Seventh Station/ Ng Wai Kee
Business/ Salted Fish
Address/ 6 Mui Fong Street
Mr. Ng’s father opened Ng Wai Kee in Sai Ying Pun. Being in the trade for almost 60 years, the stall has witnessed the ups and downs of the salted fish trade. Food was scarce in the old days, and rice with salted fish was once a staple meal for Hong Kong people. After purchasing fish from fishermen at the Sai Ying Pun waterfront, salted fish merchants would start pickling and sun-drying the fish. The “salted fish hood”, which was the centre for the salted fish wholesale business, moved to a few other places before it eventually settled on Mui Fong Street.
As Hong Kong people’s living standards have improved, demand for salted fish has decreased dramatically. Salted fish stalls were once everywhere on Mui Fong Street, but now there are only a few left. In addition, because of stricter food and hygiene regulations, salted fish workshops have moved to South Asian countries where production costs are lower, and as a result, the craftsmanship in salted fish are gradually being lost in Hong Kong. Though Mr. Ng is no longer making any salted fish with the skills he learnt from his father, he continues to run his salted fish stall with his experience and expertise of this trade.