Singapore’s pasar malam has a newcomer and it’s already attracting a long line of foodies seeking affordable seafood.
Seafood Hunter offers up to 25 different types of ready-to-eat seafood items with a majority of them priced at a dollar each. Other premium seafoods, such as the crab, are affordably priced at $5.90 each.
After launching the food concept two months ago at a pasar malam in Yishun, the stall attracted a long queue and usually sold out by 9pm. The stall is currently located at a pasar malam in Choa Chu Kang from 4 to 19 November and will also run its business at another pasar malam in Bishan from 11 to 26 November.
When this reporter visited the stall during one of the late afternoons earlier this week, the Australian mini lobsters and crabs were sold out. At the same time, the grilled oysters – served with either melted Mozzarella cheese or garlic butter – were waiting to be replenished. Despite the light rain at the time, hungry customers continued to queue at the stall, which was located along one of the edges, leaving customers to wait outside the shelter.
It’s hard to miss the stall given its striking storefront consisting of a professionally-designed banner and a bright $1 cut-out pasted at the centre of the stall front. The smart design was the brainchild of the man behind the business, a former art director turned seafood supplier.
Louis Stan Lee once owned a creative agency before joining an events company. After months of working 18-hour shifts each day, he decided to ditch the hectic corporate life and return to Malaysia, where he owned a fish farm. The Malaysia-born 41-year-old has lived in Singapore for more than 20 years and is now a citizen here.
“I supplied seafood to hotels and caterers in Singapore and saw the expensive prices these places would charge for seafood,” said Lee, who ran a fish farm from 2014 to 2017. He still runs a seafood supply company, mainly dealing with imports from Southeast Asia and Australia.
“Everybody thinks that seafood has to be expensive when it shouldn’t be. I’m able to keep the prices low because there’s no middleman. The food at Seafood Hunter comes straight from the supplier – and that’s me,” he added.
The father of three admits that many customers are sceptical of the quality of the seafood he sells given the cheap price tag. Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore tried one of the oysters, at $1.50 apiece, and they tasted really fresh and juicy.
“People ask, ‘Are you sure that crab is $5.90?’ or ‘How come your oyster is $1.50? Is the quality okay?’,” Lee said. “I try to explain to everybody that I’m a seafood supplier and we can keep the price low because we go for volume.”
Seeing the positive response of his new business, Lee hopes to open a central kitchen and a permanent food kiosk in Singapore. “Pasar malams are great at helping me test the market. I will still join pasar malams because it’s good for business,” said Lee.
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