SINGAPORE – The last Original Hock Lam Beef outlet at Alexandra Retail Centre will be shuttered on July 11.

In a post on Thursday (May 2) on The Original Hock Lam Street Beef Kway Teow Facebook page, fourth-generation owner Tina Tan announced the closure of the final Hock Lam Beef restaurant, citing Singapore’s “ever increasing manpower issue” as the reason.

The first Hock Lam Beef noodle store opened in 1911 and spent 60 years in that location, where the old Funan Centre sat. The brand later expanded to include six restaurants under Ms Tan, who took over the reins from her father Anthony in 2004.

She wrote in the Facebook post: “I may be labelled as stubborn because of my insistence on using only handmade and hand sliced methods to handle all my beef and side dishes, therefore, the labour-intensive problems hit us the most when the government keeps revising the policy on hiring foreigners.”

All of the restaurant’s ingredients are prepared in-house, with the exception of beef balls. While some have told her that jobs such as slicing ingredients may be too menial a chore for locals, Ms Tan wanted to stay true to her customers instead of making a profit by serving them processed or machine-handled food, she wrote.

” It is also with a happy and grateful heart when I saw my customers enjoying my food and finishing that last drop of soup or gravy.”

Other Hock Lam outlets over the years have included one at Ion Orchard, which closed in October 2016, and another at Far East Square, which shuttered in December 2017.

In her post, Ms Tan also cautioned customers against restaurants claiming to be part of the brand.

“There will be NO more Original Hock Lam Beef in Singapore. Anyone who claims to be us is not related to or the original holder of the secret recipe,” she wrote.

She ended the post by thanking loyal customers and asking them to cheer on the restaurant in its final days.

She wrote: “It has been my greatest honour and pride to be able to serve one of the most original and best beef noodles in Singapore!”

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