Patz serves the best of traditional Dayak food
The name Patz Dayak Home Cook is no stranger to those who frequent Da Light Food Court in King’s Center, scouting for authentic Dayak home cooked food.
Since the stall began operating in June 2011, it has garnered a fan base that also includes tourists from as far as Japan, Korea, Germany and the United Kingdom.
“I’m pleased that my food stall represents traditional Iban food and is available for the enjoyment of people in Kuching, as there are not many food stalls in town serving authentic Iban food.
Most of my customers are Dayak, and I also get regular Chinese customers,” said Patterilla Gupi Augustine, the owner of Patz Dayak Home Cook.
The food court where stall operates is strategically located near institutions of higher learning such as SEGi College and Swinburne University, government offices as well as private offices.
Patterilla, or better known as Pat among her regular customers, feels blessed that her stall has been doing very well and is able to provide the best food and services to her customers.
“I am very new to the food business. Before this I was just a housewife who is passionate about cooking,” explained Pat.
“I have no qualifications in culinary or hospitality and I was only armed with my experience as a housewife cooking traditional Dayak food for family and friends when I first started this stall. Often, I will cook according to my instincts and how I personally feel the food should taste. This is how passionate I am about cooking.”
Sharing her interest in home cooked Iban food, Pat said that she always prepared 12 dishes at a time. She wakes up as early as 7am to prepare her ingredients, and by 11am she is already at her stall, busy attending to her customers.
“I often ask for comments and feedback from my customers because I believe that that’s the only way one can improve and provide the best food and service. After all, they are the reason why I’m still doing what I do,” the grandmother of two beamed.
What makes Patz’s stall stand out is her traditional ‘Pansuh’ dish, which is loved by many and is requested by her customers everyday. And here, one can find chicken, fish and prawn ‘Pansuh’.
In terms of pricing, Pat only charges RM15 per bamboo shoot of ‘Pansuh’, which serves four persons. On top of that, customers have the option of choosing either white rice or red rice to go with their selected dishes.
The local red rice she uses is sourced from her suppliers. Customers who are into exotic food can also find dishes such as frogs - called ‘Pama’ in Iban - and ‘Ulat Mulung’, a type of worm which is edible and considered by some to be very tasty.
“These exotic foods, such as ‘Pama’ and ‘Ulat Mulung’, are very difficult to source. And if I do manage to get them from local suppliers, they do not come cheap. Fortunately, my regulars know that,” she shared.
According to Pat, one kilogramme of ‘Pama’ can easily fetch a price of RM24. And most of the time she only manages to purchase two kilos of this exotic food.
To further improve the quality of the food she serves at Patz Dayak Home Cook, Pat always welcomes constructive criticism and suggestions from her customers. She even share her recipes with them sometimes.
“You’ll be surprised that I actually share traditional recipes with my customers who are more than willing to share their family recipes passed down from one generation to the next. From there I will experiment the recipes at home and invite my family to try them.”
She said that one of the dishes whose recipe her customer had shared with her was chicken cooked with bamboo shoots, which turned out to be one of her more popular dishes.
“I always cook based on what my customers request and I’m always introducing new dishes to add more variety to the current menu,” said the enterprising Iban lady from Betong.
Currently, she is being assisted by her son and a staff she employed. She admitted being short of manpower during peak hours.
“Right now, I hope to expand and operate at a more proper premises. I’m just looking for the right venue,” said a hopeful Pat.
Patz Dayak Home Cook is a Non-Halal food stall, and operates from 11am to 3pm everyday, except Sundays.