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    May 24, 2016

    Kopitiam takes over canteen in Changi T2

    A 25-YEAR-OLD canteen in Changi Airport Terminal 2, which CNN praised for serving "some of the best and cheapest food" in Singapore, had its last day of business under its current operator on Sunday.

    The foodcourt and staff canteen, which was run by Select Group, is now under Kopitiam, Chinese newspaper Shin Min Daily News reported yesterday.

    More than 100 customers flocked to the canteen to bid farewell or eat from the stalls that are closing for good.

    The canteen sells dishes such as porridge for $2.50, and chicken rice and fried Hokkien mee for $3.

    Some stall owners told Chinese daily Lianhe Wanbao that customers gave them farewell gifts including birds' nest, cake and bonsai when they learnt they were leaving.

    Shin Min understands that at least five of the 24 stalls will not resume business under the new operator. Among the reasons are higher rents, a change in operating hours and a request for stall owners to switch from using paper plates to cutlery, which increases costs, Wanbao reported.

    Stalls that are leaving include well-liked Western outlet Wild Olives, reviewed favourably by local food critics.

    Wild Olives wrote on its Facebook page that it has been "overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and goodwill" in the past few weeks, adding that customers will be informed should it decide to relocate.

    When Shin Min visited the canteen on Sunday night, there were at least 30 people queuing at Wild Olives.

    Investment director Qiu Dingli, 39, said he was there with his family to eat the Western food, porridge and Hokkien mee after hearing that the canteen was closing.

    Meanwhile, Ngee Kee fried Hokkien mee stall will be leaving the premises. Owner Lin Yuxing, 60, who had operated there for 25 years, said he could not agree with Kopitiam on rental and opening hours.

    He put up a notice on his Facebook page on Friday saying that he will move to Block 210, Toa Payoh Lorong 8 in July.