Singapore’s 5-decade old restaurant Ponggol Seafood closes

By Minh Hieu   May 7, 2024 | 11:29 pm PT
Singapore’s 5-decade old restaurant Ponggol Seafood closes
The Ponggol Seafood restaurant at The Punggol Settlement in Singapore. Photo courtesy of seafood delivery firm Seaco Online
Ponggol Seafood, a restaurant on Singapore’s New Punggol Road renowned for its chilli crab and mee goreng, closed its doors permanently last Thursday after more than 50 years of operation.

Keeping the establishment open with the high rental, rising operating costs and labor shortages proved to be too big of a challenge, according to AsiaOne.

After a year-long struggle with losses, its owner Fabian Lim made the decision to shutter the business.

Though Lim has yet to tally the losses, he suggested they could top SGD1 million (US$737,500).

The closure of Ponggol Seafood echoes the difficulties faced by many restaurants in Singapore last year due to surging ingredient costs amid a near 14-year high inflation and stricter labor regulations, Bloomberg reported.

Last year, Singapore retail rents also increased by 1.5-4.1% from 2022, according to real estate consultancy PropertyGiant Singapore.

Ponggol Seafood was originally opened by Ting Choon Teng in 1969 under the name Hock Kee. During the 1970s and 1980s, its seafood dishes, featuring the owner’s unique sauces, were a magnet for both locals and tourists, as reported by The Straits Times.

The restaurant vacated in 1994, when the Singaporean government acquired the land, and moved to several locations before settling down at The Punggol Settlement on New Punggol Road in 2014.

Ting passed away in 2016, and the second-generation owners of the family-run restaurant sold it to Fabian Lim, 38, who ran a wine bistro next door to Ponggol Seafood, in 2023.

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