Who would have thought there’s a hidden gastronomic gem in the middle of nowhere!
Dining next to a body of water, whether it’s the sea, a swimming pool or even a pond, is romantic and refreshing. It has a different vibe and transports you to a more relaxed and tranquil environment, while you have a delicious meal with your loved ones. And that’s exactly what this place is all about – and so much more!
Hulu Langat is nothing like KL. It’s basically more of a ‘kampung’ environment. And to be very frank, the only dine-in spots you can find are by the road sides, and they mostly offer Malay cuisine. Sometime last year, this particular restaurant went viral on social media and of course, I had to check it out. For starters, this place used to be a prawn fishing farm and an all-you-can-eat seafood buffet spot. But now, it’s transformed into a fancy dine-in spot that everybody is talking about!
The Secret Garden in Hulu Langat is an Asian fusion restaurant with a dining by the pond concept, where diners may enjoy their meals while overlooking a fish pond. With its abundance of fairy lights and flowers which suit the restaurant’s name, this spot is ideal for couples looking for a romantic dine-in experience (and even families!). The menu’s highlight is western cuisine, but you can also choose Asian cuisine. This place is pork-free, but they do serve alcohol. They have a variety of beverages and all of them have their own unique taste.
The restaurant’s operating hours are from 4pm onwards. Heads up – this place is packed with customers most of the time. So, just to be safe, it’s best to make a reservation, which is only available on weekdays, as only walk-ins are accepted on weekends. After attempting so many times, I finally got a chance to actually dine-in.
Getting there can be a little tricky, simply because the area doesn’t look like a dining spot. But no worries, the signs are obvious. Also, there’s ample space for parking, which means you don’t have to crack your head looking for a spot. I’d say getting there is adventurous, since it’s in Hulu Langat and can be slightly far away from the centre of the Klang Valley – but it’s worth visiting if you’re searching for something different.
If you want to have more than just a dinner experience, head there early. I’ll tell you why. I got there at around 6pm, just in time for sunset – and my, the view was just beautiful! The entire place suddenly gave me this paddy field vibe (no paddy of course!). It was bright, vibrant and there was the view of a mountain. While waiting for the food, I took the liberty of walking around the area. I love how they decorated the place with simple stuff, but still looking Insta-worthy.
There’s a swing, a mini garden and wood decor. It is so simple, yet lovely. And that’s just for starters. As it gets darker, that’s when the real deal arrives. Suddenly, there’s a shift in atmosphere. Beautiful fairy lights are displayed everywhere. Now, if you’ve been to i-City Shah Alam, this place is somewhat the same. Consider it a mini version.
Another unique thing about this place is the sitting area surrounded by fish ponds. The entire pond is connected, and there are beautiful Koi fish swimming in every pond. Basically, you’ll be sitting in between those ponds. You can also feed the fish by purchasing fish pellets sold for only RM2. It’s a fun way to fill your time while waiting for your food and it’s a splashing experience too.
Now, the moment we’ve been waiting for… the FOOD! Everything on the menu seems western, and sadly, on that day, most of the items were not available due to a packed session the day before. The meals did look kinda pricey, but some of them were okay. My personal opinion is not to bring large groups here, because it would be a hassle and definitely pricey. So my choice of food and drinks were the Butter Milk Fried Chicken Chop (chef recommended) and Coffee Vanilla.
It felt like eating butter milk rice – but this time, it’s just with chicken! I love how the chicken was golden and crispy. The butter milk sauce was perfect. It wasn’t so overwhelming (too much butter milk can be nauseating) but it was just nice to eat. The sides were potato wedges and coleslaw, but it felt weird because butter milk is Asian, but the sides were Western. Anyways, overall, I enjoyed my meal and it was tasty (except the sides).
Coming to the drinks. I love coffee and my expectations weren’t really high here since it’s not a cafe. But to my surprise, the coffee was simply good! It’s just coffee topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream – but it was so refreshing, because as the ice cream melts into your drink, it gets creamier. If you want something fruity and refreshing, you can try their White Peach Mojito.
I also had their Homemade Cheese Chicken Burger 8 Inch. It’s also another chef recommended item on the menu. You won’t believe the size of this burger, it is HUGE! This is like one of those gigantic burgers you see on American shows and they’re definitely mouth-watering. The burger bun is layered with homemade patty, egg, lettuce and cucumber, served alongside some fries and chilli sauce. The presentation of the food looked classic, because it was served on a wooden platter. The patty tasted tender, which means it was good – but the only problem was I was having a hard time finishing the gigantic burger.
Next up was the Hawaiian Pizza, another chef recommended item on the menu. This pizza is thin crust, so it’s best you eat it while it’s hot. Thin, crispy crust topped with tomato puree, shredded chicken, onions, pineapples and a drizzle of cheese sauce – this is a pizza I would definitely enjoy eating. Generally, I love pizza, but I prefer ones with thin crusts, because they’re crispy and you can eat more! Also, no pineapples please! Who even eats pineapple on pizza?
Whether you’re planning a fun-filled family reunion, a get-together sesh with your pals or a romantic dinner, The Secret Garden is the place to go. This place is about 35 minutes from the heart of KL and is sure to offer guests delicious meals and a one-of-a-kind view.
Visit The Secret Garden Sen Prawn Valley Farm at Lot 100, Jalan Sungai SOP, Batu 14, 43100 Hulu Langat, Selangor. For reservations, call 012-836 9388
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