Currypuff Factory’s Gadong reopening draws thousands with Nasi Campur

Wide selection, affordable prices continues to be successful formula for family business

They’ve yet to install a signboard – but the bright orange storefront of The Currypuff Factory’s Gadong branch has drawn more than 500 customers a day since reopening two Saturdays ago by serving arguably the largest selection of Nasi Campur in the Sultanate.

Some 40 to 50 different dishes of mostly Asian cuisine, served in pans and placed atop a custom-built steam warmer, have captured the attention of Bruneians on social media who flocked to try out the self-serving concept – that has yet to gain widespread use in Brunei outside buffets.

55-year-old Hj Abd Khalid Hj Awg Mohaimin, who runs the business with his family, said the idea – much like their well-known curry puff – was inspired by eateries in the region.

“We’ve really been full since we launched,” said Hj Abd Khalid. “We have not been this packed, even since we started three years ago.”

Nasi campur or mixed rice and its more affordable spin-off – the economy rice – is popular in Malaysia and Singapore as a quick, affordable way to get a home-cooked styled meal while out.

White rice is served on a plate, with the customer choosing a selection of protein – usually, fish, chicken or red meat that’s typically deep fried, stir fried or made into different types of curry. Vegetables, mostly stir-fried, are also offered, and the meal is rounded off with a small, complimentary bowl of clear soup.

“There are many eateries in Brunei doing the nasi campur concept,” said Hj Abd Khalid, who credits his grandmother for the recipes. “But the difference is their selection is maybe six or seven dishes – here we give you variety, more than some buffets even, and it is up to you what your portion is.”

Price per serving are: rice $0.50, fish, chicken or meat between $1.50 to $2.50 and vegetables $0.80. One serving is typically a large ladle scoop. Other sides include salted egg $0.50 and mee goreng between $1.20 to $1.50.

Currypuff Factory serves the nasi campur from 9.30am until 9.30pm. Because of the Gadong unit’s limited size, Hj Abd Khalid has decided to use it exclusively as a serving space that seats up to 50 people.

The dishes prepared and delivered from their second branch in Kiulap, which spans two units and has a full-sized kitchen.

Hj Abd Khalid’s daughter Nabeelah said they had initially closed their Gadong branch for renovations about seven months ago while they focused on launching their Kiulap outlet.

“We’ve now positioned our two branches differently; Gadong is for nasi campur, while our Kiulap is the main takeaway spot for those buying the currypuff in trays (or in bulk),” said Nabeelah. “The Kiulap also has dine in – but it’s based on a more simple menu; penyet, nasi ayam and nasi lemak.”

She also added that the business relied purely on social media marketing and WhatsApp messages to generate a buzz for their Gadong reopening.

“I think what really got the messages and posts viral was that people haven’t seen this variety before,” she said. “And instead of making it an expensive buffet, we’ve made it as an affordable pay-as-you-choose system.”

The Currypuff factory began three years ago, gaining notoriety for their richly curried chicken puff pastry known as the Old Klang Currypuff. The brand was often mistaken as a Malaysian franchise – leading the family to rebrand this year as the Currypuff Factory.

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Currypuff Factory Gadong opens from 6.30am to 9.30pm and is located at Unit 109, Bangunan Kumbang Pasang (Gadong Properties). It’s also open from 6.30am to 2.30am at No. 12 and No. 13, Bangunan Habza, Simpang 150 in Kiulap. To learn more follow @kedaikopibn on Instagram, or contact +6738686466 to get in touch directly.

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