Popular Teochew restaurant closes doors after more than 25 years

SINGAPORE - After more than 25 years in business, popular Chinese eatery Teochew City Seafood Restaurant is finally closing its doors.

The restaurant, known for its Teochew and Cantonese dishes such as cold crab, steamed pomfret, and yam with gingko nuts, served its last lunch on Friday.

Restaurant manager Brian Wong, 59, said that business at the restaurant located at The Centrepoint mall had been severely affected by the departure of the mall's anchor tenant, Robinsons.

Robinsons had moved out earlier in May when its lease expired, and is to be replaced by another department store, Metro, at the end of the year.

"The whole shopping centre was empty," said Mr Wong. He estimated that sales fell by "at least 50 per cent" after Robinsons left.

According to him, the 6,448 sq ft premises can seat up to 330 people. As far as he knows, there are no plans to reopen another outlet elsewhere.

When contacted on Friday, Prima Group, which owns Teochew City, declined to comment on the reasons for the restaurant's closure, or to release any sales figures.

The director of Prima Group, Mr Kong Yong Yeo, said in a statement: "We would like to thank all our customers for their unwavering support.

"Through their experiences with us, we look forward to their continued patronage at our newly relocated Noodle Place Restaurant at Orchard Gateway and Prima Tower Revolving Restaurant."

Teochew City is not the only well-loved Chinese restaurant to have taken itself off the menu recently.

Just earlier this month, the owners of popular Jurong East restaurant Boon Lay Raja announced they would be putting the space on the market.

Mr Robert Tan, 59, who was the last customer to walk out of the restaurant on Friday, said he has been a fan of the restaurant since its early days.

"This is my favourite restaurant," said Mr Tan, who runs the Julie Roberts four-leaf clover shop at nearby Cuppage Plaza.

"Lately, I've been coming here practically every Sunday with my mother," he went on. "It feels like home here."

He and his mother, 93, both love the shark's fin soup.

Asked where he will get his Teochew cuisine fix now, he said: "I am at a loss. It really is a pity."