SINGAPORE - The founder of Hill Street Fried Kway Teow, Mr Ng Chang Siang, died today (May 15) at the age of 71.
He was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) about four years ago, and had been bed-ridden ever since, says Mr Ng's son Ng Yeow Kiat, 36, the third of four children.
He says his dad was a "very caring father" and the oldest of six children. He started cooking to help raise them.
The younger Mr Ng continues his father's legacy, and has been running the char kway teow stall in Bedok South Market & Food Centre for the past five years, along with his aunt and a helper. It took his father six months to be willing to taste the char kway teow that he cooked.
"My father would take one look and say that my char kway teow cannot make it," adds Mr Ng, who took one year to meet his father's high standards.
The late Mr Ng had been selling char kway teow since 1961. He started with a roadside pushcart in Wayang Street, and later relocated to the hawker centre in Hill Street before moving to Block 16, Bedok South Road in 2000.
Hill Street Char Kway Teow was one of the brands on celebrity chef and television personality Anthony Bourdain's wishlist when he was planning his Bourdain Market food hall in New York City.
K.F. Seetoh, founder of food guide Makansutra, paid tribute to Mr Ng on Facebook, and remembers Bourdain asking "how can anything this ugly be this good?".
Mr Seetoh adds: "His passing, to me, is not in vain. He left us a legacy, not just culinary. He passed his skills to his son Ah Kiat, fed happy diners and kept them comforted with his 'ugly noodles'".