JOM MAKAN TO OPEN THIRD OUTLET AT UK VARSITY
By Sharen Kaur
Jom Makan, will open its third outlet in the UK on September 27 at the Loughborough University.
The opening represents a major coup for the Malaysian restaurant brand as it will be the first full-fledged Malaysian food outlet to operate in a PRESTIGIOUS CAMPUS in the UK.
With an annual STUDENT POPULATION of 25,000, Jom Makan will introduce the Malaysian dining experience that will impact the future international working population for Malaysian cuisine.
Jom Makan serves fast, fresh Malaysian food of the traditional and hawker vendor styles with a fusion touch.
It will offer HALAL MEALS to the students, the Muslim community and general public in the Nottingham, Liecestershire and Loughborough areas.
Mohd Zuhri Abdullah, the managing director of Jom Makan in the UK, said he is proud to open a third outlet in the region and serve healthy and tasty Malaysian meals in a prestigious campus.
"(The) Loughborough University is an exciting new site for us and great news for the thousands of students who will be given the opportunity to sample real Malaysian food at a great price right on campus," Mohd Zuhri said in a statement.
"With the third outlet, we believe it will open up spin-off opportunities," he said.
Mohd Zuhri said pricing of the Malaysian dishes at the university will be more affordable than at commercial restaurants in London.
The first Jom Makan outlet opened at Pall Mall East near Trafalgar Square in June 2008, followed by the second outlet at Westfield Shopping Centre in White City in October 2009.
Business Times had the above item published but I do not read Business Times. In my part of the world if I need to read the nst daily, I would have to drive to a newsagent who only gets his supply by about 11 am – sorry, no home deliveries available! Fortunately, knowing that this news item would be of interest to me, a close friend had it e-mailed.
Having read the news I am pleased to see that Loughborough is, first of all, regarded as a perstigious campus with an annual population of 25,000. During my time it was not as populous 55 years ago. But it had the pride of having students from 52 countries in the world, for which reason the Club of International Students played a role then. I know that because I had the honour of being its Secretary for two years.
Then, secondly, Loughborough now has a Malaysian restaurant serving Halal meals.
Yes my memory flashed back 55 years, yes indeed, back to 1956/57. As I am putting this down I see in my mind’s eye the campus, the cold foundry where I was made to work in the freezing winter, the heated swimming pool where I enjoyed my swim in mid-December, the many tennis courts, the town hall, the beautiful falling leaves in the park, the early spring cherry blossoms along Forest Road, the famous bell making factory in town, the forest up the Beacon Hill where the young went loitering in summer.
And the misery of not having Malayan food.
And today, half a century later, Jom Makan is serving HALLAL Malaysian meals!
And I remmber today how I struggled to suppress my craving for what resembled Malayan. For that, every so often and all alone, I would board a bus to take me to Leicester city about 25 km away. Two shop corners away from the bus station was an Indian restaurant. Did it serve hallal food? I did not wish to know as it did not matter if what I wished to have was simply some rice and prawn curry, none of the exotic chicken and meat dishes. I wanted some real rice (not the English rice pudding) and the taste of spices. Then, half an hour later, satisfied, a lonely young man I was, walked back to the station and boarded another bus home - until the next time, I promised myself.
Then the opening of a Chinese restaurant in this very English town was news among the Hong Kong students – the first oriental restaurant, can you believe it? They all talked and were excited about it. To me it meant rice for certain. Feeling somewhat generous I pulled my friend from Nigeria aside.
“Paul, how about some fried rice for lunch?” I knew Paul Emirinini was game for anything. When he grinned, the set of white teeth would seem whiter against the shiny dark face, a charming fellow.
So it was to be simple Chinese fried rice with egg and marshroom. I was certain that, without asking too many questions, it should be ‘safe’ enough. Yes we sat down comfortably talking and enjoying the dish when among the egg pieces a few fine cubes of pale reddish substance caught my attention.“Oh my God, what am I eating?” I asked myself, yet knowing it too well even without beeing told what those fine pieces were; and without alarming my guest I stopped, calling the waiter for some desserts to follow.
No I will never ever forget that incident` half a century ago. Living in that kind of environment I learnt to rationalise in order to console myself and to survive - Prophet Muhammad asked the Arabs to travel all the way east to China to seek knowledge, and I took the opposite direction, but for the same purpose. Surely God is most forgiving.
( to be continued in part ii )
Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan.