Ka-Soh closing flagship Outram outlet of 20 years due to manpower woes & rising operational costs - Mothership.SG

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Heritage brand Ka-Soh, famous for their thick and rich Cantonese-style fish soup, will be shutting the doors of one of its outlets at the end of June.

Has been winning the Michelin Bib Gourmand award

The Ka-Soh brand, founded in 1995, has a flagship outlet located at the Alumni Medical Centre at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) in Outram, which can seat 100 people.

After calling the place home for 20 years, the restaurant’s final day of operation will be on June 26, 2022.

The Outram outlet has been consistently awarded the Michelin Bib Gourmand since 2016.

The Michelin Bib Gourmand award recognises restaurants that offer good food at affordable prices, where the menu is priced at a maximum of S$45.

In their Facebook post, Ka-Soh shared that the Outram outlet was a result of two decades of hard work, which turned a “challenging location into an iconic one”.

The brand thanked its customers, including the medical fraternity at SGH, for their support.

Reasons for closure

One of Ka-Soh’s third-generation co-owners, Cedric Tang, revealed in an interview with Chinese media Shin Min Daily News (Shin Min) that the closure of the Outram outlet was a painful, yet necessary, decision.

Manpower issues are the main reason the outlet is closing, Tang said.

He shared that several longtime employees quit after the death of Tang’s father and second-generation owner Tang Tat Cheong on Mar. 31.

Since borders have opened up, several Malaysian employees have also returned home.

As such, Ka-Soh had at least four vacancies for kitchen staff across both their outlets.

Additionally, Tang told Shin Min that the Outram outlet is rather old, and the conditions of equipment such as the air-conditioner and freezer were deteriorating.

Repairs would cost around S$50,000, and this financial burden was exacerbated by the rising operational costs of electricity and water.

Previously closed sister outlet

Previously, Ka-Soh’s sister eatery, Swee Kee Eating House at Amoy Street, closed its doors in May 2021.

Swee Kee shared that the effects of Covid-19 and the pandemic had been too much for their business to bear.

This was compounded by their location in the Central Business District, which saw decreased human traffic as work-from-home was made the default.

Swee Kee added that it had been sustaining monthly losses during that period.

In the meantime, Ka-Soh’s other outlet at 22 Greenwood Avenue will continue to operate as per usual.

Ka-Soh (Outram)

Address: 2 College Road (Alumni Medical Centre), Singapore 169850

Opening hours: 11:30am – 2:00pm (last order), 5:30pm – 9:00pm (last order)

Ka-Soh (Greenwood)

Address: 22 Greenwood Avenue, Singapore 289218

Opening hours: 11:30am – 2:00pm (last order), 5:30pm – 9:00pm (last order)

Top photo from Ka-Soh / FB

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