Chinese-Muslim Hawker Sells Fragrant Nasi Lemak & Café-Style Cakes At Maxwell Food Centre
The hawker behind Ah Lim Nasi Lemak uses a recipe from her Peranakan mother.
The phrase “sibei ho jiak, mai kong bo jio” – translated from Hokkien to mean super tasty, don’t say we didn’t invite you – is emblazoned boldly on newly-opened Ah Lim Nasi Lemak’s storefront, flanked by flashing, multicoloured lights. It’s more than a cute slogan – the Hokkien phrase, along with the hawker stall’s name, is a reflection of 38-year-old Aishah Lim’s Peranakan heritage — she’s born to Chinese-Muslim parents.
“My dad likes to call us OCBC. Orang cina bukan cina,” she says with a laugh, referring to the expression that translates from Malay to “Chinese people, but not Chinese” – often used to describe Peranakans’ unique identity straddling two cultures.
She parlayed that heritage and a childhood spent cooking with her mum (a Peranakan Hokkien), into Ah Lim Nasi Lemak, a biz which she opened on January 7 at Maxwell Food Centre. She runs the Muslim-friendly stall solo, and sells nasi lemak and prawn noodles along with cafe-style bakes like ondeh ondeh and mao shan wang durian cake.
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