Do you like char kway teow?
This iconic local dish has stir-fried flat rice noodles with ingredients such as lup cheong (Chinese preserved sausage), cockles, eggs, fishcake and, of course, beansprouts.
Some people, though, have a huge aversion to beansprouts.
We all probably know a friend or two who ask local hawkers to hold the beansprouts when ordering dishes which are paired with beansprouts.
If you want beansprouts excluded from your order, you will need to fork out an additional $0.50 at this char kway teow stall.
Here’s more about this unique charge by a stall in Bukit Panjang.
Bukit Panjang Char Kway Teow Stall Charges $0.50 for No Beansprouts
At Fajar Shopping Centre, a char kway teow stall charges an additional $0.50 for customers who ask them to exclude beansprouts in their order.
This information is put up on a signboard at the stall, together with signage that says customers asking for additional ingredients will be charged more accordingly.
Puzzling charge, isn’t it?
After all, you are asking for fewer ingredients and, therefore, “saving costs” for the stall owner. Why should they charge you more?
Stall Owner Says the Charge Is Not About Making More Money but to Avoid Trouble
If you are scratching your head about this charge, here’s the answer to your questions.
Shin Min spoke to the stall owners to understand this unique charge, and the stall owners’s rationale seemed logical.
Mdm Goh (50 years old) shared in an interview with Shin Min that the additional $0.50 charge was not to fleece customers but to avoid trouble for themselves.
They usually fry about four to five portions of char kway teow in a single wok.
If a customer asks for beansprouts to be removed, the hawkers have to fry a new wokful just for them, and this is more troublesome.
So, that charge is to cover the effort and time the hawkers spent to create a new work.
Mdm Goh has over 20 years of experience cooking char kway teow and divulged that some people order different noodle dishes from her stall, which already requires her to cook them separately.
For example, a customer may order three packets of char kway teow but ask for three different noodle types for each packet.
That already requires Mdm Goh to fry the noodles three separate times.
If she has to restart the cooking process for the same noodle type but without beansprouts, the other customers in line would have to wait for a long time.
Well, we sure hope that McDonald’s doesn’t start charging us extra each time we ask for salt-less fries (since they fry a new batch to accommodate that request).
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