In 2020, former Mediacorp DJ Daniel Ong made the difficult decision to close all three outlets of his restaurant Rookery as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Fast forward to March 2021, however, it seems like the 45-year-old is making a return to the F&B business.
According to a report by 8 Days, Ong will be opening a steakhouse called Dan's Steaks in mid-April 2021.
'Product of necessity'
However, opening a steakhouse was a "product of necessity" as he had no income due to the Twelve Cupcakes incident.
He told 8 Days,
“Because of the Twelve Cupcakes incident, I lost all my income from my renovation business. Clients pulled out and I basically had no income. I was forced to rethink my life and how I’m gonna put food on the table for my family, and one thing I can do is cook. So Dan’s Steaks itself is a product of necessity and a product of people egging me on and giving me encouragement."
Twelve Cupcakes is a homegrown business founded by Ong and his ex-wife Jaime Teo, which has since been owned by India-based tea company Dhunseri Group since 2016.
The chain has been fined for underpaying seven foreign staff from Dec. 2016 to Nov. 2018.
Teo was fined S$65,000 for underpaying the employees by almost S$100,000 over the course of three years, during which she was the company's director.
Ong's case is pending.
Started off as a home-based business
Dan's Steaks isn't exactly new, though.
Ong started Dan's Steaks as a home-based business in May 2020 during the Circuit Breaker period.
Apart from steaks, he also served garlic confit, honey balsamic tomatoes, garlic cheese pasta and mashed potatoes.
However, he had to close the business in Sep. 2020 when more people started to dine out with the start of Phase 2.
Opening in Serangoon Gardens
The upcoming steakhouse will be located in Serangoon Gardens with Ong personally cooking and serving the food.
According to 8 Days, Dan's Steaks serve only 20-30 steaks a day.
In an Instagram post from Jan. 30, the restaurant announced that they will feature a new menu, new sides and a new cocktail and drinks menu.
Top image from Dan's Steaks' Instagram page.