SINGAPORE - Wonton noodle specialist Mak's Noodle will be shutting its flagship - and last remaining - outlet in Singapore at The Centrepoint mall on Feb 28 next year.
The brand is best known for its thin springy noodles and plump wontons filled with chunky prawn in flavourful soup. Mak's Noodle originated in Guangzhou, China in 1920, but its founder moved to Hong Kong during the Second World War.
In a statement on its Facebook and Instagram accounts, Mak's Noodle says it is "unable to come to an agreement for lease renewal with the mall management".
Calling the closure a "difficult decision", it adds: "Throughout these years, it has never been easy to maintain the authentic taste of Mak's Noodle. We had to overcome challenges in sourcing and importing Hong Kong ingredients as well as high food costs."
Its outlet at The Centrepoint, which opened five years ago, was its first in Singapore and a joint venture with food and beverage company Asia Gourmet.
Mak's Noodle used to have branches at VivoCity and Westgate but both have since closed. The Westgate outlet was converted into another Hong Kong-style cha chaan teng Honolulu Cafe in 2018.
Despite the pending closure of the Centrepoint outlet, there are plans to retain the brand in Singapore at a "suitable location", says Mak's Noodle general manager Lee Cheng Ling.
Also shutting next year is Mediterranean restaurant Summerlong, after four years at Robertson Quay. Its last day of operations is Jan 10.
Other recent restaurant closures include Cantonese restaurant-bar Sum Yi Tai in Boon Tat Street; both the Suntec City and Circular Road outlets of Taiwanese restaurant The Salted Plum; and Northern Indian restaurant Kinara's outlet in Holland Village. Kinara's other branches - including the ones in Boat Quay and Upper East Coast Road - are still operating.
On the impending closure of Mak's Noodle, Mr Francis Poulose, managing director of food and beverage consultancy Poulose Associates, says that it is a "good product in the wrong location".
He observes that the overall F&B scene is "not doing badly", and that the spate of closures is not solely because of the pandemic. "It can be a mixture of many factors such as lack of marketing, poor location, high rental, shift in customer base, reduced capacities and whether the eateries have adapted to the situation.
"You see high-end restaurants with long waiting lists and cafes with queues to enter. People are still dining out and spending money on food."