Hassan Daud
02/02/2024 05:35 PM

By Kamarul Halim M Kamal

MUAR, Feb 1 (Bernama) -- For Muar residents, Restoran HD, located at Jalan Maharani, is a familiar focal point for delicious meals, especially for fans of mutton biryani, roti canai and mutton curry.

The delicious soft tender chunks of meat in a spicy gravy cooked using a recipe from India, coupled with its strategic location, sandwiched between rows of old shops in the middle of the Royal Town of Muar, has turned the restaurant into the focus of early risers, some as early as 6 am. Those who turn up late may have to come back the next day to taste the popular dish.

Who would have thought that His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim, the 17th King of Malaysia, is one of the regular customers at the restaurant, and His Majesty’s favourite dish is roti canai served with mutton gravy.

The restaurant owner, Hassan Daud, 65, said that, apart from making roti canai as a 'must' dish when the King visited Muar, His Majesty also likes to order mutton biryani.

According to Hassan, Sultan Ibrahim would turn up as early as after the Subuh (dawn) prayers, either by cycling for two kilometres from his palace, Istana Hinggap Muar, or sometimes, riding his motorcycle, to enjoy the dish.

“There were times when Tuanku Sultan Ibrahim came directly to my restaurant, without informing me first... usually he came at about 6.30 in the morning.

“However, His Majesty never asked me to stop serving other customers every time he dined at my restaurant, instead, he told me to continue operations as usual, as he also took the opportunity to meet and mingle with his subjects,” he told Bernama in an interview, recently.

If Sultan Ibrahim didn't have time to come to the restaurant, His Majesty would contact Hassan, to pack all his favourite dishes to be sent to the palace.

Hassan said that since the day Sultan Ibrahim visited his restaurant in 2000, roti canai served with mutton gravy at his restaurant has been selling so well that he would have trouble meeting the demand for the dish on weekends and he would ask help from his wife Zaidah Mohamad, 40, and daughter-in-law Shafienaa Mohd Rubaai, 27, to help manage and serve customers.

“Apart from Sultan Ibrahim, his son, the late Tunku Laksamana of Johor Tunku Abdul Jalil Sultan Ibrahim also used to come here, and his favourite drink was tea served with plain roti.

Hassan recalled that he learned how to cook mutton biryani which is His Majesty’s favourite, from his friend, Haji Mahmood, from Madras, India, about 40 years ago, and part of the preparation is grinding all the spices.

“I only learned how to cook it once, and after that, I tried it on my own countless times before it became as it is now,” said Hassan, who started the business when he was 20.

Hassan also expressed his pride as his dishes have been enjoyed by Sultan Ibrahim, who is now the 17th Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Restoran HD, which opens from 5.30 am to 2 pm, also provides a variety of scrumptious breakfast dishes as well as Nasi Beringin.