Friday, August 3, 2007

Goodbye Topaz And Kenny Hills.

31st. July 2007 was our last day of business at Topaz Cake House Cafe located in beautiful, serene ,Kenny Hills. Oh yes! Kenny Hills. I speak with fondness of this enchanting Kenny Hills. Situated in the northern suburb of Kuala Lumpur, nestled in lush greenery and undulating hills where nature is nature with sweet sound of the birds and the playful antics of monkeys swinging from branches to branches and tree to tree. Where the smell of the greenery is captivating. You could read a book with a cup of freshly brewed coffee sitting in front of my Cafe and be one with nature. Yet I fear that Kenny Hills is losing its character and splendour in the name of development. How sad!
Anyway the business has been sold. I wished I had it a little longer so that Rocky Bru could make it his new 'office' with the closure of Austin Chase in BSC, Bangsar. All me and miziz ever wanted was to own a Cafe. We sought for one. We had plans. And when the opportunity presented itself, we grabbed it with both hands.
I remember very vividly when I was growing up in Sentul which was across the railway line from where Kenny Hills is located. As kids we used to cross this railway line, walk through Kenny Hills, and along side those big bungalows with massive compounds, big enough to play soccer in. Pass this horse-shoe shaped apartments and to the water-falls (where the current Income Tax Dept is now located) for our weekend swim. Yes, most of the kids in Sentul either learned to swim in Kenny Hills or at the mining pools on the periphery, east of Sentul. The only public swimming pool then was Chin Woo, and it was called a stadium too. We couldn't afford to pay to swim and Chin Woo was too far to walk.
We will walk along the narrow meandering roads lined with huge beautiful pine trees which would cast their massive shadows on the roads making it pleasant to walk on a hot day. We will pass the bungalows, some on the hills surrounded with trees and some on hill slopes. Then as we approached these apartments in Kenny Hills, we will deliberately walk pass the shops that were located on the ground floor and just admire and behold what was before us. For Kenny Hills represented class, tranquility and of course wealth. Even the Tunku had his residence there. Alas the switch of name to Bukit Tunku. The Kenny Hills apartments, if I'm not mistaken, were the first to be built in Malaysia. They were beautiful back then. The colonial style, the black and white colour scheme. Everything so British.
And as I walked through Kenny Hills, passing by the apartments, I remember wishing that one day I will stay in these apartments. I did that every time I passed through Kenny Hills to go for our weekly swim. Till they closed down the water-falls for development and me moving first to Cheras and then to Damansara Heights. Later I moved to live in Canada. Yet I had not forgotten of my wish of staying in Kenny Hills. When I came back to Malaysia and worked in NST, every time I passed Kenny Hills (the name had already changed to Bukit Tunku then) I reminisce the past and how as a kid I used to walk pass these apartments and wondered about my wish. Then the opportunity presented itself. In 2005, we were offered to purchase the Topaz Cake House and bakery business. Without a second thought, we grabbed it. And the fulfillment of long awaited dream came true.
Coincidence? Maybe. But I truly believe that if we engrave our wishes and dreams in the dream-box of our hearts, and pursue it with all your heart, our wildest dreams will come true. Now we have sold our beautiful Cafe in search of yet a bigger dream. To own a Cafe in the Mediterranean. We have set ourselves 5 years to achieve this. The road ahead will be rocky. The climb will be steep. But we know our journey's end will be sweet as the day we purchased Topaz Cake House.
And yes before I end. Touch peoples lives as you go along. We know we do every time we have people working for us. Yes our staff cried the last day we were at Topaz. I cried too but in my heart. Not only I was leaving behind good staff, good customers some who have become good friends, but a beautiful place call Kenny Hills where my childhood dreams first took root and where it finally blossomed....and to bigger dreams.


winniethepooh said...

All the best for your new dreams ahead!

tony -stand-up philosopher said...

Thank you PoohBear. You are my first encouragement over blogsphere. When I finally open my Cafe in the Mediterranean, you will be guest at the Cafe and in my home for the holiday. And that is a promise.

shanghaistephen said...

Dear Tony,
This is a special dedication to you from my friend Jim.....(speaks volumns !)

"Time In A Bottle"
Jim Croce

If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I'd like to do
Is to save every day till eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you.

If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
I'd save every day like a treasure and then
Again, I would spend them with you.

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do Once you find them
I've looked around enough to know
That you're the one I want to go through time with.
If I had a box just for wishes
And dreams that had never come true
The box would be empty except for the memory
Of how they were answered by you.....//ends.

And that's what memories are made of !
And sometimes the pictures in your head (read memories)are the best, cos you not only see them in your mind's eye but you can actually smell "that" surroundings just by closing your eyes in blissful memories !
Cheers SUP!

J.T. said...

Hey Tony

A Cafe in the Mediterranean. Cool! All the best to you. :)

It is true what you said, ".. if we engrave our wishes and dreams in the dream-box of our hearts, and pursue it with all your heart, our wildest dreams will come true."

You are an inspiration. :)

winniethepooh said...

it will be an honour and pleasure tony :)thank you

loveujordan said...

Hi Tony,

Very touching memory of Kenny Hill.

A Cafe in the I was on vacation in Alexandria, Egypt last month and looking at the beautiful sandy beachline and with so many tourists enjoyed themselves facing the Mediterranean blues, I'm sure your dream will be a reality.... best of luck !!

norzu said...

Ahh.. I should've dropped by your cafe earlier!

But good luck to you and elizabeth on the cafe in the mediterranean.

It's good to have dreams, and even better when you get to realise them.

tony -stand-up philosopher said...

Hi ShanghaiS,
Thanks for the dedication. JC is also one of my favourites.

Hello Sarinah,
Nice of you to drop by. I've seen some pics of Alexanderia from your blog and I must say its a beautiful Place. So much of history. I will be therre some day. I know I will. Do surf by again.

Hi Nor,
Didn't see you at MRT yesterday. Good turn out. So sorry I couldn't entertain you sooner at my Cafe. But the Mediterranean Cafe is still on. Tc and see you soon.

Raden Galoh said...

Hi Bro...Wow! A new journey huh? Well...all the best...

A cafe in the mediterranean...Wow! Majestic! Yet, so far away for me... Keep me posted eh?

Take care bro.

BigDogDotCom said...


Tony's Curry Mee is good! It's ashamed that Topaz is closed now. Tony made fresh loaves, daily.

tony -stand-up philosopher said...

Hi Bigdog.
I know you are a lover of curry mee. And when you say that Topaz's curry mee is good, I take it as a compliment. Yeh its sad that we have given up Topaz. I'll be taking this curry mee to my new cafe in the Med and that's for sure. All the best Bigdog and glad you're back!

Anja said...

Well said.