Viral "Chio Bu" Lok Lok Hawker Opening 2nd Outlet, New Stall To Sell $3 Mini Rice Bowls Too
Westies will no longer have to travel to Tai Seng for her lok lok.
Self-proclaimed “chio bu” hawker Phyllis Seah, who attracted a following for her girlish looks and Johor Bahru-style lok lok at her stall Fei Zhu Lok Lok at Tai Seng will be celebrating her biz’s first anniversary with a new outlet. Her second stall, located at a Jurong West kopitiam, will open on February 17.
After 8days.sg wrote a feature on her shop in the Tai Seng industrial estate last February, it enjoyed a surge in popularity and the wait for its skewers was one to two hours long. We’re told it’s around a far more manageable 10 minutes now.
“We broke even in one month after the article was published,” shares Phyllis, whose boyfriend is SPOP WAVE! finalist Rao Zijie. “I have been wanting to expand for the longest time, but manpower is an issue, otherwise I would have opened a new outlet a long time ago.” Phyllis' partner Jueying Goh left the biz last September due to "different goals for the business".
Phyllis, 25, has also gotten a lot more attention from customers. “Some uncles come down just to support me. They will buy me food and drinks whenever I’m there, but no one has asked me out ‘cos they know Zijie is my boyfriend,” she laughs.
She decided to open her second stall in Jurong as a lot of their customers are westies. “A lot of customers told me that they specially travelled from places like Yishun or Jurong just to have our lok lok. I grew up in Jurong, so I know it’s really far to travel from the west to Tai Seng, that’s why I wanted to open [a stall] in Jurong to cater to the westsiders,” says Phyllis.
After months of searching, she finally found a suitable space in a coffeeshop under a block of HDB flats. The space will open till 2am to cater to the supper crowd.
Like the Tai Seng coffeeshop where their first stall is located, this kopitiam also does not allow dining in for groups of up to five people from different households. However, Phyllis hopes to convince the boss to make the switch if their business is good.
“Sales dropped more than 50 per cent due to the series of dining restrictions. Business has picked up, but it is still not as good as before ’cos only two pax can dine together. But it’s still manageable because I have customers who come just for our lok lok every day,” she says.
While Phyllis will still be running both outlets, she will spend more time in Jurong until operations are stable.