Hogan Lovells Lee & Lee
FOR Amy Lee, there's an art to enjoying your bowl of wanton mee.
"The noodles must not be too tasty but it should have bite," says the CEO of law firm Hogan Lovells Lee & Lee, who's retiring from legal practice at the end of the month and moving to a new industry. "You should eat it with either a slice of char siew or wanton and each mouthful should taste different."
The 54-year-old, whose favourite wanton mee stall is at Tiong Bahru Hawker Centre, should know - after all, she eats out so much she jokingly refers to herself as the "tah pau" (takeaway) queen.
Mention any hawker centre to this foodie and she'll rattle off the best stalls that can be found at each - the ngor hiang at People's Park, the nasi lemak at Adam Road ("whichever has the shortest queue, lah!"), the list goes on.
She also laments that the local street food scene is quickly disappearing, citing popular eating haunts like Koek Road and Orchard Road Car Park, which has since come and gone. "My generation had the best hawker centres but it's changed so much within one generation," she says. "I always wonder where my kids are going to take theirs to next time."
The mother of four grown-up children says she avoids food courts because too many stalls there are franchised. "It's not a solution," she notes. "Being a hawker isn't just about making easy money."
Coming from a family of excellent cooks - she mentions her grandmother, in particular, numerous times during the interview. Growing up surrounded by good food has, however, resulted in her being too intimidated to step into the kitchen.
Nonetheless, the avid photographer still loves visiting markets to savour and capture the sights and colours. She does that whenever she goes trekking in an exotic country - an activity the self-professed chocoholic says helps her stay fit and trim despite being a big and adventurous eater.
The sporty Madam Lee also travels frequently to do her part for Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit Christian housing organisation whose members help build simple dwellings for poverty-stricken families. She is the chairwoman of Habitat for Humanity, Singapore
Asked if she has plans to champion a cause to save the disappearing local hawker scene, she laughs before replying: "I'm already supporting it by eating!"