Tong Seng Coffeeshop – synonymous with halal Chinese delicacies such as chicken rice, laksa, and wanton noodles – has drawn its shutters down for good. On their final day of operations (14th October 2013), the owner decided, rather generously, to give away free portions of some of their signature dishes as a token of appreciation to the loyal patrons of the eatery (albeit only during two separate lunch and dinner mealtime windows).
According to unconfirmed reports, the owner of Tong Seng sold off the premises to a businessman for a rather handsome profit (unsurprising, as the eatery sits on prime real estate which sees high pedestrian and vehicular movement).
Of Drastic Moves and Mediocre Offerings
As the price of everything (except salaries and wages) increases, people are often forced to take rather drastic actions. The untimely closure of Tong Seng Coffeeshop is one such example. While it would be unwise to speculate and come up with conspiracy theories and/or various hypotheses as to why they really decided to call it quits, I believe that current buzzwords such as “inflation” and “economic uncertainties” have something to do with their decision.
As a customer of the eatery, I personally think that Tong Seng’s offerings are only mediocre at best (not forgetting certain staff members who could do with a little more smiling and less plate-thumping). Regardless of that, one of the more positive points to note is; they are one of the few places in the city area which serves unpretentious local cuisine with rather wallet-friendly prices. Sandwiches, steaks and cupcakes are, once in a while, a breath of fresh air; but such dishes are simply not us and always seem to come with a hint of pretentiousness – no matter what people say.
Apart from the fact that I was greeted with half-closed metal shutters when I arrived at their premises on the eve of their closure (I had no prior information with regards to their “designated hours of food giveaway”), I am still thankful for the food they have provided to me as well as the millions of others who have partonised their humble street-side establishment.
Thanks for the food, thanks for the memories; thank you Tong Seng.