Union Farm Eating House closing in September, hopes to sell paper-wrapped chicken recipe

Union Farm Eating House’s famous paper-wrapped chicken.
Union Farm Eating House’s famous paper-wrapped chicken.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

SINGAPORE - Union Farm Eating House, the old-school eatery at 435A Clementi Road famous for its paper-wrapped chicken, will be closing in early September.

Its second-generation owner Chia Kar Wing, 55, is looking to sell the brand as well as the recipe for the chicken dish.

Contrary to a Shin Min Daily News report of an asking price of at least $2 million, Mr Chia said he has not quoted a price and is open to discussions.

He said in a mix of Mandarin and English: "I'm not sure how much my recipe is worth. If eventually we have no buyer, then it's heaven's will. We'll have to see how it goes."

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Mr Chia, who is single, said he has no next generation to pass the business to and his family members are ageing.

Regardless of whether a sale is made, the eatery will have to go because the landlord is selling the land, said Mr Chia. He had been given a deadline to move out by October and had planned to stop operations at the end of August. But he decided to continue until early September to cater to his loyal customers.

 
 

He said that any potential buyer must be interested in running a food and beverage business, and retain the tradition and taste of its moist paper-wrapped chicken.

Union Farm Eating House opened in 1953 as a chicken farm. It started serving its signature paper-wrapped chicken - a recipe developed by Mr Chia's late father - in the 1960s, and became a full-fledged restaurant in the 1970s when the farm closed.

The restaurant had closed in February 2012 when the neighbouring Singapore Institute of Management asked for its part of the land back to expand its campus. Seven months later, Union Farm Eating House re-opened with a smaller kitchen and menu. It still retained its signature paper-wrapped chicken.

Mr Chia said: "Many customers bring their third or fourth generation to dine with us. We are grateful for all their support. Hopefully, someone will continue the tradition of our paper-wrapped chicken."