SMEs form a big part of the Malaysian economy, and they’re not just your tech start-ups or media agencies: they also include your neighbourhood kedai runcit and favourite hawker stall.
While people are encouraged to stay home more to avoid the risk of infection, there are still ways you can support your local business. If you’re taking a break from cooking, for example, you can da bao from your favourite hawker stall. Ordering meals from Grab / Food Panda is convenient, but remember that many of these small time traders don’t get a big profit because delivery providers take a significant cut from the total bill. You can read a very good explanation of the challenges businesses face with regards to this issue as told by Renyi, the founder of MyBurgerLab, here.
It has been nearly a year since the pandemic started – and the effects on the economy are apparent. The Star reported that over 30,000 SMEs have closed since the beginning of the Movement Control Order in March, and this figure is expected to rise if things continue as they are. Even for myself, the situation is precarious because I work in an airline-related industry, which has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. That being said, I’m still getting paid – so I’ll worry later about whether I’ll still have a job by the end of the year lol.
As for me, I’ve never really liked calling delivery: despite being a millennial, I’m quite old-fashioned when it comes to ordering things online. I much prefer popping out to a hawker stall nearby for food. There’s a really good Mee Jawa place that I frequent almost every week. Unfortunately last Friday, they were sold out even though it was still pretty early (around 11-ish). The lady boss told me that business was actually better than it had been during MCO, which is great news and I’m happy for her (because it means they’re less likely to close.. how else am I going to get my Mee Jawa fix lol).
I decided to try another stall which is located within the same kopitiam. Beverly’s Kitchen serves Western cuisine, grilled items, burgers and pasta. The stall is neat and clean, and it has an efficient layout ie you can see where they prepare the raw ingredients, the cooking station, etc. Prices are slightly higher compared to noodles or zap fan, but if you’re ever in the mood for pasta, this can be an option. Portions are hefty and they make our items to order. Some of the items on the menu include grilled chicken with oregano spaghetti/rice, fried chicken with french fries, bbq pork chop with rice, jumbo sausage, Hawaiian chicken burger, chicken wrap, and more.
Good thing about living in Malaysia? Even if you’re ordering ‘western’ food, you have an option for rice lol. I got the fish fillet with rice (RM14.90) which came with a side of salad, gravy and a couple of button mushrooms scattered on top of the rice.
The fish fillet was as large as my hand, and they gave me a mountain of rice, so I’d say it was pretty worth the price. Taste-wise it was okay – I wasn’t expecting anything fancy or authentic anyway. The meal would have been dry if not for the gravy, which was also decent.
If you’re craving something aside from the usual noodles and rice, Beverly’s Kitchen offers good variety. They also do deliveries on FoodPanda.
Inside Restoran Wai Wai, 149-G, Block J, Tanming Boulevard, Jalan Meranti Jaya 3/1, Taman Meranti Jaya, Puchong.
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