10 Famous Hawkers And Restaurants That Closed In 2023 | Eatbook.sg
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10 Famous Hawkers And Restaurants That Closed Down In 2023

4th January 2024

Hawkers and restaurants that closed in 2023

There are few things sadder than finding out your favourite eatery has permanently closed. The thought that you may never taste those same flavours you fell in love with ever again is certainly a depressing one, but it’s one that comes with the passage of time. Here, we look back at 10 popular hawkers, eateries, and restaurants that have closed in 2023, as a way of paying tribute to these food places.

1. Tiong Bahru Yi Sheng Fried Hokkien Mee

Tiong Bahru Yi Sheng Fried Hokkien Mee

Considered by many to be the gold standard for fried hokkien mee, Tiong Bahru Yi Sheng Fried Hokkien Mee decided to step away from the spotlight in February last year. The stall’s four decades of operation saw it draw queues with waiting times of up to 40 minutes, along with several Michelin Bib Gourmand placings.

Tiong Bahru Yi Sheng Fried Hokkien Mee_ Mr Toh Seng Wang

With the stall owner, Toh Seng Wang, already in his seventies, it was perhaps inevitable that he would eventually call it a day. Though we can no longer have Mr Toh’s hokkien mee anymore, his wok hei-filled noodles and savoury sambal chilli will surely remain a cherished memory to many.

Tiong Bahru Yi Sheng Fried Hokkien Mee Review: Michelin-Approved Hokkien Mee With 40-Year History

2. Guan Kee Fried Kway Teow

guan kee CKT liao Image credit: @george.kooi

To char kway teow fans, this is a huge blow. After more than 50 years of operation, Guan Kee Fried Kway Teow announced in November last year that they were retiring.

Guan Kee Fried Kway Teow was started by hawkers Tan Hock Guan and Chang Kha Noi in 1969, and later moved to Ghim Moh Road Market & Food Centre in 1978, where it would cement its reputation as one of the best CKT stalls in Singapore.

guan kee CKT 1997Image credit: Guan Kee Fried Kway Teow

Since then, it has drawn consistently long queues, and even landed a spot on the 2019 Michelin Bib Gourmand list. Patrons lauded the CKT here for its generous servings of cockles, pork lard and more, as well as its good amount of wok hei.

Guan Kee Fried Kway Teow: Famous Char Kway Teow Stall In Ghim Moh Has Closed

3. Uggli Muffins

uggli muffins flatlayImage credit: @meowmee33

The beloved Uggli Muffins shut up shop for good in October 2023. Previously a zi char stall that started in 1969, Uggli Muffins switched to baking and never looked back. Its two former outlets in Toa Payoh and Jalan Besar drew in many customers looking to get muffins in flavours such as blueberry, Oreo, and walnut.

uggli muffins baking (1)Image credit: @michellelim_star

With its owner getting on in age, he decided he could no longer run the business. After an unsuccessful search for a suitable successor, Uggli Muffins bowed out with a giveaway to thank its customers for all their support.

Uggli Muffins Is Closing After 10 October 2023, Get Their Famous Bakes While You Can

4. Tian Tian Lai Nasi Lemak

tian-tian-lai-nasi-lemak-1Image credit: @henryteo67

Marsiling residents and nasi lemak enthusiasts may be familiar with Tian Tian Lai Nasi Lemak, a stall in Marsiling Mall Hawker Centre that has been running for 22 years. Sadly, the stall decided to call it a day in November last year.

tian-tian-lai-nasi-lemak-2Image credit: @henryteo67

Chen Hanbin and Fu Lixin, the husband and wife duo who run the stall, have decided to retire due to their age and rising operational costs. Fans of Tian Tian Lai Nasi Lemak will remember this stall for its affordable prices, fragrant coconut rice, crispy chicken wings and more.

5. Char

char restaurant double platter

After a run of 10 years that earned it plenty of patrons and acclaim—which included the Michelin Plate from 2016 to 2018 and a place in the Michelin Guide from 2018 to 2019—Char shuttered its doors for the last time in November 2023. The restaurant was famous for its excellent renditions of char siew and other roast meats, including the addictive mala char siew.

char restaurant storefront

Char’s owners are planning on migrating, which is why they have closed their restaurant. According to MS News, however, they’re open to the idea of selling the business or opening it overseas, so there is some possibility we may see the return of Char in the future.

