Kitchen – the heart of the home

The kitchen is the hub of activities where our favourite food is cooked; it holds happy memories of the family seated together and exchanging conversation at dinner time.

With working and staying at home as the current norm, our kitchen space has also become more precious, as a place where we relax while preparing food and taking a break from work.

At The Artisans Haven, there is yummylicious food as well as great ideas for brightening up your kitchen area to make it a welcome and pleasant place.

The Facebook LIVE last Friday featured various items of food and kitchen décor, some with a 25% discount.

Wholesome food for the family

At Michelle’s – Good Food at Home, the food is made with love, just like how a mother would spend hours cooking meals for her kids so that they would be grow up healthy and happy.

It is conveniently packed, a good alternative to processed food, and easy to cook – great for people working from home.

“I use quality ingredients like sea salt, kampung eggs, antibiotic free chicken and fresh herbs; my food is made the way I would make for my family,’’ says Michelle Ong of Michelle’s – Good Food at Home.

Not wanting to buy sausages and nuggets – her small daughter’s favourite foods – she started cooking kid-friendly recipes.

Now that her daughter is much older, Michelle will be introducing more types of food like pandan leaf chicken and paper-wrapped chicken, for the whole family.

Explore various ways of cooking with Kenkori Eggs that are raised using Japanese agriculture techniques.

“Kenkori eggs can best be eaten ‘tamago kake gohan’ style – a dish with a raw egg placed on top – which can be enjoyed together as a family.

Not only does it look attractive, it is also a great conversation starter among the family.

Delicious wholemeal bread and cookies are made by the teachers of Gem & Bread Special Needs Support Group, to help sustain the center during the Movement Control Order.

“This healthy loaf of handcrafted bread can be made into either a sweet breakfast meal with some fruity jam, or savoury Sunday brunch meal with loads of fresh vegetables and your favourite choice of protein – chicken or fish,’’ says Teresa Tan, principal and co-founder of Gem & Bread.

A longtime customer, Datuk Ambiga, says: “The bread tastes great when taken with soup, pasta, dips and salads. The cookies are great with tea and coffee, ideal for munching in front of the TV.

“Everything they make is of good quality.’’

Smells good, tastes great

The flavourful world of Asian cooking requires the use of a good oil and at Yashkri, a fine selection of premium cold-pressed oils are available at affordable prices.

“Healthy and tasty cooking is only possible with pure ingredients, with no preservatives added.

“Yashkri provides healthy solutions – coconut oil, castor oil, neem oil, almond oil and ghee – in the kitchen where good food is cooked for the happy family,’’ says Suriakumari of Yashkri.

MamaGinger products are 100% pure and cab be used to cook sweet and savoury dishes.

“My family often uses MamaGinger powder to marinate meat or fish; it is very fine and be easily mixed together,’’ says Khoo Boo Thiam of MamaGinger.

The ginger slices can be used to make ginger tea; a few slices is enough to make a pot for everyone to enjoy.

Pure goodness in a bottle.

“AGAPE Bird’s Nest by POSH can be taken by all members in the family – from children of one year and above, to the elderly,’’ says Sereen Eng of POSH.

Children enjoy the glutinous texture of bird’s nest as a dessert; regular consumption of bird’s nest helps to boost the immune system while calcium present helps to build up their bones.

For mothers, taking this ‘beauty food’ regularly will enhance their complexion while for pregnant ladies, it can help them recover faster after delivery.

It will boost the overall health for Dads, while for the elderly, regular consumption aids in digestion, sleep and health of the lungs.

AGAPE also has soywax candles with the revitalizing and purifying scents of white tea, vanilla and cedarwood; for those of us staying and working at home all day, the kitchen will never smell the same again with these wonderful scents.

Liven up your kitchen space

The kitchen experience can be made more enjoyable and the kitchen itself more attractive, with a great kitchen set.

