Tan Ser Seng Herbs (Turtle) Restaurant was founded by Tan Ah Sai in 1946. In the dawn of Singapore’s hawker scene, he brought his unique trade of turtle soup from China, and begun peddling his herbal broth along Orchard Road and later Mei Shi Jie.
In a time where hard work and diligence was key to survival, Tan Ah Sai and his family would wake up as early as 2AM to prepare the traditional herbal mixture for the lunch time crowd. They would then push the soup on a cart from PayaLebar Kampong all the way to Taiseng to sell.
Originally reserved for the royalty to feast in China, turtle soup was a dish that needed no introduction in Singapore. Established as a healthy and potent source of nutrients, Tan Ah Sai’s turtle soup drew crowds and long lines on a regular basis. Using quality herbs and fresh ingredients, he was constantly innovating and improving his recipe.
Today, the restaurant is managed by Tan Ah Sai’s own successor retaining the traditional way of cooking the herbal broth.
Helmed by his own son, Tan Khar Seng, the restaurant and recipe is a family legacy, passed down from father to son. The family still retains the traditional means of brewing, and takes at least six hours before opening time to prepare the ingredients and meat for lunch time.
Accommodating to customers’ changing palate in Singapore’s developing F&B industry, Tan Khar Seng served the first Claypot Turtle Herbal Soup in Singapore. Following in his father’s footsteps, he invented his own concoction of herbal soup that was thicker and more appealing to customers in the 1980s.
The original clear soup still remains as a popular choice on their menu, and in recent years the restaurant offers more options for customers to choose from. In addition to their famous turtle soup, the Tans have also added in similarly healthy and nutritious options of Gingseng Black Chicken Soup and Herbal Cordycep Chicken Soup to the menu.
Tan Ser Seng Herbs (Turtle) Restaurant is a popular destination for many tourists and a local favourite in Singapore.
As one of the remaining few turtle soup restaurants, their authentic recipe with over 20 quality herbs and ingredients draws a constant crowd even on weekdays.
More than just an exotic delicacy, their turtle soup is a tonic for the body; a traditional broth fit for royalty at an affordable price.
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