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Thread: Finally a sinkie hawker stall is using innovation to help them run efficiently

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    Thumbs up Finally a sinkie hawker stall is using innovation to help them run efficiently

    Made by mee-chine
    Abigail Goh | The New Paper | Wed Jun 19 2013


    The mother and son team spent nine months developing and perfecting their wanton mee recipe.Singapore, June 19, 2013

    When a chemist makes wonton mee, he looks for precision.

    So instead of having someone estimate the cooking time, he would prefer a machine that can cook noodles to his specifications - such as an automated noodle boiler that, at the push of a button, lowers noodles into a tank of boiling water.

    Stirring the noodles is not necessary as the machine swirls the hot water around.

    Twenty seconds later, the basket pops back up and the noodles are ready to be garnished.

    This is how it is done at RedRing Wanton Mee, the brainchild of chemistry graduate Roy Chan, 26.

    The stall at Block 46, Holland Drive, opened in January and is run by Mr Chan's mother, Mrs Esther Chan.

    They paid $8,600 for the boiler, which can also be used to cook vegetables and wonton.

    It has four baskets that can cook simultaneously and a digital timer which can be preset.

    In Singapore, there has always been a push to improve productivity, but the food and beverage industry has been slow to catch on.

    Mrs Chan believes automation is the answer.

    The mother and son team spent nine months developing and perfecting their wanton mee recipe.

    No experience

    Though neither had experience in hawker food, they were determined to make the best wonton mee possible.

    Mrs Chan was a quality control manager in the electronics industry for over 20 years until she was retrenched three years ago.

    That was when her son, who has a degree in chemistry from the National University of Singapore and will be going on a scholarship to Stanford University in August to do a PhD in chemistry, came up with the idea of opening a wonton mee stall.

    They tried different ways of cooking the various components - the sauce, char siew, wonton, noodles and soup - and went around Singapore trying the dish from famous stalls.

    The pair are perfectionists - their recipes specify the addition of ingredients down to the gram.

    Their secret sauce alone has 14 ingredients.

    Mr Chan said his knowledge of chemistry helped in formulating the recipes from scratch.

    "For example, certain types of foods, like ikan bilis, are natural sources of amino acids that give food a savoury taste and are flavour enhancers. The trick is to maintain a balance between different molecules to get the right taste.

    "So we had a clear goal in mind to include such ingredients. It was a calculated trial-and-error process," he said.


    More appealing

    Chemistry also helped make the char siew look more appealing. They smoke the char siew themselves on site.

    He said: "Once you know what makes the meat turn brown, you can enhance these factors to make the meat turn a darker shade naturally, without using artificial colouring."

    They decided to buy the automated boiler partly because their aim is to develop a one-man-operation model that is easily scalable.

    The stall is manned by Mrs Chan and one employee in the mornings and during lunch hour. After the lunch crowd is gone, only one person is needed.

    On average, she dishes out about 300 plates of wonton mee a day, with the boiler running below full capacity.

    "Without the machine, I would have to hire an additional employee to maintain the same efficiency," she said.

    That translates into savings of between $1,800 and $2,000, which is the average salary of a hawker.

    Mrs Chan said she has recovered about half of her $21,000 investment.

    She added: "And I save on the trouble of having to find and hire someone with the skills to cook noodles that are done just right.

    "As long as we can provide the materials, like the char siew, wonton and sauce, ready to be served, anyone can do it."

    The other reason for paying big money for the automated boiler is to ensure consistency in the quality of the noodles.

    First-time customer Loh Wah Peng, 52, a technician, said: "The noodles have great texture and are very fragrant. It tastes like the noodles I had as a child.

    "It's definitely worth coming back for more."

    Another customer, Mr Tham Men Ming, 35, an air conditioner technician, has been eating there about two to three times a week for the past two months.

    Whenever he is in the neighbourhood, he will drop by for a plate of wonton mee.

    "The standard is pretty consistent and it has a distinctive taste, which is why I like this wonton mee better than other stalls," he said.




    Get The New Paper for more stories.


    Stirring the noodles is not necessary as the machine swirls the hot water around. Twenty seconds later, the basket pops back up and the noodles are ready to be garnished.


    This is how it is done at RedRing Wanton Mee, the brainchild of chemistry graduate Roy Chan, 26.The stall at Block 46, Holland Drive, opened in January and is run by Mr Chan's mother, Mrs Esther Chan.