From Jigs & Saws Woodworks comes creative and durable designs; in one instance, the use of cabinet lighting and a solid nyatoh beadboard (paneling with decorative beading) shaker doors (featuring a flat center panel and square edges), lend style and beauty to the new kitchen.

Wine lovers can clink their glasses at their specially designed bar table, accompanied by a wine chiller and custom-made cabinet for wine glasses and decanters.

“Jigs & Saws has also crafted a three-piece set - dining table of solid oak, and a coffee table and side table of solid ash wood -  designed in a space that welcomes community living and fellowship,’’ says Melissa Ann of Jigs & Saws on their Instagram.

The beauty of batik is seen in Jadi Batek’s range of aprons, hot pot holders, coasters, table cloth, table runners, table mats, door curtains or ‘noren’ in Japanese, and batik cloth bags for shopping groceries and buying takeaway food.

With over four decades in the local batik art heritage, Jadi Batek’s team of designers and artists have come up with bright and unique designs to adorn homes, kitchens and dining areas.

“Batik items are crafted with passion and love; it will certainly liven up the dining area, making it look warm and inviting.

“Batik is an interesting conversation piece during dinner with guests whom we may invite later when the pandemic situation improves,’’ says Colin Yong of Jadi Batek.

Besides their Penan bags which have now become a fashion item, Penan weavers also have bright and colourful baskets and organisers that are convenient for storing food, while adding a touch of beauty to the kitchen area.

“Clients and supporters told Helping Hands Penan, a non-profit organization that is helping the Penan community, that they use the organisers to place their sauces near to the cooker counter, and to store onions, garlic and other ingredients for making nasi lemak,’’ says Violette Tan, director of Helping Hands Penan.

Penan baskets can be used as glass holders, eggs and cookies or fruit trays, to hold snacks, sourdough bread or a bottle of handwash at the sink.

They can be used as organisers to place food for home parties, bring dishes or desserts to pot luck dinners, parties and picnics, and as a decoupaged tiffin carrier.

Penan baskets also make good removable drawers, or offer a comfy spot for furry pets; for the neat and tidy, they can even be used to place different sizes of trash bags.

Calming and refreshing

Mandala art at Dot & Pour comes in the form of coasters, trays, cheeseboards, tequila shot, tealight and candle holders, clocks and other decorative items.

They will brighten your kitchen and dining table with fascinating and colourful designs, while creating a calm and peaceful atmosphere.

“I always say Mandala is my first love in art. It relaxes me,’’ says Riffat Bukhari of Dot & Pour, in a Facebook posting.

Mandala refers to ‘circles’ in Sanskrit, and are sacred symbols used in meditation, prayer and healing.

Under the Kitchen theme, Abbie & Friends Amuseable soft  toys and accessories come in the form of Amuseable foods, fruits and veggies.

From the Jellycat Amuseable Boiled Egg, Toast, Pain Au Chocolate, Pretzel to Avocado, Beetroot and Cauliflower, they are friendly reminders of ‘good, healthy food.’

“They are ‘comfort food’ .. ‘healthy food’ .. that help us de-stress when we play with them or hug them,’’ says Chan Chi Leong of Abbie & Friends.

For those who have worries about sanitizing their weekly groceries, they can be assured that the Eumicare natural plant-based sanitizer is safe.

“The Eumicare sanitizer is free from harmful chemicals and infused with natural tea tree oil and aloe barbadensis as an antiseptic agent.

“It has food grade ethanol derived from sugar cane to eliminate pathogens and natural ingredients to soothe the skin; it is effective against viruses, bacteria and germs, and is safe for use on groceries as well as by pregnant women and children,’’ says Yap Tit Sinn of Eumicare.


We can spend enjoyable moments in the kitchen and dining area, seated together, talking of the old times … dreaming of the future …

Shop for your food and décor ideas at The Artisans Haven, where many kitchen treasures are waiting to be discovered.

By Yap Leng Kuen, Chief Storyteller, The Artisans Haven


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