Elderly Toa Payoh Hawker Faces 90% Drop In Business During P2HA
The no dine-in rule imposed for Phase 2 Heightened Alert (P2HA) has taken a toll on hawkers. Unfortunately, for those who have had to temporarily close their business in these turbulent times, reopening and staying afloat is a struggle.
On Friday (30 July), Facebook user Carolyn Cheong shared the plight of a Toa Payoh hawker who had to close his stall for 2 months due to illness. Since P2HA, his sales have been insufficient to cover his rent and ingredient costs.
The netizen hopes nearby residents will support this hawker so he can overcome his current struggle.
Toa Payoh Hawker struggles with illness and business
Shi Zhen Fish Soup (时珍鱼汤) is a stall located in Toa Payoh Central.
According to Ms Cheong, the elderly owner was previously ill and had lost some weight. She shared a photo of the uncle cutting fish, taken 2 years prior to the pandemic.
His poor health compelled him to close his business for 2 months. He also relocated to 177 Toa Payoh Central after an alleged conflict with his previous landlord.
Like many hawkers in the industry, his sales have declined, reportedly by 90%. At present, Ms Cheong claims that his sales are not enough to cover the cost of his ingredients and he uses his savings to pay for rent.
Although he is eligible for relief, he allegedly does not understand how he can claim it. Hence, Ms Cheong hopes a kind soul will be willing to help the uncle apply.
Stall serves delicious seafood
The owner specialises in delicious dishes like fish soup, deep-fried fish roe, and bitter gourd.
True to the stall’s name, their bestseller is their flavourful steamed grouper with bee hoon in a tray. The mouth-watering concoction has preserved mustard cubbage, tomatoes, dried scallops, and fried sole fish — which contributes to its tangy and savoury flavour.
The stir-fried bitter gourd has wok hei which will likely impress your uncles and aunties.
Seafood fans should check out the oyster omelette which is topped with a good amount of oysters.
Netizens praise Toa Payoh Hawker
Previous patrons vouched for the Toa Payoh hawker in the comments section.
A netizen claims this is her favourite fish soup stall because of its fresh seafood and thick slices. She feels sad for the uncle because he is an honest and hard worker.
A previous patron mentioned that the uncle takes pride in his food. A few years ago, she saw him tasting each dish he cooked with a clean spoon. If it was not up to par, he would throw it away and refuse to serve it.
To help him claim relief, a kind stranger offered to contact her friend who assists individuals in similar predicaments.
Anyone keen to support the hawker can check out his stall at this location:
Address: 177 Toa Payoh Central, #01-176, Singapore 310177
Website: 时珍鱼汤 Facebook page
Opening Hours: 11.30am-2.30pm, 3pm–8.30pm (Wed-Mon), closed on Tues
Nearest MRT: Toa Payoh Station
Support local hawkers
Most of us have a fair share of struggles after the switch to P2HA.
But among everyone, hawkers have no doubt been among those facing worse turbulence. With the support of the public, however, they can hopefully overcome the challenges.
We sincerely hope nearby residents will support this local hawker so we can enjoy his unique concoctions in the years to come.
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Featured image adapted from Google Maps and Facebook.
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