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'Hawker legend': Ex-Heng Ji Chicken Rice owner dies at 80 after recent retirement

'Hawker legend': Ex-Heng Ji Chicken Rice owner dies at 80 after recent retirement
PHOTO: Facebook/Melvin Chew, Google

The former co-owner of the beloved Heng Ji Chicken Rice hawker stall, Lim En Ai died on Monday (Aug 21) at the age of 80.

Her obituary was shared on the Facebook group Hawkers United - Dabao 2020 by user Melvin Chew, who said he was "shocked and saddened" by the news.

"Auntie still found me [for] kopi about two months back and she was sharing about her retirement life. RIP auntie Lim, a hawker legend. You will be missed," wrote Melvin.

Her memorial service will be held at 8pm tonight while her funeral will be at 9.15am tomorrow.

As per the Facebook post, the wake is being held at Ruby Hall, Singapore Casket located in Lavender. 

According to Melvin, En Ai had been "sick for a while", though the exact cause of her death is unknown.

AsiaOne has reached out to him for more information.

Known as the oldest chicken rice stall in Singapore, Heng Ji Chicken Rice has been operating in the local food scene for over 60 years. 

Boasting a 4.2 rating on Google reviews, they are loved for their fragrant rice and tender poached chicken.


One user even called their chicken rice the best one they've ever had.

The family business was previously located at the old Smith Street food alley before it moved to its current location at Chinatown Complex Food Centre. It was started by Kai Cheok Heng before being taken over by his son Chan Yeow Seng and daughter-in-law En Ai.

Due to the pandemic, they closed for about a year in 2020 before reopening in April 2021.

The second-gen owners, En Ai and Yeow Seng, had issues finding a successor as their children had no intentions of taking over the business. 

Two cousins who are completely unrelated to the couple decided to take over the business upon hearing about their struggle in 2022. 

"As far as we know, the children of the old stall owners are not willing to take over, and we feel that it's a pity to let a 60-year-old brand disappear, so we want to take over and continue the business," shared the elder of the two.

Netizens expressed their sorrow over En Ai's death in the Facebook post comments.

"Deepest sympathy. She is a very humble and nice lady. I really missed her serving of chicken rice," said one netizen.

"RIP auntie. You had provided the best chicken rice for us," said another.

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