I was scrolling on Instagram when I came across a little something that looked positively indulgent. Framed by crimson-and-white chequered paper was a platter of golden-brown foodstuff from curly fries to fried chicken sandwiches. I could listen to the crunch as a result of the display.
By natural means, I clicked into the account, which was referred to as AyamGuys. I was greeted by even more platters of fried foods, and the very first issue that stood out to me was the doughnut fried rooster sandwiches.
The pairing of doughnut and fried chicken was new to me, but it appeared to make entire perception jointly. I really like waffles and rooster, so this sounded fully up my alley.
These deep-fried dishes reminded me of Southern soul food items from the States, which I had the delight of hoping ahead of at a county reasonable.
It was no surprise to hear then that the founder of AyamGuys, Ilyas Omar, experienced been inspired by “state fair” food items from The us.
“It was again in 2010 throughout uni days when I realised that there was no these kinds of matter as American point out honest food in Malaysia,” Ilyas said. “That had generally been my go-to idea for my initial enterprise into the business world.”
Having said that, no a single all over him seemed to know what he was speaking about. So, Ilyas shelved the strategy. But however, he under no circumstances strayed far too much absent from food items.
He went on to operate in internet marketing communications for a food items distribution firm, where by he collected intel on buyer requires and the food market as a entire.
Despite the fact that Ilyas was by no means formally trained to prepare dinner, he did assist his pal with his grilling enterprise, Mustafa Jones Burger.
Through this practical experience, Ilyas was able to find out a great deal from the African-American chef about soul-foodstuff. And that is where his fried rooster skills begun to take off.
Doughnut cease believing
The concept of applying doughnuts rather of standard buns first arose when Ilyas was served a common kuih in the course of a operate meeting. It was the “Pau Sambal”, also identified as Burger Malaysia.
Fundamentally, a Pau Sambal is composed of a fried dough stuffed with ikan bilis (anchovies) sambal and a cucumber slice in amongst. The food experienced proven itself as Ilyas’ favorite childhood snack, but he felt let down when he did not delight in it as much as when he was a youngster.
“Being a marketer of foods solutions, I are inclined to often think of methods to make a products far better,” he spelled out. “And [for the Pau Sambal], that was to increase far more than just a unfold of sambal and a slim slice of cucumber. Possibly ayam masak merah with pineapple acar?”
At around the exact same time, Ilyas also came across an short article that highlighted the profitable dish of the Mississippi Point out Honest. It was a Krispy Kreme Donut Burger—a cheeseburger that ditched the typical sesame seed buns for two sugar glazed doughnuts rather.
It was a lightbulb moment. Ilyas set two and two jointly and determined to adapt that thought and make the so-identified as “KL’s original donut fried hen sandwich”.
And so it released in January 2020, but had to end when the lockdown started. It reopened in December 2020.
Now with a actual physical outlet for AyamGuys currently in the is effective, this concept would seem to be performing with the area crowd.
Perfecting the art of ayam
Although Ilyas had the notion for a doughnut fried hen sandwich, actually formulating the recipe took loads of demo and error.
Luckily, the food items distributing business Ilyas was functioning at had an in-dwelling R&D chef that worked closely with his crew to make cooking articles. Leveraging this relationship, Ilyas bought the chef onboard as a guide to whip up the dishes primarily based on the flavour profiles he preferred.
“It took some time as he was not acquainted with American condition fair food. But immediately after innumerable immediately after-perform discussions and five weekends later, we experienced our very last food tasting and it was a stable go,” Ilyas shared.
Presently, testing and formulating new goods acquire all around a 7 days. AyamGuys have a tendency to attempt out new menu merchandise with regulars and see if they vibe to it. If they do, AyamGuys will provide it as specific offerings. These was the case with their Deep Fried Oreos and Chick N’ Rice dishes.
AyamGuys dishes also include dipping sauces established to go with just about every dish’s flavour profile.
