POLLING day is on May 9, but there are already voters from out of town making enquiries whether their favourite eateries in Ipoh will be open on that day.
Judging from the calls and Facebook messages received by popular eateries, here are several delights that are ranked high on voters’ list of must-haves when they return home to cast their ballots.
These restaurants have also geared up for the influx of customers as the 14th General Election draws nearer, and many of the operators expect the number of patrons to double on polling day.
Consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Sharifah Halimah Jaafar, who will be coming back from Johor Baru to cast her vote in Ipoh, said she would not miss the chance to savour her favourite beansprout chicken.
“Despite the flight ticket costing RM1,400 from Johor Baru to Ipoh, I will not miss the chance to cast my vote.
“I will be back to Ipoh for two days before going back to Johor,” she added.
The city’s famous nasi kandar stall manager Mohd Nihmathullah Syed Mustaffa said he had been getting requests on his Facebook page from customers telling him not to close the stall on polling day.
The stall in Jalan Yang Kalsom is operated by Perniagaan Nasi Kandar Ayam Merah in the Yong Suan coffeeshop.
“Every day I get messages on Facebook, from people all over Malaysia, and even neighbouring countries, asking me whether the stall will be open.
“They keep telling me that they are coming back to vote, and do not want to miss the chance to savour our famous Nasi Ganja.
“My stall will operate as usual on that day, and my only message for them is ‘don’t miss voting and don’t miss vanggey (coming over)’,” Mohd Nihmathullah said.
At M. Salim Restaurant, another famous nasi kandar eatery in Jalan Yang Kalsom, manager Batcha Mohamad said he was expecting a lot of people to come back to cast their votes.
He said during GE13, he experienced a boom in business.
“I am not sure whether the crowd will be as large as it was during the last general election, because this time around polling falls on a Wednesday.
“However, as it is a public holiday, I believe voters will come back to cast their ballots, and at the same time enjoy nasi kandar here.
“They can cast their votes, have their lunch and get back to their respective destinations,” he added.
Restaurant Nasi Ayam Pak Kong co-owner Soong Mei Fum said she had been receiving calls from customers to check on whether her shop in Jalan Theatre will be open on polling day, adding that some even called from as far as Singapore.
“I am expecting a large crowd on polling day, judging from the number of calls we receive daily from customers.
“As it is now, there are lots of locals enjoying our chicken rice every day, so, I expect the number to double on polling day,” she added.
Aun Kheng Lim Salted Chicken proprietor Lim Ming Teck said he was preparing for a larger crowd at his shop in Jalan Theatre during the elections.
“I am optimistic that those who enjoy salted chicken will definitely make a stop to buy this delicacy.
“I am sure they will drop by other famous eateries as well, because it is not all the time that they get to come back home,” he added.