Welcome to yet another Meet The Manufacturer! This time, the brand is MyKuali which is a part of Sky Thomas Food in Malaysia! I conducted an email interview with Annie Tang of MyKuali – here it is.
THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you for agreeing to this interview! To start, can you tell my readers about the history of MyKuali?
MYKUALI> MyKuali is a house brand of Sky Thomas Food Industries Sdn Bhd (Sky Resources Group Companies).
Sky Thomas Food Industries Sdn Bhd was formed to diversify the business into the consumer food and beverages industry.
MyKuali may not have a long history as a brand name, but the taste and quality has been proven by the positive feedback from the market. Until today MyKuali has not done any media advertisements such as newspaper and TV. Our marketing started with facebook (facebook.com/mykuali) and free sampling and demo road shows, believing it is important to reach out to our consumers with confidence in the taste and quality of our products. All recipes are developed in-house and tested rigorously with high expectations.
MyKuali was started with the main objective to share the food and cuisines of Penang. With today’s technology and infrastructure, it has made it possible for packaged food of a country to travel to another country at ease.
TRR> What was the first product you made?
MYKUALI> Our first product in the Instant Noodle category is MyKuali Penang White Curry Instant Noodle. Penang White Curry Noodles is one of the most popular hawker food in Penang and it is available almost anywhere in Penang.
We launched it just in time to bring it to Hofex 2013, Hong Kong. The response for this product was overwhelming. We should be able to see MyKuali Penang White Curry Noodle selling everywhere in Hong Kong by August 2013.
TRR> Your company is located in Malaysia – can you tell us a bit about your country?
MYKUALI> Malaysia is a multi racial and multi cultural country. The population consists mainly of Malays, Chinese and Indians and many other ethnic groups. All of us as Malaysians enjoy each other’s food and cuisines. We are so used to the mixture of different cultures and food preferences that there is a cuisine. Therefore, there is a term called “Baba-Nyonya”. To put it simply, it means the intermarriage of two races and when we say “Nyonya dishes”, it normally means traditional dishes that have a combination of cuisines from different races.
Penang, being a small Island in Malaysia, is also known as “Food Paradise” internationally. Penang is rich in culture and famous for its hawker food.
To share more, quoted as below:
Quoted from Australian restaurant critic and food writer Pat Nourse, “Penang establishes the benchmarks and resets your perspective on just how good hawker food can be. You’ve got the choice of the familiar, which will be presented to you with new clarity, and plenty of stuff you won’t see anywhere else”.
Lina Goldberg, (an American writer, who is a street food enthusiast, based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia) claim Penang in her list of “Asia’s 10 greatest street food cities”, and she described Penang as “one of the world’s top dining destinations”.
To share more about Malaysia as a whole, I abstracted an article from www.tourism.gov.my:
To know Malaysia is to love Malaysia – a bubbling, bustling melting-pot of races and religions where Malays, Indians, Chinese and many other ethnic groups live together in peace and harmony. Our multiculturalism has made Malaysia a gastronomical paradise and home to hundreds of colourful festivals. It’s no wonder that we love celebrating and socialising. As a people, Malaysians are very relaxed, warm and friendly.
Geographically, Malaysia is almost as diverse as its culture. 11 states and 2 federal territories (Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya) form Peninsular Malaysia which is separated by the South China Sea from East Malaysia which includes the 2 states (Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo) and a third federal territory, the island of Labuan.
One of Malaysia’s key attractions is its extreme contrasts which further add to this theme of ‘diversity’. Towering skyscrapers look down upon wooden houses built on stilts while five-star hotels sit just metres away from ancient reefs.
Rugged mountains reach dramatically for the sky while their rainforest-clad slopes sweep down to floodplains teeming with forest life. Cool highland hideaways roll down to warm, sandy beaches and rich, humid mangroves.
TRR> Why did you choose the name MyKuali and what does it mean?
MYKUALI> “My” represents Malaysia and “Kuali” is a Malay word means “wok”. We choose MyKuali as brand name because our products relate to cooking and food.
With MyKuali products, consumers were able to cook sophisticated dishes and meals with really simple steps. It can even be cooked by people without cooking knowledge. All these were made possible because we have done all the sophisticated process in our R & D and manufacturing process. With mass production, we were able to deliver our products to consumers with reasonable price.
TRR> In what countries are your products available?
MYKUALI> Our products are only in Malaysia now; however, it will be widely available in Hong Kong by August 2013. The Indonesian market is in the midst of negotiation and we are targeting to export to Singapore, Thailand and China in the near future.
