Photos credit: Misstamchiak
We noticed that there’s a new generation of Singaporean young hawkers who has been breathing new life into our dying hawker food culture.
These ‘hawkerpreneurs’ have created such a huge buzz because of their resilience in the face of tumultuous circumstances. Think about the tough hours, harsh work environments, and the lack of the corporate world’s glamour – all in a bid to pursue their passion, and to preserve Singapore’s rich hawker heritage whilst putting their own spin on it.
Which makes all wonder: WHY do they do it?! Why did they choose to give up the cushy corporate world to spend the rest of their lives mastering a particular craft? These talented hawkers under the age of 35 have been the talking point of our diligent food bloggers – and here, we unravel the mystery behind their motivations down this unorthodox path.
Photo credit: Misstamchiak
1. Preserving a dying trend of old recipes
23 year old Douglas of Fishball Story shares about how his grandmother’s handmade fishballs ignited his passion to share the authenticity and taste of real handmade fishballs.
Photo credit: A Noodle Story
2. Marrying the best of two culinary techniques
Singapore’s first and only Singapore style ramen served up at A Noodle Story, is the brainchild of a pair of chefs who trained at Shatec, who both has worthy experience at some of the best restaurants in Singapore. They were sorely disappointed by the standards of the noodles available and the exorbitant prices charged in the market, and hence decided to create the ultimate Noodle dish inspired by modern European techniques and Asian flavours.
3. Offering a healthier option for working Singaporeans
With decades of experience at swanky restaurants, Gary Lum noticed that there was a lack of health-conscious options for office workers especially when it came to comforting soups – hence, starting up The Soup Bar.
4. Bringing the Hipster to Hawker
Another highly raved hipster hawker stall is Truly Curry Rice, opened by Joel and Denice who gave up their trading jobs. Passionate about Hainanese Curry Rice and armed with a belief that they will yield greater profits in the future, they are using home recipes passed down from generations before them.
Photo credit: ieatishootipost
5. Continuing a family legacy
Third generation hawker Ruifang took over 545 Whampoa Prawn Noodles from her grandfather, as she realized that her real calling in life was to continue the family legacy. It’s heartening to know that she finds so much more satisfaction and fulfillment doing this than sitting behind the desk.
Photo credit: Misstamchiak
6. Expressing filial gratitude
26 year old Boon Leng is taking over his grandparents’ and parents’ business, Hock Kee Bird’s Nest Drinks Drinks that originally started in the 1950s with only a pushcart. As helping out at the stall was a big part of his joyful childhood, he decided to open a permanent stall.
7. Enlightening about the essence of handmade products
Second generation hawker Richard gave up his mechanical engineering job to continue his family business Teochew Handmade Pau, armed with his vision to continue the legacy of traditional quality bakery products.
8. Slogging it out with a kaki
Together with his old army buddy Ah Wee, Adrian decided they needed a change from their tiresome and lackluster corporate careers. They serve up Adrian’s grandmother’s kickass secret recipe at Old Bibik’s Famous Peranakan Rendang, which is prepared daily from scratch.
9. Tracing the roots of their food
Former cabin crew Gerald and Julyn, decided to settle down and continue her father’s Hokkien Mee business Penang Kia which originated from Penang.
So be sure to support our local hawker heroes and check them out over this week! Bon appetite ;)