Tiong Bahru's Xian Ji Porridge closing down after 33 years, open to selling recipe for S$500,000

The Thai bistro that Xian Ji Porridge is subletting its space from needed the space back, as part of its new lease agreement to renovate the space, in order to continue operations.

Lean Jinghui | August 14, 2022, 05:54 PM

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According to Shin Min Daily News, Tiong Bahru’s famous Xian Ji Porridge hawker stall may soon close its doors by the end of August 2022, after 33 years in the industry.

Returning the space to original tenants

The stall is best known for its Cantonese-style porridge, which comprises fresh ingredients like Chinese watercress, fish, and minced meatballs.

Via Google Maps

It has been operated by Mr and Mrs Soon since 1989.

According to 8 Days, the lady boss divulged that the couple might be shuttering the business, as the Thai bistro that Xian Ji Porridge is subletting its space from wants the stall back.

The Thai bistro now needs the space as it is looking to expand its kitchen, she added.

Speaking to Shin Min Daily News, Mrs Soon, 79, emphasised that the two stalls still maintain friendly relations.

In fact, the Little Elephant Thai Bistro had actually allowed the couple to operate their stall rent-free for the past three to four years.

She explained to the Chinese newspaper that the decision had been difficult for all parties:

"They [the Thai bistro] had only recently resigned their lease agreement, and under this new agreement, they would have to renovate their space in order to continue operations. So they definitely needed the space from our stall."

Might move to new location instead

Soon shared that after the couple closed its stall at Tiong Bahru, they might look to reopen at a different location.

According to 8 Days, this might be somewhere closer to the elderly couple's home in Yew Tee.

However, the decision remains up in the air, as rental prices have been on the rise.

In addition, it has been hard to find a new stall location that allows the elderly couple and their assistant, who is also in her 70s, to operate for just half a day.

Open to selling porridge recipe for S$500,000

Mrs Soon expressed that she is also open to selling the couple's secret porridge recipe for S$500,000 to interested prospective buyers.

She shared that this price remained negotiable and that the most important thing was that there was someone to continue their legacy.

"I'm willing to teach everything, including how I prepare my fish, minced meatballs, soup, etc. However, I wish to keep our brand name going – 'Xian Ji'. Please reach out to us if you are interested to discuss."

Details of Xian Ji Porridge

Address: 57 Eng Hoon St, Singapore 160057

Opening hours: 7am-9:30am, Tuesdays to Sundays

Top images via Google Maps and Shin Min Daily News Facebook