GoGeena Café, the new kid on the block with a difference

Adrian preparing food at his work station when working for a hotel in Miri.

By Wilfred Pilo

GOGEENA CAFE in Kuching is a newly minted casual and comfortable eatery owned by businesswoman Regina Jemeni and her chef son, Adrian Gawing Kenny Jimbon.

DayakDaily recently spoke to this charming mother and son on their venture into the culinary world.

Adrian, who graduated from a local culinary college and who always dreamed of having his own kitchen and café, said the concept of GoGeena is based on hotel standards but the food is sold at very affordable prices.

“I want people to be spoilt for choices. I want to share with them the dishes that I prepared and cooked as a chef in several five-star hotels.

“On top of that, I want to educate people the right way to consume their food and also on how to use cutlery in the right way. Diners at times don’t know what cutlery to use. If they do, they can enjoy the dishes and the ambience of the place with their companions and friends,” he reckoned.

Adrian said their café serve and cater gastronomical choices of food with cosmopolitan taste in ala carte styles.

The front of GoGeena Cafe at Cheema Building in Jalan Tun Ahmad Zaidi, Kuching.

He recommends the following specialities: Flatbread chicken caesar wrap, Assam curry fish head, Asam pedas fish head, Belachan bee hoon with century eggs, Ayam perchik with fried rice or with Steamed white rice and Grilled lamb shoulder.

Adrian said there were many more dishes that diners could choose from, such as Stew dishes in claypot with steam rice, Meat curry dishes with steamed rice, Savoury soup with steam rice, Salads for vegetarian and non-vegetarian, Burgers, Spring rolls and many more finger-licking good food.

“We have dishes of Asean and Asian flavours and, of course, western dishes. All these can be down with our wide selection of cold and hot beverages,” he said.

Adrian revealed that the cafe also has buffet-style offerings upon request, and GoGeena Café has a 60-seating capacity.

“Once the first floor is fully renovated and done, we can also do private functions and event management with a maximum capacity of 170 people. It can cater for official functions,  reunions and for birthdays.

“Our clients can always discuss with us their budgets and what we can offer. We are flexible. Like many catering businesses, we do catering services to those who want our meals in their own environment,” he shared.

The casual interior setting of GoGeena Cafe at Cheema Building.

While the kitchen is helmed by Adrian, his mentor and mother, Regina, keeps an eagle eye on both tangible and intangible aspects of their business.

“I am glad my son, Adrian, finally ventures into the culinary business and even named the place after my nickname `Geena’.

“My business acumen always tells me that there must also be a personal touch to whom we meet and serve. There are no differences in this business, and I think here in a cafe environment, we need this to ensure that we can give all the comfort to our customers.

“No matter how good the food taste, if they cannot enjoy it, then it defeats the whole purpose,” she said as a matter-of-factly.

Popular choices from GoGeena Café (from top left) Pulled Beef BBQ sauce in flatbread, Chicken Caesar Salad, Garden Salad with Crispy Chicken, Crispy Chicken Burger, Grilled Beef burger, Nasi Goreng Cornbeef Pattaya, Chicken Caesar Flatbread, Ayam Percik pita bread and Ayam Percik with steam white rice.

Besides ensuring customers get good meals, GoGeena also does `little things’ like educating their customers about their menu and trying to remember the customers’ names.

“This is the personal touch and the kind of hospitality service we must have in order to sustain this kind of business,” she revealed.

Regina said they sometimes give complimentary food such as dessert, to give that extra personal and build rapport with their diners. In addition, their staff are trained to serve customers properly.

“We want them to leave the cafe in a positive note and, hopefully, our gesture makes them come back for more and recommend the establishment to their friends and family. Thus, we want the cafe to be a place to meet each other and have good meals,” she said.

GoGeena Café’s business hours are from 11am to 10pm from Mondays to Saturdays. For more information, call 012-8867615 or 016-8719856. — DayakDaily