By FMT and The Level
Muslim sushi lovers nearly choked on their ‘Hotate’ when rumours began circulating that one of the country’s largest sushi chains – the appropriately-named Sushi King – may not be halal. No wasabi was needed to make many weep as they pointed to the supposedly incriminating fact that none of the franchise’s outlets display JAKIM’s official ‘halal’ certificate.
In response to the growing furor, Sushi King bigwigs have stepped forward to categorically state that the wildly-popular sushi brand has, for years, been in an advanced stage of the approval and certification process by JAKIM.
We spoke to the founder and Executive Chairman of Texchem Resources Berhad (Sushi King’s parent company) – Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr Fumihiko Konishi – during the launch of the chain’s 100th outlet in Malaysia, at AEON Shah Alam recently.
“We applied for the halal logo around 5 years ago, when our main source’s factory was in Thailand,” said Fumihiko. “But when a tragedy struck the factory, we had to find another source of supply, which was in Japan – and it was non-halal. That’s why we couldn’t proceed with the application for some time.
“But since then, we have tried our best to find reliable halal suppliers, and even made sure that we have more than one source,” he added.
“Now, we have established a halal supply chain, and applied for JAKIM’s halal certification. We will be officially certified in a few months”.
So Muslim fans of Sushi King can rest easy and continue nibbling their Hana Maki, as the Department of Islamic Advancement of Malaysia has indeed confirmed that their heretofore-beloved franchise is indeed above-board.
Sushi King itself is confident that the current confusion and hoo-ha will blow over, as more outlets are set to mushroom across the country in the near future (yay!), and plans are in place to expand the Malaysia-based brand to the rest of Southeast Asia.
Sushi King’s conveyor belt concept restaurant was the pioneer in bringing affordable sushi to Malaysia’s masses when it first opened its doors in 1995. Let’s hope it continues to serve and mass-welcome us with “Iraishaimase!!” for many years to come.
(And no – Sushi King is not our advertiser, and we were not paid to write a PR damage control piece!).
Based on an article published in FMT’s new youth portal, The Level.