80-cent rickshaw noodles a hit with customers

It is a price hard to find anywhere in Singapore - 80 cents for a bowl of noodles, complete with broth, vegetables and optional chilli.

Some might find the bowl offered by China Street Rickshaw Noodle, situated in Maxwell Food Centre, a bit too small, but it is apparently the taste that matters for most patrons.

The stall has been operating for decades, yet it has never raised its price drastically, and continues to attract many customers every day, evening daily Lianhe Wanbao reported yesterday.

When told by Wanbao that her low price has earned her stall the reputation of being "honest and conscientious", 69-year-old owner Soh Kow Tee said: "I am only charging reasonably."

Sales executive Xu Cuiting, 50, who was eating the noodles for the first time, told Wanbao that the dish was flavourful and cheap, but added it would be better if there were more ingredients.

A housewife, who wanted to be known only as Madam Zhen and has eaten there over the last 30 years, said the noodles and side dishes taste good.

"This stall has always maintained a very high standard for its food," said the 62-year-old.

Over at Beo Crescent, a bowl of rickshaw noodles at a stall called Tao Yuan goes for $1.50 each, with bigger servings. However, its price is still cheap, compared with that for other local noodle dishes, which can cost $3 or more.

According to chief cook Joy Sim, 50, the stall has been operating for 50 years and its recipe has been passed down through three generations.

According to Ms Sim, the stall was originally run by an elderly couple, but after the husband died, she joined in and became a partner to help preserve the skill of making the "heritage" dish.

Ms Sim, who revealed that the broth takes a day to make, said she is still making a profit even though she charges a low price and operating costs have risen.

Another reason she would not raise the price is that she wants to serve the many elderly residents in Beo Crescent.

Attracted by the food and price, Chen Jinfeng, 53, who works in Beo Crescent, eats at Ms Sim's stall twice a week.

Rickshaw noodles got their name from being the staple of ricksaw pullers in old Singapore.

They are loved by many for being a low-cost, no-frills dish.


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