Founder of famed Haron Satay stall dies
One of Singapore's famed hawker masters has died.
Mr Haron Abu Bakar, 69, the founder of Haron Satay at East Coast Lagoon Food Village, died on Wednesday morning.
Mr KF Seetoh, founder of the Makansutra food guide, said: "Singapore has lost a makan icon."
Haron Satay, which has been featured extensively in food review websites, has consistently garnered food awards.Picked by a panel of food critics from The Straits Times and Lianhe Zaobao, it was named a Singapore Hawker Master in the satay category in 2011.
It was also picked as a top choice in The Business Times' series on hawker food and emerged as a favourite of many in a poll conducted by Berita Harian two years ago.
According to a previous report by The Business Times, Haron Satay provided the satay for Singapore Airlines events in the old days, and was possibly even the inspiration for the airline's long-standing airborne satay service.
It also said the stall provided satay to the Istana.
Said Mr Seetoh: "I don't see anyone coming into the fray to fill up his spot, other than his family continuing his legacy."
Mr Seetoh, who also has a food column in The New Paper on Sunday, said he worked with Mr Haron when he was setting up the now-defunct Food Culture foodcourt at Far East Square about 10 years ago.
"He was a hard-working and earnest man who personally oversaw the projects with his family," Mr Seetoh said.
His daughter, Madam Harlina Haron (above), now runs the stall with her sister.
According to Madam Harlina Haron, 43, the second of Mr Haron's four children, her father had died of complications due to heart disease and kidney failure.
"He's been sick for a while, but his condition became worse in the last couple of years," she said.
Haron Satay was established 41 years ago when Mr Haron left his job as an officer with the fire brigade, said Madam Harlina.
It was set up with his wife, Madam Saedah Dobal, 59,and has operated from East Coast Lagoon Food Village ever since.
Madam Harlina took over the business together with her sister, Madam Shima Salim, 46, seven years ago when their father first fell ill.
When asked, Madam Harlina said she initially wanted to close the stall for a week or so, but could not do so as they have orders to fulfil. She said Haron Satay would be open by today.
Despite being surrounded by similar stalls, Haron Satay still gets snaking queues.
Madam Harlina told The Business Times that their recipe calls for the marinated meat to be grilled for five to seven minutes, without a shortcut.
Some customers love the satay so much, they even buy frozen sticks to take overseas.
"Our satay has gone to Dubai and Florida," Madam Harlina was reported as saying.
A fan closer to home, Madam Maslinda Masrol, 42, said: "My family and I have been to Haron Satay before and would go again. Not only is their satay juicy and scrumptious, they serve a very nice peanut sauce as well."
It is a good thing Haron Satay is family-run, she said, adding: "Hopefully his satay recipe will be passed on through the generations."
He's been sick for a while, but his condition became worse in the last couple of years.
- Madam Harlina Haron, who took over the business from her father seven years ago, when he first fell ill