Monday, May 23, 2016

Escapade in Valley Agro Park @ Bentong

After toiling in the city day in day out, my ruffled soul cried for some balm. Enough of emails, quick meals and traffic jams. The only jam I wanted to take was of the delicious variety and preferably, the organic kind. I did not have to go far to find my escape. Just 1 1/2 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur, there is a paradise with lush vegitation and raw mountainous water.
Time for lunch at Agro Valley Park!
Valley Agro Park is a hide-away in between Bentong and Raub in Pahang. The 18-acre swathe of land has been made home to a plantation which provides fresh and organic fruits, vegetables and livestock.
Verdant surroundings
Surrounded by mountains, vast greenery thrives as unpolluted water flows to irrigate the soil and clean air envelopes every pore with oxygen. This farm offers opportunity for relaxation in two ways- through food and stay.
Fish farmed in unpolluted water

The way through a man's heart is through his stomach. And I can guarantee too that it works for women too! Feed yourself with food that is harvested from chemical-free ground, cooked with inherited home-town recipes and served with a view of natural landscapes.
Rearing Talapia fish with fresh water from the mountain
Indoor seating of restaurant
I sat outside to assimilate with nature
When in a place like this, I like to match my drink with the theme-go natural! Natural sugar from sugar cane water. It is not only freshly squeezed, it is organically grown. While deciding on the drink is easy, the variety of food and cooking styles here will make you fickle.
Fresh organic sugar cane
Pumpkin beancurd was the prelude of lunch and it managed to give a commendable impression of the food here. Doused with thick pumpkin gravy, Japanese toufu was accompanied with bak choy and slices of button mushroom. I could make out that there is superior soup cleverly enhancing the taste of pumpkin puree. Before long, my rice was shrouded in golden gravy.
Pumpkin Bean Curd
RM12(S) RM16(M) RM20(B)
The free-ranged chicken does not need fancy cooking to showcase its worth. Choicely steamed with rice wine, the kampung chicken stood out with its innate flavour and firm texture. The Yoke Lan dip is made of ginger and gives a unique articulation to the dish.
Yoke Lan Chicken
RM30(S) RM45(M) RM60(B)
The Claypot Sweet Potato Leaves is cooked to satisfaction. Although merely salted, its tender stems and leaves are enough to derive satisfaction for its texture. The taste of vegetables free from pesticides has a subtle appeal.
Claypot Sweet Potato Leaves
RM8(S) RM12(M) RM16(B)
Fresh water fish bred in mountain water makes dishes like the Grilled Nyonya Style Talapia irresistible. The Nyonya style curry is appetizing and made me top my gut with two more bowls of rice. A tactful hint of sourness teases the palate and aromatic enough to raise the eyebrow. Freshness of fish is obvious with every bite.
Grilled Nyonya Style Tilapia in Foil Packets
After the talapia, it was the catfish's turn to flaunt its tender flesh baste with soy sauce and pepped with green peppers. Its freshness is pronounced and could still charm our taste buds although challenged with nearly full stomachs.
Green Pepper Steamed Catfish/ Grass Carp Fish
The eggplant dish appeared nothing more than ordinary until I found out that those spongy pouches among them are not toufu pok but fish pok! I could not get enough of those gravy-filled fish pok as its texture is out of this world! A combination of a springy fish meat enclosed in a spongy pouch, also made of fish, containing gravy that will squirt out the moment it is bitten.
Claypot Braised Eggplant Fishcurd
RM8(S) RM12(M) RM16(B)
That contented face
Organic passion fruit and bananas for sale

Valley Agro Farm Chalet
Tucked away from the city, visitors can take their escapade a little further by staying at the plantation. The pastoral feel of a village is certainly invigorating and transports the body, mind and soul far from the everyday grind. Unless, of course, if you still check your email (signal is still available).
A village feel
Although the serene environment surrounded by mountains, greenary and cool water nurses the soul, it does not mean you cannot stay active and enjoy excitement. There are many activities for you to stay occupied...just not the iPad kind of activities. Check out things to do in Valley Agro Park:
A place surrounded by water
1. Valley Agro Hill
Celebrate the start of a new day by watching the sunrise over a picnic breakfast.

2. Fishing
Visitors may fish here free of charge. Catch and release is allowed but fishes will be charged based on their weight if visitors wish to take their catch. Fishers must prepare their own fishing equipment and may inform the staff if they want to cook their fish. Fishing time is between 1pm to 8pm.

3. Animal Park
Get to know other beings in the animal park.

4. Vegetable Garden
Watch the many stages of vegetable growth from sprout to fully grown. A great experience for families who wish to teach their children about the origin of vegetables. By seeing the process and effort needed for these vegetables to grow and reach to our plates, we will appreciate them more.

5. River and Streamlets
Children and adults alike can dip into the river and streamlets to feel the cool rush of water.

6. House of Bees- Bee Museum
Enter the mystical world of bees in their natural environment at the bee farm. Pure honey from stingless bees is produced here. Bees collect the essence from thousands of flowers to produce E-Honey. It is full of health benefits as is rich in nutrients. Check it out here.

7. Ride the ATV 
Mount on the four-wheeler for a gush of excitement through the palm oil estate. Check it out here.
Accomodation built above water
8. Chill on a Tree House
If you never got the chance to hang out in a tree house, overlooking the garden from atop, you can find it here! A sturdy tree house for you to rest and relax in while listening to the birds chirp while admiring the panoramic view of the plantation.
Always dreamed of going up a tree house
Relax up in a tree house while listening to birds chirp
Calm on a bamboo bench
The accomodation here is rustic yet charming in its unique way. I find the Special Room where beds are built above water indeed captivating. Lull yourself to sleep while you hear the water gently flowing below your bed which also acts as a natural air conditioner.
The special room for RM220 for 5 pax
Unique rooms where water flows under your bed
As minimal it may look, it is functionally equipped with clean sheets, clean bathroom and sufficient power points. Another interesting fact is that this place has no mosquito although it is surrounded by water. This is because water is always running, disarming the chance of the insect to breed in stagnant water.
Clean bathrooms
The standard room for only RM80 per night for 2 pax
Veranda and balcony to lounge around
9. BBQ
Good news to those who likes communal meals like BBQ! For just RM 25 per pax, a minimum of 6 people may use the barbeque area. However, 3 days advanced booking is required. Connect with family and friends over delicious chicken wings and marshmallows on a flickering charcoal fire while chatting and singing to the strum of the guitar. Sounds good for a weekend, no? 
The BBQ area extended to reach nature
I went home refreshed, ready to take on the coming week and with a resolution to bring my family and friends here the next round.
I will be back with my family and friends
Price list for accomodation
Agro Valley Park also caters to the following activities:
Annual Dinner
Conference or Seminar

PT44, KM13, Mukim Tras, 27600 Raub, Pahang, Malaysia
Tel: +6019-228 9152 ( 11:30am - 09:30pm )