The annual American holiday of Thanksgiving, usually celebrated with a meal that includes turkey and pumpkin pie, is catching on in Singapore.
In the run-up to the holiday, which fell on Nov 28 this year, supermarkets reported brisk turkey sales, while some hotels and restaurants attracted many diners with their Thanksgiving specials.
FairPrice sold almost twice the number of frozen turkeys this November compared with a year ago. The supermarket chain attributed this to an increase in both Thanksgiving-related product range and the number of stores. It opened more than 10 new stores in the past year.
Cold Storage said sales of festive products like Butterball turkey have been "good and encouraging".
Orchard Hotel's Orchard cafe and Four Seasons Hotel's One-Ninety restaurant were full on Thursday, thanks to their Thanksgiving lunch and dinner menus.
Similarly, Marriott Hotel attracted about a third more diners for its Thanksgiving buffet dinner than in the previous year. It also provided takeaways for customers wishing to celebrate the holiday at home.
The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore bundled Thanksgiving highlights such as turkey and ham into its festive dinner buffet, which is available until Dec 23.
The brisk demand from diners was also seen at restaurants elsewhere.
Among them was db Bistro Moderne at Marina Bay Sands, which offered a three-course Thanksgiving dinner.
"It was a very busy Thursday night and it was largely attributed to the Thanksgiving specials," said its executive chef, Mr Jonathan Kinsella.
Brewerkz's Thanksgiving buffet dinner this year drew some 500 diners. Last year, the microbrewery restaurant did not have enough food for the 800 diners who turned up for the same festive meal.
"Everything went well this year," said Brewerkz graphic designer Michael Montisano, 34. "Surprisingly, a lot of locals turned up."
Luke's Oyster Bar & Chop House, which has a seating capacity of 40, had to turn away more people this year. Its seats are usually reserved for regular customers, including a number of Singaporeans, on Thanksgiving Day.
"Many Singaporeans have either lived or studied in the US and they want to keep celebrating the tradition here," said its founder and owner, Mr Travis Masiero.
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