This is the man behind Toronto’s hottest new hidden restaurant

One of the city’s newest and hippest food pop-ups does one thing very well: serve a tasty Malaysian dish in an unexpected location.

Chef Vei Chong is a man of many talents. In addition to running one of the city’s most popular weekly food pop-ups, Tapow Tdot, he is also a filmmaker and artist and has worked in the film industry for almost a decade.

Born in Malaysia but raised in Toronto, Vei has trained and worked in a number of restaurants during his culinary career over the past eleven years – training at street food and fine dining institutions in Singapore and Malaysia and working in Montreal and Toronto.

He currently has a job as a line cook at a care home to fund his passion project: his pop-up Tapow Tdot that takes over the Dipped Donuts storefront in Kensington every Thursday and serves nothing but the Malaysian Hokkein Mee.

“Hokkien Mee originated in Malaysia from the descendants of Chinese migrants from Fujian who were homesick,” Vei tells blogTO, adding that he trained with descendants of the dish’s creator in Malaysia, which helped him learn and perfect his recipe .

While several versions of the dish can be found, Vei’s favorite rendition involves a “combination of thick rice noodles and thin vermicelli in a sweet and savory caramel-dark soy sauce.”

As for the rendition Vei serves up from his top-secret (well, not anymore) pop-up space, he adds “cabbage, pork and shrimp, with crispy pork fat on top,” which he says is “closest to reality.” original.”

After running the pop-up for the past five weeks, word of the drool-worthy Malaysian dish is slowly growing, with more and more customers showing up each week, although Vei admits the journey has not been without its ups and downs.

“As a takeaway restaurant, it’s quite dependent on the weather for a good day’s work,” he tells blogTO, but adds that he’s “just starting to get regular customers.”

As for what the future holds for the pop-up, Vei tells blogTO that his sole focus for now is “providing the best quality of Hokkien Mee,” but he also plans to explore whether there is a vegetarian version of the dish can be offered and seasonal hot sauce.

As for opening his own restaurant, Vei tells blogTO he’s happy to be working with Dipped, though he’s considering adding one customer seat to the pop-up, so “the dream is closer than you think !”

Anyway, Vei is just happy to be doing what he loves, which is serving good food to a city that loves trying new foods and dishes – dishes like Hokkein Mee.

“Every day I stay open is more fun than the last, and every day I get to serve the cuisine I want is a blessing,” he tells blogTO.

You can visit Vei and Tapow Tdot every Thursday from 11am to 7pm at Dipped Donuts, located at 161 Baldwin Street, to try Hokkein Mee for yourself.