AFTER more than 15 years of working in various hotels and restaurants in London, Malaysian chef Mohamed Nasir Abdul Rahim finally decided to be his own boss.

“I felt it was time that I opened up my own business. Even if it is a small one, at least I can say it is my own,” he said.

Putera Puteri cafe was opened at Bayswater a few months ago, selling halal full English breakfast and other Malaysian favourites such as nasi lemakroti canainasi campur and teh tarik.

The Penangite, is well-known among the Malaysian community in Bayswater, the neighbourhood being a favourite among those looking for good Malaysian food.

To ensure that the dishes are prepared in true Malaysian style, Nasir said most of his ingredients came from back home.

“You can say that I am very particular when it comes to cooking because my loyal customers, mostly Malaysians, expect that I maintain the standard of my food.

“Penang is always close to my heart. I even chose the 1960s patriotic song, Putera Puteri, composed by fellow Penangite Jimmy Boyle, for the name of this cafe,” he said in an interview.

As proof of his patriotism, Nasir flies the Jalur Gemilang at his shop.

The cafe has become a popular hang-out for Malaysians when they visit London.

Nasir said he was inspired by his grandmother’s home-cooked meals, adding that “my grandmother taught me all her secret recipes by the time I was 15.”

“After I finished secondary school, my parents sent me to get a Diploma in Culinary Arts in London as my ambition was to become an executive chef in a hotel,” the 42-year-old said.

While studying, Nasir worked as a part-time kitchen helper at international hotels and Malaysian restaurants in London.

He later worked as a speciality chef at Holiday Villa and sous chef at Ramada Jarvis, both in London, before spending a year in Japan to gain some experience in Japanese and Western cuisines.

In 2001, he returned to London and took on the position of sous chef at the Holiday Inn before joining Berjaya Eden Park London Hotel in 2004.

“I hope to expand the serving of Malaysian food at my cafe.

“We are still new but I am truly appreciative of the support given to me by Malaysians here.

“Give me some time and I hope to do better to show my appreciation to those who have supported me all these years in London,” he said.

Putera Puteri is located at Inverness Place, W2, London, just opposite the Bayswater tube station. – The Star


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