In 1989, Mr Yap Hock Kee (above), 36, opened a rice-and-curry stall at Marina South, serving chicken, fish head, mutton, port ribs and vegetable curries with rice or bread.
Today, he and 11 other family members run three stalls and central kitchen at Telok Blangah Road, where the curry is cooked.
The early days: ”My grandmother was a Peranankan and she passed her curry recipe to my mother. One day when the family was having dinner, I said,’Why not start a curry business?’ Everybody agreed and we went to work.”
His Dream:”I did not dream of expanding, but business was good and most of my customers were working in the CBD so I thought, why not set up another stall there. We have three stalls now and I want to open more.”
The secret of his success:”It is the spices and the secret ingredients in the curry paste that only my mother and I know. We use only the best ingredients, chilli from China and potatoes from Indonesia. We never get supplies from anywhere else.”
A regular customer says: “I don’t know what they put in the gravy but it is really good. I have lunch here quite often and at $3.50 for a meal, the price is also quite reasonable.” – Miss Joanne Lim, 28, a personnel executive – Picture by TING MIN-WEI.