Interview by Michelle Holler:
BRO is featuring a series of interviews that will help to tell the stories of the people who have opened businesses at the West Side Bazaar. The objective of the series is to highlight the compelling journeys that each shop owner made, so that we may become familiar with the owners and their businesses.
Name: Mohammed Yaseen
Country of Origin: Burma
Languages Spoken: Burmese, Hindi, Thai and English
Journey to Buffalo: I was born and raised in Burma. I then left for Thailand and spent 6 years there. I came to the US as a refugee in 2007. I was resettled in Missouri with my wife and three kids. We spent three years there, during which I worked in a sewing factory for the first year, then as a cook. My family and I came to Buffalo to visit a Burmese friend and to see Niagara Falls. We stayed with my friend for three days. During that time, I decided Buffalo was a better fit for my family and myself, plus the rent was very cheap. My family stayed in Buffalo with our friend and I went back to Missouri alone to collect our things. We now have been in Buffalo for three years– we think Buffalo is good, but cold.
My Store in the West Side Bazaar: At Exotic Japanese Food, I sell an assortment of Asian foods including both sweet and spicy crepes. My spicy crepes are filled with ground chicken, egg, and spices. My sweet crepes are filled with strawberry or banana along with nutella or jam. In Thailand, Japanese crepes are very popular, and that is where my inspiration came from. I also sell dosas, samosas, and beef or chicken patties. Dosas are originally from Southern India, but they also became a popular breakfast food in my homeland, Burma. Dosas are similar to crepes in texture, but the batter is made from lentils and rice. I serve them with a yellow bean and potato curry on the side as well as coconut chutney.
My Future Plans: Someday, I would like to open my own restaurant. I would sell similar food, but I would add on more Indian and Pakistani dishes. I know both types of food very well from working as a chef in an Indian/Pakistani restaurant for over 4 years.
The West Side Bazaar | 25 Grant Street | Buffalo NY 14213 | (716) 464-6389
For more on the West Side Bazaar (facebook), check out gysma’s african style, rakhapura mutee & sushi, julienne boutique, moonlady arts & crafts, pure peru, nepali clothing and cosmetics, ethiopian coffee ceremony, Abyssinian Ethiopian Cuisine