Hanoi-born Nguyen The Tuan works 12-hour days at his hawker stall. The 46-year-old had set up his own stall a year ago at a kopitiam below Jurong East MRT station. Called Hanoi Cuisine, it offers his traditional hometown food at affordable prices, like an excellent charcoal-grilled pork Bun Cha for $6.50.
A Hanoi specialty, bun cha consists of grilled pork served with rice noodles, herbs and a tangy lime and sugar-infused fish sauce called nuoc cham. The underrated dish became famous internationally when former US president Barack Obama visited Hanoi in 2016, and ate bun cha with the late Anthony Bourdain for an episode of the latter's food travelogue Parts Unknown.