Singapore

Business unaffected by brawls, says porridge restaurant manager

Fights may have erupted twice at the Heng Long Teochew Porridge shop in Upper Serangoon Road, but it has not been bad for business.

A manager of the eatery, who declined to be named, said the brawls have brought publicity for the shop, which operates 24 hours a day.

Speaking in Mandarin, he said: "People still come and patronise our stall, especially in the evenings."

On Sunday, six people were arrested for brawling at the eatery. A 31-year-old man was taken to hospital.

The manager said he is used to such incidents, adding that they happen once in a while, usually during the wee hours.

He said: "We are just doing our jobs and whatever happens, we will leave it to the police to handle."

The manager added that closed- circuit television (CCTV) cameras were installed six years ago, and they will be able to track anybody who creates trouble.

It was CCTV footage that captured an incident on May 27, when four customers, upset at their $28 bill, allegedly wrecked the place with wooden chairs.

Ang Sim Poh, 48, Pang Pei Pei, 40, and Tan Sung Meng, 46, were each charged with one count of performing a rash act by throwing bowls, tables and chairs in the eatery.

A fourth suspect - Mr Yeoh Keng Hock, 53 - was arrested and is assisting with police investigations.

When The Straits Times spoke to regular patrons at the eatery at 11am yesterday, they said they will continue to patronise it.

Mr Henry Thia, who has been buying food from the stall for about three years, said the food is cheap and good.

Speaking in Mandarin, the 65-year-old actor said: "Those who come here to make trouble must be out of their minds."

A 61-year-old housewife, who wanted to be known only as Ms Sim, said she heard about the brawl in May from a friend.

She has been patronising the eatery for more than 10 years, and travels from her home in Pasir Ris Drive 10 to the stall.

She said of the latest brawl: "It doesn't affect me. What is important is the quality and price of the food. The porridge here is cheap and tastes like home-cooked dishes."

Ms Sim usually eats lunch there once a week with her husband, and does not visit at night.

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