Imah Babaturan is a small food stall in the Taman Sari area of Bandung whose name is already familiar and popular among culinary lovers in Bandung, even in Jakarta. This place is very famous for its very delicious Cumi Cabai Ijo (Green Chili Calamari). However, who would have thought that at the beginning of its establishment, this mainstay menu was never in the original menu plan. This time in Bandung Neighborhood, we talked with the owner Imah Babaturan who is familiarly called Uyul. Here’s our fun and casual interview with him.
Q: Can you introduce yourself first?
A: My name is Muhammad Nurul Huda, I am the owner of Imah Babaturan. Apart from this, I also run a coffee shop and convection business. Before running Imah Babaturan, I worked for 8 or 9 years at a clothing 347 store and decided to resign in 2015.
Q: Where does your culinary passion come from?
A: Maybe from my mother. My mother is very good at cooking. In the past, when she still lived in Bogor, she owned a tongseng stall which was selling very well. My education was also funded by that. Even though I actually can’t really cook, my passion for business in the culinary field has come down to me.
Q: You graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics. How did an economics student finally get to have Imah Babaturan?
A: It’s a long journey. Actually, since my college days, I’ve been trying to trade and earn my own money. In the past, when the internet was booming, my friends and I made a kind of business proposal. We started looking for investors around 98 or 99. After the internet cafe business, we looked for what was more crowded, when Sony Playstation was hype, we made game rentals. Yes, I kept on changing businesses. Failed, tried again, failed, and tried again. I did that while studying and working too. Until finally in 2015 I decided to resign, starting to focus on business. That’s where Imah Babaturan’s adventure began.
Q : How did Imah Babaturan start? What initial concept do you want to offer?
A: Actually, there was no concept at all when we first made it. Imah Babaturan came because of limitations. So the story is that in 2015 actually opened a hat convection business first, long story short I was cheated by a close friend and then all the capital ran out. Because I had little money left, I finally tried to do some kind of fundraising for Imah Babaturan’s initial capital. In 2015, I made a business presentation to my wife’s family. Grateful to be able even though it is very limited. So from there I thought about how to open it but with minimal capital. So, for furniture, we look for second-hand shops around Ahmad Yani Street. Even though it turned out that the cost of repairing it was expensive. So you could say Imah Babaturan didn’t have any big concept at the beginning. The important thing is to be able to sell with limited funds.
Q: That’s very interesting. For those of us who saw the concept of Imah Babaturan, it’s really indie.
A: The concept itself comes from the assessment of the customers who come, not from us hahaha.
Q: You said you can’t cook. Then where did the concept of the food menu come from?
A: All the menus at Imah Babaturan are actually recipes passed down from my mother to the house assistant who helped me at my house in Bogor. Currently, she is a kind of head chef in our kitchen. So when I decided on the menu first, I just remembered what my mother liked to cook. For example, Tongseng Kambing or Nasi Goreng, it can be sold, so let’s continue. So when we first opened, we tested the market. As with the weekly menu, those are all recipes from my mother. Because our kitchen is limited, so we put in 2 or 3 weekly menus every week. So that our regular guests don’t get bored.