KUALA LUMPUR, July 9 (Bernama) -- Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has expressed the hope that 'The Loaf', Malaysia's premium Japanese-inspired bakery, will spread its wings abroad to countries like Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan.
Tun Mahathir, who is The Loaf chairman, also hopes the bakery would be franchised once it is ready to open up to other parties.
"At the moment we're not confident just yet. We don't want the franchisees to lose money, we want them to make money. I think one day when we are more confident we will expand the business," he said at the 'Taste the Experience of Sweet Indulgence' event at The Loaf outlet in the Sogo shopping mall here today.
Also present were his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali and The Loaf managing director Jiro Suzuki.
The event saw the launch of The Loaf's improved signature products, the Creamy Ampan (Japanese red bean buns) and U-hu-hu cheesecake. It was also the official launch of The Loaf Sogo as the 11th outlet.
The Loaf concept offers Japanese-style bread and pastry items baked by Japanese master bakers using premium quality ingredients, mostly imported from Japan and Europe.
The first outlet was opened in Langkawi in 2006 followed by several others including at Empire Shopping Gallery, Subang Jaya; Pavillion Kuala Lumpur; Bangsar Village II and The Mines.
The Creamy Ampan, a fluffy bun with red bean filling, is offered in three flavours -- Fresh Cream, Expresso Coffee and Green Tea.
"Unlike other buns and pastries that we enjoy while it's hot, this Ampan is best served chilled because of its cream filling," said Suzuki.
The U-hu-hu range, introduced five years ago, is offered in two cream-based doughs.
U-hu-hu cheese is baked cheesecake with an improved recipe, being less cheesy and less sweet with a non-fruit base, while the U-hu-hu Cream is a non-baked cream cheesecake with a fresh and lightly sour taste, and is yogurt cream-based.
The Creamy Ampan is available at all outlets from today while the U-hu-hu, offered in 19 flavours, is available on July 15.
Today's event also served as an advance celebration of Tun Mahathir's 88th birthday, which falls on July 10 (tomorrow).
Both he and his wife, whose birthday falls on July 12, blew candles served on a three-tier U-hu-hu cheesecake.