Keeping the ‘family’ in this family-owned business, Nom Nom Cafe is run by a family of 5. They strive to deliver that familiar cozy and comfortable feeling one will get when eating home-cooked meals by designing a homey atmosphere in their cafe.
Most of the cooking is done by their Mama Chef, Cecillie and they use fresh ingredients to deliver home cooked recipes and comforting food for the soul. Cult Creative had the chance to talk with Joelynn, one of the sisters that runs the cafe.
How did the idea of Nom Nom Cafe first come about?
It all started with my mum and her home-cooked recipes. Prior to the cafe, she was a house-wife and she would help my dad out with his air-conditioner and refrigerator service business. Since she loves to cook and we really loved her cooking, we decided to try out our cafe venture as we had good feedback and response from our close friends who loved our mum’s cooking.
A lot of the food that we sell such as our Japanese Curry Rice and Taiwanese Braised Pork Rice are the things that we used to eat back at home. There is some Japanese influence in my mum’s cooking because she used to study and work in Japan. She also learned some of the recipes for my aunt who was also living in Japan.
How has your brand changed since you first started?
When we first opened in Bayu Tinggi, the space was smaller and our food choices were limited. We used to have a fixed menu and customers could only pick one out of the three dishes we were serving that week. There was also not much of a crowd at Bayu Tinggi and there were not that many customers in our previous.
Eventually, we closed down and reopened at our current location, Bandar Botanic. The crowd here is a lot better than the one in Bayu Tinggi and it was easier for us to build our customer base. We also had a bigger space and a wide variety of rice bowls, pastas, western mains, desserts and snacks that customers can choose from.
We want to satisfy as many taste bud preferences as we can while also creating something that will feel and taste like home. T
What were some unexpected lessons you have learned from running your brand?
Over the short 2 years, we have learned to step out of the norm and explore different flavours, ingredients, recipes and always thrive to be different and to offer food that can't easily be found out there. We want to satisfy as many taste bud preferences as we can while also creating something that will feel and taste like home. The best part of our job is seeing our customers finishing their food up to the last grain of rice, ending with a big smile on their face and a full tummy.
Another lesson we learned was adaptability. When the Movement Control Order was implemented, we had to think of a different alternative because customers were not allowed to dine-in and most premises offered takeaway options. So, we ended up offering a cheap takeaway option for some of our best sellers, like the Salmon Rice Bowl. We also offered free drinks if they order a takeaway from us and free delivery in certain areas.
Where do you normally source your materials for the food you serve?
We mainly source our materials from local vendors within the Klang Valley. When we first started out, we would go to the supermarket to get most of our material but we eventually got to know more local vendors or suppliers who will provide us with the freshest materials at a price that was just right for us. We try to make everything in small batches to preserve the freshness of our food -- just like the way your mum would prepare it.
What do you hope to achieve with your brand?
I hope that we will be one of the best cafes in Klang that people would be travelling to visit. I also want to be known for our home-cooked recipes because we do our best to use the freshest ingredients in cooking our food. As such, I would eat and recommend the food at the cafe. If possible, we hope we can always stick to the concept of bringing comfort to those who travel to our restaurant.