High prices are not the only thing keeping the crowds from returning to Newton Food Centre ("Newton's back, but not the crowds"; June 11).
What is hurting hawkers is the food centre's reputation, due to unscrupulous stallholders.
I had a bad experience dining there with my wife.
We went to a seafood stall and were attracted by the lively crabs in the aquarium enclosure.
We picked a crab that was about a kilogram. But when the cooked crab was served, we noticed that the pincers were much smaller than the ones we saw on the crab we had picked. The crab also did not taste fresh, but seemed like a frozen crab that had been in the fridge for some time.
We did not make an issue of it, but vowed never to return.
There have also been incidents of tourists being overcharged. I am sure they will not give good reviews of the place when they return home.
The public does not mind paying high prices if the food is tasty and of good quality. In such cases, not only will they come back, but they will also bring friends who have not tried these dishes.
Newton Food Centre needs to address the unethical practices of some unscrupulous stallholders and remake its image so that it once again becomes a thriving food centre that is a must-visit for locals and tourists.
Jeff Tan Hong Liak