Joanne Ng Fishball Noodle Entrepreneur

Joanne Ng, 32
She owns a chain of fishball noodle stalls

Three things you need to know about this hawker who runs Ru Ji Kitchen, which has stalls at Old Airport Road Food Centre, Redhill Market & Food Centre, Block 44 Holland Drive and Tanjong Pagar Plaza Market & Food Centre: 

1. Selling fishball noodles
is not her dream job. However, she has always wanted to run her own business. The bonus that comes with taking over the business from her father, who started Ru Ji Kitchen more than 10 years ago, is that she gets to continue her dad’s legacy. “I love it whenever regular customers thank us for sustaining the stall, so their kids get to eat ‘old- school’ food,” says Joanne. 

2. The fishballs and fish cakes are handmade
…by Joanne and her husband Daniel Lee, who get cracking at 4am to mould the fish paste by hand, prepare the chilli sauce and fry the pork lard. Even though Joanne’s dad guides them, she feels that “it will take years to master his skill”. 

3. She agrees that being a hawker is unglam.
“You work in a hot and stuffy environment, you can’t dress up and all your weekends are burnt,” says Joanne. “But don’t be put off by that if you’re considering becoming one. You can always hire workers to lighten your workload and shorten your working hours.”

Photography: Winston Chuang, Styling: Evon Chng, Hair: Aaron Ng/Decorum Makeup: Benedict Choo using M.A.C, Outfit: Eleven Paris

This story was first published in Her World Magazine July 2015.

Want to read more about inspiring Singapore women with cool jobs? Find out why this woman quit her job as an air stewardess to run a Penang prawn noodles stall and what it’s like for this woman to run a funeral parlour.