Little taste of home for Haj pilgrims in Makkah

The nasi kerabu is among the many dishes made available daily at Malaysian cafetarias in Makkah. Photo used for illustration purposes only.

MAKKAH – Stepping into the cafeterias located at Abraj Al Janadriah, Qsar Al Janadriyah, and Land Premium Hotel which house Malaysian haj pilgrims in the morning, just feel like being at home.

Popular Malaysian dishes including nasi kerabu, nasi lemak, cekodok pisang, kuih kaswi, teh tarik and hot brewing coffee are available at these cafeterias, to suit everyone’s tastes, especially as the Malaysian haj pilgrims gather to enjoy the atmosphere in the morning with family and friends.

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Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH), taking into account Malaysians’ taste buds, ensures that the food sold at the cafeterias can satisfy pilgrims’ appetites as they have the opportunity to choose a different menu every day, from 4 am to 11 pm.

Cafeteria supervisor Mohd Haruji Mohd Yahya said all morning dishes were sold out by 10 am before being replaced with another menu and the average pilgrims would buy after the dawn prayers and return in the afternoon and evening, especially for those who are on umrah.

He added that to ensure food quality and hygiene, all food is being prepared by special chefs by maintaining the same recipe, especially traditional kuihs (sweet or savoury snacks).

“This cafeteria is to facilitate the pilgrims to get food and every morning we will sell up to 10 types of dishes and the best-selling dishes are nasi lemak and burgers.

“The response has been very encouraging and we also sell ready-to-eat food by just putting it in hot water,” he said, adding that he plans to increase the products of small and medium industry (SMI) entrepreneurs in the future.

Meanwhile, one of the pilgrims, Zaimah Sulong, 56, said the kuihs sold at the cafeteria satisfy her taste buds, with a similar taste to those sold in her hometown, Kuala Terengganu.

She added that although the price is different and a little expensive, at least it can help satisfy her longing to home as she will be in the Holy Land for more than 40 days.

Another pilgrim, Shahril Fadzli Hanifa, 40, is of the view that the sales in the accommodation buildings provide convenience to haj pilgrims and they do not have to travel far, especially when the weather is hot.

TH provides a cafeteria with a similar concept in all its accommodation buildings – Abraj Al Janadriah, Qsar Al Janadriyah, and Land Premium Hotel, for the convenience of Malaysian haj pilgrims.