SEREMBAN: Kampung Jiboi Baru folk are a proud lot now after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim dropped by to savour their signature dessert known as Cendol Songkok Tinggi here.

The Prime Minister had visited the outlet located in Ampangan to try out the coconut milk-based iced dessert en route to perform Friday prayers at the Dato’ Klana Petra Mohd Yusof mosque in Sikamat.

Apart from its staff who can be seen wearing the eponymous ‘songkok tinggi’, the stall is also known for its cendol, which features a decadent syrup consisting of palm, brown and cane sugars as well as scoops of canned sweet corn, red beans and glutinous rice or pulut.

Co-owner Ahmad Dani Daud, 42, said his staff, who are also residents in the area, had been working tirelessly since they got news that Anwar was planning to make a stop.

“The Prime Minister’s Office only confirmed his visit two days ago. It was all helter skelter as we wanted to make sure we were fully prepared,” he said.

When news of the high-profile visit broke, Ahmad Dani started getting visits from many quarters, including the police, village committees and the public, who were keen to catch a glimpse of the Prime Minister.

He said what made the outlet different was the fact that it was started by 10 friends who wanted to run a community-based business.

“Some of them, including my father, were government servants who had opted to retire early.

“Since they had time on their hands, they thought of doing something to keep themselves busy and started off with a small-scale catering business in 2010,” he said.

One of the 10 friends had sound knowledge of making songkok tinggi, and that was how the business got its name.

He said business began to grow and new items were introduced on the menu.

They then decided to set up the outlet, with dishes such as mee laksa Johor, mee rebus Johor, jemput-jemput bilis/udang/bawang (also known as cekodok in other states), soto, lontong, nasi lemak and traditional Johor cakes on the menu.

“We chose to promote dishes popular in Johor as my dad was from Segamat and there is not much variety of such food here.

“Also, since someone was already selling mee bandung (popular in Johor) in the area, we chose not to do so as we wanted to be unique,” he said.

Ahmad Dani said his father’s friends used to supply the additional dishes and these would be sold at the outlet.

“Today, we are being invited to do catering all over the peninsula and are happy to be able to promote the Kampung Jiboi Baru brand,” he said.