With all the incredible food in Malaysia, I agreed with Chee that it would be a good idea to see the basis of all the dishes. She dropped me off at a little reception desk, on the edge of the jungle, where a man met me introducing himself as my tour guide.
We started off around the Jungle Spice Garden, and my lovely tour guide pointed out plants and flowers to me along the way. His knowledge was incredible, I could point at a root and he would know what it was.
At the front desk was a selection of some of the spices and plants we would see in the garden, cinnamon, limes, ginger, banana flowers, nutmeg and pepper corns.
The best thing about being in a tropical climate is the colours.
Have you ever seen a pineapple like this?
or bamboo like this?
Even the green looked more… well, green!
Working our way along, my lovely guide would pick leaves for me and tell me to scrunch them into my palm to smell, or taste them. I tried a leaf sweeter than sugar and one that tasted like curry, another curled away from my touch known as ‘the shy plant’. It was like Willy Wonker’s Chocolate Factory, except real.
And no, I will never admit that his Chocolate Factory isn’t real again.
A Henna plant.
The ‘shy’ plant.
Different types of Ginger, Limes and Lemongrass.
Aniseed, Cinnamon, Peppercorns and Nutmeg.
You just know, I’ll always manage to find some sort of wildlife.
We stopped for some tea, somewhere in the jungle, where water ran straight down from the mountain into a glass bowl. That morning, someone had come up to this spot and filled the kettle from the mountain water, then boiled it along with some Lemongrass and Cinnamon to make a gorgeously light but filling tea.
Our tour was over and we wandered back to the front of the Spice Garden, I sunbathed on the bridge over the pond while I waited for Chee. I watched the ripples across the pond, as the fish flicked their tails away from the surface after grabbing a juicy fly. Hugging my knees under my chin, I was completely lost in thought.
The spell was broken as Chee came and found me and we went home, I lost myself again in a book and the blue sky gave way to clouds and rain. Before I knew it, it was time to eat again.
Out came the fish stomach…
As much as I wanted to like it, I really didn’t. It had been steamed (as it’s normally cooked) and served with greens, the greens were gorgeous. Just, not so much the fish stomach.
Big Eyed Fish.
And Porridge, not like you know it, savoury Porridge with Pak Choi in a soupy sauce.
When our stomachs were full (of Porridge and Big Eyed Fish NOT Fish Stomach) we all curled up in front of the TV and watched a film, until our eyelids could barely stay open.