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End of an era: The Star of Saigon in Kilgetty to close its doors

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THE STAR OF SAIGON, a cornerstone of the Kilgetty community, will be serving its last meal tomorrow, Sunday, 11 February 2024.

The cherished local take-away, known for its authentic Chinese cuisine and warm hospitality, has announced it will close down due to the retirement of its owners.

Established in 1990 and run by the same family for over three decades, the Star of Saigon has been a fixture on Carmarthen Road, not just as a business but as a community hub.

Its owners expressed their heartache over the closure, attributing the decision to a desire for retirement and the dwindling stock levels that have made it impossible to continue beyond the weekend.

The announcement, made with a mix of humour and sadness on social media, has elicited an outpouring of support and memories from loyal customers. Patrons have shared stories of weekly rituals, special occasions marked with a meal from the Star of Saigon, and the personal connections forged with the family behind the counter.

Local residents, Nigel Graham and Sharon Nowell, echoed the sentiments of many, praising the quality of the food and lamenting the loss to the community. “The Best Chinese food in Pembs. Going to miss your food. Good luck for the future,” Graham remarked, while Nowell added, “Aww Anna we are all gonna miss you so much. A hell of a loss to Kilgetty, but well-deserved retirement.”

Others, like Ellen Thomas Noot and Helen Brown, shared personal anecdotes of the role the take-away played in their lives, highlighting the unique bond between the Star of Saigon and its clientele. “So sad to read this post! Best Chinese around,” Noot commented. Brown shared, “So sad to read this, Ella will be devastated; she won’t eat sweet n sour chicken balls anywhere else!”

As the community prepares to say goodbye, the Star of Saigon’s final day promises to be an emotional one, with customers planning to come together to bid farewell to a beloved local institution.

The family behind the Star of Saigon extends their heartfelt thanks to the community for decades of support and shared memories.

The Star of Saigon will be remembered fondly by those it served, and will surely be dearly missed.

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Business

Tenby’s favourite Japanese restaurant Umi reopens under new ownership

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There’s great news for aficionados of Japanese cuisine in Pembrokeshire, the much-loved Umi restaurant, which closed its doors on High Street in Tenby in January, is now set to welcome diners once again under the new stewardship of Lok and Jen Cheung.

The couple, renowned for their culinary ventures including The Dragon Palace Chinese restaurant at Pentlepoir and Lokky’s and The Imperial Dragon Inn at nearby Wooden, are on a mission to redefine the Japanese dining experience in the picturesque Welsh town.

The grand reopening of Umi – which means The Ocean in Japanese – took place on Wednesday, February 28, has been the subject of much anticipation and excitement. “We are beyond excited to announce the grand reopening of Umi today,” Lok and Jen expressed, inviting customers to prepare for a “culinary voyage that will transport you straight to the vibrant streets of Japan.”

Umi’s commitment to quality and authenticity shines through in its offerings. The restaurant promises an array of fresh ingredients, expertly crafted sushi rolls, and mouth-watering Japanese delicacies. “From traditional favourites like sashimi and tempura to unique fusion creations, our menu is a true celebration of flavours,” the couple shared in a recent Facebook post.

However, Umi aims to offer more than just exquisite food. The restaurant’s serene and stylish ambiance is designed to immerse guests in the beauty and tranquillity of Japanese culture, making it an ideal venue for both intimate dinners and lively gatherings with friends.

Lok and Jen are no strangers to the hospitality industry. The busy parents of four have previously made their mark with the success of The Dragon Palace, followed by the opening of Lokky’s, which features cuisine inspired by eastern Asia. In June last year, they expanded their portfolio with the launch of The Imperial Dragon Hotel, notable for its themed rooms that include Indian, Japanese, and Chinese decor.

Their efforts have not gone unnoticed in the culinary world. The Dragon Palace was awarded the Best Oriental Restaurant in the Food Awards Wales 2022, and Lokky’s secured the title of Best Asian Restaurant in Wales at the Golden Chopsticks Awards 2022.

With such a rich background and a clear passion for enriching Tenby’s dining scene, the reopening of Umi under Lok and Jen Cheung is poised to be a gastronomic event that will further cement their reputation as pioneers of Asian cuisine in Wales.

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Business

McDonald’s thanks Milford Haven after a busy first day

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MC DONALD’S new restaurant in Milford Haven, which opened its doors for the first time today, February 28th, at 11am, has already become a hit with the locals, thanks to an overwhelming turnout.

The opening day saw the restaurant bustling with patrons eager to check out the new location.

Reflecting on the day, the McDonald’s team extended a warm message of gratitude. A spokesperson said: “Wow, you came to see us in your droves today!

“We certainly tried our best to provide good service to you all. Inevitably at times, service was a bit slower than we would have liked, but we hope to see you all again soon.

“Thank you from team Milford.”

Despite the busy start and not offering breakfast on its first day—a detail proactively communicated to customers—the franchise’s focus remained steadfast on ensuring everyone had a positive experience.

The commitment of the new McDonald’s restaurant to the local community extends beyond its menu. In partnership with the police and Port Authority, the franchise is actively working to address anti-social behaviour and improve traffic management around the new site.

These collaborations aim to create a safe and enjoyable environment for both patrons and the broader community, reinforcing McDonald’s dedication to making a positive impact, the company said.

The opening of the restaurant has also brought significant employment opportunities to Milford Haven, with 90 new jobs created.

This boost increases the total number of individuals employed by Lonetree Limited, the local franchisee, to around 1,700 across its 17 McDonald’s outlets in South West Wales.

As McDonald’s encourages residents to follow their social media for updates, the overarching message is one of gratitude and excitement for the future.

A local councillor said: “The successful launch day sets a promising tone for the McDonald’s restaurant in Milford Haven as it embarks on its journey to be more than just a place to eat but a valued community partner.”

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Business

McDonald’s opens new branch in Milford Haven today

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A BRAND new McDonald’s restaurant is opening its doors in Milford Haven today (Feb 28) at 11am, offering locals a fresh dining option with a promise of community engagement and attention to local issues. The opening marks a departure from the usual breakfast service, with the restaurant opting to start later on its first day, running until 11 pm, before resuming its regular hours of 6 am to 11 pm thereafter.

A spokesperson for McDonald’s Milford Haven expressed enthusiasm for the launch, stating, “We are excited to be opening at 11am! We are open all the way through till 11pm and can’t wait to serve all of you throughout the day/week. We hope no matter what time of the day or night you visit us that you enjoy your first look around our new store.”

The opening day’s late start means that breakfast will not be available, a point the franchise was keen to highlight ahead of time. “Good Afternoon, Our opening hours will be 6am-11pm. But however, on opening day we will be opening at 11am so no breakfast,” the company announced, setting the stage for what is anticipated to be an enjoyable experience despite this minor setback.

In a move that underscores its commitment to becoming an integral part of the Milford Haven community, McDonald’s has announced collaborations with local law enforcement and the Port Authority to address anti-social behaviour and ensure efficient traffic management around the new location.

This partnership, The Herald was told, aims to ensure a safe and enjoyable environment for both patrons and the broader community.

The McDonald’s restaurant franchise encouraging residents to follow their social media pages for updates and to share news of the opening with friends and family.

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