Royalty at opening of Kayu Nasi Kandar
By P. Marilyn

His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah, Deputy Sultan and YAM Pg Bini Hjh Faizah yesterday attended the grand opening of Penang's authentic Kayu Nasi Kandar outlet at Bangunan Haji Luidin in Beribi.

This is the second international branch to be opened since the inception of Original Penang Kayu Nasi Kandar in 1974.

Upon arrival, YAM Pg Bini Hjh Faizah declared open the restaurant before going on a brief tour around the eatery.

The establishment of Kayu Nasi Kandar in the country marks another milestone for the restaurant, with its first international branch located in Melbourne, Australia.

Original Penang Kayu Nasi Kandar was founded by Mr Buruhan Mohamed. It started off as a small stall in a Chinese coffee shop (the former Chow Yang restaurant) in SS2, Petaling Jaya.

Backed by decades of family recipes originating from his late father, who was also in the Nasi Kandar business in Penang, Mr Buruhan in no time established his business as serving "the best Nasi Kandar in Petaling Jaya" back in the 1980s.

Today, Kayu Nasi Kandar has established a number of branches throughout Malaysia.

Nasi Kandar, a popular northern Malaysian dish that originated from Penang, was sold originally in the old days by peddlers carrying two huge containers of rice dishes on the shoulder, balanced on poles.

Hence, the origin of the name 'kandar', which translates to 'balance'.

Many who have not tasted this Northern Malaysian delicacy would wonder about the speciality behind the dish.

Nasi Kandar usually comprised a meal of steamed rice, plain or mildly flavoured, served with a variety of curries and side dishes.

According to Manager of Kayu Nasi Kandar (Brunei), Dyg Bakyah Karim, the essence of this delicacy lies in the mixture of a variety of gravies covering the rice and to be eaten with bare fingers, one of Mr Buruhan's unique and culinary skills that have won the hearts of many fans locally and internationally.

Nowadays, Mr Buruhan occasionally obliges to do a dish or two, especially for some of his long-time customers.

Loyal patrons of the eatery include Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, and Tun Mahathir Mohamed, the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, who have, over the years, engaged in many catering services from Kayu Nasi Kandar for private and formal dinner functions at the Seri Perdana.

Themed 'Seringgit atau Seangkat-angkat Hati', patrons who dined at Kayu Nasi Kandar yesterday afternoon were only charged a minimum of $1 per person where 80 per cent of the proceeds will be donated to Dana Pengiran Muda Mahkota Al Muhtadee Billah.

Also present during the opening ceremony were Deputy Minister of Health, Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Paduka Awang Haji Hazair bin Haji Abdullah, and the High Commissioner of Malaysia to Brunei, Dato' Ku Jaafar bin Ku Shaari. - Borneo Bulletin (28th June 2008)