Daniel Ong opening steakhouse in April 2021 as 'product of necessity' due to Twelve Cupcakes case

He closed all three Rookery restaurants in 2020.

Fasiha Nazren | March 10, 2021, 05:53 PM

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.

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A post shared by Dan’s Steaks 🥩 Bar & Grill (@danssteaks)

'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.

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A post shared by Dan’s Steaks 🥩 Bar & Grill (@danssteaks)

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Dan’s Steaks 🥩 Bar & Grill (@danssteaks)

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Dan’s Steaks 🥩 Bar & Grill (@danssteaks)

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Dan’s Steaks 🥩 Bar & Grill (@danssteaks)

However, he had to close the business in Sep. 2020 when more people started to dine out with the start of Phase 2.

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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.

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Top image from Dan's Steaks' Instagram page.