Sunday morning and my wife craved for Hakka mee in Ipoh. My son has yet to try it, though he had been twice when it was closed for the day or having sold out. I told her we should go there early to avoid the crowd.
This famous Hakka mee shop used to be opposite its present location in Jalan Sultan Iskandar (formerly Hugh Low St.) Though the shop is now bigger, its increasing popularity was obvious from the difficulty in finding seats as early as 10 am! We were lucky to find a table in the so-called 'air-cond' room big enough for only 2 small tables and some chairs.
I can still remember the fast service when a friend from Australia had breakfast there before we set off for Penang, about 2 years ago. I think we waited for just over 5 minutes to have the noodles and drinks served!
This time too, I was surprised at the fast service by the coffee shop lady who served our drinks within 3 minutes. I was worried about not being seen (esp. in the tiny room) by those serving the noodles but I shouldn't have, because a worker brought the chopsticks and tiny plates for garlic and chilly sauce, and soon after our order was taken, the noodles were served, within minutes.
One of the reasons for the fast service is the system of ordering and serving, which is well understood by the workers. I believe the boss has in place an excellent system in the preparation of food too. Though it seems simple, I have come across very slow service with some noodle sellers. I could see the workers going round to look out for newcomers so that their orders could be taken fast. The drinks section appear to be run by others but the fast service must have been contagious. Fast service means fast turnover of customers and fast sale means earlier closing time! This is a place for those new to such business, to learn from as well as to emulate.