During lunch time, we’d always walk pass many restaurants while squeezing our brain to solve the ‘makan apa‘ question, because all our colleagues ever say is ‘anything’. That’s not helping at all.
When we give up thinking, franchise restaurants are where we end up in because the food is always on-point and most importantly, they don’t serve boring mixed rice… but did you know that these 12 famous franchise restaurants that we often dine at actually originated from Malaysia? Ha, bet you didn’t know some!
1. Sushi King
Most of us have had their sashimi before, but did you know that the first Sushi King was established in Malaysia?
In 1995, the first Sushi King was founded by Tan Sri Dato Sri’ Fumuhiko Konishi in Kuala Lumpur and they became the pioneer in conveyor belt restaurants in the country.
To date, there are over 100 Sushi King outlets nationwide serving delicious and fresh sushi to its customers! Currently, they’re also eyeing on expanding regionally and internationally in the near future.
At first glance, you wouldn’t link the restaurant to Malaysia because there’s nothing Malaysian about it. The name is Morganfield’s and their signature dish is the irresistible Sticky Bones, which are juicy, succulent and super tender.
Within few years since its inception, this Western-inspired chain restaurant has already opened several franchises in Singapore, Philippines and China.
Legend has it that their sticky pork ribs can actually heal your soul!
3. Secret Recipe
No birthday celebration is complete without a cake from the femes Secret Recipe, because their cakes are just out of this world! Delicious!
In 1997, Datuk Steven Sim and his nephew opened up the very first Secret Recipe in SS2, Petaling Jaya. Since then, it has expanded gradually throughout the country and even has presence overseas.
Currently, there are over 440 Secret Recipe outlets across Asia. Woah…
4. Big Apple Donuts and Coffee
Many of us would’ve thought that this brand originated from New York City due to its name. However, the first Big Apple Donuts and Coffee outlet was actually opened in The Curve in May 2007.
It was a huge hit among Malaysians judging from the long queues in front of the outlet. Within a year, another 23 stores began operating nationwide.
To date, this fast-growing chain store has already expanded to Cambodia and is eyeing other countries like Thailand, China and Pakistan.
5. Manhattan Fish Market
Admit it, at first glance you must’ve thought that this restaurant was from ‘Murica due to the ‘Manhattan’ word in the name.
Well, you’re not totally wrong because this restaurant was indeed inspired by the 180-year-old Fulton Fish Market under the iconic Brooklyn bridge, but it was actually founded by two Malaysians namely Dr Jeffery Goh and George Ang.
“People are always surprised when they discover The Manhattan Fish Market is a Malaysian brand. What amazes them more is how well we have performed within such a short span of time,” Ang said.
The American and Mediterranean-style seafood was such a hit among Malaysians and foreigners. Currently, there are over 72 franchises in Asia and Middle East countries such as Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Maldives.
6. San Francisco Coffee
A great cup of coffee is essential for a good start to your day. Understanding this principal, an American who lived in San Francisco set up his café business in Malaysia and named it San Francisco Coffee in 1997.
Caffeine junkies absolutely loved the coffee there and over a few years, the single café has since grown to 33 outlets within the Klang Valley.
Walking in shopping malls, you’re bound to see at least one PappaRich restaurant, because they’re just everywhere! Plus, PappaRich aims to open its 100th outlet in Malaysia by 2017!
Over the years, PappaRich has expanded its operation to other countries such as Australia, Singapore, America, China and South Korea.
Malaysian students who are studying abroad can easily get their local food cravings fixed by visiting PappaRich because it specialises in serving authentic Malaysian cuisine!
Although we grew up eating Marrybrown, many of us failed to notice that this fast food restaurant was actually founded by two Malaysians, Lawrence Liew and Nancy Chan in 1981. In fact, it was the first local fast food restaurant to start franchising in Malaysia.
Presently, there are over 130 outlets in Malaysia alone whereas their overseas outlets can be found in 18 countries!
If you enjoy a hearty corn in a cup, you’ve definitely tried Nelson’s!
This homegrown brand was founded by Nelson Kwok and it has since expanded tremendously both locally and internationally.
In Malaysia alone, there are over 80 Nelson’s outlets providing sweet and succulent corn to customers who are lepaking in shopping malls. After some 25 years, Nelson’s now has at least 800 outlets spread across 16 countries!
10. Juice Works
Believe it or not, Juice Works was actually founded by a pharmacist named Mooi Li, who loves a good cup of fruit juice.
“Initially, I moved back to Malaysia from Australia and I couldn’t find any smoothies here. After a while, I managed to find a standalone shop selling mango smoothies but it wasn’t really a mango smoothie – all they did was blend ice and mango syrup together,” she told Compare Hero in an interview.
The business finally took off after braving through a financial crisis. Currently, there are at least 29 outlets in Malaysia, but you can expect more to come since many Malaysians share her passion, which is a good cup of juice or smoothie.
11. I LOVE YOO!
Porridge and yootiao may sound really simple, but if done right, this combo can taste tremendously delicious. I LOVE YOO! is the perfect example of simple food done right.
A rep from the snack food chain shared with WORLD OF BUZZ that its first store was set up in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur in 2007 and it received such overwhelming response from Malaysians that they were invited to open up their second outlet in The Gardens, Mid Valley in 2008.
Since then, they’ve been expanding their operations overseas such as in Brunei and Singapore. Currently, there are 29 outlets in Malaysia, two in Brunei and two in Singapore.
12. Sushi Mentai
This is the go-to place if delicious and affordable sushi is what you’re looking for.
Although Sushi Mentai has only been in the business for six years, they’ve actually been supplying and wholesaling Japanese food stuff for nearly 30 years.
“This is why we can control the food quality and food cost this well,” a representative from Sushi Mentai told us at WORLD OF BUZZ.
Currently, there are 37 outlets in Malaysia and one outlet in Singapore, and you can expect more outlets popping up soon!
It’s amazing how these Malaysian businesses managed to open up so many franchises and even become popular overseas! Which one is your favourite? Share with us in the comment section!
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