Malaysian restaurant launches nationwide cook at home service

Credit: Chapter 81

A Leeds-based street food concept, turned casual dining restaurant, has launched a brand new cook at home range of Malaysian food.

From Malaysia to Huddersfield, founder of Dapur Malaysia, Valerie Kolat, used time as a stay at home mum to work on her dishes.

She started a pop-up business initially before moving to permanent premises in Chapel Allerton – seven months before the pandemic hit.

Her ready meals service – now available nationwide – is helping to keep the business alive in lockdown.

Whilst Dapur Malaysia’s delivery and click and collect service remains available for local residents from Thursday to Saturday, the ready meals can be ordered at any time. The nationwide delivery means those living outside the Leeds area can also benefit.

Kolat said: “My mother was an amazing cook and taught me her many Malaysian recipes, as well as Keralan recipes cooked by my grandparents.

“Food became a way to memorialise my wonderful mum and reminded me of home. Despite my parents not being here anymore, I can cook one of their favourite dishes and feel the nostalgia associated with it.”

As Malaysia is made up of a multitude of peoples – predominantly Malay, Chinese and Indian – the business’s eat at home meals are inspired by the flavours from all three groups, as well as purely Malaysian dishes.

Valerie Kolat. Credit: Chapter 81.

Each meal is packed fresh at the Chapel Allerton restaurant and delivered within three days of ordering.

All dishes can be kept chilled for up to three days and can be frozen for up to three months.

Kolat added: “The idea for cook at home has been part of our business model since we opened, but the pandemic kick-started the process.

“We have taken time to look at different types of packaging, picking one that would ensure our dishes could be delivered fresh to our customers wherever they are in the UK, as well as being microwavable and oven safe.

“We’ve also made it affordable so, whilst it’s a restaurant at home experience, it’s still accessible.

“Malaysians are massive foodies and our cuisine definitely has something for everyone. It’s my hope that Malaysian cuisine will gain in popularity when people get a chance to try our dishes.”