    They paid $8,600 for the boiler, which can also be used to cook vegetables and wonton.


    It has four baskets that can cook simultaneously and a digital timer which can be preset.




    The mother and son team spent nine months developing and perfecting their wanton mee recipe.


    Mrs Chan was a quality control manager in the electronics industry for over 20 years until she was retrenched three years ago.


    The pair are perfectionists - their recipes specify the addition of ingredients down to the gram. Their secret sauce alone has 14 ingredients.


    They decided to buy the automated boiler partly because their aim is to develop a one-man-operation model that is easily scalable.


    The other reason for paying big money for the automated boiler is to ensure consistency in the quality of the noodles.


    RedRing Wanton Mee, a stall at Holland Drive, named because of the red ring of sauce left behind on the plate.




  2. #2
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    Default Re: Finally a sinkie hawker stall is using innovation to help them run efficiently

    Japan already have this technology for long time ago, just go and check out their ramen stall.

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    Default Re: Finally a sinkie hawker stall is using innovation to help them run efficiently

    She will franchise that out soon, backed by the PAP ..soon, everyone can be wonton mee seller.

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    Default Re: Finally a sinkie hawker stall is using innovation to help them run efficiently

    any wanton mee never cross cold river is as good as better dun eat. my 2 baht.

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    Default Re: Finally a sinkie hawker stall is using innovation to help them run efficiently

    Quote Originally Posted by Sadako View Post
    Japan already have this technology for long time ago, just go and check out their ramen stall.
    Think you are quite right. Look at the labels on the so-called innovation and it is obviously an imported piece of kit.

    But like any machine, it produces quality as well as the person operating it, so kudos the them for optimising the cooking parameters.
    Ode To Cheese,
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    Ode To Cheese,
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    or bits and bits.

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    To appreciate, eat,
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    Default Re: Finally a sinkie hawker stall is using innovation to help them run efficiently

    That is why garmen is encouraging grads to be hawker ! Future hawkers in sg shall be degree holder ..aisay !

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    Default Re: Finally a sinkie hawker stall is using innovation to help them run efficiently

    Come to think of it, it would have improve their productivity further had they just added a means to swivel the noodle sieve into a pot of chilled water driven by a small 0.5hp unit.
    Ode To Cheese,
    Blue, Gorgonzola,
    American and Cheddar.
    Beja and Feta,
    Ode To Cheese,
    when you're sad and happy,
    Cheese just fits.
    Ode To Cheese,
    Mountains and Mountains,
    or bits and bits.

    Ode to the Cheese,
    To appreciate, eat,
    and take pictures. (With a Madrigal Wheel)

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    Default Re: Finally a sinkie hawker stall is using innovation to help them run efficiently

    Last edited by scroobal; 20-06-2013 at 05:35 PM.

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    Default Re: Finally a sinkie hawker stall is using innovation to help them run efficiently

    Quote Originally Posted by chonburifc View Post
    any wanton mee never cross cold river is as good as better dun eat. my 2 baht.
    I agree.......never rinse in cold water to remove alkaline (kan sui)....noddles is inedible.

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    Default Re: Finally a sinkie hawker stall is using innovation to help them run efficiently

    Quote Originally Posted by Narong Wongwan View Post
    I agree.......never rinse in cold water to remove alkaline (kan sui)....noddles is inedible.
    maybe they didnt use the egg noodle but the normal mee kia for fishball noodle.

    but effect the same, the taste wont be wanton mee.

    so instead of selling wanton mee, they shd have sell fishball mee.
    FTrashs are killing Singaporeans.......

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    Default Re: Finally a sinkie hawker stall is using innovation to help them run efficiently

    Quote Originally Posted by sleaguepunter View Post
    maybe they didnt use the egg noodle but the normal mee kia for fishball noodle.

    but effect the same, the taste wont be wanton mee.

    so instead of selling wanton mee, they shd have sell fishball mee.
    while i salute the hawker's innovation...........i fear a more sinister reason for putting up this story by MSM (we all know what that is).....
    end of the day as a customer........i dun care how they cook it as long as its tasty and hygienic.

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    Default Re: Finally a sinkie hawker stall is using innovation to help them run efficiently

    Wait some joker in pink shows up and ask for wanton mee mia hum how?

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