The Best Bakso Soup in Penang and the person behind, Kak Novi
Kak Novi preparing red hot chilli peppers to serve with Bakso
Another picture in Black & White to showcase the roadside stall Kak Novi has been selling her Bakso for the passed 20 over years
Bakso Kak Novi - Origin
BAKSO NOVI has a pretty dark history before it gets to enjoy its fame and recognition today.
Kak NOVI as shown in the picture above, faced many difficulties and obstacles in life for the past two decades before her Authentic Indonesian Bakso became popular and well received among the neighbourhood and community she currently resides in.
Being the eldest daughter of four, the responsibilities and expectations are naturally high on her, putting breads on table became a MUST, especially being the eldest daughter of a not-so-well-off family.
Similar to most families who find themselve struggling to make end meets, there are very limited amount of job opportunities within Helvetia, Medan Region of Indonesia.
Unlike the rest of her siblings, she refused to live a life with little to no achievement, and she made the decision to leave her hometown, to travel all the way to Penang Malaysia to scout for more opportunities in life.
On year 2000, Kak Novi worked as Factory Operator in Fairchild Semiconductor Penang till year 2005.
Kak Novi's husband, also known as Pak Lah, is one of the key person that contributed to Bakso Novi's success
Pak Lah ready to rinse the cooked Vermicelli ( Bihun )
On year 2005, Kak Novi married Pak Lah, as shown in the picture above. For the next several years, Kak Novi and Pak Lah lived a typical after-marriage life. It wasn't until Kak Novi finally delivered her second born, she started to suffer mental illness(anxiety disorder) due to lack of goals and objective in life, while Pak Lah went working as a regular white collar.
In order to recover from her mental illness, Kak Novi tried selling Longtong Sayur a.k.a Curry Sauce steamed vegetables by the street just outside her apartment. For an individual with zero experiences in cooking, Kak Novi had to ask her neighbour to teach her to cook, and she also purchase cookery book to learn how to produce a simple dish such as Longtong Sayur.
Kak Novi started her Lontong Sayur business right after she finished learning from several neighbours. With a business capital of only MYR 20, and using an old worn-out computer table as her desk, without electrical supply and any water source, Kak Novi start her very first business.
Longtong sayur wasn't popularly received by local Malaysians during Kak Novi's day, therefore, the revenue Kak Novi managed to secure wasn't enough to bring her business to the next level.
Moreover, selling food by the roadside also caused several abruption by the local state council where the state council personnel will frequently ask for bribe, or forced Kak Novi to shut down her business with summons issued. Despite the fact that both husband and wife's income are insufficient to live a comfortable life, both Kak Novi and Pak Lah have to pay off the summons issued to them.
Kak Novi's mother, the woman who created the delicious Novi's version of Bakso Soup
Year 2011 was the year Kak Novi almost reach her illness' breaking point. Everything seemed upside down regardless of the huge amount of efforts she has invested in her business, or as a at-home mother, situation did not turn out very well for her.
It was during one of Kak Novi's phone conversation with her mother, Kak Novi was asked to switch from selling Longtong Sayur to Indonesian Bakso instead. Since Indonesian Bakso wasn't a very easily accessible food around Penang Island, Kak Novi decided to heed her mother's advice and took all the Bakso making methodology and recipes from her mother over the phone with handwritten note for her record.
Huge pot Bakso soup
Getting each Bakso ready to be braised
Kak Novi slice open a PLUS shape to allow meatball to cook thoroughly
Some huge and average Bakso ( Beef Balls ) inside this huge pot
Since Kak Novi started selling her mother's version of Indonesian Bakso, her neighbourhoods and local communities responded positively. Some even requested her to prepare a larger portion to sell as her Bakso are always sold-out.
From a small family size cooking pot, and transitioned over to a huge catering size cooking pot, Kak Novi's Bakso became an instant hit. Many became obsessed with Kak Novi's Bakso, and some are totally addicted to the amazing taste and aroma of Kak Novi's Bakso. There are even some who traveled from other states to Penang just to have a taste of Kak Novi's Bakso.
Overtime, Kak Novi moved from selling her Bakso on top of an old computer desk, into to having her own hawker stall by the street. Today, she owned her very own small Bakso corner at Lengkok Kelicap, Bayan Lepas.
Not only did she produced one of the Best Bakso available in Penang Island, Kak Novi also proved to many that success comes to those who did not give up, who sacrifice, who endure, and who put their heart and soul into what they do.
There's a Malay saying 'Kejayaan Milik Orang yang Berusaha Gigih dan Sabar", and Kak Novi's life story proved to many that any regular person with a dream that possess the right attitude and discipline can achieve greatness!