three M’sian Positive Eating Cooks Dish Out What It’s Like To Run A Luxurious Biz Throughout COVID-19

3 M’sian Fine Dining Chefs Dish Out What It’s Like

In the course of the MCO, many F&B companies have been pressured to pivot from dine-ins to solely deliveries.

Nonetheless, which may have been a problem for positive eating eating places as they often go by the “eat together with your eyes first” adage of their dishes and base their reputations on providing a premium high-quality eating expertise.

With this in thoughts, we requested three positive eating cooks how they managed to maintain their companies in the course of the pandemic.

1. Akâr Eating 

Akâr Eating is a contemporary French positive eating restaurant that opened on March 9 in TTDI only a week earlier than the MCO began.

We’ve beforehand written about them as one of many 10 Klang Valley eating places that launched in the course of the pandemic.

Being a brand-new restaurant, constructing a model status at such a time was one in all their larger struggles.

Beef Ragout Pasta was one in all their dishes made out there for deliveries / Picture Credit score: Akâr Eating

They’d created a restricted version takeaway menu of less complicated meals not for the purpose of pushing gross sales, however extra for model consciousness.

“It was accomplished to hopefully garner extra consideration in direction of our model of meals, and hopefully convert these clients to strive dining-in with us each time it turns into out there,” mentioned Aiden Low, Akâr Eating’s head chef.

As the character of their delicacies needed to be consumed inside a selected time interval from when it comes out of the kitchen, temperatures have been essential.

One of many issues with counting on meals deliveries was the lack to regulate temperatures of the meals, which might have an effect on the client expertise.

“Subsequently, we determined to launch hearty French pushed meals with a little bit twist as our foremost meals supply menu,” he mentioned. 

This variation in menu additionally required Aiden to look extra rigorously into the elements he used within the meals. 

As importing elements was close to unimaginable due to the cease in flights, Akâr Eating confronted some points when it got here to sourcing elements.  

So, Aiden appeared into extra domestically out there produce to minimise the utilization of imported items. 

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A few of Akâr Eating’s dine-in dishes out there / Picture Credit score: Akâr Eating

“Malaysia is plentiful with seafood with a number of potentials to work with. Cameron Highlands has the proper climate to accommodate plenty of indigenous and non-indigenous seeds, thus giving us a big selection of choices to work with,” he shared. 

Discovering related substitute merchandise was additionally one of many methods they overcame their logistic challenges, like changing butter with animal fats, for instance.

2. Enfin by James Gained

Enfin by James Gained is one other French restaurant in Kuala Lumpur. Their area of interest focuses on preserving Asian heritage by means of using particular elements. 

Over the MCO, Enfin functioned as a charity kitchen serving 1,000 meals per week.

They’d to determine what varieties of packaging would work for his or her meals whereas sustaining hygiene, sterilisation, and how one can preserve their meals for half a day with out compromising style and total meals integrity.

From this expertise, they then collaborated with BadBoyCooks and launched EnfinX, a supply platform to cater luxurious consolation to their patrons.

Considered one of Enfin’s dishes and their non-public eating room / Picture Credit score: Enfin by James Gained

As soon as dine-ins have been allowed once more, the Enfin group have been welcomed by some ugly company on the premises—pests.

Eradicating them grew to become their first precedence, on prime of complying with the federal government’s social distancing SOPs.

“Pest management was a giant problem as most of the firms weren’t in a position to do their routine servicing and pests grew to become rampant all through our constructing. It took a few weeks to have it below management,” mentioned James Gained, proprietor and head chef of Enfin.

When Enfin reopened its doorways to diners, they shifted their focus to serving and entertaining company shoppers.

“We listened to our clients as to what they need going ahead and what their wants are for entertaining their company shoppers,” he mentioned. 

James curated a brand new menu that centred round extra native elements, supplied free corkage for the primary 2 months, and diminished the variety of programs in a dégustation to take heed to lowering the service time. 

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Dictionary time: Dégustation includes sampling small parts of all of a chef’s signature dishes in a single sitting.


“We didn’t function for lunch and stored these hours for our supply service as we have now many company shoppers who’re counting on these throughout their prolonged Zoom conferences,” mentioned James.

The group additionally diminished minimal spending expenses for his or her common VIPs eating of their non-public eating rooms. 

“By doing all this, we have been receiving a larger variety of new clients as our barrier of entry was at a snug worth level,” he mentioned.

Regardless of the challenges, none of their employees underwent layoffs or pay cuts, and so they had their salaries paid on time. 

“Their welfare was our primary precedence. We would like our group to have the ability to serve with heat hospitality and never be involved with different points apart from assuring our patrons’ satisfaction ranges,” mentioned James.

three. Nobu Kuala Lumpur

Nobu Kuala Lumpur wants no introduction in its status for Japanese-Peruvian delicacies.

Initially began in 1994 in New York, the Kuala Lumpur rooftop restaurant is one in all its 29 franchises across the globe.

In the course of the CMCO, the Nobu At Residence menu was launched to ship their customised menu objects to their buyer’s doorsteps.

To additional personalise the expertise, the deliveries have been made by the employees themselves.

The meals was packed into bento packing containers for Nobu At Residence / Picture Credit score: Nobu Kuala Lumpur

“We customised the menu taking into consideration how logistics would have an effect on sure dishes.”

“This meant that we solely included dishes that will retain the identical high quality, texture and really feel even after supply,” mentioned government chef, Philip Leong.

The radius for supply areas was additionally restricted as to not compromise the standard of their meals.

As they wouldn’t have been in a position to replicate the plating in-store, Nobu used smooth packaging to make up for it.

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As soon as they may permit dine-ins once more, they knew that their excessive costs may drive clients away, particularly in an unstable time the place most have both misplaced their jobs or acquired pay cuts.

“This meant that after we reopened, we needed to be delicate to the present local weather together with Malaysians’ pleasure to lastly dine out after months of being caught at dwelling,” he mentioned. 

They wanted to give you a promotional supply that catered to clients wants, and make up for the losses they’d over the lockdown.

A number of of the dishes within the “Omakase set menu for 2” promotion / Picture Credit score: Nobu Kuala Lumpur

Therefore, they launched the “Omakase set menu for 2” promotion which was priced extra affordably at roughly RM400 for two pax, to allow common clients to dine-in extra ceaselessly, whereas on the similar time encouraging new clients to strive their meals. 

“The response was overwhelming and we continued with a number of promotions primarily based on the identical mechanic,” he mentioned. 

One other initiative set by the restaurant was permitting company to look at sure dishes being ready at their desk.

These have been made out there to those that ordered their promotional dish in the course of the dinner service.


These cooks and their institutions positively embodied the idiom, “The place there’s a will, there’s a manner”.

We had thought it close to unimaginable to actually prolong the positive eating expertise past an expensive institution’s 4 partitions, however they proved us improper.

It’s been a difficult time for all companies little doubt, and it was no totally different for positive eating institutions.

Nonetheless, we imagine that they’ll all emerge from this pandemic stronger and wiser.

You may learn how different industries in Malaysia dealt with enterprise in the course of the pandemic right here.

Featured Picture Credit score: Aidan Low, head chef at Akâr Eating / James Gained, proprietor of and head chef at Enfin by James Gained / Philip Leong, government chef at Nobu Kuala Lumpur

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