Nasi Lemak 3.0 (and beyond)

Two trial runs, two batches of semi-fail sambal, 11 kilogrammes of rice, almost 15 litres of  coconut milk, many heaped tablespoons of salt later, my team won the Student Enterprise 2011 competition organised by BANTER Bath Entrepreneurs. Wooot woooot!

The first stage of the competition was to pitch the business plan to a panel of judges. The teams who passed the first stage gets the opportunity to set up shop for a day in Bath, and the team which made the highest profit wins.  This year there were about 30 teams who went for the pitch and my group was one of the nine which got into the second stage. I joined this competition purely for fun when a friend asked if I would be interested to be part of their team. Being the hyperactive kid I am, I said yes.

The hours of discussion, late nights, and the almost sleepless night before the day we opened shop formed one of the most defining moments of my university life. Ever. Thank you Jess for getting me on the ship! It sure isn’t fun to be chasing deadlines and preparing for the competition at the same time, but it was one heck of a good experience. I am happier to calculate the amount of ingredients for some of the most abstract of recipes in the Malaysian cuisine than to calculate some rubbish values for lab reports and courseworks.

Our shop sold Malaysian food and they have to be prepared  the night before or on the day itself. Otherwise you risk the food turning bad even in the cold English weather, due to the ingredients such as coconut milk and egg it contains.

It was the first time everyone in the team was doing this kind of thing, there were glitches everywhere. I’m confident to cooking up to twenty guests, but not over a hundred packets of Nasi Lemak. The teh tarik wasn’t quite the same as the one you would fine at mamak stalls. The kaya doesn’t look as ‘golden’ as the ones you get back home. Our shop set-up was bare compared to the shops of the other teams. Anyway, we trudged on with the spirit of  ‘MALAYSIA BOLEHHH!’

Najib would’ve been proud ;p

I’ve mentioned it and I will say them again,

THANK YOU to the first years in John Wood for helping out, letting me use their kitchen, and causing chaos in it (which I cleaned up after). I’ll make a little feast of rendang for you guys once I get free from my deadlines :p .

Thank you Kak Sya for helping me stir the pot of kaya into the night! I’ll pop by your place with chocolate cake one of these days 😉 .

Thank you Kak Zah for being so kind to help us transport so many things – equipments and ingredients – in a last minute request. I owe you Tiramisu!

Thank you to the my friend who called his mum (because he had free international calling credits) to try to get the cooking secrets off her and to all the awesome cooks on my contact list whom I contacted (you know who you are).

Thank you to the guinea pigs at 5PT for testing the trial sambal. What went wrong was, the wrong type of dried chilli was bought and it wasn’t de-seeded before put into the blender because several assistant chefs considered it ma-fan. The result was the spiciest dish in Bath. Ever. Hahahah!

A massive THANK YOU to everyone who came to the shop and bought our products. Without such enthusiastic customers we would have never been successful in our little business venture.

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