Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.

26.9.06

Long story ends.

Kuen (Ken) Cheng was born in China in 1922, fled the Japanese invasion, took a job with the United States Marine Corps, ended up stationed with US troops in Darwin and then either worked his way down to Melbourne or arrived as a personal chef to General Douglas MacArthur during World War II, depending on whom you believe.

Given that CV, you'd have to believe anything. Or nothing.

By 1949 Ken Cheng was selling his dim sims trackside to brown-suited and hatted punters at Caulfield Racecourse and in local hotel bars after the last race, encouraged by the publicans because they were salty and made the customers thirsty.

Ken's dim sims became so famous he realised his customers would come to him instead of he to them, so he set up a stall at South Melbourne market in the 1950s where it remains.

Ken Cheng died last week, aged 83.

A big city is nothing without its characters and Ken Cheng was a great Melbourne character.

Pass the soy sauce, thanks. And have another one yourself.

1 comment:

neil said...

They are the saltiest dim sims I've ever had, but also the tastiest. A couple of years ago they became so salty I stopped eating them. Sad to see a dim sim champion passing on.