25 years and counting: Hainanese coffeeshop Cheng's 27

Cheng's 2727 Yong Siak St

Tel: 9748 9135Hours: 10am-3.30pm, 5.30-9.30pm daily, closed Tuesdays

The Chengs regularly get offers between S$6 million and S$12 million for their home-style Hainanese coffeeshop along Yong Siak Street - but they aren't budging.

In fact, the family has just given the 100-seater eatery that they've been running for 25 years in the same space a much-needed makeover in June.

A new kitchen exhaust was installed, chipped marble tables were replaced with spiffy new wooden coffeeshop tables and plastic chairs, and a new dessert counter showcases their range of home-made cakes, traditional kuehs and their signature savoury pumpkin pie.

The renovation - along with a name change to the trendier-sounding Cheng's 27 - was prompted by 25-year-old younger brother Glenn's joining the family business earlier this year, according to older sister Dawn, 40.

Their parents Cheng Mook Boon and Lim Toi Ang, both in their early 60s, still help out in the kitchen. The elder Chengs first started Cheng's Delicacies in Pekin Street in the early 1980s, but moved the eatery to Tiong Bahru, where the family also lives, in 1989.

Their regular menu of Hainanese curry rice and cooked dishes such as vinegared pork belly and deep fried prawn rolls remain, alongside more trendy creations such as a gula melaka chiffon cake tinged with coconut oil that's popular with the weekend hipster crowd.

Desserts start from S$5 and savoury dishes from S$7.

Youngest brother Hugo is also working on an online store for their desserts to be launched in a month.

debyong@sph.com.sg

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