If you are a noodle afficionado, you probably have tasted the delectable artful cuisine of Mr. Ah Seng. Despite his popular business, this gentleman rigorously protects his privacy. "It is not because I refuse to be known, it's because in this highly competitive business, I always believe not to divulge much. And that includes my true identity," he said with a smile. And that is exactly why he only allowed Indonesia Prattler to use his childhood nickname. "I rarely go by my Chinese name. It is too personal," he chuckled.
Mr. Ah Seng has been involved in the noodle business for the past sixteen years. The master in his own craft, he only employed two assistants in the daily operation. "The smaller I keep the organization, the better result it will bring. That way, the secret recipe is highly guarded and the quality will always be greatly maintained," his eyes flickered. He told Indonesia Prattler that he would love to show how the noodles are produced, but due to security reasons, he showed us the final product instead. "My noodles are easily recognized through its distinguished thickness in their strands. They are made from the finest flour and contain no preservatives. The sauces are transported daily from Karawang to preserve its freshness," the proud man said.
Graduated from a local elementary school in Bangka, Mr. Ah Seng traveled to Jakarta in 1980 and fell in love with the dynamic life, he was reluctant to go back. He started his now widely recognized noodle empire all by himself. "It was already a competitive era for the noodle business, but I refuse to get competition get me down," he smirks, showing off a hint of perfectly embedded gold teeth inside his strong upper jaw. The man knows style, as some Prattlers might say. His simplistic approach towards the business is reflected through his highest quality polyester t-shirt covering his well-toned body. The hint of natural prespiration and marks of humidity traced on his chest, indicates his love of sports. Mr. Ah Seng laughed, "Oh I exercise everyday. Accelerating the palanquin and its contents helps a great deal in keeping my stamina at top form. It's a bit sad that these days I have the two assistants to do it for me. Nevertheless, it's still great that I can walk beside them while they do it. It's good for my heart."
Now, who wouldn't love to relish a savory bowl of noodle served by a good-hearted man?