Look ma, no queues at this bak kwa shop
YOU do not need to queue for bak kwa from Kim Hock Seng.
Owner Ong Geok Hoo, 64, keeps repeating this line to SundayLife! when asked how his barbecued-pork business stands out from the rest.
Unlike his competitors that have customers queuing for hours, Mr Ong does not believe in the need for his customers to queue. He says in Mandarin: "Just call me to make an order, why must you queue? Time is money and if my customers queue, I'm wasting their time."
No queues aside, Kim Hock Seng in Keong Saik Road is famous for its tender bak kwa - particularly the honey-bacon version.
The honey-bacon bak kwa is sold out for the Chinese New Year period, but the yummy original barbecued-pork slices are still available.
To prove his point, Mr Ong shows SundayLife! his stack of receipts, and gestures towards order forms pasted on the shop's walls for the barbecued-pork slices.
He has run the business for more than 40 years with his wife, Madam Ong Siew Hong, who is in her 50s. The dynamic duo prepare their bak kwa from scratch in their shop.
During the Chinese New Year period, the shop's signature red boxes are piled high on one side, while slices of caramelised pork are stacked on trays around the shop, cooling off so that they can be packed for the next day's orders.
While Mr Ong admits that he is tired and has had fewer than four hours of sleep a day, put him in front of the fire to grill bak kwa and he is in his element - declaring that "it's not hot".
The couple have three children in their 30s who have no plans to take over the business, says Mr Ong.
But with a hearty laugh, the jolly bak-kwa seller adds: "I'm still young, and I can do this for at least another 10 years.
"My bak kwa packaging has never changed, my recipe has never changed. My white singlet and white shorts have also not changed."