News From : DagangHalal.com (21 Jun 2009)
HO CHI MINH CITY, June 21 (Bernama) — A nutritionist’s passion for food, coupled with a vision to open a Malaysian restaurant in Vietnam, has won the palate of the local gourmet.
Less than four months after its opening, Dr M. Shimi Sumathi’s restaurant, [email protected], won the country’s prestigious award.
The three-storey outlet — located opposite the Central Mosque and the luxury Sheraton Hotel — was adjudged the best new eatery at the ‘The Guide Awards 2009’ organised by The Vietnam Economic Times which honours outstanding entrepreneurs in tourism and service sectors.
“This is in recognition of the service and quality of food which we provide. I never dreamt of winning the award in such a short time,” said Dr Shimi, who has lived in Vietnam for more than 10 years, having arrived here to operate a pharmaceutical business.
Born in Taiping, Perak, the managing director of Prime Suppliers said, while there were several halal outlets in the city, which was once known as Saigon, there were very few that served a variety of Malaysian, Indian, Western and Vietnamese cuisines in a single outlet.
“I have been in the country for more than a decade, and I have always had this passion to open a restaurant…but because I was so busy with my pharmaceutical business, I had to delay it,” said Dr Shimi, who is also president of the Malaysia-Vietnam Chamber of Commerce.
Asked why she opted to open a halal outlet despite not being a Muslim herself, Dr Shimi said the idea came from her close rapport with the business and diplomatic circles operating at the country’s business hub.
“There are many companies from Malaysia and other Muslim countries operating here, as well diplomats stationed in the city.
“Whenever they have guests coming from abroad, they find it difficult to get a restaurant that has both halal and Vietnam food,” she noted.
With her motto of ‘No borders, no boundaries, Halal is only my vision’, Dr Shimi opened the restaurant in February, with three local chefs and three Malaysians, serving Malaysian food like mee mamak, roti canai, western dishes and Vietnam favourites such as fish claypot, fresh spring rolls and grilled mussels.
To ensure that food served is prepared in accordance with halal guidelines, Dr Shimi hired a Muslim chef from Malaysia. Meats are bought from a local slaughter-house run by his Vietnamese wife’s family.
Dr Shimi, who plans to open another restaurant in the future, said her clients, among others, include expatriates from Malaysia, Iran, Turkey and South Africa.
From D. Arul Rajoo
Source: BERNAMA.com | World