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Glancing at its exterior, Nen Nen Contemporary BBQ looks like a typical izakaya — from its burnt pine wood slabs (hand-torched by the owner) to a mustard noren (Japanese curtain) displaying the shop’s name. The menu tells a similar tale, boasting yakiniku restaurant staples like wagyu karubi and kurobuta collar. Surprisingly, the quaint barbecue joint is not a full-fledged restaurant but a hawker stall in Kallang Estate Food Centre (not to be confused with Old Airport Road Food Centre down the road) that opened in mid-January this year. It’s currently located in a Sixth Avenue kopitiam for three months while Kallang Estate Food Centre undergoes renovations.

The owners, Glen Choi, 47, and Rachel Yen, 46, are no strangers to bringing restaurant-quality food to a hawker centre. The couple used to run the popular Coocci Contemporary Japanese at Commonwealth Crescent Market, where they served Japanese-Western fusion items like chicken roulade with somen and chicken tortellini. The stall closed in 2015 after three years of operation.

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