The chef behind Crystal Jade’s famous wanton mee has passed away, according to food guru KF Seetoh.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday (Apr 9), the Makansutra founder paid tribute to Tang Siu Nam, who died in February at the age of 87.
“It is with much regret I make a belated announcement of the passing of Master Tang (wanton mee), who created that signature style, originally at Crystal Jade. He passed on in Feb and his wife Ms Happy kept it quiet as per the wishes of the Master. They were almost penniless as she, lone caretaker and jobless, had to take care of him in his fading months, after they quit the stall at Bkt Batok last year,” he wrote.
According to Seetoh, Tang had returned to his hometown in Hong Kong where he passed away. His wife, unable to afford a columbarium space there, has appealed to her friends for money to bring him back to Singapore.
Tang reportedly first arrived in Singapore in 1978 and joined Chinese restaurant chain Crystal Jade soon after. In his 17 years as head chef and chef trainer, he was best known for creating the restaurant’s signature wanton mee and XO chilli sauce.
After retiring in 2013, Master Tang opened his own hawker stall in Chinatown Food Centre in 2014. He then moved to Sixth Avenue in 2016, where he stayed until health problems affected his ability to work last October.
“This man had done his adopted home Singapore proud,” Seetoh wrote. “Sadly, he can’t be around to see the latest Netflix Street Food show that featured and highlighted him and his mastery. It will be screened last week of April. He will be a respectable face of Sg hawker food.”