Singapore

Cool weather makes restaurant blow in warm air

The thermostat has been turned up both indoors and outdoors at a seafood restaurant.

The four machines typically used for cooling at the House of Seafood restaurant in Punggol have now been set to reverse, and are blowing warm air instead for the comfort of patrons in the alfresco area, said owner Francis Ng, 44.

Only three of the restaurant's eight air-conditioners are switched on, set to 22 deg C instead of the usual 18.

"We have been here for about 3½ years, and this is the worst rainy season yet. The winds are stronger, toppling our chairs and blowing leaves indoors," said Mr Ng, who estimated that business has dropped by about 30 per cent since the start of the wet season in November.

At Casa Verde in the Singapore Botanic Gardens, a spokesman for Les Amis Group, which manages the restaurant, said sales have dropped by about nine per cent this monsoon season.

Bistro Du Vin, which has two outlets that mainly comprise indoor seating, also reported a decline.

Following a number of days of intense rain, temperatures across parts of Singapore dipped to a low of 22.7 deg C on Wednesday, and the forecast from the National Environment Agency is for cooler days ahead.

It said the temperature could dip below 22 deg C.

The low temperatures have been attributed to a monsoon surge in the South China Sea, a weather phenomenon that brings a rush of cool air and rain to Singapore.

The weather has also affected commuters, who complained about traffic slowdowns and fare surges on ride-hailing apps Uber and Grab, The Straits Times reported.

Doctors also said they are seeing an uptick in the number of patients coming in with the common cold and flu.

Environment