Makcik Sells $1 Nasi Lemak at Toa Payoh Since The 1980s & Has Never Increased Price

Image: Our Grandfather Story YouTube

Previously, we wrote about this auntie who adamantly refused to up the price of her carrot cake because of one heartwarming reason.

She wants to keep it affordable for the elderly.

Back then, we were like, you can’t find any stall nicer than this auntie. Or anyone more generous and kind than this old lady. 

But we were wrong.

Because there’s a makcik in Toa Payoh that’s selling traditional nasi lemak.

Image: Our Grandfather Story YouTube

Look at the picture above. There’s fish, egg, cucumber and sambal chilli.

How much do you think that costs? $1.80? Or maybe, $2.

Guess what?

It’s one buck.

Image: Our Grandfather Story YouTube

And it’s been $1 for the past 32 years.

Image: Tenor

She had originally wanted to retire

Back in 2018, Zaliah Ishak, the makcik and owner of the food stall Kedai Makan Muhajirin, received a notice to move out on Dec 2018.

She wanted to take it as an opportunity to retire.

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But her regular customers regularly (geddit?) contacted her to ask about when and where she’ll be back in action.

The questions include, “Where are you, auntie? I want to eat your S$1 nasi lemak,” as well as “How are we going to find S$1 nasi lemak?”


With touching messages like that, is any human able to leave with no regrets?

Plus, her husband also encouraged her to continue selling her food. After all, he said, it’s better to work. If not, their health might just deteriorate.

So Kedai Makan Muhajirin reopened at block 20, near where their original stall was located at.

Money Isn’t Everything, Sincerity Counts Too

The stall sells other items like mee rebus, mee siam and lontong at $2.50: A price you can rarely find anywhere else in Singapore.

When asked why she’s fixing her nasi lemak at just one dollar, she said something pretty inspiring.

“Money alone cannot make us happy. The satisfaction that we get from running our business comes from being sincere. This is very important to me.”

Plus, Toa Payoh has a lot of elderly residents and she wants to keep her nasi lemak affordable for them as well.

She had even said that she hoped her daughter-in-law, Nana Azlina, will continue to keep the nasi lemak at $1 after she takes over the business.

“When people get to eat my food every day, I feel happy and motivated.”

Address: 20 Toa Payoh Lorong 7 Singapore 310020

You can watch the makcik’s full interview below:

Now, this is what the real social enterprise.