Guan Kee Fried Kway Teow In Ghim Moh Closes After 54 Years As Owners Retire
When certain beloved hawker stalls have been dishing out tasty food to Singaporeans for decades, it may seem like they’ll go on forever.
However, those running the stall will inevitably get old over the years and want to retire.
Alas, this has happened to one too many stalls here, including the beloved Guan Kee Fried Kway Teow in Ghim Moh.
After 54 years of operations, the owners have decided to retire.
Their decision comes just four years after they received the Michelin Bib Gourmand Award.
Ghim Moh char kway teow stall announces surprise closure
The stall made the announcement out of the blue via a Facebook post on Monday (27 Nov).
The post wrote that the Uncle and Auntie manning the stall wanted to declare their retirement “with a heavy and grateful heart”.
They thanked patrons for their support over the years.
Barely two months ago, Guan Kee revised their opening hours, informing customers that they’d be open only on Saturday and Sunday every week.
Customers will miss them
Netizens responded to the announcement with sadness and well-wishes, with many saying they’ll miss the stall.
Another loyal fan declared that he’d been eating there for 30 years, and wished them an enjoyable retirement.
Stall was established in 1969
The Uncle and Auntie the post was referring to are stall owners Mr Tan Hock Guan and Madam Chang Kha Noi, who started Guan Kee in 1969 — a whopping 54 years ago.
From a humble street stall in Redhill, they moved to Ghim Moh Road Market And Food Centre in 1978.
However, as recently as March, old age forced the couple to cut down their operating days to three times a week.
This is probably because running the stall is hard work, with the couple having to start their day at 4am to prepare their ingredients.
But at the time, Uncle said he had no intention of closing shop.
Up to 1.5-hour wait for char kway teow at Ghim Moh
On a typical day, the stall would serve over 200 plates of char kway teow and often sell out by noon, according to Eatbook.
A testament to their popularity could be seen in the long queues that would form.
Waiting times could reportedly go up to 1.5 hours.
The recipe for success
Those who’ve eaten their char kway teow would say that the wait was worth it, as each serving was meticulously fried plate by plate.
After frying the rice noodles and yellow noodles once, they were fried a second time with the rest of the ingredients and dark soya sauce.
The result is an intense, savoury-sweet flavour that kept customers coming back for more.
The portion also included a copious amount of deep-fried pork lard and a generous helping of cockles, lup cheong or Chinese sausage, fish cakes and bean sprouts.
All that would cost just S$4 or S$5 a plate.
With such quality at affordable prices, it’s no wonder that Guan Kee was awarded the Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2019.
According to Michelin, the Bib Gourmand is awarded to establishments that “offer diners very good value for money, with a complete and high-quality menu priced at a maximum of S$45”.
Wishing them a happy retirement
Uncle and Auntie’s retirement is sad news indeed, as the curtain has fallen on another hawker legend.
They’ve certainly earned their rest, though, after serving customers for more than half a century.
We wish them a happy retirement, knowing their famous fare will live on in our memories.
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