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Lee Fun Nam Kee chicken rice to close due to manpower shortage, last day on Sept 13

Lee Fun Nam Kee chicken rice to close due to manpower shortage, last day on Sept 13
Genevieve Lee, daughter of Lee Fun Nam Kee owner David Lee, announced the closure in an Instagram post on Aug 21, 2023.
PHOTO: Instagram/Genevieve Lee

Lee Fun Nam Kee, which specialises in soy sauce chicken rice, is closing their Toa Payoh eatery on Sept 13.

News of the 55-year-old heritage brand shuttering was broken by MasterChef Singapore season one's runner-up Genevieve Lee — daughter of owner David Lee — in an Instagram post dated on Monday (Aug 21). 

In her post, Genevieve penned a heartfelt goodbye to the family business and thank their customers for their support over the years. 

She wrote: "After careful consideration, numerous family discussions, and evaluating various factors, we've come to acknowledge that it's time to bid farewell to this chapter." 

Genevieve, who is also owner of Sourbombe Bakery, paid tribute to her father for his "unwavering commitment" to the business for the past 40 years.

"As his daughter, I couldn't be prouder of being raised amidst bowls of delicious chicken rice. The way he raised our family through this business holds immeasurable pride," she added.

Lee Fun Nam Kee started off in 1967 before settling as a small hawker stall in Toa Payoh in 1968. The business is presently run by second-generation owner David, who has been operating the business for 35 years.

When asked about the reason behind the closure, David told 8Days that they faced manpower shortages and it has taken a toll on his family members who are helping to run the business.

He added that their business has dropped more than 35 per cent from a decade ago and was blessed that it still managed to survive through the past 10 years.

Despite that, it may not be goodbye for good yet, as Genevieve also wrote in her post that they have intentions of coming back by "reintroducing [their] flavours through a fresh and new concept".

David also said that they have plans to return to the industry to focus on modern rice bowls and offering "different flavours of chicken rice", although nothing has been officially announced.


A post shared by Genevieve Lee (@gen_lxn)

On Google reviews, Lee Fun Nam Kee currently has a 3.9 rating with 658 reviews and generally positive comments.

One customer praised their roast meats as "crispy" and "above average" while also highlighting the bean sprouts side dish which was "generously covered in pork lard". 

"I have been coming over here for 50 years. Food is still as good as ever. Restaurant is clean, the staff are helpful, and services are quick," another wrote.

Another user shared that he enjoyed their signature soy sauce chicken, hailing it as "amazing". Besides the taunt chicken skin and flesh, the sweet-savoury thick soy sauce marinade was also noted as one of the stars of the meal.

ALSO READ: 'Hawker legend': Ex-Heng Ji Chicken Rice owner dies at 80 after recent retirement

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