No power at Arab Street ayam penyet restaurant after fire at neighbouring unit

Dapur Penyet restaurant caught fire on Friday.

As eateries at Arab Street prepare for the usually busy Ramadan period, one restaurant will be closed for at least a week because it has lost all electrical power.

Indonesian restaurant Dapur Penyet, which serves ayam penyet as its signature dish, had its entire electrical box burnt and destroyed when a fire broke out at a neighbouring unit last Friday at about 4.15pm.

The fire started from a storage cabinet at the back of Bushra Cafe, a Turkish restaurant, on 25 Baghdad Street.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said the closet that caught fire contained three liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders.

Dapur Penyet, which is at 23 Baghdad Street, is also the headquarters of the Dapur Penyet chain of eateries in Singapore.

They have six food court stalls and two restaurants. It also has 20 franchised outlets in Malaysia, 12 in Indonesia and four in Brunei.

The Singapore chain's manager, Mr Sharil Hisam, 31, told The New Paper yesterday that since the fire, the restaurant had stopped operating because there was no electricity.

"We have to change all our wires and cables. Our electrician said that power will be restored in one or two weeks, but we hope to reopen in one week," he said.

Mr Sharil said that his human resource and accounting staff have been working from home, as their office located above the restaurant on the second storey had lost Internet connection because of the fire.

The company has also assured its kitchen and wait staff that they will be paid as usual as the fire was not their fault.

"This episode has affected me physically and emotionally. But I hope that this has brought us closer as a team.

"It is a lesson to learn and a blessing in disguise. As we discuss problems and find solutions, I see everyone working together. For instance, we decided to move the food in our freezer to all the other Dapur Penyet outlets," said Mr Sharil.


The manager of Bushra Cafe, Mr Ismet Ondek, 51, told TNP that he was having his lunch in the open-air area of his restaurant when the fire broke out.

"I had only one or two spoonfuls of rice when a gust of white-coloured gas came out.

"Then it caught fire. It all happened very quickly," the Austrian citizen and Singapore permanent resident said.

He explained that his chef had been adjusting their gas cylinders as the gas supply was low.

"We had three gas cylinders. Two of them were attached to pipes, and an additional cylinder was not attached to a pipe," said Mr Ondek.

The chef was on the phone with a utility worker when she accidentally opened the additional cylinder.

"The the gas rushed out and she screamed and ran," said Mr Ondek.

He added that the fire lasted for about an hour and 45 minutes.

The SCDF extinguished the fire using two water jets and a hose reel.

No one was hurt, said its spokesman.

Dapur Penyet's electrical box caught fire as it was located near Bushra Cafe's closet of gas cylinders.

As Bushra Cafe and the adjacent restaurant had fire-proof doors, both restaurants escaped unscathed.

However, some tables, chairs and an ice-maker machine near the closet were destroyed.

Mr Ondek estimated that the cafe lost $7,000 in earnings when it stopped operations on Friday night.

They had to restore electrical power and clean up the restaurant after the fire.

The cafe was closed on Friday night and reopened for business the next day.

This article was first published on June 16, 2015.
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