Fanning the Flames of Tradition

Ikan Tangkap Sendiri @ DECK

Ikan Tangkap Sendiri at a farmers’ market event held by DECK at 120A Prinsep Street PHOTO: Marcus Goh


25-year-old Hanna Sahari, owner of Ikan Tangkap Sendiri, said that she is very passionate about grilling otahs. So passionate that she would come back every Ramadan to help her father while she was schooling in Shanghai, China. Yes, you heard it right; this young Muslim otah enthusiast studied Chinese Logistics in Shanghai and is now the owner of an otah stall constantly on the move! “I always work for my dad ever since I was 17 to earn my extra cash,” said Sahari, reminiscing about the good old days when she was in Secondary School and Polytechnic when she had to juggle between her studies and work. Sahari plans to expand her father’s business to places like Kuala Lumpur and Brunei but is nervous because she is a “social media noob”.


She shared with me that while she was away in China, all they had was Weibo and WeiXin. Naturally, she would be confused when using social media apps like Instagram. However, being a persistent and hardworking individual, she still tries to make an effort to reach out to the public through Instagram. She even plans to take up social media courses (if there are any). “Seriously, I am a social media noob.”


Ikan Tangkap Sendiri is not a stranger to east siders. When it comes to pasar malams and bazaars, it gets very crazy. “Especially in Kranji,” added Sahari. It is, however, new to the farmers’ market scene.


I asked her if she would, in the future, change the flavour and style of grilling otah to change the way people view otah and she replied passionately that she will never change something “that has proven to work for 30 years”. “I’m not going to follow a certain trend, I’m not going to open a café, because the idea is to grill otah there, serve otah there and talk to people there. I’m stubborn that way.” Who knew that being stubborn would actually be a good thing? Sahari did not change anything from the way the otah was prepared to the way the stall was set up since Ikan Tangkap Sendiri’s humble beginnings in 1986.


Ikan Tankap Sendiri turns 30 this year and Sahari is merely just taking over her father’s labour; a labour of flavour that was, is and will be enjoyed by many; a labour of love that was able to send Sahari and her siblings to University. A labour that started at the Back Lane of Panggung Singapura in 1986. This Ramadan, Ikan Tangkap Sendiri will be at the Kranji Country Side Farmers’ Market from 25-26 June, 12pm-5pm. Shuttle Bus Service to Kranji Country Side Farmers’ Market is available on their facebook page (!

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