My Son, My Right-Hand Man: Yu Cun Curry Fish Head

For many living in the East side of Singapore, Yu Cun Curry Fish Head is a Zichar stall that needs little introduction.

We visited their stall at Upper Paya Lebar Road on a Thursday afternoon. These are typically a non-peak period for most restaurants. However, we saw a steady stream of customers eager to dive into a steaming pot of curry fish head at Yu Cun.

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Pursuing his dreams with Yu Cun Curry Fish Head

“I’ve always known I had a good curry fish head recipe, and I’ve always dreamed of having my own zichar stall”.

Danny Chan, Yu Cun Curry Fish Head

Seeing Yu Cun’s success now, one might assume that their journey has always been smooth-sailing. When Danny Chan, founder of Yu Cun, started the stall in 2014, the business saw choppy waters. Yu Cun had a solid lineup of amazing zichar dishes, but Danny found it a struggle to attract new customers and get the brand’s name out there. After all, 2014 was the cusp of social media’s rapid rise. And Danny did not have much marketing know-how, after having worked in F&B all his life.

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A true family business

“Without the support and help from my wife, my children, and my core team, Yu Cun would not be half of what it is today.”

Danny Chan, Yu Cun Curry Fish Head

F&B work is never easy, from long hours toiling in the heat to the stress of being on the service frontline. Many family businesses struggle with finding a willing successor. Thankfully, Danny Chan is fortunate to have both his sons managing different parts of his zichar business.

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“Seeing my dad work such long hours, literally from dusk till dawn, I felt like I had to help out in my own way,” shares Darius Chan, who has been helping out at the stall since he was just 18 years old. After a long day at school, Darius would spend the remainder of his day at the stall, waiting tables and helping out in the kitchen. He also helped his father cross his biggest initial hurdle, by stepping up to handle all marketing efforts.

Now, Danny’s eldest son, JJ Chan, helms the kitchen, supervising a team of top chefs. Together with his team, he serves up the famed Curry Fish Head, Honey Garlic Chicken, and other delectable delights. Their renowned dishes have earned features on programs like Night Owl Cinematics’ Food King and swept accolades like Food Masters Awards.

His second son, Darius, is now fully taking the lead on the operations and marketing front, managing staff in the store and the brand’s online presence.

Trust is key

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“To have both sons understand my pain and struggles, and lend me a helping hand—it is truly my biggest blessing.”

Danny Chan, Yu Cun Curry Fish Head

After an afternoon spent with the father-and-son duo, it is clear that they’ve forged an even deeper bond over the years, working hand-in-hand to bring Yu Cun to greater heights. With the solid reputation the stall has established over the years, Danny has “full trust in his sons and team to continue Yu Cun’s success”.

Have yourself a soul-satisfying Zichar meal at Yu Cun Curry Fish Head, delivering island-wide via Oddle Eats.