Iconic neon sign for Indonesia Restaurant in Tsim Sha Tsui taken down after restaurant shutters

The iconic neon sign for the Indonesia Restaurant in Tsim Sha Tsui. Late last year the owners confirmed the business would close down, and the sign is now in temporary storage. Photo via Facebook/Neon Heritage.

The iconic neon sign for an Indonesian restaurant in Tsim Sha Tsui was taken down on Saturday after the restaurant closed its doors for good earlier this year.

News of the Indonesia Restaurant’s closure was reported on by local media outlets late last year, with the eatery’s manager Cheng Cho-ming citing a drop in customers in the last few years.

Speaking to Apple Daily in December, Cheng who is Indonesian-Chinese by descent, said his parents opened the restaurant in the 1970s, when it was one of the first Indonesian restaurants in the city.

Cheng said the restaurant hadn’t changed its menu, or the way it cooks its signature dishes, in more than 40 years. The specialties included beef rendang, made with 24 different spices and cooked for at least four hours; and meat skewers, grilled over a charcoal and coated with Indonesian sweet soy sauce, or kecap manis.

News of the eatery’s closure sparked fears among Hongkongers that the restaurant’s iconic neon sign could be sent to the landfill.

Cardin Chan, the executive director for the NGO Neon Heritage, posted on Facebook in January that the restaurant had contacted M+ — an institution focused on Hong Kong’s visual culture — to see if they could take in the neon sign, and were waiting for a response.

Help needed! Please read on!中文版可見於下方''This is rather personal to me. My high school was near Indonesia Restaurant so…

The Hong Kong Neon Heritage – 香港霓虹承光發佈於 2019年1月23日星期三

The restaurant officially closed its doors to customers on February 4, and the neon sign was removed on Saturday.

A time-lapse video of the sign being taken down was posted on the Facebook page for the book Hong Kong Neon Lights on Saturday.

According to the post, the sign has been taken in by a sign maker temporarily, but it’s not clear if anyone else has offered to give the sign a permanent home.

As Coconuts HK reported last year, Hong Kong’s neon signs have long been a defining characteristic of the city’s streetscapes, but have continued to disappear in recent years as a result of a government cull of structures deemed to be illegal or unsafe for jutting off of buildings and over streets.


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