China-born chef takes over popular braised duck stall in Chinatown, gets seal of approval from customers – AsiaOne

Chinatown Complex Food Centre mainstay Run Ji Cooked Food may have accumulated loyal regulars over the past three decades, but that doesn’t mean that successor Guo Haozhang has had it easy.

Fortunately, the 55-year-old, who hails from China, appears to be keeping the braised duck and kway chap stall’s legacy alive , and its fans well-fed, according to a recent Shin Min Daily News report.

Haozhang, who was a chef before coming to Singapore in 2002, told the Chinese daily that he took some six months learning the ropes from the stall’s elderly lady boss, Hor Ng Mei.

Although he only started out as a helper at the booth, Ng Mei handed the particular stall over to him “without reservations” in 2014 after her health deteriorated. He now runs the stall with his wife.

Ng Mei died within 2019 at the age of 93, said Haozhang.

Even after she retired, the elderly woman would still occasionally visit the stall, this individual said, adding that her last visit was in 2017.

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Although he was surprised to hear of the girl death, he or she said he believed she had no regrets in life.

“We will try our best plus run the business that the girl left behind well, with a clear conscience. ”

Although business has seen a slight dip  in recent years, which he attributes to old regulars moving out of the area, he maintained that he is still grateful for the stall’s remaining supporters.  

Before handing over her business, Ng Mei made sure to pass on her secret recipes to Haozhang, and clients Shin Min Daily News spoke to said they can barely taste a difference in the dishes.

Food blogger Makoeats also praised the food on Facebook after a visit last month: “I’ve not been here ever since the legendary owner retired and gave the stall to her worker.

“After so many years, that familiar flavor of Run Ji’s braised duck was able to evoke wonderful memories of their food through their familiar flavour. inch

However , one 55-year-old customer, who has already been patronising the stall for decades, told the particular newspaper that the quality of Run Ji’s  meat pales in comparison to the past.

In a previous interview, Ng Mei shared that the lady had made her first foray into the hawker company at the tender age of 13, helping out at the girl father’s duck porridge stall. She later took over the stall to support her family after her father was captured within the Japanese Occupation.

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