Saving in breaking

By Nadhira Maizam

All good things must come to an end. Ramadan this time is closing its final chapter in just a few more days. Correspondingly, school holidays have just started while most public universities in Malaysia have completed their final examination around this time.

Mirroring the Malaysian culture, people usually attend group iftar during holidays to catch up with family members or friends. As a matter of fact, most of us Malaysians do not get to spend much time with the people we love due to hectic schedules on regular weekdays. Hence, iftar during holidays would be a great occasion to spend time with our beloved ones.

Nevertheless, eating out requires us to fork out some amount of money to pay for the meal. Everyone wants to find a decent place that offers good deals like a large quantity of toothsome food to satisfy the hungry stomachs at an affordable price – fasting undoubtedly makes one hungrier than hungry but hunger is the best spice!

Yet, only those with thick wallet have their hearts lighter. For many of us, we want to opt for something affordable, especially for a single parent or someone who needs to foot the bill for everyone in the group. Henceforth, I would suggest four places that could accommodate eating out with family or friends on limited budget as finding the right place to eat out during Ramadan is a hot potato.

  1. Murni Discovery
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Murni Discovery offers a wide range of cuisine enveloping the diverse culinary of its multiracial society. Since individual taste is not inherent, the variety of choices available in the menu could accord to the personal appetite of each person in the group or family – local flavor, goreng and soup, Mee Raja, Western, chicken, lamb and beef, seafood, mamak drinks and mocktail wonder world.

Most importantly, Murni Discovery serves a crazy portion of meal at super affordable price. Large portion and tasty cuisines offered at the restaurant are priced ranging from around RM16+ to RM30+. Taking the portion served to the customers and the food quality into the frame, the price is extremely reasonable for a hungry person’s dinner.

I must say that you can even have one meal ordered for two heads (and stomachs). In addition, Murni Discovery provides an array of flavour some and luscious drinks – you will be blinded by the colours and engulfed in the taste, take my words! When someone goes for fasting, Ramadan thirst becomes one of the most challenging devils after the hungriness and the tied devils obviously.

Hence, Murni Discovery can be considered as the perfect place for Ramadan group dine-out since it presents food in assorted cookery and beverages that could accommodate everyone’s preference while at the same time proffers a descent price at a large portion.   

  • Johnny’s
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Johnny’s Thai cuisine renders two options to the customers – steamboat or cooked dishes. Thai steamboat (Thai Suki) resembles the Japanese Shabu Shabu or Chinese Hot Pot. The customers are free to select fresh ingredients like meat, seafood, mushroom, dumpling, vegetable and noodle to be cooked and boiled in a pot of simmering chicken broth. Plain rice can be ordered in a separate bowl. The steamboat ingredients are usually dipped with a savoury spicy Thai sukiyaki sauce.

You will be surprised to taste the perfect combination of the soup and the dipping sauce! With that, Johnny’s fresh ingredients allow the customers to choose what to be eaten as one’s man meat could be another man’s poison. Hence, everyone gets to decide on the ingredients to be put into the broth according to their own preferences.

Every plate of ingredient is priced at around RM4 -10 according to the type of ingredient that is chosen. Hence, you can split the bill equally later. Plus, if the customers prefer to have a cooked dish, they can place the order from the menu list and wait for their order.

The restaurant serves a great quality of Thai cuisine – you will fall in love instantly with the cooking! The service is very fast and the staffs are well trained to serve the customers. Furthermore, Johnny’s is abundance in Malaysia since it can be found almost in every state’s malls. Thus, everyone can easily plan a group dinner in the restaurant anywhere they go in Malaysia.

Additionally, malls or shopping complex are designated with a specific prayer space for the Muslims, hence, the Muslims can perform their maghrib prayer soon after the iftar.

  • The Chicken Rice Shop
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Unlike the above suggestions, The Chicken Rice Shop offers a rather limited selection on the menu list. It serves the customers with steamed, roasted, honey barbecued or soy sauce chicken together with chicken flavoured rice. As you might already know, the main signature products of the shop are chicken rice – but who does not love chicken rice?

Nonetheless, there are also other meals available in the menu if anyone in the family or group members decide to order other dish. Interestingly, the shop has already provided four different value meals or packages to cater for a group of guests. For the price, the delicious chicken rice and cold drinks served could definitely fill your hungriness and quench your thirst at below RM20. So, the price of the meal is very cheap and affordable but the food is tasty!

Similarly, The Chicken Rice Shop can be found everywhere in Malaysia because it has more than 100 outlets in the country. In short, The Chicken Rice Shop is very convenient for group taking because it provides both an appetising heavy meal and drink at a cheaper price.

  • KFC
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Everyone loves chicken! KFC is no stranger or peculiar to us Malaysians.  The restaurant offers different sets of meals including chicken, burgers, nuggets, fries, whipped potato, rice, ice-cream, cold and hot drinks and many others. Malaysians can find KFC everywhere in the country since it has opened more than 600 KFC restaurants nationwide. The customers have the options either to dine-in, take-out or request for delivery from KFC. The variety of sets available in the menu allows everyone to purchase for different sets according to their personal preference.

On the other hand, since KFC provides many options from its menu, the customers can also buy KFC sharing bucket, bucket meals or catering packs to afford large groups since a shared meal offers a cheaper price for a large quantity of the fried chicken. Worry not, you can select the kind of drink that you want since it comes in every set offered in the menu.

In addition, the customers can also buy KFC meals with promotion code from the restaurant to have the price reduced for certain offered sets. KFC guarantees its customers the quality assurance of their products with a tight security of their sanitation and hygiene. Besides, the price per set is very affordable, starting from as low as RM9 for a personal meal. I believe almost everyone can purchase KFC, their finger-licking taste is addictive, and is extremely appropriate for group dinner.

All in all, the four restaurants listed above are easily accessible, affordable and delicious for group iftar or for any occasion after Ramadan. However, the proof is in the pudding for you to confirm. You can make reservations from the websites of the restaurants or simply walk-in. First come, first serve!

Not-so-gentle-reminder

The holy month of Ramadan has not only trained Muslims to abstain themselves from eating and drinking, but it has also crafted Muslims’ private and public comportment, attitude, speech and thought in order to construct a better version of themselves.

Likewise, the beauty of Ramadan has taught believers to suit themselves in the shoes of the less fortunate who hardly receive the same opportunity such as the access to proper meal and peaceful ibadah. In fact, some Muslims and non-Muslims in different continents or regions of the world are forced to tighten their belts because of the economic slow down, or worse, starve themselves because they have limited access to food supply or are persecuted for their religious beliefs or ethnicity. Ugly truth!

Nonetheless, according to the report by The Solid Waste Management and Public Cleanliness Corporation, Malaysia recorded 15,000 metric tonnes of food wastes daily. Meanwhile, 3,000 metric tonnes of food wastes are in good condition. Sadly, it can feed up to 2.2 million people. Furthermore, the amount of food wastes increases by about 25% during festivities like Ramadan.

Even though Islam abhors wastage of food, the attitudes of Malaysian Muslims’ do not give a good reflection on their management of foodstuff. Hence, a reminder to all (including me) that we should be mindful not to waste food or money. Wasting food is just wasting money and money does not grow on trees – this is not rocket science. It takes hard work and massive efforts to earn money. Hence, we should be grateful that we are able to lead a comfortable life every day. So, start changing now. Good luck! ***

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