Archive for March, 2007

Eating Out In The Past

My late Godfather loved to eat out at the various restaurants in the past, so I was fortunate to be able to tag along with his family. Some of his favourite outlets include;

1. Lai Wah Restaurant (麗華酒家)

I’m talking about the first outlet located at Jalan Besar – the one that Chun See generation will know haha. Not many can recognise the back lane of the building where the old Lai Wah was situated. Now let me show you the side and front view of this building too.


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Can you make up the missing Chinese characters at the top of this building (Yellow Arrow);

What so unforgettable about this Lai Wah was the olden slide gate type of lift. I’ve only come across such lift twice in Singapore so far and the other one was at one of those old building around Shenton Way.

If it has not been covered up, I would like to take a look to see if that old lift is still there. Seems like the whole building is vacant.

I’m also not aware that Lai Wah was first opened in 1964 and neither am I aware that Lai Wah was the first restaurant to invent the Chinese New Year Yu-Sheng (raw fish). I only got to know about it when I read through it in the internet.

The Four Heavenly Culinary Kings of Singapore were very popular then in the past. Mr. Tham Yew Kai, Lau Yoke Pui, Hooi Kok Wai and Sin Leong were well known for their Cantonese culinary skill. The leader of the Kings,Mr. Tham Yew Kai co-owned this Lai Wah Restaurant in the 60s.

I’ve yet to try out their current outlet at Bedemeer Road and I wonder if the taste is as good as in the past.

2. Hotel New Hong Kong (新香港大酒店)

This one was located along Victoria Street in the 70s. Guess it is now known as Allson Hotel and not too sure if that Victoria Hotel is still besides it.

Credit : Singapore Guide and Street Directory 1976 Chinese Edition, Chief Surveyor.

This restaurant was located on the ground floor while there was another one also known as something like Hong Kong Restaurant (don’t quite remember the actual name) but on high floor and not on the same road. So one must tell the taxi driver correctly else he will bring you to the wrong one.

3. Singapore Conference Hall (新加坡大會堂)

The above shows an old photo of the Singapore Conference Hall. I remembered my Godfather used to bring me here for the Sunday morning Dim Sum. The dim sum were put on a push cart and the waitress will pushed them out and shouted out the types of dim sum name loudly. In the past, one plate of dim sum usually had 5 pieces, then reduced to 4 pieces. Now it’s only 3 pieces per plate!


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