SHAH ALAM: A nasi dagang ikan aya seller did not expect a 10-minute documentary video that went viral on social media a few days ago would get people flocking to his humble stall.
Using a three-wheeled motorcycle to peddle his nasi dagang trade, Muhammad Khairul Nizam Mamat, 43, said on Friday (Jan 7), customers started forming a 100-metre long queue as early as 6am at the Persiaran Alam Perdana, Bandar Puncak Alam here to get the Terengganu’s traditional dish even though he started operating around 7am.
"I was so surprised to see a lot of people already waiting for us to open. Around 7.30am, the queue was getting longer. We were really worried that the food will not be enough for everyone.
"The documentary video of a production was not made to promote my business but more to show how someone who was affected by Covid-19 got up and started life afresh," he told Bernama here on Tuesday (Jan 11).
The native of Kampung Tengkawang, Kuala Berang, Terengganu said he would now be using up to 50kg of rice a day to prepare the dish compared to about 5 to 8kg when he first started the business in November last year.
"My four younger brothers who live in the Klang Valley and Penang and our mother from the village came here to help me prepare the dish," said the father of three.
Muhammad Khairul Nizam said he would apply for a roadside hawker licence from the Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) soon and if his nasi dagang continues to receive encouraging response, he plans to open two more stalls in Selangor including in Puchong which would be run by his brother.
The former chef at a five-star hotel in Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur said the difficulty in getting authentic nasi dagang was one of the reasons why he ventured into the business.
"That is one of the reasons I chose this dish. The majority of my customers are from the east coast, especially Terengganu.
"There is also criticism because, after the video went viral, people placed high hopes on our cuisine but we can learn from the criticism and try to fix what is lacking,” he said.- Bernama