Diners say closure of Upper Thomson's Hua Nam Restaurant 'a pity'

Old-school dim sum eatery Hua Nam Restaurant is closing in March 2017, the owners said.
Old-school dim sum eatery Hua Nam Restaurant is closing in March 2017, the owners said.PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS
Owner Mr Sam Siew at Hua Nam Restaurant on Upper Thomson Road.
Owner Mr Sam Siew at Hua Nam Restaurant on Upper Thomson Road.PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

SINGAPORE - Hua Nam Restaurant, a 49-year-old dim sum eatery, will close at the end of March.

The third-generation owners told Shin Min Daily News that they will be retiring.

The family-run restaurant at Upper Thomson Road has remained unchanged for more than 30 years.

Founded by Mr Siew Hoy Yean, it started as a roadside stall in the 1950s.

The restaurant is known for its old-school fare and atmosphere.

Current owner Mr Sam Siew, 54, told the Chinese evening daily that they could sell more than 1,000 steamers of dim sum a day in the restaurant's heyday.

Business has suffered as they face more competition from other food and beverage outlets.

The Thomson Line construction works in the area have also affected business, he said.

His siblings are in their 60s and he could not find a suitable successor, he said. 

The Straits Times visited the eatery on Saturday (March 4). One of the bosses, Mr Siew Tak Foo, 59, told ST that it was a pity to close the restaurant after operating there for several decades.

"But there's nothing to be done," he said in Mandarin. "We don't have successors and our health is not that great anymore."

Diners at the eatery said it was a pity that it had to be closed.

Said engineer Bryan Foo, 35: "It's a bit sad, because more and more of these old-school cafes are closing."

Ms Vicky Koh, a doctor in her 30s, visits the eatery once a month.

"I think it's a shame that this place is closing down. We really like to come here," she said. 

Mr Terence Heng, a 39-year-old assistant professor at the Singapore Institute of Technology, said the eatery really gives off the atmosphere of "an old-school dim sum place".

"You can't really find that anywhere else," he said.