Empress Place

Hawkers of SG #45

Prior to starting Empress Place at Maxwell food centre, my grandparents and great-grandparents have been selling beef noodles. They were the former owners of the recently retired Hock Lam beef noodles. Picking up the trade, my dad has been selling beef noodles for over 20 years. However, he may be retiring in a few years’ time, therefore I’m learning the recipe.

My grandmother always told me that the hawker life wasn’t easy, and most hawkers don’t wish for their kids to continue running the business as it means long hours and hard work.

Nowadays, it is not as profitable as back then in grandfather’s time whereby there were lesser food options people mostly ate to fill their stomachs. But now, times are different; people want their food to look good. It is now less about taste, more about aesthetics.

The best reward from hawker life is seeing my customers enjoy their food. There are some regular customers who often return for another bowl of beef noodles. Others even become friends, sharing about their life to me. That’s when you know that you are indeed doing something right.

Empress Place #1-43, Maxwell Food Centre