19 December 2011

Old Andersonian Club Cafeteria

We, or rather I've, been meaning to eat here. Hubby beat me to it and sampled lunch here 2 weeks ago. So the whole family went there for lunch last Thursday, I think it was.

It's of course next to the Anderson school and very close to the D. R. Park roundabout. On a tangent, I only recently learned some history about D. R. Seenivasagam, after whom the park is named, from a book entitled "The Chinese Schools of Malaysia". He was a political activist and among those who championed the cause of preserving the teaching of the mother tongue of the ethnic minorities that make up the colourful fabric of Malaysia.

Back to food.............the cafe serves Indian banana leaf rice, altho blogger Motormouth said that it is Moghul food and banana leaf rice. He is probably more discerning than I.

It is a small little building located on a small little road that turns off from the not-so-small D.R. roundabout. There is ample parking space for about 20 cars, and grand old majestic rain trees provide wonderful shade. The ambience inside the cafeteria is relaxed and quiet. I like it! No fighting for car parking space, no fighting for tables, and it isn't hot and crowded. You can tell that the clientele here are the regulars.

We ordered 5 sets of banana leaf rice. Their dal (lentil) curry was a hit with my kids, their fish curry was alright but not sour enough for me. Their rasam (sourish soup) was nice and warm, and also slightly less sour than what I am used to (see, I love sour). Perhaps it's because it's Moghul?

They served an interesting tomoto vege dish that was tangy and sweet at the same time, a raw cucumber and onion salad, and fried cabbage. For the meats, we had their mutton, fried chicken, fish patty and sambal prawns. All went down well. I always have the cold yoghurt (tairu) to go with my rice and my kids have learned to eat it too. The tairu here is fantastic! Cold, thick, sour and rich - yummmeeee!

(picture courtesy from http://www.j2kfm.com/banana-leaf-rice-old-andersonian-cafeteria-ipoh/)

Kellie's Castle

We finally brought the kids to visit Kellie's Castle this school holidays.

It was also somewhere to bring our Singaporean friends who had made the drive up to see and stay with us.

It's real easy to get to Kellie's Castle from Ipoh. We took Jalan Gopeng heading out towards KL/ Simpang Pulai and just keep going. Well, I was driving behind my hubby's car so I didn't really take that much notice of the way, to be honest....

It was a nice sunny day, so we had our umbrellas and hats. We paid for the tickets (RM4 for adults, RM3 for kids) and made our way across the bridge towards the castle. The castle looks suitably old and crumbly so it makes for an impressive background shot. As we crossed the brown swift flowing river, my hubby told the group about his days as a scout when he and his scout mates had to wade across the river! The bigger and stronger scouts would be the first ones to cross and bring a rope along with them. Once safely across, they would hold out the life-line for the rest of the "tender-foots" to cross. Wow! My hubby did that? Sounds like fun. I wouldn't mind doing that too. But the water does seem rather fast flowing.

Not much by way of restoration or conservation really. The castle is empty, not many signs around, just a few hand rails at certain staircases. The Perak State government should allocate some $$$ to conserve Kellie's Castle and provide more supporting facilities if it is serious in making it a tourist attraction. The singular cafe in the grounds has been abandoned and is an eyesore.

The greenery around the castle is pleasant but again more could be done.

Despite all that, the kids still had a good time walking around the castle and reading some ghostly stories on the wall, and some history here and there. We went down into the wine cellar, which was only scary at the top because it looked so dark, but it wasn't very deep. The many rooms are large, airy with high ceilings. We spied a bat sleeping hanging from the ceiling in one of the rooms. I guess because the castle was never completed, it is not as impressive a structure as castles you might find in Europe. Nevertheless, it's not a bad short sight seeing trip.