Half of 2016 has passed. It hasn’t been a very exciting year for F&B in Singapore, with not many notable new openings but many closures instead. From food fads and trends like flowing croissants and cheese tarts to egg tarts, surviving more than two years in the F&B world is indeed already a miracle in Singapore. Here are nine restaurants which we were surprised to find out that they have already closed down in the past six months. We lament for some of the ones on this list, but less so for some others.
The high profile and waterfront Spanish restaurant Catalunya closed it doors last month. Occupying one of the most prominent and prime location at One Fullerton, we have always thought the restaurant has been doing well, especially with its acclaimed and popular Sunday Brunch affair. We read that the group has plans to reopen in a new location, though no details have been given. As for the current prime space, I am curious to find out which restaurant will be taking over eventually.
Five and Dime
As one of the forefront players in the café scene, the four years old Five and Dime shut its doors last month, to much surprise of many. The small and cosy café has managed to find a strong foothold all these years despite the tough competition in the café scene, with notable dishes such as its salted egg lave cake and mentaiko pasta. But fret not for fans of the brand, the same team has also recently reopened its brand new concept, Fat Lulu’s with a focus on barbecue and grilled meats.
Department of Caffeine
The once popular café along Duxton Road shut down in mid-January this year, which comes as a surprise to me. I’ve visited D.O.C once during its operational days and found the food to be on the pricier end for cafes, even though that does not seem to deter its popularity as evident on social media. That said, we wish the team the best. The same space is now occupied by Ninja Bowl, a casual Japanese fusion rice bowl concept.
Monochrome Fusion Bistro
The black and white theme café along South Bridge Road only closed last month, after slightly over a year of operations. We can only conclude that a thematic restaurant may be novel at the beginning, but it takes more than that to last in this fast paced F&B industry.
Another restaurant to close in the past month is Tburu, a Japanese restaurant located in Orchard Gateway. Despite its beautiful and dreamy space, coupled with its omakase promotions, the closure of Tburu highlights the importance of location to a restaurant. I thought that the design of the mall does not help to bring walk-in customers to Tburu, which is a pity.
The fine dining Italian restaurant in Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel has closed in the past year, largely because the hotel has undergone a major revamp. This caught me by surprise as I thought that it is one of the better dining concepts in the hotel previously. We heard that there will be a brand new Italian concept to replace Pontini in the hotel.
20F Specialty Coffeehouse
We didn’t expect this café to close in less than a year, located along Foch Road in the Jalan Besar precinct. The café spots a charming and rustic space in a former clinic setting, serving decent café fares such as its popular duck and waffle. But it seems like the owners are closing its current space for other re-location plans, according to their facebook update.
Located along Blair Road, the one and a half years old Japanese restaurant is one of the latest to close this year. We are not sure of the reason behind the closure, but we understand that the team running it has changed hands since it opened in late 2014. I visited Chotto Matte once in late 2014 and found the food to be good at that point. A quick check on their facebook page does not reveal any information on its closure.
The French Store
After serving French food for sixteen years along Serangoon Road, The French Stall will finally be saying goodbye by the end of this month. I have only visited The French Store once many years ago and I remember it as serving unpretentious French fares, and has always been a landmark along Serangoon Road. The good news is that the owner of this pioneer of casual French dining restaurant has plans to unveil a brand new concept some time this year.
Ranted by The Ranter & The Rantee