30, Block A Plaza Sinar,
Taman Sri Sinar Segambut,
Tel: 03-6262 1626
WALKING into La Teh cafe, patrons will not miss the huge paintings on the wall of people and their lives.
Each wall represents people from different countries with a little bit of history and highlights the food it is famous for which are served at the cafe.
La Teh founder Steve Chai said the competitive food industry pushed him to find a niche in the market and found South-East Asian cuisine to have the most opportunities to break through.
“Although South-East Asian cuisine can be found in many restaurants, most are very focused on one specific country’s cuisine but La Teh has the best of five.
“We have signature dishes from Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, and specialise in the Nanyang cuisine, a common reference to the ethnic Chinese population in these countries.
“The Chinese started settling down in South-East Asia during the Ming dynasty through the expedition of Zheng He (Cheng Ho) who sent many traders to explore and trade in the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean. This led to the first wave of Chinese immigrants to South-East Asia.
“As the Chinese cuisine are generally low-calorie and low-fat, signature dishes selected from South-East Asian nations’ most popular dishes reflect the healthy way of dining and drinking too,” he said.
Chai said the original flavours have significantly evolved through the decades of cultural assimilation creating a variety of taste with different cooking styles and presentation.
“Among the favourites that we currently serve are Malaysian Satay, Singapore Curry Laksa, Indonesian Nasi Ketuk, Vietnam Banh Mi (sandwich) and Thailand Pad Thai (stir fried rice noodles) and fried rice.
“I also own other businesses that often require me to go overseas. Through my travels, I get ideas on how to improve and expand my business, as well as add variety to the dishes served.
“I am also seriously looking at opening branches overseas,” he added.
This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.