"Now why is this lontong endangered? Well this delicacy comes from the hands of the macik (auntie) of the establishment, wife of Pak Ali. The couple must be at least 90 years old now ... Unfortunately, as with the rest of the aging population, the lontong is under threat as it may very well disappear from the face of this planet when the cook is no longer with us. Where then would we find our Ubin lontong?"Darn my words but the lontong came very close to true endangerment a few weeks before the Lunar New Year.
On 3 February 2008, I was tipped off by a duck that the lontong was unavailable as the coffeeshop was closed on that very sunday. Some asking around revealed that the Macik who mastermind this delicious lontong has been hospitalized! Apparently she fell at her home and broke her hip a few weeks before.
Fortunately, it comes as good news to this monkey that the couple's son is still often on the island. It had worried me that like many of the older residents, their offsprings may be more comfortable entrenched in urbanised Singapore and its many conveniences such as piped water and grid electricity.
On 16 February 2008, I finally met the couple's son, Hassan. He informed us that Macik is finally discharged and resting at home. What a relief! Hopefully she has managed to pass her secret recipe to her children before she took to her bed. At least the coffeeshop is now opened for business again. Thank goodness!
"Endangered Ubin Lontong", Pulau Ubin Stories, 26 Oct 2007