Master Tang’s Wanton Mee In Crystal Jade’s Signature Style Will Be Missed, Says KF Seetoh

KF Seetoh – founder of Makansutra – broke away from his usual social media postings to leave a touching tribute for a man who dedicated his life to serving up great food.

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Mr Seetoh’s kind words were for a hawker named Master Tang who recently passed away in Feb back in his hometown in China.

He was the brains behind a legendary wanton mee and braised chicken feet stall at Bukit Batok with his wife Ms Happy.

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Here’s his poignant tribute dated Tuesday (9 Apr) in full:

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“Almost penniless” in final months

Working hard to plate up his signature wanton mee in the style of Crystal Jade’s famous recipe, eventually took a toil on Master Tang’s health.

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The couple closed their stall in Bukit Batok in Dec 2018, and returned to Hong Kong for his retirement.

As per “his request”, his wife Ms Happy took care of him in his “fading months” and saw through his “quiet” passing in Feb 2019.

Wife looking at a columbarium space in Singapore

However, the couple lived frugally as they were “almost penniless” with Ms Happy being his lone caretaker.

Hong Kong’s columbarium space was too expensive for the couple, and the wait times are notoriously lengthy.

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Ms Happy is currently trying to raise “money among friends” to bring him back to a Singapore columbarium but the process will take about 6 months.

Didn’t live to see Netflix documentary about himself

KF Seetoh adds that Master Tang has done his “adopted home Singapore proud” — having been featured on a Netflix show showcasing incredible street food around the world.

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Street Food will be launched in the last week of April as a spin-off from Netflix original food documentary Chef’s Table.

The show is also expected to feature Bangkok’s first street-food stall to receive a Michelin star, Raan Jay Fai — which serves up crab omelettes to fans willing to wait for hours.

Master Tang will surely be a worthy representative for the world-class hawker food that Singapore has to offer.

A worthy Singapore hawker

Finally, KF Seetoh leaves touching words about the man and his wanton mee legacy,

Thank you Tang Sifu, and may you rest in peace. I will help Ms Happy in whatever ways I can.

For those who wish to contribute to this worthy cause, do send KF Seetoh a message via Facebook.

Wrapped dumplings till his fingers were swollen

Update: A loyal friend of Master Tang has sent in a tribute of his own to us, after reading our article.

We’ve published it in Traditional Chinese here.

“安息鄧師傅,相識在80年代初,合作快活谷廣州粥面,翡翠集团,一手傳統竹筏昇麵、广式粥底、瑞午包糭,拾隻手指都種!專業敬業樂業好師傅,但愿一路好走,永远懷念您。”

English Translation:

“Rest in peace Master Tang. In the 1980s, we met and worked together on Guangzhou-style porridge and noodles before reuniting at Crystal Jade.

We created handmade traditional bamboo noodles, popularised Guangzhou-style porridge and even wrapped rice dumplings for Duanwu Festival till our fingers were swollen.

You were professional, dedicated and a great master till the end. I hope you left peacefully and I will always miss you.”

Truly the end of an era

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Rest in peace, Tang Shifu.

Your dedication to your craft will always be remembered by the Singaporeans whose lives you’ve touched through every single delicious wanton. Thanks for the memories.

Featured image from KF Seetoh on Facebook and Burpple.