You may have seen this photo before. It was taken by Mike Robbin’s friend, Ray Kirkman, some time in the mid-1960s. You would certainly recognize the Lido Theatre. But do you know the name of the building on the left? More importantly, do you know the name of the Chinese restaurant inside?
During my recent meeting with my “new old friend”, Mike Robbins, he presented me two souvenirs that he had kept for more than 40 years. One of them is this menu from the Peking Restaurant, and the other was an invitation to wedding dinner at the Capitol Imperial Room at Capitol Cinema.
|Man ... just look at those mouth-watering prices!|
The Peking Restaurant has special significance because it was here that my dear, recently-departed sister, Pat, had her wedding dinner. Except for my eldest brother, Chun Chew who had his at a special place – The Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Hill Street – the rest of the Lam siblings held ours at restaurants, as was the custom of those days. I thought it would be interesting to list the restaurants that I can remember where my family and friends held their wedding dinners, and see if readers can recognize the names. So here goes. I hope friends do not mind. And I hope you will share yours as well.
My elder brother David has his at the Oxford Restaurant at RELC, I had mine in Charming Garden Restaurant in Orchid Inn and my younger brother James had his at Cathay Restaurant. Besides the Cathay which is still around, albeit much changed, the others are probably gone. In fact, the Orchid Inn at Dunearn Road is in the process of being demolished.
My dear friend Chia Yew Heng had his at Sin Leong Restaurant in Upper Serangoon Road, next to the Fountain Night Club. I suspect he probably had this one for his Singapore friends and colleagues and held a separate one in his home town in Malaysia. My old friends Heng Tew and Ros held theirs in Omei Restaurant at a hotel in Orchard Road called Hotel Grand Central. Recently, I attended the wedding of their eldest son. How time flies.
My old friend from ACS, Simon Chu had his in a restaurant at Bukit Merah Central. I cannot recall the name; probably Oriental. I think it is probably still there. My sister-in-law, Bee Wan had hers at the Phoenix Restaurant. All I remember is that it was in Ang Mo Kio. When it came my dear friend Chuck Hio, it was in the 90s, and by that time, the trend was to have the wedding dinners at hotels. His was at ANA Hotel. I cannot remember the name of the restaurant.
One last name that comes to mind is the Tai Nam Tong (大南唐) Restaurant where my parents sometimes had their birthday celebrations. But I cannot remember where it was located.