FOUR childhood friends Darren Ngui, Hwong Yi Xue and brothers, Alexander and Christopher Gunjau Fowler have a bond that transcends friendship, they are now business partners in the bagel making business.
Alexander, 26, gave up his job as an engineer to begin his foray into the business and the only people he could rely on, were the people he grew up with in Miri, Sarawak.
“It was quite a daunting prospect, especially since none of us knew how to make bagels in the beginning, but we felt there was a tremendous potential for it especially since it is very popular in Western countries,” said Alexander, who is the company director of BrooklynB Bakery & Cafe.
He said they learnt the art of making bagels from an African who had worked in several bakeries, in the US, for 10 years.
Bagels, resemble doughnuts and are dense and have a crispy crust.
Traditionally, bagels are topped with seeds such as sesame and poppy.
The process of boiling the bagel before baking it, gives the bagel its sheen.
BrooklynB sells 12 bagel varieties — sesame seed, poppy seed, onion, garlic, everything seed, whole wheat, cheese, apple cinnamon, cinnamon raisin, chocolate, blueberry and the old-school favourite, the plain bagel.
“Customers can purchase the bagels ranging from RM3.50 for one, or up to RM29 for a dozen.
“They can even purchase our frozen bagels that can be kept in the freezer for many months.
“Just thaw the bagels for 30 minutes and toast it for five minutes,” he said.
Alexander said most of their customers were American and European expatriates who really miss a good old fashioned bagel.
“They come from all over KL and a couple have come from as far as Ipoh to try our bagels.
“It is very encouraging to see some of them leaving us little appreciation notes scribbled on the serviettes,” he said.
For in-house diners, bagels are offered with savoury fillings (bagelwiches) or sweet (spreads).
Two of the best-selling bagelwiches are the Lox with Cream Cheese (RM15.50) in a poppy seed bagel and the Philly Cheese Steak (RM13.80) in an everything seed bagel.
Having tried both, it is understandable why the former is popular as the smoked salmon combines well with the cream cheese, and the crunchy poppy seed adds bite and texture to the meal.
Pan fried sliced beef, cheese, cucumber, tomato and lettuce are ingredients that make up the Philly Cheese Steak.
Other varieties of bagelwiches here chicken mayo (RM10.20), Wand Corned Beef (RM11.90), scrambled eggs (RM8.30), tuna mayo (RM9.50) and chicken mayo (RM9.50).
Customers can add RM5 for a soda, black coffee or tea, together with a pair muffins and soup or salad.
A personal favourite that is equally popular with customers is the bagel chips, that are available in party packs.
For a taste of something sweet, the chocolate and blueberry bagels can be paired with butter, peanut butter, jam or Nutella.
The Nutella with chocolate bagel, in my opinion is sinfully good.
> BROOKLYNB BAGEL BAKERY & CAFE, 41, JALAN SS 15/8A, SS15, Subang Jaya, Selangor. (Tel 03-5611 6553). Business hours: 10am to 10pm (Tuesdays to Sundays). Pork free.
This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.