Nasi kukus stall owner taps into sahur market

High demand: Suhaimi, who operates his stall from 11pm to 5.30am, says his rice and dishes sell out daily. — Bernama

IPOH: Unlike other traders who focus on selling food for breaking fast this Ramadan, Suhaimi Ahmad Mahmud, 30, is trying his hand at selling freshly cooked meals for sahur (predawn meal).

The owner of Nasi Kukus Tong Kayu Sambal Hijau in Taman Klebang Putra here said this was his first attempt at running his stall from 11pm to 5.30am to try something different.

“There is less competition at night than selling food at Ramadan bazaars during the day. The price is the same, but there are more options for side dishes.

“We are selling fast as many customers prefer freshly prepared meals for sahur, and there are also not many food stalls open during this hour,” he told Bernama.

Suhaimi said he prepares around 15 side dishes, such as ayam goreng berempah, sambal ikan masin and daging masak merah, adding that he was inspired to do business at night after seeing other traders doing the same thing during Ramadan last year.

Some of his regular customers also suggested he set up tables and chairs so that they could have their predawn meal at his premises, but the trader said that the matter was still under consideration.

“Alhamdulillah, I can manage on my own so far, and I may use a runner service to deliver food to customers soon if there is high demand.

“The food is sold out daily, and I also prepared extra rice. What matters most is that I can use my earnings to support my elderly mother,” said the youngest of three siblings.

A customer, Aimannudin Mazalan, 24, said more food stalls should operate at midnight to give people extra choices for sahur.

“... especially for single people like me who prefer buying rather than cooking. If we buy food from the Ramadan bazaar, we’re afraid it will get spoiled by early morning,” he said.

Meanwhile, Muhammad Ubaidullah Jusni, 22, praised Suhaimi for selling his food at the same price as during the day.

“We get to enjoy hot meals at night, and apart from bazaars, stalls like this help us to prepare food for sahur,” he said.

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