Get a taste of Malaysia at Ali, Muthu & Ah Hock

01 December 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: The shop named Ali, Muthu & Ah Hock near Jalan Balai Polis tends to arouse the curio­sity of ­passers-by.

The name itself is unique. The exterior, meanwhile, suggests that it is a shop selling antiques or artefacts from the 1950s.

Those who venture into the premises, though, would be pleasantly surprised to find that it is in fact a kopitiam.

Muhibbah theme: Ali, Muthu & Ah Hock in Jalan Balai Polis. The eatery offers traditional Malay, Chinese and Indian food.

Muhibbah theme: Ali, Muthu & Ah Hock in Jalan Balai Polis. The eatery offers traditional Malay, Chinese and Indian food.

 

A welcome sign hangs in the middle of the restaurant in three languages – Malay, Chinese and Tamil – greeting visitors who wish to enjoy traditional Malay, Chinese and Indian food.

The establishment was set up by three friends: Ernest Ong, Colin Soh and Bruce Wong. They chose the name Ali, Muthu and Ah Hock to signify the muhibbah (unity) among the races in this country.

Wong said the concept was also chosen to recreate the environment of the kopitiam back home.

“We want the atmosphere to be evocative of that of warung kampung (village stalls) or traditional kopitiam.

“This is because such traditional establishments are rarely found nowadays,” he said.

The 1960s furniture and decor is bound to evoke a sense of nostalgia among patrons.

The arrangement of tables and chairs is a combination of those found in village stalls, kopitiam and mamak restaurants.

The Malay dishes are placed behind food display cases like those found in village stalls.

“We use benches and long tables like those found in village and mamak stalls, and round marble tables and stools like those typically found in kopitiam,” said Wong.

Songs from the 1960s and 1970s in Malay, Chinese and Indian languages are played in the background.

“We want our customers to have the experience of dining in a bygone era,” he added.

The restaurant’s manager Jimmy Ng said the menu boasts traditional offerings likechee cheong fun, mee goreng mamak, nasi goreng and nasi lemak ayam berempah.

Ng, who is also the head chef, said the most popular item on the menu and one he would recommend was the nasi lemak ayam berempah (nasi lemak with spicy fried chicken).

“Nasi lemak is our signature dish and it is also a favourite among patrons, perhaps because it is a dish loved by all the races in the country,” he said.

“All our food are guaranteed pork free.”

According to Wong, the kopitiam in Jalan Balai Polis is the second branch, following the one in Oasis Damansara which was opened two years ago. — Bernama

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