TRR> Your company is best known for its cooking pastes. Can you tell us a little about them?
MYKUALI> MyKuali cooking pastes are centered on using traditional natural ingredients and spices with perfect blend and proportion to achieve taste that captures your taste buds. We have a wide selection of authentic Asian/Penang Instant Cooking Pastes with excellent quality. Each MyKuali flavor has its distinct tastes with different ingredients and spices. MyKuali Instant Cooking Paste’s range of products is not only delicious but easy to prepare without compromising the colour and texture of the dishes. We currently have 8 flavors of cooking pastes which are mainly Penang and Thai Flavors.
Our product quality of taste and ease of preparation has been proven by “The Competition For Traditional Malaysian Ready-To-Cook Paste” organized by Matrade Malaysia Kitchen because our Curry Kapitan Chicken/Meat paste has been selected as one of the 15 finalists in the whole of Malaysia. The competition is still ongoing and we are still waiting for the final results.
TRR> How does your noodle making process differ from other instant noodle manufacturers?
MYKUALI> Each packet of MyKuali Instant Noodle contain a packet of Natural Ingredient Paste that makes the soup base authentic and tastes like freshly cooked instead of instant noodles. Curry powder is the most important part of the Natural Ingredient Paste and it contributes to the special aroma of our Penang White Curry Noodle. The Curry Powder is our very own special recipe and it has been tried and tested over five hundred times to derive the formulation and the curry powder itself contains more than 30 types of natural ingredients and spices.
Besides, it has to go through 3-4 hours of cooking; every process and temperature is controlled stringently.
TRR> When people here think of curry, a lot of the time all they know of is curry powder. How is a curry paste different?
MYKUALI> When people here think of curry, they think it’s curry powder.
However, curry paste is a little different from curry powder as it is in liquid paste form which is normally pre-cooked with the right proportions of cooking oil together with other fresh ingredients such as garlic, onion, shallots, lemongrass and etc. Curry paste is more convenient for consumers because it is ready-to-cook.
TRR> A lot of people are concerned with their sodium intake. How would you recommend people enjoy your product as part of a healthy meal?
MYKUALI> Our products are manufactured to taste. As such, our flavor has the right amount of sodium in it. However, you can cook the soup separately and adjust the taste to ones liking thus controlling the amount of sodium.
However, I would like to share some of the health benefits of the ingredients we include in our products.
MyKuali Penang White Curry Noodle:
Turmeric is one of the essential ingredient in the curry paste. It protects your mind from diseases that ravage your memory. Turmeric helps activate a system in the brain tissue that then causes a potent antioxidant called “bilirubin”to be released, which protects the brain almost like a shield.
Curcumin which is part of turmeric has been proven to have anti-tumor, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
MyKuali Thai Tom Yum Noodle:
Lemongrass is one of the main ingredients in Thai Tom Yum and it has many internal and physical health benefits. It contains antioxidants that can prevent cancer. Lemongrass also has properties that detoxify the body. This can make the digestive organs, liver, pancreas, kidneys, and bladder clean and healthy as toxic substances and uric acid is removed. Furthermore, lemongrass effectively reduces blood pressure; stimulate blood circulation and can reduce hypertension.
TRR> Are you involved in in your local community or participate in charities?
MYKUALI> We currently support the Salvation Army, and hope to contribute to more charities in the future.
TRR> Are there any new products coming soon?
MYKUALI> Definitely, our MyKuali Thai Tom Yum Noodle will be launching in about one month. There will be more Penang Hawker specialty in the streamline and we believe it will surprise the consumers with this new concept of instant noodles.
TRR> When you make noodles for yourself, what do you like to add to them to make them extra special?
MYKUALI> Typically just following the ingredients from the packaging for an authentic and original bowl of Penang White Curry Noodle is sufficient.
However, if you want something different, I feel that any ingredients that is able to soak up the curry soup base is extra special and tasty because the natural ingredient paste in our curry soup base is made up of more than thirty types of spices and it is definitely a perfect blend for a bowl of authentic curry noodle.
For example, you could add the following additional items:
Dried bean curd in cubes or pieces/sheets, fried or hard boiled eggs, shrimps, fish ball, minced meat (precooked first), shredded bbq chicken, lettuce, long beans, eggplants, and any vegetables of your choice.
TRR> Thank you very much for this opportunity to learn about MyKuali and your products!
A lot of information to be sure! Thanks again to Annie Tang of MyKuali and Looking forward to trying these products! I should mention that this will be a ‘split’ Meet The Manufacturer – I will be reviewing their new Tom Yum soon!