Bak Chor Mee Done Japanese Maze Soba-Style At New Hawker Stall In Clementi
Mr. Meepok is opened by the hawkers behind the now-defunct Kinobe beef donburi stall.
Millennials Lee Yong Wen (far right), 30, and Benjamin Quah (left), 31, have been through the wringer since venturing into the hawker world. The secondary school pals quit their jobs – Yong Wen was once a DJ, before switching to F&B operations while Benjamin worked in banking – in 2018 and opened Kinobe, a Japanese beef bowl stall, in Amoy Street Food Centre.
They broke even within seven months, giving them the confidence to start another venture in 2020: Overcooked Mookata, a Thai-style barbecue stall at a coffeeshop in Ang Mo Kio. Unfortunately for them, they opened midway into the pandemic – just days before the Circuit Breaker – leading to months of slow sales and losses.
Earlier this year, the resilient duo came up with yet another new concept: Mr. Meepok. It’s a hawker stall selling Japanese-inflected bak chor mee (including maze soba-style, an unusual fusion creation inspired by a dry ramen dish topped with spicy minced meat that’s popular in Nagoya), fishball noodles and laksa, which they opened in a Clementi West kopitiam in January. They then decided to close Kinobe permanently, which had been dormant after the food centre’s three-month renovation completed earlier this year, and transformed the stall into their second Mr. Meepok outlet in April.