Although condition good food stuff may well be pleasing to persons who love fried foodstuff, there are these who may assume all people fried dishes are harmful.
“It truly comes down to style compared to functionality,” Ilyas refuted. “We wouldn’t say it is harmful, but it is what it is. Anyone justifies a cheat day each individual at the time in a whilst.”
In AyamGuys’ defence, at the very least the doughnuts aren’t coated or glazed with sugar. Additionally, the doughnuts are handmade, and we don’t signify with a dough mixer, but with real palms as an alternative.
On major of that, the brand name has now appear up with more healthy menu solutions for when it begins operations at its future outlet.
AyamGuys vs the massive guys
On AyamGuys’ Instagram, I found that the manufacturer has posted a several screenshots of customers’ tweets about how AyamGuys is much better than big players these kinds of as KFC.
Ilyas pointed out mischievously: “AyamFans yang cakap, bukan kita.” (It’s AyamFans who mentioned it, not us.)
With that mentioned, the founder does see AyamGuys as a competitor to KFC, however, stating that the company is gearing up to disrupt the market for chicken solutions.
“We will be mad pleased if we take care of to protected even 2% of KFC’s market place,” the founder shared.
Just like those huge gamers, however, AyamGuys have experienced to encounter increased price ranges of poultry and other elements during the previous months. This is specially difficult on them as they’ve decided to sustain their foodstuff costs.
“Although our margins are thinner, we nonetheless carry every single item in our menu on a everyday foundation and it is a large win for us when AyamFans arrive to us declaring that KFC and McDonald’s did not have plenty of fried hen,” Ilyas pointed out.
International franchises aside, AyamGuys also have to facial area area level of competition these kinds of as FOWLBOYS, a model we have highlighted prior to. AyamGuys and FOWLBOYS share an arguably related presentation with their chequered paper and Southern-fashion fried chicken sandwiches.
In accordance to AyamGuys’ Grab page, their combo foods, which contain fries and a consume, are RM25. FOWLBOYS is close to the very same value, with its RM26 O.G. Sandwich Combo (in accordance to its Beepit listing).
What’s following for AyamGuys
Primarily based on what Ilyas has noticed in the previous yr and a fifty percent, he believes that there is desire for the fried chicken model. His objective is to make AyamGuys a potent contender in the F&B market and have an outlet in just about every state.
The founder also said that he has his eyes set on East Malaysia, however that would be further in the potential. For now, he hopes to sharpen their recent applications. This features making certain streamlined foodstuff processes and manufacturing dishes that pass daily good quality checks.
“Our short-time period aim is to be as investor-pleasant as probable,” Ilyas explained. “That would lead us into acquiring our long-expression objective which is entire world domination. Malaysia first lah, of course.”
The 1st step to that system is already underway. So significantly, AyamGuys has been functioning out of a kitchen place in Gaya Taman Melawati.
Appear August this calendar year, nevertheless, Ilyas will be transferring into a bodily outlet with a coffee and dessert bar in Wangsa Maju.
As Ilyas has kindly prolonged an invitation to the new store to me, I should know which menu products are his recommendations.
“As a manufacturer owner, I’d say anything,” Ilyas answered. “But what seriously stands out in my opinion is The Sneaky Chick doughnut sandwich.”
The Sneaky Chick options a fried rooster leg glazed with their signature honey garlic, topped with cili padi slaw, sandwiched between doughnuts. This “naughty” dish obtained its title mainly because the kick from the cili padi slaw sneaks up on you in concerning the sweet and savoury flavours.
I nonetheless haven’t been ready to get my palms on all those delicious wanting sandwiches nonetheless, so I simply cannot inform you how it tastes individually. But with Ilyas’ description, I wager it won’t be much too extended prior to I give in and try out it for myself.
- Study more about AyamGuys below.
- Examine other F&B-connected posts we have penned listed here.
Featured Picture Credit history: Ilyas Omar, founder of AyamGuys
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