A lovely dessert shop tucked in SS2, Misu Misu Pâtisserie sells choux, tarts, and pastries, all created with care by one Chef Nicholas Saw, who’s had quite the portfolio of experiences under his belt.
Having worked at various hotels, Nicholas is nothing short of a professional pastry chef. While pursuing a diploma in culinary arts at KDU University College, Nicholas had grown a fondness for doing pastries in particular.
So, after a starting his culinary journey at Mandarin Oriental in Singapore as a cook, he kicked off his pastry career at Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur, where he worked as a pastry commis.
Later on, Nicholas also had a short stint at Babe Restaurant by Tokyo Michelin-starred chef, Jeff Ramsey, then worked at Rubberduck in Sri Hartamas before returning to the hospitality world.
For two years, Nicholas was the pastry chef at the Leading Hotels of the World’s The Ruma Hotel.
But amidst the pandemic, the chef decided that it was finally time for him to leave the corporate world, and pursue his own patisserie.
Leaving hospitality behind
At a time when layoffs were commonplace, Nicholas took the leap himself and left his stable job at The Ruma Hotel.
“It was my own choice to resign as I felt that it was time to move on and had the intention to start my new venture back then,” he explained. “I’ve always wanted to start my own pastry business to share my creations and spread happiness to those who love desserts.”
Although Misu Misu Pâtisserie marked Nicholas’ first steps into his true passion, switching from a more stable income to entrepreneurship is never easy.
“It was definitely challenging and I had some struggles along the way to start up my own business from scratch,” Nicholas said.
He continued, “Especially I’m a one-man team, I need to handle the baking, operations, marketing, delivering, to finance, so it was definitely a steep learning curve along the way.”
Influenced by its founder’s background, Misu Misu Pâtisserie specialises in French and Western style pastries, desserts, and cakes—items that Nicholas should have plenty of experience making at his previous roles.
“My choux puffs and tarts are definitely the signature items and they are well loved by my customers as well,” Nicholas mentioned.
A one man show
Misu Misu Pâtisserie had started as a home-based bakery due to budget constraints. Equipped with just one small oven, Nicholas set off solo, working long hours to get all the baking done while figuring out how to run a business.
One thing he did understand, though, was the power of the word of mouth. Through friends and family, Nicholas was able to reach people and build an online reputation.
Sure enough, positive feedback started to trickle in for his desserts, which allowed him to expand his business.
Still, though, even two years later, Misu Misu Pâtisserie’s core team consists of just Nicholas, who continues to juggle baking, quality control, marketing, and packing.
Having to handle all of that is not easy, so it comes as no surprise that work-life balance and time management are two of the biggest challenges for Nicholas.
“I used to work up to 12 to 16 hours a day and will tend to dive in and give all my time to baking,” he admitted. “Over the years I’ve learnt to balance and manage my time better and to not forget to spend time with loved ones and take some time off from work.”
Even so, Nicholas admitted that he has felt overwhelmed before, enough that he even felt like giving up.
“I think it was also due to my long working hours which added on to the stress,” he opened up. “But I’m really thankful for my girlfriend that has been constantly encouraging, motivating, reminding me on the reason why I started Misu Misu Pâtisserie, which definitely helps me when I was feeling down.”
Besides support from his girlfriend as well as friends, Nicholas also credits his perseverance to his customers.
“When they share photos and videos of my desserts with their family and friends, [it] makes me so happy to know that my hard work and desserts are spreading happiness,” he expressed.
Not a cakewalk
Even with his professional training and years of experience behind him, the truth is that there are quite a lot of pastry chefs in KL these days who are also creating tarts, choux, and the like.
Even Nicholas admitted that the industry he’s in is competitive. But, he believes everyone has their own strength, and thus sees the competition from fellow bakers as a healthy thing.
With that said, he also believes that Misu Misu Pâtisserie’s quality, consistency, and passion is what sets it apart. Plus, any sweet tooth will tell you that too many desserts are never a bad thing.
In the next two to three years, Nicholas hopes to be in a bigger space alongside a bigger team. His own cafe might even be a possibility.
“Nothing beats seeing how happy the people get when they try my desserts,” Nicholas said. “Like Malaysians always say, good food brings people together. That’s what I definitely would love to do through my creations.”
Featured Image Credit: Nicholas Saw, founder of Misu Misu Pâtisserie