90-year Tan Hock Seng bakery at Telok Ayer closing by mid-October when stocks run out

Many Singaporeans grew up eating their pastries.

Fiona Tan | September 27, 2021, 08:19 PM

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Tan Hock Seng, a 90-year-old traditional Hokkien pastry shop at Telok Ayer, will be closing by mid-October, 2021.

Image by Fiona Tan.

Closing by mid-October or whenever raw ingredients run out

Regular patrons and those who grew up with and came to love the pastries from Tan Hock Seng suffered a minor scare last year, when the bakery's lease at Far East Square was supposed to end in March 2020.

Much to the relief of many, the bakery managed to extend its lease and continue its operations of serving handmade, freshly baked pastries.

Sadly, the lease was merely extended for one year and will come to an end in November 2021.

Speaking to Mothership, 71-year-old Tan Boon Chai, the third generation owner of the bakery which started in 1931, said that the shop will continue producing its famous pastries daily, but will likely close before November.

Tan said that they will stop producing and selling pastries as soon as the bakery runs out of raw ingredients.

He added that he does not have much stock left and estimates that his inventory will be fully depleted by Oct. 10, 2021.

When Mothership visited the shop on Sep. 27, we were greeted by Tan who was elbows deep in pastry dough and is still very much involved in the bakery's day-to-day pastry production despite his old age.

Like Tan, many of his employees are in their seventies and have countless years of traditional pastry-making experience under their belts.

Image by Fiona Tan.

In silence, but perfect harmony, Tan and his employees skilfully roll the dough, fill and mould each baked good by hand at their workstation. Image by Fiona Tan.

Limited choices of pastries left

The shop's current offerings were a far cry from the wide assortment they had in the past.

Once retailing over 40 different types of baked goods, the shop has now whittled its menu down to a few crowd favourites, such as the Wife's cake, Tau Sar Piah and Beh Teh Saw in its final days.

The bakery has ran out of ingredients for their Wife's cake and has stopped selling it since Sep. 23.

Their famous Tau Sar Piah was also sold out today (Sep. 27).

Image by Fiona Tan.

The shop will focus on producing the Beh Teh Saw, which means "Horse Hoof Crispy Biscuits" in Hokkien, from Sep. 28 onwards.

Do note that the popular pastry may sell out before lunch each day.

Screenshot via HappyCat.黑皮猫's YouTube video.

Besides the Beh Teh Saw, you can find other traditional snacks in-store, such as the likes of Peanut Candy, Plait Candy, Sweet Rice Cracker Sticks, Huat Kueh (steamed cake) and Ket Hong (a type of mochi cake).

Image via Tan Hock Seng's Facebook.

Huat Kueh. Image screenshot from HappyCat.黑皮猫/YouTube.

Ket Hong. Image from FairPrice website.

Do check out their Facebook page for updates before heading down.

Tan Hock Seng

Address: 86 Telok Ayer Street, #01-01, Far East Square, Singapore 048 469

Opening hours: 9am to 7:30pm on Mondays to Saturdays, and 12:30pm to 3:30pm on Sundays

Telephone number: 6533 6572

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Top image by Fiona Tan and via Happy Cat.'s YouTube video