90-year-old Ah Ma gets up at 4am every day to sell wanton mee at Far East Square

Nearly 60 years and counting.

By Guan Zhen Tan | April 15, 2018

We can only hope we’ll be as badass as this grandma when we get to her age: meet Leong Yuet Meng, a 90-year-old grandma who’s still getting up every day at 4am to prepare and sell wanton mee at Nam Seng Wonton Noodles.

A video feature by Singapore Best Foods reveals Leong’s arduous daily routine, as well as the amazing story of this affable Cantonese-speaking grandma who has cooked and sold wanton mee for the past nearly-60 years.

Her stall is located on the first floor of Far East Square at China Street, after moving from the hawker centre in front of the old National Library at Stamford Road. 

Her daily routine sounds simple, but nonetheless impressive: After housekeeping and morning prayers, at about 6am, her second son Michael helps her to the market, where she buys fresh ingredients before heading to her wanton noodle stall to start work.

Screenshot via Singaporebestfoods.com’s video
Screenshot via Singaporebestfoods.com’s video

Leong used to handle much of Nam Seng’s operations on her own, from housekeeping, slicing char siew, making wantons, taking orders and so on.

Screenshot via Singaporebestfoods.com’s video
Screenshot via Singaporebestfoods.com’s video

Nowadays, she’s got a fair amount of younger staff helping out at her stall, but this by no means has led to her slowing down, as she’s still actively cooking and serving up her decades-perfected dish with a smile.

Screenshot via Singaporebestfoods.com’s video
Screenshot via Singaporebestfoods.com’s video
Screenshot via Singaporebestfoods.com’s video

Being 90, Leong is probably one of the oldest working hawkers in Singapore — her dedication has seen her outlasting not one or two or three, but a hefty five (!!!) of her disciples, all of whom learned from her and then retired from the hawker business.

That’s got to be some kind of achievement on its own.

So next time you pop by Far East Square and you see an ah ma skilfully making wanton mee, order it and savour it — you’re enjoying a 60-year-old legacy.

You can watch the full video here:

Top image via Singaporebestfoods.com’s video

 

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About Guan Zhen Tan

Guan Zhen is a serial doodler with multiple pens with her wherever she goes. She loves listening to Visual Kei bands, Jamiroquai and random songs from the future-funk genre.

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