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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Malaysian Fast Food for Honolulu?

Malaysian Fast Food for Honolulu?

Malaysia's popular fast-food chain, SugarBun, is eyeing Honolulu for its first American outlet.

Courtesy SugarBun

Here's the most exotic bit of restaurant news to reach Biting Commentary in months.

The Star (Malaysia) reports that the fast food chain, SugarBun, is planning to open a franchise in Honolulu near a university campus.

Owned by Borneo Oil, SugarBun is Malaysia's most popular fast-foodery, with large, destination center restaurants. The company is on an aggressive franchising campaign, with 34 locations, mainly in Malaysia, but also Brunei and Bangladesh.

New locations will also include Melbourne, Australia.

Despite the name, SugarBun is not a bakery. It is apparently KFC, McDonald's and local Malaysian food all wrapped into one colorful package.


The company once served only Western-style fast food. In 2001 it rebooted  its menu to improve the Western food and add Asian dishes like beef ball mee hoon, a noodle dish, and nasi lemak (left), the spicy coconut cream rice that is the national dish of Malaysia.

I can hardly wait for a restaurant whose idea of a Happy Meal is roasted chicken, seasoned rice and fresh pickles. Or whose idea of dessert is ais katang, the Malaysian form of halo halo—shave ice plus jellies, ice cream and condensed milk.

Or whose company creed is, "Team Spirit excels all the way/ HAPPY, HAPPY Everyday."

Contacted by email, SugarBun's general manager, Raymond Teo, wrote that Honolulu plans were still preliminary.  "We shall keep in touch with you once the restaurant is operating in the near future."

And you thought Honolulu already had everything.

Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2011 in Permalink

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About This Column

From five-star restaurants to hidden holes-in-the-wall, Biting Commentary will let you know what’s hot and what’s not. Find out the latest restaurant news—who’s opening, who’s closing, which chef is moving on, where the great special dinners are. Discover the best menu items, fabulous wines, stunning cocktails, hand-crafted beers. Be the first to hear about upcoming food events and festivals.

Food editor Martha Cheng graduated from Wellesley College with degrees in Computer Science and English. She's a former line cook, food truck owner, Peace Corps volunteer and Google techie. Follow her on Twitter @marthacheng.


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