This review covers the cooking class only, as I live 10 minutes away and didn't stay in the rooms. (My classmates who were staying there seemed to be enjoying it thoroughly, though.) The class I took was "Homestyle Malay," and it was probably one of the best classes I've taken, largely due to Rohani Jelani's personality. If you're the kind of traveler who wants a taste of what living in a particular country is like, not just seeing the sights, or if you're very interested in food, this is the place for you. Bayan Indah is Ms. Jelani's personal home and cooking studio, located in a little village nestled in the slopes of Bukit (mountain) Kiara. It's a residential area, but close enough to the jungle that monkeys occasionally visit (and wreak havoc on the garden). Many of the ingredients are plucked straight from the herb and vegetable garden.
The class itself is more like going over to your auntie's house (the one who's the best cook in the family, of course), if your auntie had a gleaming professional kitchen. All of the work is hands-on, with Rohani providing guidance as needed and answering questions ranging from "Is this pounded enough?" to how to pick out a good banana flower, to the workings of the public school system in Malaysia. After the class, you'll feast on the fruits of your labor in a shady, open dining room. Oh, and the food is pretty spectacular, too; I can't wait to try the recipes at home to see if I can replicate them.
One thing to note is that the format is fairly casual, so even though the class is listed as running from 9:30 to 1:30, it can take longer. (In our case, we sat around chatting until about 3.) If you're on a schedule, this is something to keep in mind. Otherwise, enjoy a day of cooking and eating and talking.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
November 12, 2010
Thank you very much for your kind words. I just want to add that we never intentionally run late - it's just that very often people don't want to leave and prefer to hang around after class chatting away, like me! :o)
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I am so glad you had a good time, and please come again!
All the best,
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.