Wisesa has offices in Central Plaza, the second tallest skyscraper in Hong Kong, which is located on Harbor Road, Wan Chai, next to the Immigration Tower. For Sesa, as she is usually called, visiting the Pacific Coffee outlet which is right under her office has become an inevitable routine. Good for snacking to prop up a hungry stomach, or just to sip coffee during work breaks.
“I often stop by Pacific Coffee, it happens to be under the office. It can be three times a week,” said Sesa.
The man who has lived and worked in Hong Kong for about 8 years, almost never buys food at the Pacific Coffee outlet. Understandably, Sesa is always careful about the halal food she eats.
Even if you really want to eat and don't have enough time to hunt for food that is definitely halal, Sesa usually buys a vegetarian menu at Pacific Coffee. Until finally, about a week ago, he saw something different in the window of the outlet.
"Some are wrapped in plastic. Apparently, there is a halal label and it is separated," he said.
The food menu is Chicken Tikka Ciabatta. Namely, chicken and vegetable sandwiches. The official halal label was issued by The Incorporated Trustees of the Islamic Community of Hong Kong.
"So far I haven't wheeze. It seems new too. Usually I am quite literate when there is halal food in Hong Kong," said Sesa.
As soon as he found out that the outlet had a halal menu, Sesa felt that he had "a windfall". “I'm really happy. 8 years here (Hong Kong) I need to be careful. I'm just happy if there are mainstream restaurants here that provide halal menus," he said.
He also asked the outlet employees to add a variety of halal menus at the outlet, not just one item. "He replied, if there is a lot of demand (enthusiasts), we will convey it to management."
"That's why, I informed Mr. Imam (DDHK General Manager, Imam Baihaqi), so that he would share it with my friends. Every time I find a halal menu, I always let Pak Imam know," said Sesa.
Now, Sesa no longer needs to bother looking for halal food during working hours. All he has to do is go down to Pacific Coffee, he can already get a halal stomach booster. "Tonight I want to work overtime at the office. That's why I just bought it for overtime. Because they close at 6 pm,” said Sesa.
Sesa Can't confirm whether the Halal Chicken Tikka Ciabatta menu is also available at other Pacific Coffee outlets which are widely spread throughout Hong Kong. Or is it only at the Wan Chai outlet because Central Plaza also has the office of the Consulate General of Saudi Arabia.
Related to that, Nur Aini, a member of the Volunteer Team Dompet Dhuafa Hong Kong (DDHK), trying to confirm it. He also visited the Pacific Coffee outlet on the fifth floor of the Hysan Place shopping center, Causeway Bay.
Nur also found halal Chicken Tikka Ciabatta at this outlet. The price is the same as the one sold at the Wan Chai outlet under the Sesa office, which is HK$58.
Nur immediately gave it to Ustadz Samsul Arifin to provide testimony about the taste of the sandwich. "It feels good. I remember when I was in Medina. If you're hungry at night, buy bread like this at the food court, it's almost the same. There is chicken, there are eggs, there are onions too," said Ustadz Samsul.