BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – Iskandar Curry House, one of Brunei’s most beloved roti canai joints, is looking to strengthen its brand and expand the franchise in both local and overseas markets.
Local businessman Del Goh bought the restaurant from its original owners two years ago, which led to the opening of a second branch – initially located at the Annajat Complex but moved to One Riverside, Gadong earlier this year.
Goh said he wants to showcase the potential of Bruneian food and restaurant franchises in the international market.
“Definitely we want to franchise Iskandar Curry House on an international scale, but we are taking it slow, focusing on expanding it locally first.” he said.
“The idea is to bring the franchise outside of the region, to Europe, or Australia, for example, because we see Iskandar Curry House as having the potential to go anywhere in the world.”
Del added that he has received interest from companies in Malaysia, but negotiations are still in the early stage.
“For us to morph Iskandar Curry House into a successful franchise, we have to establish standards for how things are being made in the kitchen. It is vital, so that the quality and taste of the food products can be replicated for future franchisees anywhere in the world.”
Iskandar Curry House first opened its doors in 2004 at a shophouse in Kg Lambak, Berakas, managed by married couple Muhammad Iskandar Shah Abdullah and Noralizah Manshor for almost 15 years. It fast became a local institution, famous for its roti canai and murtabak.
Del said a new brand image for Iskandar Curry House has been adopted at the second outlet, utilising Brunei imagery such as the water village and the Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Mosque.
“Hopefully this concept will become a staple part of the brand once it is brought outside, because ultimately we want to see something that is made in Brunei, that features our local taste… it would be a nice success story for Brunei.”
However, the facade of the original branch in Lambak will be kept as it is to maintain its authenticity, Del added.
“We are conscious in our decision to let that one [the first outlet] look exactly as it is. There’s a kopitiam feel to it, its very authentic and they have their own loyal customer base. The new and future branches is where we can be more creative [with our branding]”.”
The restauranteur, who also owns the Chicken Rice Shop franchise, said he is also keen to explore other local products which have the potential to be brought overseas.