HAB SPOTLIGHT #09: MOHD FAUZI

Fauzi, 28, Founder of Halaman by Dapur Western

“Get out from comfort zone, achieve what you want”

1. Briefly introduce yourself and how you got started in this business?

Hi, my name is Mohd Fauzi Bin Azmi, familiarly known as Poji. I am 28 years old. I am a Diploma in Culinary holder. After graduation, I worked for almost three years in few hotels and cafés to further my profession. In 2016, I changed careers and began working as  a barista in Malaysia and Singapore for  one of the world’s most well-known international coffeehouses, Starbuck. After five years, I decided to quit my job in Singapore and return to JB to open my own café. Dapur Western was established in April 2020. However, due to the pandemic Covid-19, we were only able to serve orders from our customers through delivery services. As a result, Halaman by Dapur Western will be our first physical café and we plan to opening July.

2. How was the journey during the establishment of Dapur Western?

Actually, I am grateful to say that everything, all the process, gets easier. I believe that the   most of the reason is because of the support that we received from close friends and family members. Also, having  a background and experience in culinary and barista gives me a lot of confidence and enthusiasm in establishing this café.

3. What is the uniqueness of Dapur Western?

Dapur Western was known for its uniqueness and signature of western-spicy food. This is because we aim to attract as many local customers as possible. We all know that Malay cuisine is cooked aromatic, strong, and tends to be spicy. Therefore, we created western menus that can tackle the local taste. Our signature menu is Aglio Olio Cili Padi with Chicken Grill. With the opening of the new café, we introduce new items to our menu with a few selections of beverages of coffee and non-coffee drinks.

4. We can see that your new café, Halaman by Dapur Western, is slightly off the beaten track. How do you keep attracting your customer to your new café location?

First or foremost, of course, the advertisement and promotion that we have done  on our social media platforms have always had a give positive impact towards us. At the early stage of this café establishment, we have no physical café to directly entertain our customers. The orders come to our phone. So, what we do is, we kept the customers’ contact details and keep informing them every time we have new updates to share. Also, the words even spread like wildfire with help from family and friends. Thing get easier when our location is searchable in Google Maps and Waze. Just search Halaman, by Dapur Western, then you will be navigating to our location.

5. How do you compare Dapur Western since first established till today?

The biggest comparison that I could say is our kitchen setup. Previously, we only had a basic and small kitchen, but today you can see that we now have a bigger and commercial kitchen. I could say that we are now only 20% progress toward the completion of our first café. However, I can’t thank you enough for the positive feedbackthat we received from our customers. Despite the limited seating available, our café is always full of people and good vibes. Unexpectedly, the changes happened within one year. Now, we can open our café and serve for dine-in with limited seats. We will be officially open with more tables and chairs in July 2022. Stay tuned!

6. Do you still operate for delivery order service?

Yes. We still continue the food delivery order service. In fact, the menu for food delivery service and pick-up is more variety. We can’t serve the full menu in our physical café at the moment due to limited manpower and resources. Worried not, we will be ready to serve the other meals from our full menu soon. For updates and open order notice, you may visit our Instagram account at @dapur.western.  

7. Do you have any word for people who love western food?

We always set our mind that “Western for Everyone”. Imagine, when you go to normal western restaurant, you will find the teste is so “western” and you might come back to the same restaurant the next following month. But with our menu, we want our customers to keep repeating order every day because of the uniqueness of taste and affordable price. Most of our customers feedback would say that we serve our food at suitable price and portion.