The great tau huay wars

Let's just call it Tau Wars.

First, there were seven tau huay stalls in Old Airport Road Food Centre competing for business.

Now, such stalls have mushroomed in Clementi and Tampines.

And operating close to each other and selling the same product makes for some intense competition.

CLEMENTI - Four stalls in Clementi, a bowl of tau huay's throw from each other, have been set up to sell pudding made out of the humble soya bean.

The first, Sweet Heart Beancurd Pudding, was opened seven months ago in Clementi 448 Market & Food Centre.

Three more stalls: Ama Soy, 51 Soya Bean and LaoBan Soya Beancurd, popped up.

Ama Soy and 51 Soya Bean are along the same row of shops in Block 442, Clementi Avenue 3. Both stalls are a minute's walk from Clementi 448 Market & Food Centre.

Lao Ban Soya Beancurd is located in City Vibe Mall, right opposite Ama Soy.

Both Lao Ban Soya Beancurd and 51 Soya Bean also have stalls near each other in Tampines.

All four Clementi stalls sell the same pudding style beancurds, packed in plastic containers.

They come in a colourful variety of flavours, including original, almond and durian.

A box of tau huay at Sweet Heart Beancurd Pudding and Lao Ban Soya Beancurd go for $1.50.

51 Soya Bean sells it at $1.60 while Ama Soy sells it at the highest price: $1.80.

When The New Paper went down to Clementi on Thursday, there was a long queue at Lao Ban Soya Beancurd and a handful of customers at Ama Soy.

But there was no queue at Sweet Heart Beancurd Pudding and 51 Soya Bean.

A worker at 51 Soya Bean said: "There is no queue because people buy (the beancurds) and go. We don't make our beancurds by batch."

The different stalls are apparently unfazed by their proximity to each other.

Janet Fok, 18, a sales assistant at Ama Soy, said that they have "confidence" in their stall.

A spokesman for Lao Ban Soya Beancurd, 32, said that they are not selling beancurds in Clementi to compete with the others nearby. He said: "We are just doing our best for our customers."

Each tau huay stall has its own loyal fans.

Ms Amy Tan, in her thirties, bought 14 packs from Ama Soy.

The regular customer said her son, Derrick Tan, three, can eat two beancurd packs in one go.

Mrs Koh, 42, buys Lao Ban Soya Beancurd for her Secondary 2 daughter every two to three days.

She lives in West Coast and drives to Clementi for the beancurd.

She said: "My girl loves this tau huay. Now is the exam (period), my daughter says that eating tau huay helps to reduce stress."

Secondary 2 students Cheyenne Koh, Zoe Teon and Winnie Lee, from Nan Hua High School, were disappointed when they got to Lao Ban Soya Beancurd, only to find that it was sold out.

Cheyenne said Lao Ban Soya Beancurd is "excellent", but had to make the trip home without her favourite beancurd.

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