I'm always encouraged to see young hawkers taking up the baton to continue providing good and affordable food. Hong Seng Curry Rice (85 Redhill Lane #01-74) has another one of these heroes - Lim Jia Han who is only 25 but brimming with entrepreneurial tenacity. Just over a year ago, he had no F&B experience but is now the main cook at the family stall, churning out 22 dishes every day.
He's not just working hard, he's working smart. Already he's helped his family cut reliance on fickle labour by automating tasks and sourcing freshly pre-cut ingredients. He's even devised ways to protect the family's recipes from being stolen by staff who could run away and open up a similar stall.
He just graduated with a degree in Banking and Finance, but he's never wanted to work in an office. During his studies he's been a tuition teacher, tuition coordinator, a licensed Singapore Tourist Guide, a tour leader, a personal gym instructor and an ACTA certified trainer in Hospitality and Tourism industry.
But it was his love for food and cooking that led him to take over the family business when his uncle wanted to retire after 20 years. His family at first didn't want him to follow this hard life, but relented when they saw he had bigger dreams than just slaving at a stall.
I wrote a more detailed story on him in Yahoo and Makansutra.
Come visit and try the curry. Like most Chinese curries, it's not too spicy but is fairly balanced. He has a S$4 value set meal that comes with 6 different toppings - chap chye, pork chop, fried egg, curry potato, sambal ikan bilis, and a fried prawn fritter - but the other homestyle dishes like pork trotters and meatballs are worth checking out too.
HONG SENG CURRY RICE
85 Redhill Lane
#01-74 Redhill Food Centre
Open 10.30am to 11pm
Tel: +65 9876 2288
Update: they have a stall at SMU now
Hong Seng Express (SMU Branch)
SMU (School of Economics/ Social Sciences), Unit #01-73
81 Victoria St, Singapore 188065
Thanks to Jia Han for contacting me, and for the first photo