Bok House 1929



Remembering Bok House

by Azrul K. Abdullah

Bok House, located on Jalan Ampang is probably one of the most visible yet least remembered relic of early KL. Part of the original millionaires row, the home will probably be best remembered as 'Le Coq d'or' (The Golden Cockerel), a small restaurant and bar which florished in the early 60s and continued to run until the house was closed to the public in 2001.

My mother still remembers Bok House fondly as 'the' place to be when it came to formal functions and airline cocktail parties. In the early 60s, there were no major hotels in KL and neither were there any café strips like Bangsar or Bintang Walk. Bok House was the epitome of style and luxury. Its magnificent Palladian style interior and exterior are still unmatched. The famous wood panelled dining room, its art nouveau chandeliers and high ceiling still have no match in KL despite the plethora of new and trendy luxury dining establishments.

Entering this house almost leaves you lost in time as you take a walk into the past. The noise of the traffic disappears and the interiors envelopes your senses. You can sit on the patio outside and have a pot of coffee; watch the cars go by yet barely hear the noise.

The hall upstairs was once the scene for the crème de la crème of KL to party and be seen. Originally decked out with elaborate furniture; all that is left today is some cheap wooden chairs and bare tables. Note two chairs on the lower left; they are from the dining room.

The only pieces that have survived the glory days are two large cabinets along both walls of the hall. One of them can be seen in this photo. Aging and in need of restoration; much of the original fixtures and fittings are languishing. This includes the oil paintings in both this hall and the formal dining room on the ground floor.
Since this photo was taken, this hall no longer sees sunlight as the windows were boarded up after the closure of the house in 2001.

© Azrul K. Abdullah 2001.

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