The recent years have witnessed Malaysians embracing comforting Western staples like sandwiches and pies. However, this fare has been introduced in the past decade or so by one David Chin. You may be familiar with Dave’s Deli, a casual cafe that was born after David felt that the corporate life was taking its toll, subsequently quitting from his senior manager position in a public listed company. Fondly remembering his days as a student in New Zealand, David adapted recipes and with his wife, Maureen, they prepared pies, sandwiches and desserts from the home kitchen. To further expand the venture, they took the opportunity and rented a small lot in the Bangsar Shopping Centre Food Court and Dave’s Deli was opened in 1989. Through experimentations to provide a more varied menu the Dave’s Deli signature roast chicken with mash potatoes and gravy was born and became Malaysia’s 1st establishment to offer this . chicken meal with sides. And if parents were an inspiration, it clearly shows as Dave’s Deli today is running in the hands of David and Maureen’s sons, Darren and Brian. No doubt the cafe is one of the pioneers in this fare but the increasing awareness and options today has bumped up the level of competition and while still intending to keep the well-loved menu and run with a business model that has proven successful (self-service, simple presentation and hearty meals), the young ones are looking at utilising technology to maintain the quality that were set by their parents.
As a graduate of the Le Cordon Bleu Paris, Darren’s exposure has led to the implementation of sous-vide cooking. With the expansion of the menu, items that are cooked sous-vide include lamb shank, lamb shoulder chops, traditional beef stew and the dory fish fillet with upcoming selections such as braised beef cheeks, beef short ribs and roast beef while pasta sauces are vacuum packed. Sous-vide ensure that diners experience the same quality no matter which Dave’s Deli outlet they are at. A believer of the slow food movement that strives to reduce consumption of processed food and upholding food traditions, Darren experiments a lot with sousvide cooking because of its ability to seal in the freshness and natural flavours of food when its vacuum-packed and stored at right conditions until they are ready to be cooked in a precisely controlled water bath. Hand-in-hand with the use of advanced technology, the fundamentals are not left out. Darren is deep rooted in the principle of knowing the source of your food as understanding an ingredient helps a chef in pairing them to create a menu that matches the concept of the eatery. Also, quality of ingredients are always consistent for the chef de cuisine knows that good ingredients help in creating the best dish and he wants customers to enjoy the value according to what they pay.
From the time of simple open-cut sandwiches, comforting pies and a small selection of home cooked deli meals and the now well-loved roast chicken and sides combo, Malaysians have expressed satisfaction and this led to another concept restaurant, Dave’s Bistro Bar & Grill with plans of franchising in the pipeline. Delicious food is vital to a success of a food and beverage spot but equally important is its marketing and operations, which are Brian’s core expertise.
He sees the implementation of sous-vide cooking as one of the factors in paving a smooth route for its franchising initiative because with a centralised kitchen monitoring freshness, quality and costs of food, a franchisee will be operating a kitchen and service that requires minimum skill. With three outlets between Kuala Lumpur and Penang and a wider menu that includes familiar Western items; all outlets are decked out in the restaurant’s theme of earthy colours against a contrasting off-white background that exudes a warm atmosphere, just like eating at home. Having said that, customers enjoy the homey ambience and the nutritious taste of homecooked food but still seek for quick service. This is the exact philosophy Dave’s Deli operates upon – not a fast food place but a place that serves food fast and efficiently yet maintaining the wholesomeness of fresh ingredients. Together with technology and some smart marketing factors, this 100% Malaysian owned and operated eatery continues to bring its delicacies to every layer of society and envisions being present within a wider geographical playground.[box style=”rounded” border=”full”]
1 – Utama Shopping Mall,
1 Lebuh Bandar Utama,
47800 Petaling Jaya,
Bandar Utama, Malaysia
Tel: +603 7726 9490