BUTTERWORTH, April 8 — Two women small and medium enterprise (SME) entrepreneurs have never imagined that their homemade Malays traditional kuih or dessert will make it into the list of iftar menu of a five-star hotel here.
Ashma Bee Sultan, 56, and her sister Mariam Bee Sultan, 45, who have running the small-scale kuih business for the past five years, said they prepared various types of kuih using the improved family recipes that passed down from their mother.
“We never thought that from just a small business, our homemade kuih are now served at a five-star hotel. We usually promote our products through our Facebook with buyers only ranging from friends, relatives and loyal customers.
“We are very grateful with the opportunity given, in fact, for the past few months, we have been receiving orders for around 300 to 600 various types of kuih from the hotel…every week, we will also be invited to do traditional Malay kuih cooking demonstration there,” said Ashma Bee, here today.
The retired teacher of a primary school said at the same time, she and her sister had learnt a lot of things from the hotel chef who shared many ideas and suggestions to further improve their presentation and plating techniques.
Among the kuih made by Ashma Bee and Mariam Bee are seri muka, kuih lapis, talam keladi, bengkang ubi kayu, bengkang suji gula merah, donat susu, talam pisang, bengkang gandum, bengkang kacang merah.
Meanwhile, The Light Hotel executive chef Halim Mohamad said the idea of serving the traditional Malay kuih at the hotel came up after receiving suggestions from guests to serve more Malay traditional kuih there.
“We take note of the suggestions and open the opportunity to small traders to send their kuih samples. Ashma Bee and Mariam Bee were selected as their kuih has the authentic flavour as well as very delicious and they prepare the kuih in a hygienic way,” he said.
Halim said the initiative was one of the hotel’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes, which aimed at helping traders affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
On the iftar menu for this year, he said with the themes ‘Santapan Warisan Melayu’ and ‘Tabaq Al Maghribi’, the main highlights are authentic Malay traditional and Morocan cuisine, in addition to a selection of Chinese and Indian dishes such as fish head curry, biryani rice, dim sum and roasted duck rice.
In line with the standard operating procedures set by the government, the hotel has limited the number of patrons at its cafe to 120 people at a time from 250 previously.