With the closure of its flagship tze char eatery at Hillview Avenue in June this year leaving fans scrambling into the city for their New Ubin fix; an upscale restaurant in the city centre CHIJMES cluster and a hotel restaurant in Zhongshan Park didn’t feel quite the same. Plans were already set in motion by its proprietors, the Pang family, to find a new space that could house the brand’s signature tze char eatery concept. The components were unique to its plight – an amalgamation of years of moving around oft offbeat locations, most famous of which were its Sixth Avenue, Sin Ming Industrial Estate and its latest Hillview Avenue incarnations.
The formula is as bewildering as it is exact. An off-the-beaten-path location accessible at best by car, far flung from the city and tucked away into the forgotten crevices of Singapore. It’d count the likes of paint shops and auto- repair businesses as its neighbours, and its cuisine best enjoyed in a nondescript outdoor canteen setting that has no business serving choice rib-eye cuts, kaya toast on baguette with French butter, or premium Bordeaux in Riedel glasses – but do so anyway. Here, New Ubin’s brand of rustic roots and kampong essence, which it serves its ‘Truly Singaporean’ cuisine with, fares exceedingly.
Today, that recipe has been exacted to a tee, and with all previous moves, comes with its own set of upgrades. Located on the ground floor of Space@Tampines, a commercial property along Tampines Industrial Crescent flanked by furniture showrooms and inflatable air dancers, is the 5,700 square feet New Ubin Village. The proposition is a canteen cluster that houses seven stalls, three of which its own concepts—including its back-to- basics tze char eatery New Ubin Tampines and a brand new incubator stall programme, New Ubin Test Kitchen—all enabled with modern-day technologies that allow guests to order and make cashless payments directly from their table without having to call for a physical menu or bill. A third concept is currently underway and will be announced at a later date.