Char Review: Michelin-Approved Restaurant With Mala Char Siew And More In Jalan Besar

6. Onan Road Karipap

onan-road-karipap-1Image credit: Yu Khing Poh

Onan Road Karipap, an Indian Muslim bakery and confectionery, is calling it quits after more than 80 years of operation. Not many food businesses can say they’ve been around for more than eight decades, and that’s a testament to the lasting popularity of Onan Road Karipap right till its closure.

onan-road-karipap-2Image credit: Yu Khing Poh

Patrons would visit the store for its karipap, kueh, and cakes, which were said to be flavourful, well-made, and affordable. Judging from the Facebook comments on the announcement post, many patrons seem to be devastated by the closure, but will surely continue to have fond memories of the Onan Road Karipap.

7. Old Lai Huat Seafood Restaurant

old-lai-huat-1Image credit: trulyGabriel

Old Lai Huat Seafood Restaurant’s closure was a big loss to the zi char scene. Known for their deep-fried sambal belacan fish, which was said to have been created by them, as well as their chilli crab and black pepper crayfish, Old Lai Huat Seafood Restaurant regularly saw droves of customers coming for these dishes.

Image credit: Poh Soh Lee

With its owners deciding to retire and no one poised to take over the business, the restaurant decided to close for good after 60 years of operation in November 2023.

8. Xiang Xiang Nasi Lemak

xiang-xiang-nasi-lemak-1Image credit: Kim Loon Chee

Another nasi lemak stall that closed last year, Xiang Xiang Nasi Lemak was considered the oldest stall at Tanjong Pagar Plaza Market & Food Centre up till it shut up shop for the last time. After the opening of the hawker centre in 1977, Xiang Xiang Nasi Lemak was the first to sell the fragrant coconut rice dish, and became one of the most well-known stalls in the food centre.

xiang-xiang-nasi-lemak-2Image credit: HappyCat.黑皮猫

The stall’s owners managed to keep prices very affordable over the years, with a plate of nasi lemak going for just $3.50. With the owners announcing their retirement in March last year, patrons will sadly have to find other means to get their cheap nasi lemak fix.

9. Zhao Ji Claypot Rice

Image credit: Drish

While Lian He Ben Ji is perhaps the more popular claypot rice stall in Chinatown Complex, Zhao Ji Claypot Rice has amassed its fair share of loyal fans over its 40-year run.

zhao-ji-claypot-rice-2Image credit: Christopher Seow

Known for using an iron pot and gas to create its signature smoky taste, the claypot rice at Zhao Ji would be painstakingly prepared by its owner, Madam Deng. Her retirement and the lack of a successor led to the stall closing in March 2023.

10. Maxwell Teochew Porridge

Image credit: Jay Tham

Maxwell Teochew Porridge was loved not just for its homely and delectable food, but also for its 86-year-old owner, known as “Ah Mah” to her patrons. After working tirelessly at her stall for nearly four decades, health issues led to her retirement in November last year.

Image credit: Teochew Rice and Porridge (Maxwell)

Customers will fondly remember dishes such as the braised pork belly, sesame oil chicken, and steamed fish fillet, which were typically served with bowls of watery porridge. But there is some glimmer of hope that the stall will return—according to Shin Min Daily News, her son has plans on taking over the business, but it remains to be seen whether this will come to fruition.

Famous hawkers that closed in 2023

Though it’s sad to see that these hawkers and eateries have closed in 2023, they will surely live on in the memories of their patrons. We wish all the hawkers who retired last year a happy retirement. Thank you for all the great food over the years!

For a list of all the eateries that received Michelin recognition in the previous year, read our Michelin Guide Singapore 2023 Awardees coverage or Michelin Bib Gourmand Singapore winners 2023 coverage.

Here Is The Complete List Of The Michelin Guide Singapore 2023 Awardees

Feature image adapted from Poh Soh Lee and Teochew Rice and Porridge (Maxwell).

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