BALIK PULAU: For 10 sen, one can savour a warm plate of briyani rice or tomato rice at an eatery in Jalan Pondok Upeh here.
Comparatively, a plate of plain briyani usually costs RM3, tomato rice (RM2) and white rice (RM1.50) at regular nasi kandar outlets.
Various drinks such as coffee, tea and syrup are also served here for the same price of 10 sen to those who dine in at Baen Cafe.
Its owner Ibrahim Abdul Rahim, 37, said customers could easily enjoy a complete meal of rice, dishes and a drink for below RM5.
“Yes, I agree that the pricing for my food and drinks may seem out of this world but I just want to ensure my meals are affordable to everyone.
“I believe people dining out deserve to have a satisfactory meal just as they do at home.
“So my wish is that they would never feel burdened when it comes to paying for a fairly decent meal,” he said yesterday.
Ibrahim said a variety of dishes are available to complement the rice, noting that most of them are sold below market price.
For example, he said, chicken pieces are priced at RM3.50 each, torpedo scad (cencaru) fish (RM3 each) and barramundi (siakap) fish head curry (RM5 each).
Ibrahim said he receives about 400 customers daily at his cafe, which is open from 9am to 4pm and is located opposite Kolej Kemahiran Tinggi Mara.
“Most of my customers are low-income working adults and college students, and my cafe is usually packed at lunch time.
“Two barrels of briyani rice and tomato rice are prepared daily, which can cater for about 180 customers, and if we run out of rice, I will quickly cook more white rice,” he added.
Ibrahim said he inherited the business from his father 15 years ago.
He said he was trading from a stall nearby before moving to the current site in May last year.
“For three years before I shifted here, I used to provide the rice for free.
“But many customers felt shy and uneasy about not needing to pay for it, so I came up with the nominal 10 sen per plate of rice,” he added.
A customer, Abdul Majid, in his 50s, said he is impressed by the variety of dishes available at Baen Cafe, adding that the prices are almost 50% cheaper than at other eateries.
“Foodwise, it is above average. It will go down well with most diners who are familiar with Malay kampung-style cooking.
“I had kerabu taugeh, chicken liver rendang, egg in chilli sambal and white rice which cost me only RM3.
“Together with my friend, who had fish head curry and vegetables with white rice, plus drinks, our meal came up to a total of RM10,” he said.