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If you’ve been wondering what happened to Naoji Kuribara, 54, the Japanese salaryman-turned-mee pok tow kay who owned Li Yuan Mee Pok at 710 Clementi West, he’s back in action at a new branch of his stall named after Naoji’s name in Chinese. It’s located in a kopitiam within an industrial park in Boon Lay, a short bus ride from Clementi central. We first met Naoji-san in 2016 when 8days.sg profiled him and his family — they ran two mee pok stalls in Clementi West, one fronted by Naoji, and the other by Naoji’s teenage kids, son Yuki and daughter Reiya.

In May 2018, the family moved back to their home city of Chiba (near Tokyo) because Naoji’s wife and kids wanted to live in Japan. They closed down one of their mee pok outlets and handed the cooking duties at the original 710 West Clementi stall to a Singaporean friend of Reiya’s, who’s still running the stall today under the Li Yuan brand which Naoji owns. According to Naoji, both his kids now work in Japan Post, while mum works with an instant noodle manufacturing company.

All photos cannot be reproduced without permission from 8days.sg​​​​​​​

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