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9 Reasons Why Singaporean Young Hawkers Give It All Up for Local Food Fare

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.

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Photo credit: The Soup Bar, ieatishootipost

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 ;)

Amanda Tan
Nuffnang Community Team

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