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This tiny Malaysian island – and its divine cuisine – helped me connect with my teenage daughter

Simon Calder’s Travel

I’ve just finished putting together a soup we learned to make on my trip to Pangkor Laut. I’m thrilled to have learnt how to make Malaysian chicken curry without the use of curry powder. Who would have known? Fresh turmeric, ginger, cumin, shallots, lemon grass, star anise and some cayenne pepper (and always chicken stock instead of water) is the base to many a dish (no pre-ground curry powder needed).

But this island, iridescent in the South China sea, had offered me more than just a kitchen for me to cook.

I had taken advantage of the fact that my daughter Gracie, just 18, still wanted to spend time with me on holiday for some sea, sand and also a bit of added spice in the kitchen, where we learnt to cook, Malay-style. I hasten to add that being stuck in the kitchen was a total pleasure, as for the rest of my time I have been spoilt by treats far better cooked by others.

It started well. Turkish Airlines was a new experience for me – chefs with hats and aprons, prompting Gracie to remark: “Best plane food I’ve ever had”. We were most impressed that all the juices were freshly squeezed, with even a detox option.

The Pangkor Laut resort lies in the South China Sea
The Pangkor Laut resort lies in the South China Sea (Pangkor Laut )

We made our connection at Istanbul and eventually landed in Kuala Lumpur. A new one for me were the automatic suitcases that people sat on and whizzed along, making feel we had entered into an episode of Black Mirror. All very post-modern and futuristic.

Gracie said: “If someone AI generated me here, I would have no idea where I was.”

I think she meant it as a compliment and I replied: “You mean if someone ‘beam me up Scottie-d you?’”

“What and who is that?”

Yup, it’s a generational thing.

But I was excited to say goodbye to this oh-so-modern neon airport world and say hello to lush tropical forests, sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters and jungle tours. This is what awaited us on the private island resort of Pangkor Laut.

Read more on island escapes:

As we stopped over at the colonial-style Majestic Hotel (to break the journey), I signed the guestbook and noticed that a certain Mr D Beckham had previously written in. Then we were on our way by car through groves of palm-oil trees on the public highway.

It was then we had our ‘James Bond’ moment as we were taken by speed boat to what was to be our home away from home. A quick five…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at The Independent Travel…