MALAYSIA is a foodie nation. We love our local and international delicacies, and we don’t mind driving for hours to have the perfect nasi lemak or ikan bakar.
Blessed with different races, Malaysia has always been a unique food destination for many, which in turn provides fertile ground for those looking to set up food-based businesses. Malaysians don’t mind paying top dollar for good food and they don’t mind travelling for it.
Following a rise in the number of the small food-based businessese and healthy-food industry, MetroBiz has been highlighting a series of companies that are venturing into food business such as the Mofaz Group of Companies.
The conglomerate, under its Mofaz Heritage Food range, is trying its hand in the healthy food business with the launch of Hakka Salt Baked Chicken, a famous Hakka dish that is said to have been created some 300 years ago by the salt mine workers of Guangdong, China.
Besides Mofaz, companies such as Red Mango and Snow Factory are also booming. More recently, the popularity of coffee has also given birth to many independent coffee houses as well that serve coffee and healthy food.
Seeing an opportunity in the trend for alternative eating experiences and food delights, a trio of young entrepreneurs, under the brand name of Makan Sampai Mampus, have launched three different food brands, each with its own unique identity.
Ezwan Aimann Abdullah Faiz, 30; Muhammad Azim Abdul Rahman, 27; and Mohamed Najee Ramli, 24, each brought their personalities into the business venture, creating a recipe for success.
Seven inches long
Calling himself the company’s chief eating officer, serial entrepreneur Aimann had many entrepreneurial forays in industries such as media, advertising, events, and publishing, before venturing into F&B with Makan Sampai Mampus.
An avid globetrotter, it was on his travels in South America that he came across huge curry puffs, known in the region as empanadas. A whole meal on its own, Aimann felt that it would make a wholesome fast-food meal
“Our Crzypuff is seven inches of stuffed awesomeness,” said Aimann.
“We wanted to break the norm and offer something big,” he added.
With flavours such as Loco Lamb, Brit Bonkers, Wacky Yankee, Wild Popeye, Cukoo-Dang, Gila Classic, Mad Monkey and iPuff, Crzypuff breaks away from the usual stuffing that currypuffs come in.
“Crzypuffs on their own can be a meal and they can also be shared with a friend since they break cleanly. They are also perfect for meetings and can be eaten anytime of the day,” said Aimann.
Looking to cater to urbanites who are always on the go and those working in business districts, Crzypuff provides free delivery throughout the Klang Valley.
“For offices, we can deliver Crzypuffs just before a long meeting and employees have something fun to munch on,” he added.
Hola y bienvenidos
Crzy chef Muhd Azim started off studying aircraft engineering, but found his passion not in maintaining rotating turbine blades but instead in swinging his own blades around the kitchen.
Upon completing his internship in 2011 at the Dorint Parkhotel in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrwiler, Germany, he had a few stints in local restaurants before masterminding Makan Sampai Mampus with the ambition of introducing different cuisines to the local market.
Together with Mohd Najee, who is known as the James Dean of the kitchen, Fit Food KL and Mexi Warong were born.
“Malaysians love casual dining experiences. They love to keep it simple and just hangout,” said Muhd Azim.
What started as a food truck idea soon evolved into a hybrid warong that serves simple Mexican food.
“We wanted a place where people could come together and just be with their friends. Hence, we placed a signboard saying ‘No Wifi — Talk to each other’” said Mohd Najee.
Called Thyme Out, the Mexi-warong also has a bring-your-own-chair policy. Located in SS15, Subang Jaya, Mexi-warong takes over from the famous Subang rojak stall that operates in the day and starts operating after sundown.
“The bring-your-own-chairs concept started because we were not able to place our chairs at the location, but this turned out to be an excellent move,” said Muhd Azim.
Not wanting to be left out from the healthy food trend that is taking over Malaysia, Makan Sampai Mampus also has FitFood KL, a healthy food delivery service.
“FitFood KL started after one of my friends, a fitness instructor, wanted to his students to eat healthily. He called me up to ask if I could come up with something,” said Muhd Azim.
Combining lean proteins and complex carbs, FitFood KL has a series of meals suitable for those looking for a healthy lifestyle.
Priced at RM15 a meal, FitFood KL is competitive in this segment. “We wanted to create something healthy but not expensive,” said Muhd Azim.
With an investment of RM150,000, Makan Sampai Mampus has a centralised kitchen in the Klang Valley and is looking to grow its business here first before expanding elsewhere.
“We have some big plans but we would like to focus on what we have right now. We just want to serve good food,” said Aimann.