Shing Hing Tai Rice Shop
“Rice shops” are clearly a sign of the times from an older generation. People in the past liked to order rice from these shops, not only because they liked the rice fragrance there, but they also liked the human touch; a sack of rice filled with personal touches will be more delicious. At the ground floor of Block 19, Shek Kip Mei Estate, there is a traditional rice shop called “Shing Hing Tai”. Mr. Wong Tak Kam, 65 years-old, is the shop owner, and he insists on attending to all matters personally. When rice arrives he would use the blower machine, which has a history of more than 3 decades, to blow away the impurities from the rice.
“There are only some five or seven rice shops left in Hong Kong with this know-how”, Mr. Wong said. When instant noodles hit the market and supermarkets became popular, business of the rice shop declined, and now only he and his wife are left to look after the shop. Although business is tough, Mr. Wong is still glad to hold on, together with his wife. He insists on cleaning the rice with the traditional blower, and ensures that the rice he sells to be clean and without impurities. Even though he is past sixty, Mr. Wong does not think about retirement, and is happy to ride on his bicycle every day, to deliver rice and groceries to his customers personally.