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#trending: Online users show strong support for Vietnamese hawker who began selling Indian food due to mistaken bid

SINGAPORE — A Vietnamese hawker who ended up selling Indian food due to a bidding mistake has earned praise and support for her resilience after her story drew the attention of the online community over the weekend.

Madam Nguyen Thi Kieu Hanh (left), owner of Mr Appam hawker stall, with the food items on sale.
Madam Nguyen Thi Kieu Hanh (left), owner of Mr Appam hawker stall, with the food items on sale.

SINGAPORE — A Vietnamese hawker who ended up selling Indian food due to a bidding mistake has earned praise and support for her resilience after her story drew the attention of the online community over the weekend.

Madam Nguyen Thi Kieu Kanh, 45, is a Vietnamese-born Singaporean permanent resident who used to work as a cook at casual Vietnamese chain Nam Nam. She opened her stall named Mr Appam at Maxwell Food Centre last December to support her family, after her husband suffered a stroke, 8 Days magazine reported last Thursday (June 16).

Initially intending to sell Vietnamese dishes, Mdm Nguyen accidentally found herself the owner of an Indian food stall instead.

She won a mistaken bid for an Indian food stall at the hawker centre but also unable to change the stall type after realising her mistake.

She did not want to forfeit her winning bid and instead of bemoaning the error, she taught herself to make appam with the help of a friend from Kerala, a consultant chef as well as YouTube videos.

They conceptualised a fresh menu full of inventive fusion flavours. 

Appam is a bowl-shaped pancake snack popular in South India and Sri Lanka.

Since TODAY first published her story on Facebook last Friday, the post has received more than 5,600 reactions and 650 shares as of 4.30pm on Monday.

Online users have responded with strong encouragement, commending her resilience and creativity.

One remarked on Facebook: "This is what Malays would call 'Nasi sudah jadi bubur. Nak buat apa, makan lah bubur tu' (Malay for 'rice accidentally turned into porridge, well just eat the porridge instead')."

Another said: "I like her attitude: diligent, creative, work smart, never-give-up!" 

On Twitter, users were similarly heartened by her energy and enthusiasm.

"This is such a funny and cute story," Twitter user "sharanvkaur" said.

Some customers have also taken to social media to share glowing reviews of Mdm Nguyen's "very authentic" appam creations and their experiences with the "lovely lady boss" herself.

"My dad usually buys appam from her. It is nice and fresh!" a Facebook user said.

"I've eaten here – it's delicious!" another claimed.

Others expressed their desire to try her appam creations for themselves, and with business at Mr Appam quickly picking up over the weekend, it seems that these online users have since made good on their word.

A post in a Facebook group among hawker-food enthusiasts noted that Mdm Nguyen's appams were "sold out by 10.30am" last Saturday.

A notice put up at Mr Appam which states that Mdm Nguyen will be taking a one-week break from business.

One Facebook user who had just enjoyed breakfast at the Maxwell stall last Saturday said:  "Close shop after 2.5 hours ... business must have been brisk!" 

The post also claims that Mdm Nguyen will be "going back to (her) home country for a break" this week. A photo of a notice put up at Mr Appam states that the stall will be closed until June 28.

Related topics

trending hawker mr appam Maxwell Food Centre Indian food vietnamese hawker appam

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