Taxi Driver Who Grew “Sick & Tired Of Driving” Opens Tonkotsu Ramen Hawker Stall
Most of the stalls at sleepy Circuit Road Blk 79/79A Hawker Centre serve affordably priced local fare to cater to the predominantly older customers living in the area. So we were surprised when we learned that tonkotsu ramen stall Umai (“good” in Japanese) opened at the old-school hawker centre on July 4. It stands out among its neighbours with a menu displayed on a television screen, beneath a modern signboard flanked by red Japanese lanterns. Moreover, a bowl of ramen here costs $8.90, a far cry from the $4.50 ban mian from the stall beside it.
Towkay and first-time hawker Mattias Mak, 54, tells 8days.sg that Umai is his way of fulfilling his dream of opening his own F&B business while overcoming the ennui that crept up after “more than twenty years” as a taxi and private-hire driver.
He shares: “I was sick and tired of driving. It felt like I was just going around in circles and getting nowhere. I wake up, drive all day, go home – that’s it. I wanted to do something other than just drive [for the rest of my life].”
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