Singapore bling

By Xu Junqian | China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-02 07:41

Singapore bling

Restaurateur Eldwin Chua from Singapore has launched a second culinary brand in China, which features Chinese cuisine that intriguingly originated outside of China.

The stewed silver noodle with salted fish in clay pot is repellently nicknamed "rat noodle" for its size and shape. But for Chua, a fourth-generation descendant of immigrants from southeastern China's Fujian province, it suggests the humble and humorous attitude of the ancestors' when they struggled to settle in an alien place.

"The past three years kind of convinced me that my culinary as well as business instincts may also work here. So now it's time for rapid expansion," he says.

He plans to add at least 10 outlets, including both the dumpling chain and the Nanyang-cuisine brand, in China this year.

The son of a plumber and a professional babysitter, Chua first chose to work part-time at McDonald's "simply for money and free lunch". After taking an apprenticeship at a local seafood restaurant at the age of 15, however, he found himself to be "born material for the kitchen".

"I think I could fry better rice than my peers," recalls Chua. After his college graduation, he invested all his savings from "rice-frying", SG$10,000 ($7,154), and started his first eatery in an industrial estate. It was also there that his now famous creamy buttery crab was born and secured the first batch of regular clientele.

In 2010, the group made a breakthrough by developing four new brand concepts with an investment of SG$10 million.

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