THESE days, restaurant owner David Chiang has plenty to be happy about. Not only has he managed to preserve the old-world charm of Restoran Hua Mui in Johor Baru, he has also successfully expanded the business with two other outlets.
But none of this would have happened without the support of loyal customers, said David.
“Most of my customers support me because they like my food. So I’ve kept the menu the way it was when I started working here, but I added a few new dishes,” said David.
Customers Adeline Yong and daughter Yong Chong Mein visit Hua Mui every month for the signature breakfast set. “Their food tastes good, otherwise we wouldn’t come back,” they said.
As for Singaporean Patrick Tan, he doesn’t have a favourite dish because he thinks all the food served in the restaurant is delicious.
“I knew this shop existed more than 30 years ago, but I only started coming here two years ago with my family and friends after reading about it online,” said Tan.
According to David, Hua Mui has seen customers from Johor, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur as well as some international tourists.
David said: “People find it interesting that our restaurant still looks like an old-fashion kopitiam. We don’t put air conditioning or change the floor tiles. And we still use a charcoal grill to toast our bread!”
Another customer Roslan Sabar said he would travel to Johor Baru two to three times a week for Hua Mui’s kaya butter toast and iced coffee.
“I’ve been coming here for the past three years because this is the only shop that never changes the way they toast their bread,” said the Sabahan, who is currently working in Singapore.
“I don’t think you can find this anywhere else. That’s why Hua Mui is special.”