Thursday, 4 September 2014

5 Famous Singapore Food Feuds

A look back at some famous cases in Singapore where the names of hawker stalls have been reused and copied, and their ownership challenged and fought over.

1. Hock Lam Street beef kway teow (beef noodles)

A file photo of Mr Anthony Tan. He and his brother Francis Tan both claimed they were the true successors of the famous Hock Lam Street beef kway teow - PHOTO: ST

In short: Brothers Anthony and Francis Tan both claimed they were the true successors of the famous Hock Lam Street beef kway teow. What's your beef?

2. Tai Hwa bak chor mee (minced meat noodles)

A file photo of Mr Tang Chay Seng at his Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle stall in Crawford Lane - PHOTO: BT

In short: Mr Tang Chay Seng, owner of Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle in Crawford Lane, took his nephew Arthur Tung to court for trying to pass off his stall, Lau Dai Hua, as the original. Bak chor mee seller loses suit against nephew

3. Katong laksa

A file photo of 328 Katong Laksa eatery in Katong - PHOTO: ZAOBAO


In short: Katong laksa was popularised by brothers Ng Juat Swee and Ng Chwee Seng, who started selling the noodles in a coffee shop in East Coast Road in 1963. Four rivals had popped up along the same stretch of East Coast Road by 1999, and many of them had names with “Katong Laksa” in it.

4. Rochor beancurd

A file photo of the three Koh brothers (fr left) William, Koh Koon Meng and David, seen here with their mother - PHOTO: ST

In short: The Rochor beancurd war is a tale of bitter business rivalry among the Koh siblings. It began in the 1960s when their parents peddled tau huay, a beancurd custard, from a pushcart in the Rochor and Beach Road areas. After their father died in 1986, the stall had shop units in Selegie Road and Middle Road before settling in Short Street in 1998. Disputes over control of the family business, however, saw the siblings set up their own stalls.

5. Siglap mee pok (flat yellow noodles)

A file photo of 132 Mee Poh Kueh Teow Mee's owner Chan Sek Inn (left) and his son, Choon Wing (right) - PHOTO: ST


In short: At the centre of this war is 132 Mee Poh Kueh Teow Mee, started by Mr Chan Sek Inn at the old Siglap market in the 1970s. Four hawkers were plying their noodle business within a few kilometres from each other. Each stall claimed to be independent, yet all were seemingly associated by name or ownership.