Hong Kong's most defiant egg waffle vendor: 'Go ahead and arrest me'

Hong Kong's most defiant egg waffle vendor: 'Go ahead and arrest me'

More than 27,000 Facebook fans support Hong Kong's most popular seller of gai daan tsai after he was arrested yesterday
hong kong egg waffle vendor
Ng Yuk-fai, or "Ah Bak" as most people refer to him, cooks the traditional way with charcoal.

A mobile egg waffle vendor was arrested yesterday for the sixth time since January. A Facebook group in support of the vendor has garnered 27,000 members and counting.

Ng Yuk-fai, also known as "Ah Bak," has been selling the Hong Kong-style waffles for 30 years and is often cited as the maker of Hong Kong's best egg waffle.

From a simple wooden cart, the 74-year-old fires up a charcoal stove and transforms his egg-heavy batter into fluffy waffles. He is one of the last proponents of this traditional streetside cooking method. His fans say he is now being persecuted by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department for not having a license.

Over the last three and a half months, Ng has been arrested six times by officers from the FEHD; the last arrests all took place in the past 10 days.

"If you want to arrest me, then go ahead and arrest me," says the defiant Ng. "I will keep on working for 10 more years."

The latest arrest caused an uproar in Tai Hang where Ng was setting up his stall. About 70 people gathered around Ng to show their support for him as FEHD officers dragged him and his wooden cart away.

The Facebook group in support of Ng urges people to buy egg waffles from him. Within two days, the group has attracted 27,000 members and counting.

One netizen says, "Ah Bak is self-reliant, people who are on welfare should all be made to sell egg waffles on the street." 

Another comments, "These street vendors are a unique characteristic of Hong Kong but they are disappearing because property developers choose to build large shopping malls making it difficult for the vendors to do business ... why is the government not helping the vendors but are only getting rid of them?"

Ng works four hours a day and makes about HK$6,000 a month. He sends $4,000 back to his family in Guangdong and lives on the remainder. Rent is not a problem as he lives in a tiny makeshift wooden hut in an alleyway in Moreton Terrace.

"I never thought I would have so many supporters," says Ng. "Maybe everyone thinks my egg waffles are delicious and so they support me. Maybe they pity me, for there is no reason why I should be arrested so many times."

Ng has decided to plead not guilty as he was not open for business when the arrest was made.hong kong egg waffle vendorAh Bak uses four eggs for every three waffles, giving his waffles heft and flavor.

After traveling around the world on a fistful of dollars, Zoe returns to Hong Kong, where she grew up, to discover and write about all the inspiring stuff that happens here on a daily basis.

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