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Saturday, 8 March 2014

Only 10sen per wantan!

Gan scooping the filling onto the wantan skin.

Gan scooping the filling onto the wantan skin.

WHILE many hawkers have raised the prices of their food this year, one septuagenarian in Penang has maintained the price of his wantan (dumpling) which he sells for just 10sen each.

Gan Seng Lean, 76, said he had not increased the price of his wantan for many years.

“You can’t find any cheaper wantan in town!” declared Gan with a laugh.

He said although the wantan he sells is small, they could be quite filling if a person eats 10 of them.

“And you only have to pay RM1 for that. I also provide chilli sauce and other homemade flavours,” said Gan who operates from his home which is located opposite the Federation School for the Deaf along Jalan Lembah Permai (Vale of Tempe) in Tanjung Bungah.

He has turned part of his house compound into a makeshift kitchen and put three tables there for his customers.

Wantan mee seller Gan Seng Lean, 76, deep-frying the wantan (Chinese dumplings) at his house in Jalan Lembah Permai.- Photos by CHAN BOON KAI
[ Gan deep-frying the wantan at his house in Jalan Lembah Permai. ]

Gan said he could still make a small profit at 10sen a piece.

“I have to rely on high sales volume. For example, I have to sell 2,000 wantan a day to earn RM20,” he explained.

A quick sampling revealed that the price of wantan elsewhere are at least 30sen each but they have more filling.

Gan also sells wantan noodles at RM2.50 for a small plate and RM3 for a big plate, prices which he had maintained for several years. The small plate comes with six wantan while the big plate has eight wantan and double the amount of noodles.

Gan said the business helped supplement the household income.

“Besides, I can keep myself sane by doing this,” he said, adding that he did not plan to increase prices as long as he can make a profit. The wantan he sells is of both the boiled and deep-fried variety.

Gan is helped by his wife Cheng Kooi Lan, 73, who sometimes cycles to a nearby market to buy the ingredients.

Once everything is ready, Gan will prepare the bite-sized dumplings filled with minced pork and flour.

His customers include students of a nearby college and those living in the neighbourhood.

“Most of my customers order for takeaway. They buy between 10 and 20 pieces of the wantan,” said Gan, who picked up his cooking skills in his teens when he worked as a helper at a wantan noodle stall in the Cecil Street Market in George Town.

He later started a stall of his own in Tanjung Bungah before operating from his house after recovering from injuries sustained in an attempted robbery two years ago.

Gan’s business hours are from 10am to 11pm daily.

Tags / Keywords: Lifestyle , Northern Region , wantan , septuagenarian , tanjung bungah


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