There are few places where bad service is worn like a badge of honour. For example, there’s Karen’s Diner in Australia, where wait staff are trained to insult you; and the tsundere cafes in Japan, where they play hostile at first but warm up eventually.
Well, the hawkers on this list don’t fall into this category. Their reported grumpiness is organic, a product of the sweltering heat, lunchtime crowds, and indecisive patrons holding up the queue because they can’t decide between mee pok and mee kia. Yet, we’ve found a way to not only tolerate but embrace them as proof of quality.
Perhaps it’s because we aren’t paying for service, or that our love for food outweighs our ego. They must be the real deal if they can afford to lose customers, right? You can be the judge after reading some of the reviews on Google below and (eventually?) braving these notoriously grumpy hawkers.
1. WAH KEE BIG PRAWN NOODLES (PEK KIO MARKET)
The lady boss of Wah Kee Big Prawn Noodles at Pek Kio Market has a reputation that precedes her, which kept me on my toes even though there was no queue when I visited on a weekday afternoon. I recited my order with rehearsed succinctness but still faced her wrath for assembling the tray and cutlery too slowly.