For the past year and a half, lockdowns around the country have severely affected foodpreneurs and homegrown businesses. To help food enterprises regain their footing, The Back Ground — a community-based initiative set up within REXKL — launched Jalan Jalan Cari Makan on October 23 by providing brands with a platform to market their products. Participating vendors will also benefit from the various support by The Back Ground, including digitalisation of businesses, marketing, media exposure and operations.
Encouraging new ideas and collaboration with surrounding communities, the initiative features 15 food vendors, ranging from cloud kitchen brands, upcoming home cooks and new foodpreneurs to hawkers. Operating on a fortnightly basis, Jalan Jalan Cari Makan will take place again on November 6 and 7, as well as November 20 and 21, from 10am.
General Manager of REXKL, Angel Ng mentioned that Jalan Jalan Cari Makan is just one of the many initiatives in The Back Ground's pipeline, with many more activities ahead to help KL-ites explore new eateries and local flavours downtown. "The food and beverage industry is one of the few industries deeply affected throughout the pandemic. Our main purpose of this program is to give hope and a sense of normalcy."
The crowd can expect a melange of food vendors at the premises, peddling a wide variety of food such as tacos, asam laksa, burgers and more. If you're still wary about being in crowded places, takeawyas and delivery services are also available. Here are some brands that are worth checking out this weekend.
Named after the Malay word for "grow", Tumboh sells homemade plant-based products ranging from granola, tea, hand sanitiser and its most anticipated product, bee-less honey made of rose buds, lavender petals and chamomile flowers. “We certainly love our meat, but we also want to encourage people to incorporate more plant-based products into their daily life," claims founders Amir Omar Anuar and Lam Min Yong. The social enterprise will be donating a portion of their proceeds to Need to Feed the Need Malaysia (NFN).
No stranger to the bar scene with guest star stints at the popular Locker & Loft and Dissolved Solids, Zenboocha is a healthy kombucha business that knows how to have fun. Founder Zen Thian says, "Kombucha is certainly famous for its health benefits, but to me, kombucha is a versatile drink that we can mix with cocktails, wine and such." Customers can look forward to unusual flavours such as ginger honey, lychee rose and passion potion — all sold in decorative bottles designed by international artists.
Junk Jars creates artisanal condiments inspired by top restaurants around the world. Their goal is to make every meal taste better by bringing the unique flavours of restaurants to typical homecooked meals. Their Salted Mandarin X.O. Sauce adds a savoury edge to everyday dishes while the Smoked Green Chili Padi Pesto lends a smoky flavour with every bite. Your carbs won't taste the same again with the addition of their Passion Fruit Chutney and Coconut Belacan Crunch.
King Kong Kitchen
King Kong Kitchen is made up of a team of passionate chefs who curates unique and tasty plant-based sauces and dips for fellow vegan communities. To encourage people to incorpate more vegetables into their diet, the crew has curated a selection of sauces to elevate their taste such as Kaffir Lime Papadom Sauce, Caramelized Green Chili Sambal and Citrus Fried Shallot Dressing.
A crossover between Tex-Mex and Asian cuisine, Grillsmith follows the old-age techniques of smoking meat to maximise flavours while appealing to our local palate. “We slow-cook the meat over 24 hours using organic charcoal to avoid too much smokiness while still giving the meat a lot of good marination taste,” says founder Elsie. Sauces are made from scratch to ensure consistency.
The Back Ground plans to launch various versions of Jalan Jalan Cari Makan, such as an Ice Cream and Dessert edition in December 2021. See here more for info.