NASI LEMAK SIMPLE IS BACK
A mum’s recipe finds new fans with the help of a fresh concept
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.