A mum’s recipe finds new fans with the help of a fresh con­cept

New Straits Times - - News - T.N.ALAGESH

DUR­ING his school days in the 1990s, Rus­lan Dol used to help his late mother sell nasi lemak at her cafe along Jalan Gam­but here. He then set up branches around the state cap­i­tal, of­fer­ing the dish.

For over two decades, “Nasi Lemak Sim­ple” be­came a house­hold name, emerg­ing as a favourite un­til un­fore­seen cir­cum­stances in 2012 forced the 47year-old to cease his busi­ness.

Last month, the once fa­mous “Nasi Lemak Sim­ple” was back in busi­ness fol­low­ing a re­brand­ing, which saw Rus­lan team up with two friends to re­vive the recipe.

Rus­lan said he had al­ways thought of mak­ing a come­back when his friends, Sai­ful Bahri Sa­muel and Su­laiman Mat, mooted a fresh con­cept.

Rus­lan said his mother, Teh Is­mail, used to wake up early to pre­pare the nasi lemak. He helped send the pack­ets to stalls be­fore go­ing to school.

“This busi­ness has ex­pe­ri­enced ups and downs.

“I was up­set when we had to close the busi­ness af­ter fail­ing to get a proper site to pre­pare the nasi lemak.

“How­ever, with the sup­port of my friends, things are back on track. We main­tained a sim­i­lar menu, which in­cludes fra­grant co­conut rice, home-made sam­bal, an­chovies, nuts, and cu­cum­bers,” he said re­cently.

Rus­lan, whose mother passed away in 2011, said the re­launched nasi lemak had re­ceived pos­i­tive feedback. The new con­cept, in terms of pack­ag­ing, pro­mo­tions and food pre­sen­ta­tion was trend­ing on so­cial me­dia.

“Out­siders can ad­ver­tise on the wrap­per, and the idea has at­tracted var­i­ous par­ties, in­clud­ing Tourism Pa­hang. Ad­ver­tis­ments will help cre­ate a win-win sit­u­a­tion as those who buy the nasi lemak can also view other prod­ucts the state has to of­fer.

An an­tique Volk­swa­gen van is be­ing used for pro­mo­tional ac­tiv­i­ties dur­ing tourism pro­grammes here.

Sai­ful said al­though they now op­er­ate at San­tai restau­rant in Tan­jung Lumpur here, they have been mak­ing plans to de­liver nasi

lemak to eater­ies, hire food riders to send bulk de­liv­er­ies and pro­mote on­line or­ders.

The “Nasi Lemak Sim­ple” and “Warga Kuantan” Face­book pages has been in­un­dated with mes­sages ask­ing for di­rec­tions to the premises when news of its re­open­ing was shared on so­cial me­dia.


Sai­ful Bahri Sa­muel (left) and Rus­lan Dol with plates of ‘Nasi Lemak Sim­ple’ in Kuantan.

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