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This Chinese Couple Makes Yong Tau Foo and Chee Cheong Fun Affordable And Accessible For Our Multicultural Country

This Chinese Couple Makes Yong Tau Foo and Chee Cheong Fun Affordable And Accessible For Our Multicultural Country

The couple’s yong tau foo and chee cheong fun is a delight for dedicated foodies and have long served as an culinary oasis for Malaysians.

Fernando Fong

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Malaysians love their food, and an elderly couple from Kuala Selangor have been giving Klang Valley folks something to look forward to every day.

For more than 30 years, Heng Hwa Eng and his wife Su How Lian had been faithfully serving Malaysians the nation’s classic comfort food – yong tau foo and chee cheong fun.

Come lunch, dinner or even a mid-afternoon break, their stall is easily the most well-loved among the repertoire of hawker fares at an open-air food court in Damansara.

With more than 40 types of young tau foo items, their offerings are beloved by young and old, never mind the expanding calories that come with it. 

The Hengs’ yong tau foo is well-known for its authenticity of taste. (Credit: Fernando Fong)

The yong tau foo items, mostly fried, range from RM0.80 to RM2.50.

But the pièce de résistance are the sauces, especially the chilli sauce, which packs just the right amount of kick for most taste buds.

Heng and his wife used to open from the morning, but age had caught with them.

Even then, they still open until as late as 4 am in the morning before the pandemic shortened the hours.

Hawker food unifies the country’s diverse threads. (Credit: Fernando Fong)

A Family Tradition

With the mushrooming of so many modern food and beverage outlets in the city, Heng is determined to keep the hawker culture vibrant.

Heng is a third-generation hawker, originating was a roadside street stall started by his grandparents in Kuala Selangor.

The family sold yong tau foo and chee cheong fun as affordable meals for the people while earning a living for themselves.

The fourth of seven children in a Hokkien family, Heng started helping his family business even while as a kid.

Heng’s hawker fare is an expression of the nation’s multiculturalism. (Credit: Fernando Fong)

Despite quitting secondary school halfway, Heng considered himself lucky compared to his elder siblings who only studied in primary school.

While in his early 20s, a chance encounter led him and his wife to start a hawker stall in Damansara near the local police station.

He remembered that back in the 80s, Damansara was still very much undeveloped compared to now.

Later, in the early 90s, with development picking up pace, they were resettled in an open food court nearby and had been at the same spot to this day.

 People can’t get enough of the popular yong tau foo and chee cheong fun. (Credit: Fernando Fong)

People can’t afford food back then as they do now. People are richer now and can eat whatever they want, but they seem to be less happy. Good food should be something that is not only enjoyable to eat, but also brings harmony and closeness to the family and relationship.

Hawker Heng Hwa Eng to TRP on the importance of food culture.

The modern hawker centres, with improved sanitation and facilities, helped the couple to serve more customers.

More than just taste, the appeal of the yong tau foo and chee cheong fun lies in its human connection.

The stall is frequented by locals and tourists alike, and one can always expect a long queue due to its popularity.

READ MORE: Yong Tau Foo, Malaysia’s Favourite Stuffed Beancurd, Was Born Of Indecisiveness

Yong tau foo is a Hakka Chinese food, which literally means stuffed tofu. (Credit: Fernando Fong)

When customers enjoy our food, they will tell us that the food reminds them of their childhood days. We are especially happy that some customers will bring their whole families to eat out.

Hawker Heng Hwa Eng to TRP on why the hawker culture is not only tasteful but beautiful.
There are more than 40 varieties of yong tau foo items at the Hengs’ hawker stall. (Credit: Fernando Fong)

The couple themselves are assisted by their children who are in their 20s.

Heng said they are still warming to new technology, notably in delivery options.

At present, customers have to walk in to eat there or take away as there are no options for online orders.

He said some customers would hire Lalamove riders to queue up and order take-aways.

Heng and his wife hope the hawker culture will remain vibrant with good quality food in the years to come.

People want to support the hawkers not just because it’s cheaper than eating in restaurants, but because they love the hawker culture.

Hawker Heng Hwa Eng to TRP on what makes the hawker culture unique.
Family teamwork:  Each person in Hengs helps out with different chores. (Credit: Fernando Fong)

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