Closing down reputable family business is a painful thing to do. The years of hard work has made the business prolific and reputable among the community, seeing it fades out of existence is burdensome and a regretful move.
Ah Yee’s Soon Kueh was closed down in April 2012 after the owner Madam Tay Lee Tiong could no longer withstand the long hours of work to handmake hundreds of soon kueh every day. The news devastated frequenters as the beloved kueh stall was shut down after operating eight years at Dunman Hawker Center, Singapore.
Seeing his mother fondly missing her days working at the stall, Tay’s second son Jeffrey Goh decided to quit his S$10,000 (approx RM30,000) job as a bank trader to bring back her mother successful business.
Soon kueh is a type of savoury Chinese dumpling filled with carrots, black fungus, turnip, and hei bi, all wrapped up in rice flour. Tay’s previous stall was very well-received by the customers as well as the media. After a storm of news reports praising the mouth-watering kueh, the stall bloomed and the queues to get the dumplings had gotten longer and longer throughout the operation years.
The store’s name ‘Ah Yee’ means ‘aunty’ which is also how her customers warmly called her (photo). Goh used to help his mother out every weekend at the humble stall but the workload was still overwhelming for Tay because of old age. The 64-year-old mother continued for eight years and sadly ceased operation in 2012.
According to Oriental Daily, when Goh started to feel apathetic in his high-salary job, he decided to take a turn in his life and resuscitate his mother esteemed eatery. From making lucrative and stable money, Goh forwent his dealing with numbers to learning and making delectable kuehs that his mother was famous for.
The new store reopened at Tembeling Road in August 2017 after taking a five-year break. Tay reprised her beloved culinarian role and taught Goh on how to make the perfect soon kueh. Together, the mother-and-son open the doors to serve their loyal customers the dumplings they ever so loved and missed.
Goh (photo) said he is training hard to learn the masteries in making the kuih before he could fully take over the business and let his mother retire without regrets. Currently, he admits to possess 60% of his mother’s skills.
The soon kuehs are known for their thin, translucent skin and fragrant fillings that are all handmade and cooked in the store every day. The shop has an open kitchen so for the curious eyes, you can see Goh and Tay work on the delicacies every day. Other that soon kueh, the new shop also serves various traditional snacks such as yam cake, glutinous rice and kaya.
The mother is happy that her son has helped her to reestablished Ah Yee’s Soon Kueh and able to pass down the secret recipe and craft to him. The mother-and-son duo wishes that the store would achieve massive success in Singapore and become a national brand in the coming years.
You go, guys! Definitely dropping by their store at 124 Tembeling Road the next time we visit Singapore.