Laksa Johor rocks in Melbourne


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 04 Nov 2017

JOHOR BARU: Many Malaysians and Singaporeans are getting their first taste of the fish gravy-rich laksa Johor thousands of kilometres away Down Under, thanks to the young owner of a Johorean restaurant there.

Engku Putri Irna Mysara Ungku Mokhsin’s Sijori Malay Eatery has been serving up traditional Malay dishes found in the southern triangle of Singapore, Johor and Indonesia’s Riau Islands in the northern suburb of Bundoora, just a 20-minute drive from Melbourne’s Central Business District.

Among the favourites on the menu are laksa Johor, kacang pool and lontong lodeh.

“My restaurant is a stone’s throw from La Trobe University and RMIT University, where the growing Singaporean and Malaysian community in the northern suburb makes up the majority of our customers,” the 28-year-old told The Star in an interview via e-mail.

Proudly Malaysians: Engku Putri Irna? (second from left) holding her daughter Olivia Khadeeja Azmi ?with her husband Ahmad Ariff Azmi (right) at ?Sijori Malay Eatery in Melbourne? with Australian Masterchef winner Diana Chan (left).
Proudly Malaysians: Engku Putri Irna (second from left) holding her daughter Olivia Khadeeja Azmi with her husband Ahmad Ariff Azmi (right) at Sijori Malay Eatery in Melbourne with Australian Masterchef winner Diana Chan (left). 

“I find it amusing when Malaysian or Singaporean customers tell me that they have never had laksa Johor until they’ve tasted my food in Australia,” she said, adding that Sijori opened its doors on June 11.

Sijori, she said, is named after the economic pact established by Singapore, Johor and Riau (SI-JO-RI) in 1989.

Engku Putri Irna, who has been a permanent resident in Melbourne for seven years after completing her Bachelor of Business at La Trobe University, said her family heritage is also linked to Riau Islands.

Having grown up in a family that loved to cook, she wants to share her family’s recipes in Australia.

“Malaysian Chinese and Indian cuisines, especially those from Penang and Ipoh, are readily available in Melbourne but there are not many southern and Malay dishes served there.

“So I set up Sijori, seeing that southern Malay dishes are not getting the attention they deserve,” she said.

She added that her restaurant venture was also inspired by her mother’s fondness for inviting guests over for homecooked Malay food.

“While I was growing up in Dubai, my mum would tirelessly prepare an array of Malay food for our guests to feast on,” she recalled.

Admitting that it’s challenging to manage a restaurant, Engku Putri Irna said she is buoyed by feedback from satisfied custo­mers.

“Then I know I am doing right,” said the restaurant owner who has previously filmed a cooking show on her YouTube channel KenduriTV.

She also noted that Malaysian food is packed with flavours, which is why “you get Malaysians winning MasterChef because our food is so delicious”.

The recent winner of the popular Australian television programme is a fellow Johor-born, Diana Chan, and before her, Malaysian-born contestants Poh Ling Yeow and Adam Liaw have put Malaysian cuisine under the spotlight in the country.

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Lifestyle , melbourne , malay food , johor

   

Next In Nation

Property agent charged with fraudulent purchase of 281 watches worth RM3mil
Woman lodges report on intimidation after accusing Hilman Idham's associates of rape
Sabah Law Society, Sabah, Sarawak Affairs Division to collaborate on MA63 module
Hari Raya falls on Thursday (May 13)
Business owners adapt to new measures to cope with operating during pandemic
Women-headed households among most affected by Covid-19, says Mustapa
Investigation papers on Neelofa, husband submitted to AGC
Covid-19: Four hospitals to get medical equipment from Cyberjaya Hospital
Covid-19: 80% of current cases are from the community, not clusters, says Health DG
FCAS hails Sabah's move to continue with conditional MCO

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers