The kampung spirit was in full force as a herd of customers rushed to MAT Western in Bedok to support them on Thursday, May 19 following reports and a TikTok video that the business at this F&B outlet were steadily declining.
Only one problem though: this food stall is not in trouble and in no danger of going out of business.
In fact, business is good, refuted the owner of this food stand Umar Fabrice after a TikTok video surfaced on Thursday May 19 that hinted that MAT Western was going through a bad patch.
In this video, famous local chef Bob, also known as Shahrizal Salleh, posted an interview he did with Umar where captions suggested that Umar was behind on renting his shop.
And that he has “exhausted all means necessary to repay his current debts to the owner and suppliers”.
Umar, the former executive chef of the now defunct European restaurant 7Adam, could even be seen gushing during the interview.
However, Umar later took to MAT Western’s Facebook page that same Thursday evening, explaining that he was not referring to current food stall activity in the video.
“Business is going well. Alhamdulillah [translated to “praise be to God”, from Arabic]. I was talking about another company unrelated to the store,” he posted. It is unclear which other companies he was referring to.
After Chef Bob’s TikTok video was posted, a Halal Cafe & Restaurants Facebook group in Singapore said a queue had formed at MAT Western that day and support had become so overwhelming that people orders had to be closed.
In his Facebook post on Thursday evening, Umar, 40, said he received overwhelming orders that day but felt the need to “clarify some issues regarding the video that circulated”.
In his post, Umar said he is not crying to receive sympathy from others.
The surge of emotion was due to “a touching subject about my mother, who visited me last month here in Singapore”, he explained.
He added that everything he shared in the video interview was unrelated to MAT Western.
The food joint, he said, is far from experiencing financial difficulties as expansion plans are underway.
As for Chef Bob, he has since taken down his original TikTok video from May 19, but an abridged version of the clip can be viewed on his Facebook page.
Despite the misunderstanding, Umar said Chef Bob is a wonderful person with a caring soul, who just wanted to share more about MAT Western.
“Please excuse me for any misunderstanding. You have all been very nice, in fact too nice. Please forgive my English, I don’t speak English very well during conversations. And this could also lead to misleading information.
“I really hope to serve food for all of you and I will always have the passion in me to make great food for all,” Umar wrote.
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