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By Massita Ahmad
SINGAPORE, April 19 -- Malaysian actress Sasqia Dahuri, who has been promoting the traditional fares from her home state of Kelantan in Singapore since early this year, has now added another item to please the palate of Malaysians stranded here and Singaporeans alike.
'Nasi kerabu tumis' was added to her limited menu on the 6th of Ramadan, and Sasqia Dahuri – who hails from Pasir Mas, Kelantan – was surprised with the response she received for her new offering.
"On the first day alone, we received orders for more than 100 packs," she said, referring to the 'pre-order' feature available through her Instagram account.
Operating a food stall called 'Kelate' in Toa Payoh since Feb 8 with her husband, the actress, who is of mixed Thai-Malay blood, introduced a little variation where the rice is coloured yellow instead of blue or black as nasi kerabu is known for.
"This is called nasi kerabu kuning or tumis. It is not nasi kerabu without tumis which is better known as nasi kerabu darat or nasi kerabu Golok which is usually coloured blue or black," she explained to Bernama.
"My father's family is from Kampong Salor, Kelantan, and we are more exposed to this nasi kerabu tumis.
"I can't casually introduce this traditional Kelantan food recipe here. Indirectly, I also carry the name of the country. I have to do the right thing," she said.
During the month of Ramadan, ‘Kelate’ will continue to offer three original items on the menu – 'laksam’, ‘mee celup’ and ‘colek malah' – with the operating hours changed between 3pm to 9.30pm to suit the fasting month.
The business’ operation hours will revert to 8am to 9.30pm after the month of Ramadan with the nasi kerabu remaining on the menu.
The food stall, located at 93, Lorong 4, Toa Payoh, has managed to entice hundreds of customers even during weekdays with just the three dishes listed on the menu.
Within two months, the Kelate stall was seen making improvements to meet the demand of customers to enjoy the original cuisine of the state of Che Siti Wan Kembang.
According to the graduate of Multimedia Malaysia University, apart from customers making 'pre-orders' through her Instagram account, ‘Kelate’ already went online. But as a new player, the distribution is limited to only 10km for now.
"We need to build a good reputation first to enable distribution to be done throughout the island republic," said Sasqia, whose real name is Nurlisasqia Ahmad Dahuri.
"We also already have a central kitchen to meet the increasing demand," she said.
Sasqia, 35, who has been here since the border closure in March last year, married Singaporean Muhammad Asyraff Khan Baharudin Khan in 2018.
Through her production house Stelo Infotainment, a cooking show featuring instafamous and youtubers will be aired on a TV station in Malaysia in September. Among those slated to appear will be Puan Sri Shariffa Nisa Bakri, the first Malaysian to be cooking for London Fashion show 2018.