SINGAPORE - Popular roast meat eatery Kay Lee has been sold for $4 million to conglomerate Aztech Group.
This comes 2 1/2 years after the 32-year-old joint in Upper Paya Lebar Road was put up for sale with an asking price of $3.5 million, with its recipe alone going for $2 million.
Here are five other eateries which have sold or tried to sell their recipes and businesses at hefty prices.
1. Peach Garden Chinese Restaurant
Peach Garden's outlet at OCBC Centre.
The popular Cantonese cuisine restaurant and catering chain was sold for $10.2 million in 2008 to home-grown food caterer Select Group.
The business was started in 2002 at Novena Gardens by founders Angela Ho and Veronica Tan, who remain involved in the new group.
Since then, it has grown to include nine outlets across the island.
Select Group's managing director Vincent Tan hails buying over The Peach Garden Holdings as his most satisfying business deal to date. According to a January 2012 article in The Straits Times, the Peach Garden subsidiary accounted for about 30 per cent of the group's annual revenue, which was $75.5 million in 2010 compared with $61.5 million the year before.
2. Sin Kee Famous Chicken Rice
Mr Benson Leong has been running Sin Kee Famous Chicken Rice at Mei Ling Street Food Centre for more than 10 years.
Mr Niven Leong, 55, was reported in August as looking to sell his father's chicken rice name and recipe for $42,800 - his father's favourite number.
The business, which started in 1971 at the now-defunct Margaret Drive Food Centre, moved to Mei Ling Street Food Centre in 2002, and is run by Leong's younger brother Benson.
The older Mr Leong, who owns another chicken rice stall, Uncle Chicken, at Alexandra Village Food Centre, is confident in his family's recipe.
However, he told The Straits Times on Tuesday that the name and recipe are not for sale. Instead, he is looking to use his father's recipe to train up "hawkerpreneurs" instead - a buzzword of late used by those who want to draw the younger generation into the hawker scene.
To interested trainees, he has this to say: "I can't promise that you'll make tons of money, but I can assure you that you will make a good living - as long as you keep to what my father left behind."
3. Hougang 6 Miles Famous Muah Chee
The stall, which was started in Hougang in 1952, moved to Bedok in 2012, and is now at Toa Payoh HDB Hub's Gourmet Paradise food court.
Owner of Hougang 6 Miles Famous Muah Chee, Mr Teo Yong Joo, 52, said in 2012 that he hopes to sell his family's glutinous rice ball business and recipe for $1 million.
The stall, which Mr Teo's father started in Hougang in 1952, moved to Bedok in 2012, and is now at Toa Payoh HDB Hub's Gourmet Paradise food court.
4. Tai Fatt Hau Cuisine
Mr Wong Pak Shin, 65, and his wife, Madam Tan Li Ying, 63, the owners of Tai Fatt Hau Cuisine.
The stewed beef noodles recipe and stall at Bukit Merah were put on sale for $200,000 in 2012.
Its owners, Mr Wong Pak Shin, 67, and his wife, Madam Tan Li Ying, 63, claimed to sell 100 bowls of noodles a day.
The elderly couple told The Straits Times in 2012 that they hope to retire soon, after Mr Wong suffered a heart attack in 2011 and underwent two heart bypass operations.
Mr Wong's beef stew is adapted from his father's recipe of Hakka carrot and beef stew.
5. Xiu Jie Claypot Bak Kut Teh
Owner Ang Chiew Huat serves a Cantonese version of bak kut teh, or pork rib soup, at Xiu Jie Claypot Bak Kut Teh in Telok Blangah Drive.
The owner of this Telok Blangah Drive stall, Ms Ang Chiew Huat, 67, also priced the recipe for her pork rib soup at $200,000 in 2012.
Her Cantonese version of the soup has a lighter broth than the Malaysian version, and carries more than 10 types of medicinal herbs.
"The price can be negotiated," she told The Straits Times in 2012. "I just don't want my hard work to go to waste since my children will not take over the business."
The Straits Times spoke to Ms Ang on Tuesday and she said the recipe is still for sale.
"I'm still keen to pass it on, it would be such a pity if I can't," she said, adding that she is no longer selling the soup at the moment. After she suffered from a fall in 2012, she said she could no longer run the stall on her own.
But being a "hawker at heart", she could not resist re-entering the food industry. She now sells rojak, popiah and prawn fritters at a coffeeshop stall at Block 10, Telok Blangah Crescent.
"Business is good, and I find this much more manageable," she said.
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