Popular Singapore eateries that shuttered in 2023, Latest Makan News - The New Paper

Popular Singapore eateries that shuttered in 2023

Whether it is from a stall tucked in the corner of a far-flung hawker centre or a trendy air-conditioned themed cafe, Singaporeans love their food – and will travel to the ends of the island for their favourites.

As the year comes to an end, The Straits Times looks back at some of the iconic eateries that have closed their doors, most for good.

Guan Kee Fried Kway Teow

Mr Tan Hock Guan and his wife, Madam Chang Kha Noi, had been serving plate after plate of char kway teow at Ghim Moh Market for more than five decades. The stall even made it to the Michelin Bib Gourmand list in 2019.

But a fainting spell by Mr Tan, 78, on Nov 21 while he was cooking, was the beginning of the end for the stall. On Nov 27, he announced on the stall’s Facebook page that the couple would be retiring.

Teck Hin Fishball Noodles

After 45 years of dishing out fishball noodles, Mr Chen Huoyan and Madam Wang Yafu decided to call time on their humble Bukit Timah Market hawker stall – where they had been operating for the last few years – on Dec 6.

Inflation and lower footfall at the market meant the pair had not been able to make enough to cover their costs, which amounted to more than $4,000 every month, reported Shin Min Daily News. The upcoming renovation works at the market were the final straw for the hawkers.

But Mr Chen, 74, told Shin Min he is looking for a new location, as he believes he can continue working for a few more years if his health holds up.

Tian Tian Lai Nasi Lemak

Rising costs and age pushed Mr Chen Han Bin, 62, and his wife, Madam Fu Li Xin, 58, to close their famous nasi lemak stall in Marsiling Mall on Nov 28 after 22 years. The closure went unannounced due to fears that customers would flock there seeking one last taste of the dish, save for a few regular customers who do not live nearby.

Mr Chen, a former engineer, told Asiaone: “Rather than making money for other people’s pockets, I’d rather earn money for my own pocket. To me, cooking is just like doing a chemistry experiment.”

A message informing the public of the stall’s closure was put up on the stall’s Google page on Nov 28.

Old Lai Huat Seafood

An institution spanning 60 years and two generations, Old Lai Huat Seafood Restaurant in Rangoon Road closed on Nov 26 after the owner, Mr Lim Poh Huat, 53, found his sons were unwilling to take over the gruelling work of running the eatery.

Mr Lim told food review blog Sethlui.com that he and his wife had been considering retirement for some years but had held off those thoughts as their younger son was still in university.

Uggli muffins

An unsuccessful search to find a successor left stall owner Anton Tan, 53, with no choice but to close down his muffin business, which had outlets in Toa Payoh and Jalan Besar, on Oct 10. He had transformed his parents’ zi char stall to sell baked goods in 2006.

Mr Tan had been searching for someone to take over the reins since May 2023. The bakery, which was named after the crusty and unappealing appearance of the muffins, also sold tiramisu.

Wimbly Lu

Waffles, pies and chocolate desserts had made Wimbly Lu a stalwart in the local cafe scene since his eatery opened in 2011. Starting out in a landed estate at Jalan Riang in Serangoon, he expanded with outlets in Serangoon Gardens, Bukit Timah and Jalan Besar.

A vintage red and white Volkswagen Beetle greeted visitors outside its flagship Jalan Riang outlet – the last to shutter on April 30.

Wheeler’s Yard

Known to many cycling enthusiasts for the vintage frames scattered throughout its warehouse space, the cafe shuttered its doors on Sept 30 after 10 years in the business.

Nestled among industrial buildings in Lorong Ampas, off Balestier Road, Wheeler’s Yard was a popular brunch spot serving favourites such as Eggs Benedict, as well as unusual fare like its chilli crab pasta and 60-degree Chicken Breast. Many customers would flock to the premises to take a photograph with its iconic blue warehouse doors.

Riders Cafe

The owners of the cafe, which is situated on the grounds of the Bukit Timah Saddle Club, had to hang up their aprons after news broke that the club would be moving to make way for construction work on the Cross-Island Line in the first-quarter of 2023.

The cafe, which opened in 2007, had its last service on Feb 19. Noting that its draw was the space and surrounding greenery, founder Jan Yeo said: “As this final chapter comes to a close, I leave fulfilled, having achieved the one goal I had for Riders Cafe, which was to introduce this scenic space to as many people as possible before it’s all gone.”