10 cents wantan not weighing man down

GEORGE TOWN - While many hawkers have raised the prices of their food this year, one septuagenarian has maintained the price of his wantan (dumpling) which he sells for just 10sen each.

Gan Seng Lean, 76, said he has not increased the price of his wantan for many years.

"You can't find a cheaper wantan in town!" declared Gan with a laugh.

He said although the wantan he sells is small, they could be quite filling if a person eats 10 of them.

"And you only have to pay RM1 (S$0.39) for that. I also provide chilli sauce and other self-made flavours," said Gan who operates from his home which is located opposite the Federation School for the Deaf along Jalan Lembah Permai (Vale of Tempe) in Tanjung Bungah.

Gan said he could still make a profit at 10sen a piece although not much.

"I have to rely on high sales volume. For example, I have to sell 2,000 wantan a day to earn RM20," he explained.

A quick survey around the area revealed that the price of wantan elsewhere are at least 30sen each but they have more filling.

Gan also sells wantan noodles at RM2.50 for a small plate and RM3 for a big plate, prices which he had maintained for several years. The small plate comes with six wantan while the big plate has eight wantan and double the amount of noodles.

Gan said the business helped supplement the household income.

"Besides, I can keep myself sane by doing this," he said.

Gan is helped by his wife Cheng Kooi Lan, 73, who sometimes cycles to a nearby market to buy pork and other ingredients.

Gan picked up his cooking skills in his teens when he worked as a helper at a wantan noodle stall in the Cecil Street Market here.

He later started a stall of his own in Tanjung Bungah before operating from his house after recovering from injuries sustained in an attempted robbery two years ago. Gan's business hours is from 10am to 11pm daily.