GEORGE TOWN: It’s 34°C outside. Your mind keeps drifting off to a bowl of iced Penang cendol.
But you live in Selangor and unless you have the means of hiring a helicopter, like a nasi kandar fan reportedly did, how do you manage your craving?
Fret not because there are delivery professionals who would ensure the cendol you fancy from up north would arrive exactly as served at the stall.
To prevent it from melting during the almost 400km journey, the shaved ice and condiments are kept at near-freezing temperatures. Other condiments, such as the green cendol jelly, will be kept chilled.
Such food orders are collected at a hub in Penang in the morning and then sent to a hub in Puchong, Selangor, before they are delivered to the customers, said Gary Teoh, founder of iOnefood.
“Ice kacang and cendol are popular dessert orders but among the most difficult to deliver.
“Some ingredients need to be frozen a day ahead while some should not be frozen.
“They are sealed in insulated containers and handed to separate end-delivery transports,” he said.
The cendol and ice kacang are from the popular Swatow Lane ice kacang stall at New World Park in Burma Road, George Town.
Another popular order is char koay teow, sourced from the Kampung Jawa char koay teow stall in Bayan Baru, albeit with a modified recipe.
“After months of study, the cook came up with a better frying method,” said Teoh.
He explained that the noodles would be kept in plastic containers with the lid open for cooling.
“Customers need only reheat the noodles in the microwave oven for two minutes,” he said.
As for the chee cheong fun from Macalister Lane, Teoh said they would be vacuum-sealed with sauces packed separately.
Teoh, 56, started the business venture about three months ago.
“My family has a long tradition of running a kopitiam in Penang,” he said, adding that as a logistician, he wanted to support the hawkers during the pandemic.
“We only make 50 sen to RM2 from hawkers for each packet of food delivered,” he said.
To date, Teoh has 14 active hawkers, with eight more to be confirmed by the end of this month.
Some of these family-based business hawkers in Penang have been around for more than 90 years.
Orders are delivered on Thursdays and Saturdays.
So far, there have been positive comments from customers such as those posted on Penang One, the company’s Facebook page for the Penang segment.
“Food is really good – as expected,” posted a customer named Evelyn.
Another person, known as Adrien, wrote: “Char kuey teow really good, plan for next order again.”