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Food, Malaysia

Christina Low
Thursday, Apr 24, 2014

Food, Malaysia

Laundromat-turned-eatery now a popular hangout

The Star/ANN | Christina Low | Thursday, Apr 24, 2014

The love for washing laundry sparked the idea of opening a cafe for Danny Hamdan Zulkifli and his family.

His outlet Wash Ur Gossips also has a quirky tag line, "every dirty laundry has a story", coined by his son.

"When you are here to wash your laundry, you always end up talking to your neighbour or anyone who is also waiting, just to kill time," said the retiree.

Upon noticing how his customers had to wait at least an hour for their laundry to be ready, the 57-year-old decided to create a makeshift kitchen.

It began with a small kitchen next to his coin-operated washing machines, to serve finger food and drinks so his customers could get a quick bite.

"Finger food was not enough for them. After a while, we had requests to prepare meals, from sandwiches to noodles, pasta and rice," he said.

But he feared he could not keep up, hence the introduction of a larger menu with dishes he was familiar with.

After close to two years of operations, Danny said now he understood why his customers were demanding but in a positive way.

"They allow me to go down a path I have never thought I could, from a neighbourhood laundromat to a cafe selling chicken chop and grilled salmon," he said when met at his quaint eatery in Shah Alam.

During an evening visit to the quiet area of the city, we were amazed by Danny's menu selection, which ranged from special items for children to breakfast, lunch and dinner.

"Instead of me preparing all these, I sought the assistance of culinary students in search of working experience to help me out," he said, adding that he was never short of young staff members who were eager to learn.

For a quick bite while waiting for your laundry, one can snack on onion rings, French fries, garlic bread or prawn fritters with peanut sauce.

If you are looking for something slightly heavier, try his Western dishes, which include Spaghetti Bolognese, Marinara Meatball, Spicy Salmon Carbonara, Lamb Shoulder Chop, Salmon Steak with Lemon Sauce and Chicken Chop.

Danny also makes sure that local dishes such as special fried rice, Shanghai Yee Mee, char kuey teow, mee curry, Ginger Beef Noodle and fish ball kuey teow soup are on the menu.

Those craving for a breakfast platter at night will be thrilled to know that he has three all-day breakfast sets which he has named, Sinar, Suria and Fajar, priced from RM8.50 (S$3.30) to RM12.50 (S$4.80).

The restaurant has also begun hosting small parties, where Danny's son, Khairul Amir, would decorate their shop based on the customer's selected theme.

The family man has dreams of opening a new outlet but has yet to find a suitable location.

"Laundromat with cafes are popular overseas and I hope to introduce the idea to different parts of the city," he said.

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