Goodbye, Sentosa


Sentosa restaurant in Crows Nest

This post refers to: Willy Ho closes Sentosa at Crows Nest.

No, not the Sentosa Island in Singapore, but Sentosa, a restaurant that was just earlier this month operating in the North Shore’s “restaurant capital”. The fact that I didn’t know this until this year shows I’m clearly not a foodie.

Just a few weeks ago as I wandered down the Crows Nest shopping strip down Willoughby Road, the Sentosa Singaporean and Malaysian restaurant was still open, patrons partaking of their delicious food as they sipped from glasses of sparkling wine.

Earlier this week however, I learned that for some reason it had closed, and confirmed it today with my own eyes. The walls that were once covered in colourful images and decor, tables of various sizes with fine table cloths laid over them filling in the space, now it was just another empty store, various pieces of rubbish scattered over the dull grey carpet, and the wooden walls stark.

I read today that Sentosa had been open in Crows Nest for 29 years, and served its last signature dishes on October 5. Although Ruben and I only discovered it this year, it had one of the best chicken curries that Ruben had ever eaten. I’m not exactly a good culinary judge, but I trust his more experienced tongue in this matter.

Not only was the food (and coffee, I’m told) delicious though, but the staff was friendly and helpful, the atmosphere calm and pleasant — a comfortable getaway from the hustle and bustle of the office. More interestingly I feel a slight bond to the restaurant’s owner and staff though, as I overheard them conversing in Cantonese as I passed by the restaurant. Nonchalantly, I pretended not to listen.

But it might not be the end of Sentosa, if owner Willy does decide to open again in St Leonards. If does decide to throw open his doors elsewhere in the future, I will not hesitate to duck down for a bite to eat at their new venue. Having praised Sentosa’s Kari Ayam to friends, it’s definitely worth a taste, and I wouldn’t want them to miss it for anything.