BAZAAR’s Malaysia’s Most Stylish Women from each year return to celebrate fabulous fashion and extraordinary moments. Presenting the luminaries, from original top models to world-class journalists, architects, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and wellness gurus—in a class of their own.
Co-CEO of Curbside Cantina
Born in a foodie family, you could say Noreen’s penchant for pushing the culinary experience was ingrained. Having spent two years after graduating from University of Southern California at her family’s independent fine dining establishment, Nine at Ascott Kuala Lumpur, Noreen and her then-boyfriend, now-husband Awangku Irawan started Curbside Cantina in 2011. The rest, as they say, is history.
The reception for Curbside Cantina’s modern Mexican fare of tacos and quesadillas exploded in the Malaysian food scene, and has since set the benchmark for food trucks today. “We were definitely taking a dive into the unknown, planting a new idea, and breaking out of the traditional notion of dining in a restaurant,” she recalls. The power couple’s recipe for success? “Be casual, original, and ahead of the curve”.
In this tech age of Uber Eats and Foodpanda, Noreen is excited about the possibilities. She predicts mobile dining will become something big, and she hopes to introduce new channels for people to dine, no matter how absurd the idea might be. “Sometimes I get asked the question of when Curbside Cantina will open a physical restaurant, but we are so far from that,” she explains. “We want to be on the pulse of things, and not just stick to what we already know.” And who knows how the food scene will look like in another 15 years?
NOREEN RAMLI, in BAZAAR December 2007 ‘Malaysia’s Most Stylish Women’: “Boy, back when I got the invite to be one of BAZAAR’s Malaysia’s Most Stylish Women, I felt like I had just joined a super exclusive club. It was such a privilege!”