Min House Camp – Travel Diary Kelantan – Part 3

Min House Camp & Dikir Barat Competition

Still on Day 1 of my Kelantan trip and if you thought lunch followed by dinner within the space of 4 hours would be plenty of food to last us the rest of the night, you’d be mistaken. We were headed next to a retreat in a rural setting, called Min House Camp.

Baby Noah had fallen asleep after the cooking demonstrations, so I made the call to leave him at the hotel under the watchful eye of the Tourism Kelantan marketing team, who were also staying at the Grand Riverview.

We arrived in our van at Min House Camp at about 8.30pm –

The sign says it’s a honey farm, homestay and agro-tourism initiative.

The sign says it’s a honey farm, homestay and agro-tourism initiative

There was a huge amount of food being prepared for us in the outdoor undercover dining area – including lokan, a large, local freshwater clam grilling on the charcoal BBQ. Any reservations about being able to fit any more food into my tummy dissipated at the sight of that – I LOVE shellfish.

Delicious Lokan on the grill, served with a chilli dip

Delicious Lokan on the grill, served with a chilli dip

Incredible feast including Nasi Kerabu awaiting us

Incredible feast including Nasi Kerabu awaiting us

Nasi Kerabu is a popular rice dish in Kelantan that consists (usually) of blue-coloured rice served with fish crackers and a variety of other salads, fish and meat dishes.

I learned how to make Nasi Kerabu in a previous trip, through my friend Aspaliza’s Kelantan maid, which was broadcast from Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur

We had more cooking demonstrations to look forward to, and I was immediately drawn to a young man with Down Syndrome helping with the setup and cooking. He was clearly the centre of attention at the house camp, jovial and exuberant – and the staff deferred to him.

I kind of guessed that he was the son of Kak Yah, the owner of the property, and wished I had in fact brought Noah along with me.

Kak Yah, with whom I subsequently connected on Facebook, told me the House Camp was named for him – his name is Min. That is probably the coolest thing I learned in Kelantan – that in the most unlikely of places, I would cross paths with a fellow female businesswoman who is strong and equally passionate about building a legacy for her Down Syndrome son. FYI the Malay term for “Down Syndrome” (and other disabilities) is “anak istimewa” – which means “special child” (as opposed to “special needs child”) – which I love.

Kak Yah, the owner of Min House Camp

Kak Yah, the owner of Min House Camp

Some of the honey products at Min House Camp

Some of the honey products at Min House Camp

Roasted quail salad

Roasted quail salad

Salad with salted egg

Salad with salted egg

We city slickers took turns learning to make nasi tumpang (rice in banana leaf cones)

We city slickers took turns learning to make nasi tumpang (rice in banana leaf cones)

Recipes for Nasi Tumpang, Minuman Warisan (traditional herb drink) and Sireh Daun Kadok (Betel Leaf Bites) follow in next post.

As we were leaving Min House Camp, we were told there was a Dikir Barat competition near our hotel, so we decided to stop by and check it out. Dikir Barat is a cultural singing form native to this part of Malaysia (and Thailand).  It was highly entertaining, but my enjoyment was interrupted by a phonecall from the Tourism Kelantan marketing team advising Noah had woken up and was missing me. I rushed back to the hotel only to find he had fallen asleep again and would stay asleep for the rest of the night 🙂

Definitely one of the highlights of my trip to the northern Malaysian state of Kelantan was watching this Dikir Barat (Kelantanese traditional competitive musical performance) – this was not part of our original itinerary but we had time to spare at the end of our day and it happened that the Dikir Barat finals were on nearby. Kelantan’s got talent, that’s for sure.#vmy2014 #kelantan #travel #food #cook #jackiem #dikirbarat

Posted by Jackie M. on Thursday, November 27, 2014

 

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