After a long day of driving and eventually getting lost we found Jimmy’s at The Padi and Cuisine formerly Pia’s The Padi (Might actually still be known as this as it is signposted as this!). An evening delight is one way of describing the place and the owner. Jimmy greeted us with a warm smile and ushered us into seats with a panoramic view of the wonderful rice padi’s whilst taking our drink order.
We realised shortly after ordering two beers that we were short on cash and informed Jimmy of our situation apologising profusely that we would not be able to stay for dinner and taste his delicious authentic malay dishes. Jimmy stood by our table open palmed and said ‘Here ladies money is of no issues, you may come back any day and repay but today there is no issue.’ Both of us felt that as we would be leaving the next day and unsure if we would be able to make it back to the restaurant it was not fair to take advantage of this more than kind offer. Jimmy did not let the matter rest however once we insisted that we were only staying for drinks he sat down and it all started.
Before I tell you Jimmy’s story in a nutshell I would like you to all know that Jimmy is yet another of the wonderful we have met whilst being on this island. Such kindness and generosity is rare at home and that warm fuzzy feeling was definitely felt whilst sitting and talking to this gifted gentleman.
Jimmy was born in Swansea (he hasn’t got a Welsh accent!) when he was 8 years old he moved with his family to the USA (Deep South) he grew up in a family of which his father and brothers were doctors. Jimmy tirelessly helped his mother in the kitchen and that is where his love for food and caring for others began. Feeling like the black sheep of the bunch Jimmy struck out on his own. Moving to Langkawi in 2001 after working several years in the hotel business Jimmy decided to open his own restaurant and grafted to make it one of the best known places on the island nestled between two of the largest hotels and right in the heart of Pentai Cenang.
After many years of faithful service to the residents and tourists of Langkawi Jimmy was forced out of his rightful place by jealousy and refused assistance from the government. Jimmy moved on to find his current location where he has set up shop and is currently building a boutique hotel next door smack bang in the centre of the beautiful rice padi’s. Jimmy’s motto in part is whatever and whenever people want to eat, feed them.
‘You have the rice, you have the bread and the eggs – FEED THEM. He went on to explain how he has never understood the ways of hotels and guest houses that sell their clients a package that includes breakfast but does not give them free choice when to eat it. He believes that when you are on holiday you should be able to get up at 2pm if you so wish and still have breakfast. My kind of hotel!
Jimmy indulged our many questions and told us some things that were truly terrifying about the rice padi’s however made magical from the pure endearment we showed for this lovely man. We asked about Mosquitos and Japanese Encephalitis as it is ingrained into you at the travel clinic prior to departure that the risk is high and the disease itself is debilitating and life threatening. Jimmy reassured us that Mosquitos only visited around 7-7:30pm that their population was extremely low due to the high number of catfish in the water that feast on their eggs. Nonetheless, I did learn on the internet the best way to repel mosquitoes while camping before I ventured out here in the open. This was good news to us. He then went on to tell us that in his 8 months at this current location he has come across three fully grown cobras and one baby. In shock we asked what happens when you see a cobra (No RSPCA over here!), Jimmy reassured us that he knows how to handle himself and that he has not seen a return of the dreaded reptile. Vipers also made an appearance but were dealt with in a similar fashion! The normal resting place of the snakes is under the Bamboo tree not too far away but they do not tend to move!
Our next question was how on earth do you manage to harvest all of the beautiful rice in the luscious green field and of course the simple answer was wait for the water to disappear and get out the combine harvester. Jimmy uses all of his own harvested rice and prides himself on this. Jimmy’s last harvest was around three months ago and he stocked himself up good and proper.
All of this wonderfulness came from one man and he did not hesitate to tell us his tear jerking story. Jimmy also told us a couple of personal stories which I will not divulge in the interest of his privacy but he was more than happy for us to share this story and have a picture taken with us which I will upload when I get the chance.
The beer we originally ordered a Kingfisher – recommended by Jimmy of course was absolutely delicious and to top all of the above kindness off Jimmy refused to let us pay for even that. A true gentleman to the last-minute.
Not only is Jimmy an owner and chef, he is also cook, cleaner, farmer extraordinaire.
Jimmy I think we both fell in love with you a little bit and didn’t want to leave but we will always remember you and hopefully see you again some day soon.
Much love and admiration xXx
P.s. All photos and links to Jimmy will be added when I have access to a proper computer or the time to sort it out on my tablet 😀