Ang Mo Kio Popiah Stall Closing Next Weekend, Elderly Couple Decides To Retire
To most Singaporeans, hawker food is a significant part of our heritage, so it’s always a shame when a beloved stall closes for good after decades.
Unfortunately, it seems that this has been happening too often lately despite Covid-19 restrictions being virtually gone.
The latest hawker favourite to call it a day is a popiah stall in Ang Mo Kio that has served residents for 39 years.
The elderly couple running the business has decided to retire as the kopitiam they’re in will be undergoing renovation.
Ang Mo Kio Popiah stall closing on 26 Mar
The stall in question is Mei Xiang Popiah (美香薄饼), located in Block 133 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, reported Shin Min Daily News.
It’s inside Lian Wah Kopitiam, a popular food haunt for nearby residents.
As they open only on weekends, their last two days of operations will be next Saturday and Sunday (25 to 26 Mar).
Elderly couple running stall since 1984
The stall’s owners, Mr Hu Chaocheng and his wife Fu Laizhi (transliterated from Mandarin), have been running the stall since 1984 — some 39 years ago.
Through the years, the elderly couple has operated the business daily, said 78-year-old Madam Fu.
However, they started opening only on weekends some 15 years ago as they had to take care of their grandchildren.
Mr Hu, 80, used to work as a bus ticket inspector but decided to become a hawker for survival after losing his job and having to raise several children.
They inherited the recipe from her father, Madam Fu said.
Running the stall is hard work
Despite opening only on weekends, running the stall is still hard work due to the long hours and many tasks needed to be done.
They usually start work at an unearthly 5am and open for business at noon.
Though their food is usually sold out fast, they still finish work at about 7pm to 8pm, including closing up.
As their children all have their own careers, the couple doesn’t want them to take on the burden of carrying on the business.
Kopitiam undergoing renovation, rental increase likely
Another main reason for their retirement is that the kopitiam is undergoing renovation soon.
After the renovation, they said they’d likely have to bear an increase in rental.
Thus, they decided to retire since they were getting old.
They added that customers have been informed of the impending closure, especially since many frequent patrons have already become friends.
They won’t sell their recipe
Asked whether they would sell their recipe, Madam Fu replied that they wouldn’t.
That’s because they can’t guarantee that others would make their popiah the same way even if they taught them personally.
She maintained that if the food isn’t up to standard, it will tarnish their reputation.
Singaporeans will miss Ang Mo Kio popiah stall
Mei Xiang Popiah is popular among local foodies for its tasty radish, egg, and dried shrimp encased in firm skin that doesn’t become soggy even after some time.
And at just S$1.50 a piece, some fans have dubbed it one of the best popiah in Singapore for that price, according to Eatbook.
Thus, it’s certain that Singaporeans will miss them when they go off into the sunset.
Here’s some info if you’re thinking of trying their popiah one last time next weekend:
Mei Xiang Popiah
Address: 133 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, Lian Wah Kopitiam, Singapore 560133
Opening hours: 12pm to 8pm
Nearest MRT station: Ang Mo Kio/Mayflower
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Featured image adapted from Shin Min Daily News on Facebook.
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