Monday, June 14

For the love of a hobby

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REMINGTON Ling turned his back on a good-paying job to pursue his hobby.

GAMERS IN ACTION: Customers playing RPG

And though he runs a café now, it’s not the love of selling food that drove him to start the business but sheer passion for his cup of tea – Role Playing Games (RPG). Ling, proprietor of Myst Café at 101 Premier Commercial Centre, Kuching, was a ICT programmer and earning big money before calling it quits after two years.

“The salary was good I have to admit but then I thought – could I see myself doing the same thing 10 years down the road,” the computer science degree holder and RPG enthusiast said on why he gave up a prospective ICT career.

After some-soul searching, he realised he wanted to do something different, and the love for his avocation held sway.

That was when he got the idea of opening Myst Café. Before that, he had worked at a local restaurant as an apprentice, learning the ropes about running a public eatery.

After two months, he decided to branch out on his own. Myst Café was set up in April last year.

“I wanted to run a gaming shop but I knew that won’t be feasible so I opted for a cafe where I could still pursue my hobby … and even promote it ” he explained.

Myst Cafe is the first in the city to offer RPG as an attraction. Selling RPG merchandise is also on Ling’s cards.

Although not admitting to being a food connoisseur, he has, however, shown a keen interest in food preparation.

The food at the café is the product of excellent teamwork between Ling, the chef, Farid El Islam, and the bartender, Stefan Lim.

They all pitch in – everyone is involved in the food tasting, including Ling’s gaming buddies, but Ling has the fi nal say.

The menu comprises western cuisine with a local fl avour to suit local palate. The latest additions are grilled items such as mackerel, cuttle fi sh, petai and prawns grilled with slices of lady’s fi ngers. Myst’s other offerings include the popular Shepard’s pie and the deluxe set comprising mini pizzas, stuffed eggs, potato cups, stuffed pita bread, slices of homemade garlic bread, potato wedges and yam fries.

For snacks, customers have the choice of lamb, chicken and beef. For pizzas, they can go for tomato beef salsa, mushroom chicken and black pepper lamb.

Besides the normal beverages, the list includes house drinks which are the bartender’s concoctions such as Black and White, made up of Oreo biscuits; Pink Lady; strawberries and whipped cream and chocolate milk shake.

There is more to come, promised Ling, now working with his team to improve the menu. One defi nite new dish is chicken and beef curry.

Aware that Myst Café has still a long way to go (the café is less than a year old – Ling himself is only 26 and his team are all less than 25), Ling is open to suggestions from his regulars.

“I intend to make Myst a great place to hang out – a place by the people for the people.” Ling has no regrets over the choices he made regarding his career. Now, he has the advantage of indulging in his hobby, at the same time, earning a living from his food venture.

“I just want RPG players to know there is a place they can come and chill out with likeminded people.”