For the second consecutive year, a Malaysian-owned halal restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City has won 'The Guide Awards 2010' which honours outstanding entrepreneurs in tourism and service sectors in Vietnam.
The three-storey Halal@Saigon -- located opposite the Central Mosque and the luxury Sheraton Hotel -- won the award in the best eatery category of the guide awards organised by the Vietnam Economic Times.
Nutritionist Dr M. Shimi Sumathi, who founded the restaurant, said awards were presented to 125 leading tourism businesses in Vietnam, including five-star hotels, during the award presentation ceremony in Danang city recently.
"This is in recognition of the service and quality of food which we provide. This is also a recognition of the Malaysian cuisine," she told Bernama.
The Taiping-born Dr Shimi, who has lived in Vietnam for more than 15 years, is the managing director of Prime Suppliers which operates a pharmaceutical business.
"I have been here more than a decade, and was thinking of opening a restaurant. There was great demand for halal Malaysian and Vietnamese cuisines...so, I set up this place," said Dr Shimi, who is also president of the Malaysia-Vietnam Chamber of Commerce.
"Although there are several halal outlets in the city, there are not many which serve a variety of Malaysian, Indian, Western and Vietnamese cuisines in a single outlet. That is why our outlet is popular," she said.
With her motto of 'No Borders, No Boundaries', Halal is only my Vision', Dr Shimi opened the restaurant in February last year, with three local chefs and three Malaysians.
It serves Malaysian food like mee mamak, roti canai, western dishes and Vietnam favourites such as fish claypot, fresh spring rolls and grilled mussels.
Dr Shimi said her customers include locals, expatriates and Malaysians working or visiting the city which was once known as Saigon.