Cuc departs Sing

Talented chef suddenly departs blossoming Asian restaurant in The Heights

Talented chef suddenly departs Asian restaurant in The Heights

Jerry Lasco Cuc Lam Sing Restaurant
Jerry Lasco (left) has parted ways with Cuc Lam (right), the co-founder who has left Sing. Courtesy photo

A promising new Heights restaurant has parted ways with its chef and co-founder. Cuc Lam announced she has departed from Sing, the fast-casual Singaporean restaurant she recently opened in The Heights.  

Jerry Lasco, Lam's business partner in the restaurant, confirmed her departure in a statement provided to CultureMap. Despite Lam's departure, the restaurant already has a new chef and will continue on.

"Cuc is a talented and wonderful lady.  We all wish her the very best in her future endeavors," Lasco said. "At Sing, we are focused on continuing the mission of delivering a unique experience with a Singaporean-inspired menu and the highest quality food.  We are excited to announce that chef Eileen Lopez, who has been training with our team and comes to us with over a decade of Asian cooking experience, is leading the kitchen."

While the news that the restaurant will continue is good for its fans, the timing of Lam's departure comes as a surprise. After a somewhat rocky start (early Yelp reviews were a mixed bag), Sing had hit its stride with critics. Houston Food Finder included the fast casual spot on its list of 2018's best new restaurants, and Chronicle critic Alison Cook awarded it one star ("a good restaurant that we recommend") last week. Everything seemed to be going well for Lam, who made the leap from food writer to chef and restaurateur by opening Sing. 

Lam declined to comment on the circumstances surrounding her departure, but perhaps her social media post, specifically the part about being "due for a few weeks worth of R&R," offers a clue that the demands of running a restaurant may have been overwhelming. In addition, the official Sing Instagram account posted an apology for slow service in the wake of the crowds that descended on the restaurant in the wake of the venerable critic's review. 

Here's hoping that Lam pop-ups again with a new project. Having gone through the year-long process of opening Sing, it would be a shame if she gave up operating restaurants for good after only four months.