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Mohd Khalid Adam Mohamad with two of his dishes. Pix by L.Manimaran
Murals on the walls of Sarang Art Hub in Tanjung Malim. Pix by L.Manimaran
Customers at Sarang Art Hub. Pix by L.Manimaran

His father is an award-winning film director, but Mohd Khalid Adam Mohamad decided to take a different path and ventured into the culinary world instead, the owner of Sarang Art Hub in Tanjung Malim talks about his passion

BEING the son of renowned film director Mamat Khalid of Zombi Kampung Pisang fame, it came as a surprise when Mohd Khalid Adam Mohamad did not choose to follow in his father’s footsteps to become a film-maker.

Instead, the 22-year-old decided to open his own cafe, Sarang Art Hub, in operation since last year.

“To me, art encompasses a wide range of creative ideas. Cooking is a form of art too.

“That is the reason why I named this cafe Sarang Art Hub. It is also part of my family business,” said Adam.

Located in Tanjung Malim next to a railway line, the cafe occupies the former rest house at the 100-year-old building and was formerly used as a recording studio.

The black and white wooden building is painted with portraits of famous local and international artistes including Tan Sri P. Ramlee, Marilyn Monroe, Amitabh Bachchan, Jet Li and Bob Marley. to name a few.

From a distance, the familiar sounds of evergreen songs can be heard from the cafe. A drum set is strategically placed at the cafe’s entrance and those wishing to have a jamming session are welcome to do so.

Inside the cafe, a vintage jukebox and barber chair lend a nostalgic charm. Adorning the walls are memorable quotes from P. Ramlee’s hit movies and paintings from Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris art lecturer Dr Mohd Zahuri Khairani, which are available for sale.

Adam said his father and mother, Hasmah Hassan, 55, had always been supportive of his culinary venture.

“All my siblings are good with music instruments except me.

“When my parents told us that they were thinking of opening a cafe, I was put to the task. It was not easy at first, but I believe nothing is impossible.

“I was worried that I couldn’t handle it, but with help from my family members, everything has been a breeze.

“It is hard to maintain a business, but I believe all the hard work that we had put in will pay off one day as long as we persevere Insya-Allah,” said Adam.

When asked about his specialty dish, he said: “Western food such as chicken chop.”

Although Adam devotes most of his time to running the cafe, he occasionally lends his talent as an actor.

He has starred in his father’s films Man Laksa (2006), Zombi Kampung Pisang (2008), Hantu Kak Limah Balik Rumah (2010), Zombi Kilang Biskut (2014) and the upcoming horror comedy Amukan Buas Frankenstein, to be released later this year.

Adam said he was first bitten by the acting bug at five years old, having starred in a telemovie which his father directed, titled Mat Nor Kushairi & The Velvet Boys.

“I was so young and my father decided to rope me in the telemovie. Even though I got my first taste in the film industry at such a young age, I didn’t enjoy it very much,” he said.

At 13, he said, he found his passion in cooking.

“I was at my uncle’s home and saw him preparing food for the family. I remember watching him and becoming so inspired by the creative work that went into it. I knew then what I wanted to do for a living... but I didn’t know it was going to be a lot of work and fun.

His dad’s films inspired some of the dishes in the cafe.

“Some of my dishes at the cafe are named after the movie that I was involved in, such as Nasi Goreng Petai Kak Limah Mengilai, Nasi Goreng Kampung Pisang and Mee Goreng Pak Jabit.

“People will always remember these catchy names because of the movies,” he said.

When asked what set his food apart from other cafes in the area, he said they were “secret ingredients”.

“People have repeatedly asked me why I named my cafe, Sarang Art Hub. Sarang means a nest, a place for young people to meet, network and showcase their talents in music, art and acting. This is a right platform for them to display their creative side.

“I believe everyone has a unique talent. All they need is a platform to discover it.

“Just look at me... I am the third of five siblings. All my brother and sisters are very artistic musically because they can play music instruments. However, my talent lies in cooking”.

Asked about his future plans, Adam said he planned to open a Sarang Art Hub cafe in Ipoh.

“I am also planning to organise cooking classes for visitors. I believe that there are a lot of young people out there who love to cook, but they have nowhere to go to realise their passion,” he said.

Sarang Art Hub is open daily between 3pm and 11pm, except on Thursdays.

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