Singapore

'It's not the first time': Mookata restaurant owner's son puts out fire, warns diners not to change gas cartridges


We usually don’t think too much while enjoying a sizzling good mookata meal, but perhaps we should after all. 

Eugene Goh, the son of New Udon Mookata’s owner, knows this only too well. Just yesterday (Aug 14), his ordinary day of work at the popular Golden Mile Complex mookata joint was interrupted by a stove that caught fire. 

The incident was uploaded onto TikTok yesterday as well and as of the time of writing, the video has garnered over 7,600 likes and 292,000 views. 

In the clip, two men could be seen manoeuvring around a table with a fire extinguisher. A group of onlookers also surrounded the scene. 

@gavinkwok77

Mookata on Fire♨️♨️♨️🆘

♬ 完了芭比q了 – HanYang

Goh told AsiaOne that the fire broke out just before 2 pm and he had been standing near the counter when he spotted the stove going up in flames. There had been around six to seven diners at that table who seemed to be in their early 20s. 

While most people would be too shocked or terrified to deal with a blazing mookata stove, Eugene did not think too much about his own safety and rushed to put it out with a fire extinguisher. 

“I just felt the need to settle the situation quickly,” he told AsiaOne, adding that he did not feel scared. 

It also helped that he was previously from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), where he was taught how to handle such scenarios. 

As the fire was put out in around a minute, Goh said that there was no need for him to call the SCDF either. No one was hurt and the business also resumed as per normal. 

Goh said he asked the diners what went wrong, but they simply told him they don’t know and that the incident had occurred very “suddenly”. 

After the fire was put out, the group said that they didn’t “want to dine anymore” before paying for the food and leaving the premises. 

They did not offer to pay for any of the damages too, which included a few melted plastic bowls and the stove, said Goh.

Goh also said that he only charged the group half price for their meal as he “felt bad” for the group and that it was not their fault.

He added that they had only been “60 to 70 per cent” done with the food and that they are unaware they did not pay the full amount. 

Goh said he suspected the fire occurred because the customers tried to change the stove’s gas cartridge by themselves. 

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He told AsiaOne that such fires are usually caused when the stove is not properly locked after the gas cartridge is changed. 

“So, if the customer tries to change the cartridge themselves and they don’t lock it, they can’t activate the gas properly. Then, if they keep using it by force, something like that will happen” he elaborated. 

Goh also shared that customers are not allowed to replace the gas cartridge on their own and are usually briefed on what to do prior to their meals.

“Usually, when the customers sit down, they will try to start the fire on their own and we will tell them to just wait for the staff,” he elaborated. 

While such fires do not happen very often, Goh shared that “it’s not the first time” such an incident has happened and these usually occur at least once a year. 

However, he said that this fire was the biggest one he has encountered. 

To prevent similar incidences from occurring in the future, Goh said he has printed out signs to remind customers to not change the gas cartridges by themselves.

This isn’t the first time a mookata store at Golden Mile Complex has found itself in a pickle.

Earlier this year in March, one restaurant lost around $6,000 worth of food due to a 35-hour power outage. 

melissateo@asiaone.com



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