It’s sad whenever we hear news of popular hawkers closing their stalls for good, especially during the pandemic. Liang Ji, which is known for their char kway teow, will be running its last day of operations on 30 June 2022 at Waterloo Street.
Liang Ji’s owner, Mr. Dominic Neo, 48, made headlines back in 2008 when he offered his plate of char kway teow for only S$0.50 for customers who brought their own eggs. This happened for a week during the National Day holidays at his New Upper Changi Road Hawker Stall then.
To be honest, I wasn’t aware of Liang Ji until I visited Mr. Neo’s Waterloo Street stall. My ex-colleague had actually recommended me to try his food years ago, but I didn’t!
Mr Dominic was decked out in yellow from his face mask all the way down to his pants— matching the color of his signboard!
I was taken aback by the number of choices available on his menu. Interesting items like Mala Bacon Carrot Cake (S$6 for small, S$8 for medium) and Premium Crab Fried Kway Teow (S$9.90) caught my eye.
Call me traditional, but I settled for the good ol’ Fried Kway Teow (S$7 for medium). Mr. Dominic brought my food to my table, and told me that he serves every customer personally, no matter how busy business is. I had my first mouthful and immediately, the wokhei flavour hit me! It was deliciously smoky and sweet from the dark sauce.
Liang Ji’s Fried Kway Teow consisted of fresh hum, fishcake, beansprouts, crispy pork lard and lots of egg. He informed me that there was no lup cheong today due to some problems with the supplier, which was absolutely fine— it was delicious enough!
The next dish that I tried was Yuan Yang Carrot Cake (S$7 for medium). I was glad Liang Ji had this option available, as I’d be contemplating whether to order a black or white one.
The white version had a very generous amount of egg and it was decent, but what blew me away was the black version! It had a strong wokhei like the Fried Kway Teow and was really addictive.
For the current June school holidays, Mr. Dominic specially created a Cheezy Tuna Carrot Cake (S$6) for kids. Surprisingly, the combo of tuna and cheese sauce paired pretty well with the white carrot cake— kids will surely love it!
With the rising cost of rental and ingredients, coupled with the fact that his stall is not located at a prime spot, Mr. Dominic has faced numerous financial issues. Despite all that, this big-hearted hawker still does charity work at least twice a month.
He strongly advocates bringing our authentic Singaporean cuisine to the next level. Although he will be ceasing operations this end June, he hopes a miracle will happen and he would have a chance to bring char kway teow to the next level in future.
Come support Liang Ji if you are in the area before they are gone for good.
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