Ahmad Gasm Elseed Magbool
Restaurant Owner, 2018
MBA in Project Management
“If you want to be the best, you have to be a Limkokwing graduate, and that is why I chose Limkokwing.”
06 March 2018
Limkokwing Alumni Open Malaysia’s First Sudanese Restaurant
Ahmad Gasm Elseed Magbool, 25, runs Malaysia’s very first Sudanese restaurant, AlMohtaram House in Cyberjaya, with the aim of one day exporting the brand worldwide.
Ahmad first came to Malaysia from Sudan back in 2011 to gain his degree in Architecture at Limkokwing University of Creative Technology.
He graduated in 2015 and went on to complete an MBA in 2017, also at Limkokwing.
“If you want to be the best, you have to be a Limkokwing graduate, and that is why I chose Limkokwing,” he said when asked how he decided where to study.
Sharing Sudanese Culture
Ahmad and his brother Kamal Gasm Elseed Magbool opened AlMohtaram House in 2016 with the intention “to share the culture and food of Sudan to all the people here in Malaysia and around the world”.
It is the first Sudanese restaurant in Malaysia, and the brothers found it a challenge to get customers try their food initially.
“After we opened this restaurant we realised that no one here really knows about Sudanese food so in the first six months we started off by giving free meals to our customers. They liked it and kept coming back,” he said with a smile.
The young restaurateur said that he gained invaluable insight from Limkokwing’s multinational environment, which gave him the confidence to start his business.
“When I came to Malaysia, I had no idea about other cultures like the Malay, Indian, Chinese, Arabic, Yemeni – I just met them here in Limkokwing when I did my Degree and Masters and I learned a lot about these cultures.
“When I opened this restaurant, I felt like I can deal with them; I can talk to them; I know everything about their culture and I want them to know about my culture too.”
He even learned simple phrases from a number of different languages, which he uses to entice customers from different countries.
“Because of Limkokwing, I know all these cultures – there are 30,000 people from over 150 countries, all in this one place,” he said.
Passion for Cooking
Ahmad found that he had a knack for cooking only when he came to Malaysia in 2011, as it dawned on him that he had to purchase every meal.
“There was no one to make food for me and I had to buy. So I tried to remember how I can cook this and that. I even went on YouTube to find recipes. As days went by, my friends were saying it was the best food they had tasted,” he recounted.
The turning point for the brothers, however, was during Limkokwing’s 2013 Cultural Night when thousands of people from across the globe gave positive feedback to the food they prepared.
“I remember that in 2013, it was my first time attending the cultural night at Limkokwing to cook some Sudanese food for them.
“I cooked for them and since that day, I thought, I have to create a place for all these people to come and taste this food,” he said.
Al-Mohtram House has since flourished, even hosting VIP guests like the Ambassador of Sudan and officials from the Sudanese embassy.
Ahmad and his brother have big plans for the AlMohtaram House brand, starting with the second branch in Kuala Lumpur and, eventually, expanding worldwide.
“Our future plan is to open a new branch in KL – that is going to be very soon. Inshallah. After that maybe East Malaysia and other Asian countries, maybe around the world.
“Anyone who comes and tastes the Sudanese food here will say it’s the best Sudanese food they’ve had. Just come and try – you will like it as well,” he said.