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Friday, October 11, 2013

Farewell Tong Seng Coffeeshop - Chicken Feet Noodles

So I'm sure you've heard by now. And if you haven't heard before this then I'm guessing it's too late...
Tong Seng Coffeeshop in Bugis will officially close its doors on 15th October 2013.
After more than a decade of being a crowd favourite, Tong Seng will finally be calling it a day.

Apparently, the boss has decided it was time to retire. We hear the building has been sold to new owners which is the current hawkers have to vacate the premises. No news yet on any plans for relocation or even if the premises will be used for a new makan place in future.

I remember first going to Tong Seng in my teens. I'd say some time probably around 2003 maybe? And acoording to some people, I joined the party pretty late!

I didn't know much back then but I knew that Tong Seng was already popular by then most probably it was one of the few places which offered Chinese-style hawker food like Wanton Noodles and was certified Halal. We are talking about a time when it was actually pretty tough to find such stalls around compared to today where you can find Halal-certified eateries for any style of cuisine around any corner.

And since my first visit, I found myself visiting more and more often most of the time with friends or classmates because Tong Seng was one of those places people loved to go to for hang-out sessions.
The food was affordable and the location in Bugis was pretty central so it was a win-win for everyone.

You'll probably hear some mixed reviews about Tong Seng. Some will say the food is so-so and the service below standard. Some will say it was great back in the day but the standards have really dropped over the years. Some will tell you that they have the some of the best Chicken Rice and Fish Soup Noodles on the island while others may say that it's just a convenient lunchtime place. Or maybe like me, you go back and have the same dish over and over again.

Well, whatever you may have heard about Tong Seng, one thing is for sure - Tong Seng remains a favourite to many many people and judging for the reaction to the news we posted about Tong Seng closing, it's very obvious that a lot of people feel the same way about Tong Seng as we do.

Well, all things must pass and good food will come and go. And whether you hate them of love them, let's give credit where credit is due to an icon.

Many a makan session with friends and family over the years.
Thanks for the memories and the food, Tong Seng.

Chicken Feet Noodles ($3.50)
For one of my last meals at Tong Seng, I decided to break away from my normal routine.

When I do visit Tong Seng, I normally order one particular dish - Wanton Noodles.
Don't ask me why but it's just a given. (Maybe something to do with my fave Ajinomoto Soup?)

A friend of mine, Amimah, has been hounding me for years and year to try the Chicken Feet Noodles at Tong Seng and I have never ever tried it there not even once in 10 years of visiting. Most likely because the best Chicken Feet I've ever had (and will probably ever have) is cooked by my Dad at home. It's a special homemade recipe which always hits the spot for me and I guess I just find it hard to believe that anything is going to beat my Dad's version.

Well since it's already the end of the road, I decided to have it once and for all before the chance goes away.

The noodles is pretty much the same as if you were to order any of the other noodle dishes (i.e. Wanton Noodles, Shredded Chicken Noodles etc) which means you can have it as spicy as you like (they'll just add more chili base for you).

I expected the noodles to have some of the herbal broth from the chicken feet but there was none of that except for some mushrooms. The chicken feet were actually really quite big so you'll definitely get your fill if you're a fan of chicken feet.

Fried Wanton ($3.00)
And as always, I had an order of Fried Wanton (so much for breaking from routine).

Since the last time I had Fried Wantons, I can really see and feel the difference. The chicken meat filling has definitely gotten lesser and the wantons were a tad over-fried so they had a slightly burnt taste.
No doubt they were still deep-fried crispy goodness but I guess it's this kind of thing that make people say that the standards have dropped over the years.

But hey, I still got my Ajinomoto Soup!

Adam's Verdict:
Chicken Feet Noodles 3/5 -- Fried Wanton 2/5

If you haven't had your last plate of Chicken Rice (whatever it is you fancy at Tong Seng) yet, make your way down this weekend because Monday 14th October 2013 is the last day of operations!

Good prices. Good location. Good times with Good people. Good soup. Goodbye.
May Tong Seng Coffeeshop lives on in our hearts and our stomachs!

 Tong Seng Coffeshop

496 North Beach Road
Tel: 6338 0163

Operating Hours: 6.00am til 11.00pm Daily


  1. Your friend, Amimah sounds familiar. Hehehhe. Anyway, we are going this evening for the last time. Definitely chicken feet noodle for me. Gonna miss this place a lot. This is the place I brought your friend, Amimah for dinner on our first date! Hahaha!

    1. Hey Firhas! Thanks for your comment!
      Hahaha my 'friend' soon to be your 'wife' = Amimah! Let's go Badoque soon okay!