'Breakfast Like A King' For Affordable Prices At Cafe Salim

f you want to eat ‘breakfast like a king’, there’s a hawker-style cafe at Jalan Paip Meru, here, where you can enjoy delicious western food at affordable prices.

Almost every morning over the weekend, rows of motorcycles including high-powered bikes would fill up the car park in front of the cafe, named Cafe Salim.

Each table in the cafe will be occupied by customers who are there for their breakfast with long queues outside. A long queue usually means good food inside, igniting this writer’s curiosity to see what Cafe Salim has in store.

By only investing around RM100, customers can enjoy a variety of food menus with family members.

Owned and managed by a former personal chef to the Royal Family of Saudi Arabian Prince Turki bin Abdul Aziz, this unique cafe serves various western-style breakfast dishes in addition to local fares including from Sabah and Sarawak.

 Many would have thought this cafe is beyond the reach of the average Malaysian. On the contrary, one only pays RM18 for a set of Classic Breakfast comprising eggs, baked potatoes, grilled sausage, baked tomato, mixed salad, beef, baked beans and toasted bread.

 “Here, we serve western-style luxurious food at low prices. With about RM100, customers get to savour various delectable dishes with their family members,” said the cafe owner Salim Bahari to Bernama.



It is no wonder the cafe is popular among bikers.  With a relaxed and hipster concept, various miniatures of Harley-Davidson motorcycle models and part of a yellow Volkswagen Beetle were on display at the cafe as well as stickers from various high-powered motorbike associations and cars adorning its walls.

Sharing his story, Salim, 64, said despite tagging its food prices at 50 per cent less than those offered in the market, the cafe does not compromise on quality, noting that it is at par with what’s offered at high-end restaurants and hotels.

 “I could offer competitive prices with quality that is at par with the dishes served at hotels since my raw materials are directly sourced from vendors in Klang, hence reducing operating costs.

“On that score, I have been able to personally choose the raw materials, and this means that I would pick the best menu to serve my customers,” said Salim, who brings with him nearly 40 years of experience as a chef including at renowned hotels nationwide.

As early as 7am, the cafe was already filled with customers who flocked from all over the country.

Besides that, Salim who can cook various types of food, also personally provides training for all 12 chefs at his cafe.

 “The chefs are trained with their specialised skills. For example, one chef is an expert in cooking omelette while another is best at preparing toasted bread and spaghetti.

“Through this system, we can expedite the food preparing process as all chefs are assigned with different tasks. With quick and satiating dishes that ‘wow’ guests, we expect our customers to be happy with our service,” he said.

Salim, who opened his cafe in August 2022 admitted that at the onset he was worried that he would not be able to receive favourable response from the public as western menu was rarely promoted by local cafe entrepreneurs.

 “But praise be to Allah, my cafe was thrown into the spotlight by the social media, attracting customers from across the country, including some who were part of convoys of motorcycles,” he said.

 He said that on normal days, the cafe usually receives an average of 400 customers with the number rising to 700 on weekends.



Sharing insights into his culinary journey, Salim said after completing his studies (certificate) in food service management at Institut Teknologi Mara (now Universiti Teknologi Mara) in 1980, he served as a kitchen assistant at Hyatt Regency Kuantan Resort, Pahang.

In 1983, he pursued a three-year apprenticeship programme at Hilton Kuala Lumpur.

 “From this programme, I learned the ropes and challenges at a hotel kitchen as well as upskilling through theoretical and practical lessons involving food preparation in various categories, among others fine dining, Malay and Chinese dishes, pastries as well as coffee house,” he shared.

Many other food menus are also offered, including Chunky Mushroom Soup (RM9), Seafood Chowder (RM19), Breakfast Steak (RM40).

According to Salim, he later worked as a personal chef to the late Prince Turki from 1987 to 1989 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

 “I applied (for the position) through the Saudi Arabian Embassy here and was successful. The three-year stint was among the most valuable experiences in my career,” he said, adding a feather to his cap as a chef.

“There, my key duties were to prepare food for members of the royal family and to cook for every event attended by guests of honour at the palace,” he said.

On returning home, the Kedah-born chef served several top-notich hotels, among others, Batu Boutique Resort in Johor, The Datai Langkawi, Kedah and lastly at Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa in Sarawak as Executive Chef.

To further hone his culinary skills, Salim attended various courses at several renowned hotels abroad.

From there, he studied international hotel restaurant management, which he said was significantly different from hotel management in Malaysia.

Chef Salim also personally trained 12 chefs under him with the necessary skills to prepare the available food menus.

 “In western nations, raw materials including fruits and herbs (for western food) are easily available as the weather is much colder than in our country, with most of the materials imported, posing a challenge for local hoteliers,” he said.

Throughout his career in the hotel industry, he has won several culinary awards, among others silver medal for Plate Appetizer category organised by Foodex/Hotelex Malaysia, bronze medal for two categories, Butter Sculpture and Buffet Platter organised by Salon Gastronomique Malaysia, as well as bronze medal for category 5 Course Set Dinner and Western Cuisine organised by Food and Hotel Asia Singapore.

 “I owe my success to my wife, Sahlawati Norman and my children for their support. However, only the second of my four children followed in my footsteps,” said Salim, who is a honorary member of several culinary associations, such as Confrerie De La Chaine De Rotisseurs Baillage De Malaisie and Professional Culinaire Association Malaysia.

The cafe which opens from 7 am to noon from Tuesday to Sunday, offers various western-style breakfast dishes for as low as RM9, such as Chunky Mushroom Soup, Grilled Chicken Chop and Seafood Chowder (at RM19 each) in addition to local fares such as nasi lemak rendang kerang (RM9), laksa Sarawak and mi kolok goreng (each at RM12) and kuetiau goreng (RM8).


Translated by Salbiah Said

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