EDIT: The article has been edited to clarify that Mee Wak Ketagih is still in the works and not yet available to public. When WhatsHalal was interviewing Zoul Corner, we overheard that an order of 50 packets of Nasi Ayam Penyet just came in for them and that they are to be ready in an hour’s time.
We are quite astounded by what we heard, but Zoul Corner was pretty prepared to meet that demand. It is probably not surprising, considering that the owner, Zul, has been in the business for more than a decade. We asked Zul about what does it take for him to get his business (and his food) to where they are, and he was generous with his thoughts.
The Beginning of Zoul Corner
Zoul Corner actually began as a small nasi padang business that his mother had started and run for over 30 years. After one year of trying it out, he realised that the Nasi Padang business is tough to run: hours of preparation work is needed to ensure the amount of variety, and he concluded that the Nasi Padang business isn’t exactly his forte. So he began to entertain the idea of narrowing down the food business to just one specialty, and started Zoul Nasi Ayam Penyet in 2003.
However, Zul had little idea about what makes a good nasi ayam penyet. The first year of the business was probably the hardest. But through customer feedback, both good and bad, he discovered that his signature recipe.
The Secret Revealed
Zul shared with WhatsHalal that the chicken may be the least important part of the entire Nasi Ayam dish. “I discovered that customers enjoy a different type of rice from plain rice,” he said. “So I started to pair the chicken with an authentic chicken rice-style rice. Also, the soup that I accompany my dish is no ordinary chicken soup, but soup that is usually served for mee soto.”
His dish evolved further after his experience with Thai fried rice during a trip to Thailand. That inspired him to introduce a third type of rice for his Nasi Ayam Penyet. The idea and ultimately his execution drew in the crowd, and his nasi ayam penyet business lifted off from there.
To ensure value to his dish, Zul makes sure that his dishes are served in substantial portions.
“I want my customers to be satisfied with what they pay for. There’s no cutting of costs and compromising of value for me.”
Despite this, he is not looking to price his dishes as high as the other bigger players. This generosity has helped his plate of nasi ayam penyet reach out to a wider customer base. Indeed, in 2014, Zoul Nasi Ayam Penyet expanded from the west and opened a branch in the east at Saffron Tampines (which is by the way another merchant of WhatsHalal!).
With the expansion of Zoul Nasi Ayam Penyet into Zoul Corner, customers now have a wider variety of food to choose from. Of course, the signature dish will always be the Nasi Ayam Penyet with a selection of three types of rice (plain, chicken rice style and Thai fried rice) all served in generous portions. But Zoul Corner also offers other food selections from several types of nasi goreng to noodles and even Western food selection!
However, the one thing that we are looking forward to at WhatsHalal is the new dish that Zoul Corner will be introducing through the WhatsHalal app – the Nasi Penyet Combo USA includes a trio of penyet favourites: chicken, squid and prawn that’s served in one dish. Of course, it comes with Zoul Corner’s delicious sweet chili sauce and delectable soup that is going to go really well with the dish.
Another upcoming dish that Zul revealed to us is the quirkily names Mee Wak Ketagih, a noodle dish that he describes as “sekali makan, boleh ketagih (once eaten, forever addicted)”. Not much else is revealed with regards to that dish because it has yet to be made available but that name has certainly got our attention! We will have to wait a while more with anticipation before it revels itself, so do subscribe to WhatsHalal for more updates.
Zoul Corner is now live on WhatsHalal, available on both Android and iOS. Enjoy convenient, 100% halal islandwide delivery when you purchase via the WhatsHalal app now.
WhatsHalal started at the time there is an increasing awareness and need amongst the muslim community for clarity on the “halal-ness” of food. WhatsHalal’s objective is to be the definitive guide and provider of unquestionably Halal Thoyiban food to the Muslim community. The mission of WhatsHalal is to create a Halal ecosystem of food, from supplier to merchant to consumers. We seek to reduce, even eliminate, doubt of the Halal-ness of the food you consume, in a fast changing times where information may not be substantially available or easily sourced.
We are providers to the path of believe, in service to The Believed and for the benefit of the believers.
May Allah raise us all.