He was born Indian, but his language is Mandarin, and he is known for his zi char dishes, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

He was born Indian, but his language is Mandarin, and he is known for his zi char dishes

Can The Blacky still be the same, if "Mr Blecky" is elsewhere?

This cook, who looks Indian but speaks Mandarin, made quite a name for himself working for several eateries in Singapore and his native Malaysia over the years.

Then, earlier this year, Devid Retanasamy, 39, opened his own stall, partnering a Singaporean, in Ang Mo Kio.

Now the two have fallen out and he has moved on, according to a report in Shin Min Daily News.

The stall in Ang Mo Kio, The Blacky Seafood, took its name from his Chinese nickname, Xiao Hei, which translates to Little Black.

Devid is also reportedly fluent in Cantonese, and speaks some Malay and English, but no Indian language.

Like his linguistic background, his culinary skills are Chinese, and the stall offered classic zi char dishes such as chilli crab, black pepper crab and har cheong gai (prawn paste chicken).

The split with the partner is clearly acrimonious, the stall and Devid blaming each other and making accusations publicly.

Devid, who has a multiracial following and has received good reviews, appears to be getting back in business quickly.

He is reportedly opening a new stall, Mr Blecky Seafood, with another partner, in a Cambridge Road coffee shop.

But Shin Min Daily News also reported that the earlier partner was objecting to this name, citing obvious similarities with that of the stall in Ang Mo Kio.

Devid has spoken of a difficult childhood in Ipoh. He did not know his birth parents, was adopted from an orphanage by a Chinese family, dropped out of school, and started working in a restaurant even before hitting teenage.

"Life was tough," tabla! quoted him as saying in 2020.

"But I managed to survive because I love cooking. Customers began to like my style and soon I began to make a name for myself."

Now he has a family of his own, living in Johor. While working in Singapore, he had met and married a Chinese national, who was then a worker at a neighbouring stall. They have three children.

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