We constantly talk about the importance of preserving Singapore’s hawker culture. But at the back of my mind, I’m terrified! In recent months, we have been publishing news on the closure of several famed hawker stalls on our island. I’m sadly announcing that another one bites the dust: Ah Pui Tiong Bahru Satay, located at Chinatown‘s Smith Street, will be having its last day of operations on 6 Nov 2022— another blow has been dealt to our local hawker scene.
I got to know that 64-year-old Mr Ang Boon Ee, nicknamed “Uncle Ah Pui”, is not exactly in the pink of health, and needs a good rest. It was stated on their restaurant’s Instagram post on 2 Nov 2022.
Earning quite the reputation back in the 1980s, Mr Ang would be seen unlawfully peddling his wooden pushcart selling old-school Hainanese satay along the Tiong Bahru district. Why was it illegal? That’s because he didn’t own a license to operate his humble mobile satay business.
This went on right till the early 2010s, when he decided to take a break after getting fined the fourth time by the local authorities. He relit his fire when the ex-owner of the now-defunct 195 Pearl Hill Cafe invited Mr Ang to join them back in 2018, where there was a waiting list of six months just to get a taste of his iconic satays.
Ah Pui Tiong Bahru Satay was opened in Jun 2021, and it’s a pity that they will be ceasing their operations in less than 18 months.
Not to be a wet blanket, but I can already predict the potentially crazy crowd situation happening during the last few remaining days. If you want a taste of Uncle Ah Pui’s aromatic and juicy satays, this week would probably be your last golden opportunity to do it— it’s do or die!
Brave the crowds or not… the choice is entirely up to you.
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