petronas Twin Towers had allowed Travelife to get on their second Skybridge, which is not open to the public and it's right on top of the public one. So while I was still negotiating immigrations and having taho in the lounge in Manila's airport, Miko had been doing a solo on this private Skybridge and enjoying an unencumbered 360 degree view of KL all to himself. No crowds and no fuss.

And after the Skywalk, he'd headed over to this cooking school operated out of her own house by a very nice Malaysian lady named Lisa.


"What on earth is that?" I asked him, by way of greeting, as I inspected what he'd been doing. On the burner was a large flat plate, and Miko had been dripping something that looked like pancake batter onto it in what seemed a random manner. That was when he finally looked up at me and said, rather proudly: "That, is the floor layout of the Petronas Towers."

He's an architect by profession, so he's big on details on like that. However, it didn't at all look like the layout of the Petronas Towers to me; it looked more like a Malaysian dish gone wrong. However, I didn't say it then. We were going to be together in Malaysia for 9 more days after all so we had to get along.

Someone brought over a bowl of chicken curry and encouraged me to take one of Miko's creations and dip it into the curry and taste it. Wow, it was certainly delicious. So delicious, in fact, that I stopped talking to Miko for a few minutes to concentrate on eating. It was lunchtime after all.


And when we all finally sat down to a proper lunch, another plate of these creations was put in front of us, but this time from the kitchen staff. "This is the real one," the kitchen staff said with a smile, as she put the plate down. And the other one was???

Fortunately, Miko was too far to hear that. Best wishes for a wonderful Sunday from all of us at Travelife Magazine in Malaysia.

Some of the 10-person Travelife team
at a curry lunch in Malaysia yesterday

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