[dropcap size=small]A[/dropcap]s somebody who juggles multiple roles – founder of streetwear brand 77th Street, youth ambassador and advocate of social entrepreneurship – Elim Chew has a packed schedule. So rather than sit down to a long, fancy meal, she would much rather a quick bite of hawker fare.

Her all-time favourite: the chye tau kway with extra dark soya sauce from Heng Carrot Cake, Stall 28, at Newton Food Centre. Discovered by her and a group of friends while going around Singapore to find the best version, it was unanimously voted as the best by all of them.

“It is not too oily, with a fragrant and strong taste. The portion is generous and the price, reasonable. More importantly, I love it as providing an authentic taste of one of Singapore’s famous hawker food,” she describes.

Another favourite from this stall: oyster omelette. “It is fragrant and crispy with the fragrance of wok hei. The oysters are fresh too. The dish never fails to give me a sense of satisfaction every time I have it,” raves Chew.

She has visited the stall since she started 77th Street in 1988. Today, she frequents it for dinner with friends in tow. The stall owners recognise her as one of their regulars, and remember her preferences. “As technology advances and many things become more automated, sometimes we lose the ‘heartware’ in business, while focusing too much on ‘hardware’,” laments Chew.

“To me, this personal touch between the stall owner and myself is even more precious.”



Since changing the face of local fashion through 77th Street, entrepreneur Elim Chew has used it as a springboard to delve into other causes she is passionate about: youth and social entrepreneurship. Today, she sits on more than 20 boards and committees in the public service and youth and community organisations.