Baker Sim combines biotech and culinary interests to create healthy artisanal bread and western dishes

Sim shows some of the bread he sells at his restaurant.
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by Wilfred Pilo

KUCHING, April 14: Armed with a biotechnology degree, Meldon Calvin Sim could easily land a job in agriculture, medicine or conservation, but working as a 9-to-5 employee did not appeal to him.

Instead, after he graduated from Universiti Sarawak Malaysia (Unimas), Sim joined an acquaintance he met at university to embark on a culinary journey to serve healthy gourmet grub and bread at Petanak Food Court.

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The 35-year-old Sim remembers that was when and where he started making healthy sandwiches, burgers and other finger food for customers at his friend’s stall.

“That was some 14 years ago, and I would describe the venture as fun, better than working for others, and job satisfaction with a reasonable income.

“But sadly, within a year, my friend had some family problems and decided we stop operating.

“Despite the temporary setback—we are still buddies—I continued with my culinary endeavour until the present day, whilst my friend went to Singapore and worked there.

“Fast forward, it’s bizarre now I own an eatery and continue making healthy food and more niche choices of artisan bread,” he revealed to DayakDaily.

Artisan bread for sale at Wrap & Go.
Some of the pastry available for sale at Wrap & Go.

Lim does not regret getting a degree in biotechnology. He used this knowledge and applied it to his culinary business, and with more research he created recipes that he believed better suited local palates.

“With my knowledge in biotechnology and my heart in culinary, I opened my stall and a bakery at the halal section of Stutong Community Market in 2016 before moving on and combining it with a restaurant concept eatery at RH Plaza Commercial Centre in 2019.

“I am here till now, continued making better, healthier artisan bread like sourdough, pizza, and baguette bread which I can use in my western food too.”

Lim shared that his bread is healthy. He uses shortening and no hydrogenated vegetable fat.

Daily, he makes 8 to 12 varieties of bread, sourdough, baguettes, pastry, cupcakes and other baked goods for his business and supplies them across the city.

“So apart from fresh bread, I have good choices of western food consisting of salads, soups, entrées, many choices of main dishes, pizzas, burgers, pasta and a few signature dishes that are a must-try for customers.”

With more staff on board to assume his duties and restaurant operations, Sim started to expand his focus and business venture by partnering with friends to locally produce sauces and jam spreads with local and imported ingredients.

Various types of nut spread which are available for purchase.

“So we have a choice of sauces—yoghurt, jam, and nut spreads like almonds, cashews, peanuts, and pickled veggies at our bakery-cum-restaurant.”

He added that they produce sauces that they believe would suit the local palate and they supplied them to eateries across Sarawak and Sabah.

Sim shared that his other business ventures are taken care of by his partner and he contributes to product development.

On his future culinary endeavours, Sim revealed that he will soon open a western steak house named Inferno at the locality of Northbank along the Kuching-Kota Samarahan Expressway where food will be cooked over a charcoal fire.

“The eatery is still under renovation and will have more sitting capacity compared to the one I have here.I also will have Asian cuisines to give wider choice and cater to more palates,” he said.

Some of the western dishes served at Wrap & Go.

Sim encourages his staff to be innovative and to do their research and development but respect cultural tastes and preferences.

“In eating you have to have variety but they must be healthy; don’t indulge yourself too much but choose what suits your palate.

“And, it is also important not to make a mockery of authentic dishes so that we can always enjoy our food culture and tradition,” he said.

Sim’s bakery and restaurant Wrap & Go is located at RH Plaza Commercial Centre. It operates daily from 11am to 9pm except Mondays. For more information, call 016 894 1912. — DayakDaily

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