This Sabahan Is Popularising Nasi Lemak In South Korea
Meet Duzy Noramzamnas Abdul Aziz. He has a thriving nasi lemak business in Seoul, South Korea.
It all started when the Sabahan was having difficulties in finding halal food in the capital city when he first visited Seoul in November last year.
He realised that this was a good opportunity and the 29-year-old eventually migrated to Seoul and started selling nasi lemak from a rooftop setting in Itaewon recently.
Hailing from Penampang, Duzy's small business started in September with him providing delivery services to his customers
"In South Korea, there are not many choices of halal street food. I was inspired by the idea that most Malaysians eat nasi lemak for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even supper.
"Since it is a popular traditional Malaysian dish, I decided to start a delivery service. I started marketing nasi lemak online, where customers place orders a day before via the WhatsApp or KakaoTalk mobile applications," he told New Sunday Times, as reported by New Straits Times.
It was reported that he was preparing about 40 packages of nasi lemak a day then.
In less than two months, Duzy's nasi lemak has quickly gained popularity among locals and tourists alike in Seoul
Initially, Duzy's nasi lemak business was only targeted at Malaysians in Seoul, but soon, the popular Malaysian dish have also become popular among local South Koreans and tourists from other countries.
With his newfound success, he partnered with South Korean Han Ji-Sung, who owns Pop @ Itaewon Guesthouse in Itaewon, to set up his 'Nasi Lemak Berlauk Panas' stall early last month.
Now customers can have Duzy's hot and delicious nasi lemak while enjoying the scenic view of buildings and skyscrapers in the city from the vantage point.
"South Koreans likened nasi lemak to bibimbap, which is rice served with chilli paste and vegetables. South Koreans eat bibimbap almost all the time, similar to Malaysians eating nasi lemak," he reportedly said.
Each basic nasi lemak costs about KRW5,000 (about RM19)
Customers may choose to add extra sambal, egg, rice or other ingredients, like squid, mussels, and chicken, at additional costs.
Duzy revealed that he sources for fresh ingredients from wet markets and foreign grocery shops in the area. He carefully selects the ingredients to ensure that his nasi lemak tastes just like the ones back in Malaysia.
"The demand for halal food is high. The halal food industry is growing rapidly in South Korea," he noted.
The young man realised that while there are many opportunities in the halal food business area, they also come with the challenges of living and running a business in a foreign country, especially when he needs to compete against South Koreans, who are some of the most hardworking people in the world.
Having learned the South Korean culture and language, Duzy also organises tours nowadays, besides selling nasi lemak.
Wishing you all the best in your venture, Duzy!