SINGAPORE - The iconic Prima Tower Revolving Restaurant in Keppel Road has taken its last spin because of the Covid-19 pandemic. It has closed for good after 43 years of churning out dimsum lunches.
Its chief operating officer, Mr Kong Yong Yeo, told The Straits Times: "The decision to close Prima Tower Revolving Restaurant was a difficult one that was not taken lightly."
The restaurant was originally meant to close temporarily from April 6 to July 31. "However, the impact of the pandemic on the F&B industry is unprecedented and the restaurant will now cease operations permanently," he added.
The Chinese restaurant was opened in 1977 by Prima Group, which started as a flour mill but has since branched into other food businesses. The eatery was located 60m above ground on top of cylindrical wheat silos, and specialised in Beijing cuisine.
It was one of two remaining revolving restaurants in Singapore, the other being Tong Le Private Dining in Collyer Quay.
Located next to the Port of Singapore, Prima Tower offered diners panoramic views of Sentosa, Mount Faber and Telok Blangah, as well as the port containers. It took slightly over an hour to complete a revolution.
The kitchen was helmed by executive chef Chan Sung Og, 65, who had been working at the restaurant since it opened.
Before the pandemic, it was often packed on weekends. Its most popular dishes were its Peking Duck and Shredded Scallops With Fish And Egg White.
It was the only restaurant in Singapore that served a traditional Beijing dessert called Three Non Stick. Made with egg yolks, sugar and flour, it was a tricky dish considered a success only if it did not stick to the plate, cutlery or palate.
Mr Kong said the company has put together a retrenchment package for the 30 affected employees. It is also working with the Food, Drinks & Allied Workers Union and WorkForce Singapore to help them find jobs.
Mr Sam Wong, 62, will miss the restaurant for its "stupendous view and the novel revolving element".
The public relations consultant first visited the restaurant with his grandparents in the 1970s and was there several times over the last few years for dim sum.
He said: "I loved the old world charm. I remember they used to have pushcarts for dim sum."