KL stall owner offers RM2 vegetarian mixed rice meal, Latest World News - The New Paper

KL stall owner offers RM2 vegetarian mixed rice meal

KUALA LUMPUR – A mixed rice meal for RM2 (57 Singapore cents) may seem pretty far-fetched these days, but one restaurant has been dishing out such affordable food to about 1,000 people daily for the past 16 years.

Located in Taman Kok Lian, Jalan Ipoh, V Fortune Land Vegetarian Cafe provides three vegetarian dishes with rice for RM2.

The restaurant is run by Mr Richard So, 64, with some relatives, to give back to the community. The family, which runs over 70 shoe stores, has maintained the price and the number of patrons has grown from about 100 daily to nearly 1,000 now.

“The RM2 mixed rice will continue for as long as I can manage,” said Mr So in an interview.

According to him, more people including those staying in Sentul, Kepong, Jinjang and Batu Caves have been coming to the restaurant, even during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said he selects and buys the ingredients at the market by himself. He added that some vendors sell to him at lower prices, and he opts for seasonal vegetables to save costs when prices are high.

“The restaurant is open from 8am till 4pm. We start preparing dishes early in the morning and keep replenishing them until about 2pm to avoid wastage. After 2pm, I will go and buy the ingredients for the next day,” he said.

Mr So also said more people had been flocking to the cafe, drawn by the value of a RM2 vegetarian mixed rice meal.

However, many might not be aware of the restaurant’s little-known history of perseverance through the years.

Recalling the early years, Mr So said initially, he had to subsidise the restaurant with RM5,000 to RM6,000 monthly from his shoe stores.

“I decided to take over the operation because continuous subsidies aren’t sustainable.

“Customers were encouraged to bring their own containers with takeaway meals sold at RM2.50,” he said.

Over the years, many groups have placed orders in advance while some even contributed to help sustain the restaurant’s efforts.

“Monthly expenses are around RM70,000. Last month, we made RM80,000. The extra money is used to pay the salary of five workers,” Mr So said.

Every day at 10am, he also distributes free meal boxes with each person allowed to take two until they run out.

From someone who could not cook, Mr So, with a spatula in his hand, now prepares each dish himself and has never thought of giving up. He does everything with a big heart.

Mr So strongly believes in “fu bao”, which is karmic reward in Buddhism. He said since opening the vegetarian restaurant, his family has had a smooth life. – THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK