Cabana, Acai Bar, Publika

Interview with Wen Khyn Cheah, Co-Founder of Cabana Açaí Bar, Publika

What do you do and how did you get into the industry?
I am one of the co-founders of Cabana, an açaí bar located in Publika. My partner and I first discovered açaí in Singapore three years ago and we were pretty much hooked ever since. When we returned to KL, we searched high and low for a decent bowl of açaí but to no avail, and decided to just bring it in ourselves.

Share with us an interesting story from behind the scenes.
On our opening day we were completely swamped with orders. The response was much better than expected and we were sold out before 5pm. My partner and I had only three hours of sleep the night before due to renovation delays. We were also short-staffed as one of our workers had disappeared on us. I was basically a walking zombie in the kitchen and I forgot to add açai into my customer’s açaí smoothie. I forgot the one main ingredient that our entire brand is revolved around! Fortunately, the customer was a close friend of mine and he was very forgiving.

What’s the best/ worst part of your job?
The best part is definitely receiving compliments from happy and satisfied customers. There’s really no worst part about the job. Maybe it’s because we’re still new. We are just a few weeks old, so perhaps you’d wanna ask me again in a few months.

What’s your favourite meal/ drink in Cabana?
The Rio Classic for sure!

What’s one of the craziest things you’ve seen behind the scenes?
Reza, one of our açaí baristas, was a bartender for nine years. He has all these amazing tricks that he does with cups, bottles and ice cubes. Sometimes during our downtime, we would get him to entertain us with a few tricks. Reza’s great!

The perfect day off would be…
… me lying on a beach with some good music, a can of beer (or two) and a good book.

A day in the life of an entrepreneur is…
Open up the shop, make sure everything is in order, make sure we have enough supplies, make sure our staff is happy and motivated, constantly find new ways to improve, send/reply emails.

What do you do for fun?
I love Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Occasionally, you can find me competing in cage matches or grappling tournaments. In fact, it was actually through MMA that I discovered açaí. My partner (who practices MMA too) and I were mid-way through a training camp in Evolve MMA – one of the biggest MMA gyms in Singapore. On one fateful day, we walked up to the gym’s juice bar and ordered a bowl of açaí. After finding out firsthand how great this superfood tastes and all the health benefits it offers, we never looked back.

What’s something you’d like guests to know about Cabana?
That we are committed to serving premium açaí bowls and smoothies made with authentic açaí pulp from Brazil.

What’s your favourite (s) food and wine pairing?
I’m not much of a wine guy. I prefer beer. Beer pairs well with everything.

What’s in store for you in the upcoming months?
We’re looking to participate in more food bazaars and events outside of Publika. We are also looking to expand our menu. Something really special is currently in the works and if all goes smoothly, we’ll be announcing it soon so keep your eyes peeled on our social media! (Facebook & Instagram: @Cabana.Acai.MY)

Check out some of the yummy dishes at Cabana here.

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  1. Dunno what acai is, wouldn’t mind giving it a try.

  2. Great interview. Thank you so much for sharing.

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