Lai Heng Mushroom Minced Meat Noodle finding their next successor was headline news for a while. The well-loved bak chor mee stall that received nationwide fame was looking for someone to carry on its store’s legacy. While one might think that hawker stalls would be passed down from generation to generation, it wasn’t the case with theirs. In their case, their family already had jobs of their own that they did not want to let go of. Hence, the owner had to find alternatives.
A Facebook post that was posted on 3 July 2022 announced that the 63 year-old owner, Lee Hwee Peng, was looking to retire. He was going to sell the whole stall, including his family legacy and recipe, for S$500,000. In recent news, the hawker stall confirmed that they would no longer be changing owners.
Another Facebook post was posted on 15 Jan 2023 by a patron who visited their stall. Then, the caption stated that the family business would now be “taken older by the eldest sister”, and “will not be changing owners”. Thankfully, the store would still be family-run to serve us delicious bowls of bak chor mee.
Since their opening in 1985, the stall has been moving from place to place in the Toa Payoh neighbourhood. Ever since they opened their first stall in Block 85 Lorong 4 Toa Payoh, they’ve retained a relentless queue of loyal customers. Now, they are situated at Block 73 Lorong 4 Toa Payoh. Customers who stay around the area that have been continuously patronising them for years can vouch that the 45-minute wait is super worth it.
A bowl of al dente Mushroom Bak Chor Mee varies in price portions and can cost S$5/S$6/S$7. For each portion, the ingredients are presented in mountainous portions. From tasty pork slices to juicy mushrooms and delicious pork liver, you’re in for a treat at Lai Heng Mushroom Minced Meat Noodle. The braised mushrooms retain a savoury salty flavour that opposes the sweetness from the pork slices, creating a perfect cohesion of a delectable meal.
Some recommend trying out their kway teow soup. When I’m down, I’ll be sure to do so.
So, one might ask if a popular bak chor mee stall really warrants such a long wait. I believe that creating a relationship with the locals in our food scene is extremely important. They’ve clearly done well with the legacy that Lai Heng Mushroom Minced Meat Noodle has built for themselves. Now, with the family continuing their heritage of serving delicious bowls of bak chor mee, it’s nice to know that the younger crowd has prioritised family over their individual careers.
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